Citron is the French term for lemon, and this tangy lemon cake is made with the juice and zest of a few. The addition of fresh lemon juice to the buttercream creates a shiny, silky texture that makes the frosting process super smooth.

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Makes a 4-layer, 8-inch cake


8 oz unsalted butter,

room temperature

13 oz granulated sugar

4 eggs

6½ oz all purpose flour

5½ oz cake flour

1½ teaspoon baking soda

1½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

10 oz buttermilk

zest and juice of 1 large lemon

Citron Italian Meringue Buttercream:

3½ oz water

14 oz granulated sugar

5 oz egg whites, room temperature

16 oz unsalted butter, cut into

1” cubes

zest and juice of 1 large lemon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease the bottoms and sides of 4 cake pans and line with round parchment paper. Grease the parchment too.
  3. In a large bowl, sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until lightened in color.
  5. Add sugar and lemon zest and beat on medium-high until fluffy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  6. Add eggs and continue beating on high until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  7. In 3 parts, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, add the flour mixture and buttermilk with lemon juice into the mixer on low speed until incorporated.
  8. Turn mixer on high for 10 seconds to achieve a smooth and glossy batter.
  9. Pour batter evenly between baking pans. Rap pans on the counter to level batter.
  10. Bake for 28 minutes or until cake doesn’t jiggle when shaken.
  11. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing from pans.
  12. Make Italian meringue buttercream by placing egg whites in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
  13. Combine water and sugar in a pot and allow syrup to boil to 240°F.
  14. Switch mixer on high, return to boiling syrup and turn off at 244°F.
  15. Slowly pour hot syrup into the edge of the mixing bowl.
  16. Leave mixer on high for 10 minutes or until meringue is stiff but not over mixed and curdled.
  17. Lower speed to medium-high and add butter cube by cube.
  18. Mix until butter is fully incorporated and meringue buttercream is smooth.
  19. Add lemon zest and juice and mix until incorporated.
  20. Place 1 layer of cake on a serving tray and add a layer of frosting. Continue with 3 more layers of cake and frosting.
  21. Frost the rest of the cake with the remaining of frosting.


Photography by CAKES+RECIPES by Heather Ward of The Scootabaker Desserts | PROPS+FOOD STYLING by Alica Buszczak PHOTOGRAPHY by Andrea Bricco | PROP RENTALS from Casa de Perrin

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