This Lemon Truffle Cake is the perfect dessert for Easter. It’s a four-layer white cake with a creamy lemon filling. The “lemon truffle” consists of lemon curd with white chocolate and cream cheese mixed in.
Lemon Truffle Cake
This Lemon Truffle Cake is one of the most delicious lemon cake recipes I’ve ever eaten. All of those layers of lemon make this such a pretty and elegant cake, but it’s really not that difficult to make. Just follow the directions step-by-step, and you’ll have this beautiful cake to share with your guests!
How to Make a Lemon Truffle Cake
Start with the homemade vanilla cake recipe listed in the instructions below. Lemon cake would make this cake far too lemony, so vanilla it is!
Make the lemon truffle filling. Don’t skip this step. This filling is completely and totally addicting and amazing. You’ll want to dive in with a giant spoon!
Cut each of your baked cake layers in half so you have four layers. This is probably the trickiest part of the recipe because you want to try to get them fairly even. Just take your time and use a serrated knife. I use a large bread knife to do this. Then place one cake layer cut-side-up on your platter. I like to tuck some waxed paper underneath the edges of the cake so I can pull them out after it has been decorated. This will help you decorate it neatly and not get the frosting all over your platter. Spread the first cake layer with some of the filling.
Place a second cake layer on top and spread more filling.
Add layer number three and more truffle filling.
Place the last cake layer on top. This time with the cut-side facing down.
Spread lemon curd on top.
Spread the sides of the cake with sweetened whipped cream.
I promise it will get prettier!
Use a piping bag to pipe some whipped cream decoratively around the top and bottom edges. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Give your cake plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator. Overnight is perfect.
Once given time to chill, all of the filling holds those cake layers together nicely, and it’s easy to slice.
It’s a totally rich and delicious slice of cake. Everyone will think it came from a bakery.
I recently tested this recipe by serving it to friends at a pre-Easter dinner party. It’s safe to say that we all absolutely loved it. The cake is very tender, and those layers of lemon truffle filling are incredible. If you’re making this cake ahead of time, I’d put together the layers & spread the lemon curd on top… then wait until a few hours before serving to pipe on the whipped cream. We had leftovers for a few days after the party, and the leftovers were just as delicious as the day it was served.
If you are looking for more Easter cake recipes, you might enjoy my one layer Carrot Cake, Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cake or my Malted Mousse Cake.
Lemon Truffle Cake
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1⅔ cups granulated white sugar
- 1¼ cups milk
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 large egg whites
LEMON TRUFFLE FILLING:
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
PREPARE THE CAKE:
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, milk, butter, baking powder and salt. Blend until the butter is evenly mixed. Add the vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl constantly, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently but thoroughly fold the whites into the cake batter. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes are no longer jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Split the cooled layers horizontally to make 4 layers in all. (I use a serrated knife… and gently saw around the center to cut even layers).
PREPARE THE FILLING:
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in water until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork. Slowly stir about ¼ cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, whisking quickly while adding the hot liquid. (You don’t want to create scrambled eggs, so be sure to add the hot mixture slowly, whisking it into the eggs as quickly as possible). Continue adding ¼ cup of the hot mixture to the eggs until you have warmed up the egg mixture. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back to the mixture in the saucepan. Cook over low heat until the mixture boils, whisking constantly, then continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, butter and zest. Transfer half of the hot filling to a small bowl and set aside to cool. Add the white chocolate to the hot filling in the saucepan and stir until the chocolate is melted; set aside. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the white chocolate mixture until light and smooth. At this point, you should have a small bowl of lemon curd and a bowl of white chocolate truffle filling.
- Spread one third of the white chocolate filling over one layer of the cake. Top with a second cake layer, then spread with one third more of the filling; top with a third cake layer and spread the remaining filling over. Top with the last cake layer and spread reserved lemon curd. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the filling is set (2 to 3 hours).
MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM:
- In another bowl, whip the cream and sweeten it with the powdered sugar. Frost the sides of the cake with half of the whipped cream frosting. Put the remaining frosting into a pastry bag and pipe decoratively around the top and bottom edge of the cake. Refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.
Making this again. The friends I made it for last time have requested a repeat….guess that says it all.
Made this yesterday to take to a small gathering of friends. I didn’t take a photo, but it came out just as nice as the recipe photo. Everyone loved it, and all took a second piece to go….. I will say that it does take a bit of prep time, but totally worth the effort. The lemon curd was fantastic, the filling with the white chocolate and cream cheese was delicious, and the cake itself had fantastic texture and was moist and tender. Next time I make this I will probably add a trace of the lemon curd to the middle layers, but only because I love the really intense lemon flavor. Thanks for the recipe, this is going in the keeper box.
This sounds absolutely delicious! I have to make it soon! I’m commenting to say that if you stabilize the whipped cream with gelatin, you won’t have to worry about frosting it too soon. The gelatin keeps it from weeping and/or wilting. It can be done by mixing unflavored gelatin and water, but the easiest way is to use unflavored piping gel, bought in the cake decorating section of many stores. Beat in 2 Tbls of piping gel for every 1 cup of cream when you add in your flavorings or after adding in your sugar and before it is as stiff as you want it. To use unflavored gelatin, for each 1 cup of cream, use 1 tsp gelatin and 4 tsps water. In a small pan, combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat; cool (do not allow it to set). Add when adding your flavorings to the whipped cream. Whip the cream with the icing sugar, until slightly thick. While slowly beating, add the gelatin to whipping cream. Whip at high speed until stiff, but do not over-beat.
Thanks for the tips!
Going through the ingredients for the truffle filling….no water is mentioned in the ingredients, but in the steps it does mention water??
1 cup water in the filling ingredients… that’s what’s mentioned in the steps too!
Yummy!!! I did change a few things I used my own cake recipe that I love and changed the icing to Swiss Merengue… Everybody raved about how delicious it was !!!
I did this once and it was delicious. I am planning to make it again but in the size of 7 inch. Can you suggest how much ingredients should I reduce? Thanks in advance!
No idea, sorry! You can always use the extra batter to make some cupcakes.
How long in advance can you make the truffle filling and curd topping? Thank you.
I think a day ahead would be okay.
Mmmm this cake turned out awesome!
I don’t think it’s for everyone, but I love lemon and it was perfect for me! Followed instructions exactly and came out exactly as it should.
This is one of my most favorite cake recipes. It never fails to impress. I always double the lemon curd recipe because it is so delicious and I use it as one of the layers of filling in the cake as well as putting it on top. I like that little bit of extra lemon zing this gives the cake
I saw this recipe and thought it looked amazing but the cake was a horrible distaster, the worst ever seen – it didn’t rise at all and went all hard and horrible, such a terrible waste of precious food ingredients that I had to save for a week to afford.
I’m never going to make another cake again!
I’m so sorry you had trouble. It’s been a few years since I baked this cake as an Easter dessert, and I remember it being a pretty involved process. The result should have been delicious, so I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. The recipe was shared from this cookbook: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Holiday-Baking-Beatrice-Ojakangas/dp/0816638683
Cakes that rise with beaten egg whites are VERY picky about any vibration while baking, including walking by the oven, or opening the oven door too soon. Remember in all the old TV shows and movies the mom/grandma scolding “Don’t slam the door, I have a cake in the oven!”? That’s why. I would bet that it didn’t rise because there were too many bumps or vibrations in the area while it baked, and it was hard because it was overbaked. When that happens, you can always turn it into a trifle with lots of pudding and whipped cream layered around the cake pieces.
Try again some day when you can be sure no one moves around the house too much, and don’t open the oven door more than absolutely necessary. Pull it out when the center springs back from a light touch. You’ll be so proud! And you should be; these types of cakes ARE difficult to get to rise.
My husband and I are not big fans of lemon flavor. Would it be possible to use canned pineapple juice instead of lemon?
I’ve never tried that, so I’m not sure!
I made this cake and it was very good, but the cake itself was kind of blah. I would have preferred a richer cake that had a lemon flavor. Also, with the nine inch pans, I had to double the filling and the curd to get enough for the cake. It has a wonderful lemony taste and the added white chocolate was great. I would frosted with a butter cream frosting instead of the whipped cream. But I love you recipes so keep them coming.
Delicious, moist, cake. My family loved it. I added sliced strawberries on the second layer.
A tip/suggestion: NEVER worry about your icing or piping skills; I find that the worse I think they are, the *less intimidating* the cake is to people when it comes to cutting & eating it.
I used your filling recipe, however, I used a French vanilla box cake twerking it just a little. Everyone loved it. The lemon curd and mousse filling we’re absolutely delish and held the cake together great.
I don’t know what I did – I thought I followed the directions to a T – but the cake part was really dense. It didn’t raise very much in the oven. Any thoughts why? I thought with the egg whites it would have been fluffier. Other than that, the flavors were amazing and it was very pretty. 🙂
I’ve never had anything resembling this recipe, so to try something new would be interesting!
Simply delivious and beautiful. Definitely worth the effort. Thank you for sharing this recipe
This is such a great cake! I made this on Tuesday. It was just a lot of work. But I will make it again. No problems, it came out perfect.
I just made this cake for a baby shower! Everyone couldn’t stop talking about how tasty it was. I heard the word “amazing” over and over! The lemon flavour was just right and the truffle filling was divine (so divine I could have grabbed a spoon and eaten the whole bowl). For those of you commenting on using buttercream frosting instead of the whipping cream, I would stick with whipping cream. I think for this cake buttercream frosting would be way too sweet. The whipping cream really lets the lemon flavour shine! My cake sat out on a buffet table for a couple hours and the whipping cream held up fine! This is an awesome recipe! Thanks Lori!
Hi…I was wondering if anybody had considered making this in another flavor? I was thinking strawberry would be good but am worried about leaving out the lemon juice in the filling part of the recipe. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…the recipe as is looks incredible too.
Hi! For my birthday this year I want to make a raspberry lemon truffle cake. I was just wondering if the filling would work to frost the outside of a cake or if it would be too soft? Also would it hold up if I was to pour a white chocolate ganache over the top? Thanks!
Amazing cake!!! This is going to be a huge hit at Easter and all spring!!!!
Thank you for sharing this recipe with us and for the excellent work and effort put into your website. I’ve been there, and have a keen understanding of the time it takes to develop and maintain one. In order to bring it this far it has to be a labor of love.
Quick question about the cake if I may; I would like to make this for a co-workers BD. Since it will sit out at room temp I would like to use something a little more durable than whip cream. Do you think a vanilla buttercream frosting would work well (taste wise) with the cake and lemon curd?
Thank you and please keep up the good work. 🙂
Yes, I think a buttercream would be fine w/ this cake.
I made this cake for my sister’s graduation party this weekend and it was fabulous!! I decorated it based on this cake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saucydragonfly/224678456/, omitting the lemon curd on top, but it was still delicious. 🙂 Everyone raved about it.
Great to hear!
Thank you for this recipe! I made it for Easter and it was amazing. I blogged about it, with a link back to you.
I made this cake for Easter today and it is fabulous. It was worth the effort to make and is by far the moat delicious lemon cake I have ever eaten.
Excellent! We were just reminiscing about that cake recipe today…
I already have some lemon curd made up that i’d like to use with this so about how much lemon curd does it use? I’d love to be able to jsut add to the white choc’ & cream cheese! thanks!
@renee, To be safe, I’d have between 2 and 3 cups of lemon curd on hand for this recipe.
Great recipe the truffle filling is amazing.I made this for my sisters birthday and it went down a treat.
I made this last night with a few minor changes, like using my own lemon curd recipe that I am comfortable with. YUM!! It is so good! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for this recipe! I made this for Easter dinner on Saturday at my in-laws and it was a huge hit. I will be making it for all special occasions! A very rewarding cake to make and put together, and surprisingly easy! The recipe is very fluid making it easy to coordinate all of the preparation without any panic 🙂
I made this for Easter. Didn’t come out nearly as pretty as the one above, but it tasted good! 🙂