Lemon Cheesecake Cake is a beautiful and delicious, three-layer cake recipe to make for a special occasion!
Lemon Cheesecake Cake:
Bake this cake for spring, Easter, Mother’s Day or for your favorite friend who loves lemon! There are two layers of cake with a layer of cheesecake in the middle in this Lemon Cheesecake Cake. I use the Sunny Lemon Cake recipe from my favorite go-to cake baking book: Piece of Cake by Camilla Saulsbury. One bowl, no fuss cakes… tons of recipes. I seriously love this book and use it all the time. You need two 9-inch pans and one 9-inch springform pan too. It sounds like a lot of work, but I usually make the cheesecake one day, toss it in the freezer overnight, and then make the rest of the cake the next day. Not a big deal.
- cream cheese
- sour cream
- heavy whipping cream
- vanilla extract
- all purpose flour
- baking powder and salt
- lemon zest
- freshly squeezed lemon juice (use regular or Meyer lemons)
- lemon-lime soda
- powdered sugar
The cheesecake is prepared first. You’ll want to give it some time in the freezer to become very firm before you assemble the cake, so I like to bake the cheesecake one day and finish the recipe the following day.
There are two lemon cake layers. And then there is lemon frosting.
How to assemble a Lemon Cheesecake Cake:
- Put one layer of cake on a serving platter. For flat, even cake layers (that will stack very nicely!), I recommend using insulated cake strips. I use them for all of my cakes and they work perfectly!
- Top the 1st cake layer with a little bit of frosting.
- Place the cheesecake on top of the 1st layer of cake.
- Spread a little frosting on top of the cheesecake.
- Place the 2nd layer of lemon cake on top of the cheesecake.
- Add lemon frosting to the top, and frost the whole lemon cheesecake cake. I use an offset spatula to spread it evenly on top and then down the sides.
It’s best to let the lemon cheesecake cake chill for a while before serving and cutting. The more firm the cake is, the easier it will be to cut clean slices. You can even make it the night before and let it get really chilled and firm. It’ll soften up quickly at room temp. Keep it chilled when not serving. Chill leftovers too.
The best thing about this cake is that you get to eat cake and cheesecake in the same dessert! It’s a decadent treat, but that’s expected for a special occasion, right?
Decorate your lemon cheesecake cake however you wish. You can keep things simple, or you can add malted eggs for Easter.
Using edible flowers (like orchids) is another pretty, easy way to decorate a cake. Sometimes you can find edible flowers at your grocery store- packaged among the fresh herbs. I stopped by a local florist and asked if they carried any edible flowers- they did! Using flowers might be a nice idea for a Mother’s Day cake too.
Lemon Cheesecake Cake
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup shortening
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup lemon lime soda (Sprite or 7-Up)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (might need a little more)
PREPARE THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a 13x9 pan on the lower third rack of the oven and fill it halfway with water. Place another rack on a level above the pan. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all is mixed in. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan on the rack above the roasting pan. Bake the cheesecake for 40 to 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely (4 to 5 hours or overnight).
PREPARE THE CAKE LAYERS:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray two 9-inch pans with nonstick spray with flour (baking spray). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, butter, shortening, zest, and juice to the bowl. Use an electric mixer on low speed to combine (1 minute). Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed 2 minutes. Add the soda and vanilla and beat on low speed for 30 seconds until incorporated. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the pans cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pans and turn the cake layers onto rack to cool completely.
PREPARE THE FROSTING:
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on high speed to beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on low speed until blended. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon zest and 1/4 cup lemon juice; beat on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy. If the frosting appears to be too thick, add an additional tablespoon or two until you get a nice consistency. Cover and refrigerate the frosting until you are ready to assemble the cake (it will firm up a bit upon chilling).
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
- Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of frosting on top. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the the cheesecake to release it from the pan. Trim the cheesecake, as needed to match the size of your cake layers (see *Tips). Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer and spread a couple more teaspoons of frosting on top of the cheesecake. Place the second cake layer on top of the cheesecake. Pile the frosting on top of the 2nd cake layer, spread it to the edges and down the sides of the cake. Decorate as you wish! Keep this cake refrigerated until serving. It's okay to make it 24 hours in advance and keep it in the refrigerator.
- *Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be slightly larger size round than your cake layers, move it to a cutting board and use a knife to gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake.
- *The pan of water in the oven will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking while baking.