Whole Grain Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

This week hasn’t been anything too unusual. I went to gymnastics, I did some yoga, practiced some viola. Nothing too out of the ordinary. The only exception being that I wasn’t the one that did the baking in our house this week! My mom recently entered a recipe contest that involves making 2 desserts with apples. My mom always has tons of ideas, so each recipe had multiple components, which I have been helping her make. I’ve made shortbread doughs, put together some cookies, and of course, being a taste tester. 😉

This cake is something special. Over Memorial Day weekend, my mom had a few of her culinary school friends come up. There was a ton of delicious food, ranging from pork butt wrapped in banana leaves to let cook for a few hours, shrimp skewers that were thrown on the grill in a ginger marinade, and of course, many stages of dessert. A few of the cakes that we made were absolutely spectacular, and this is one of them. Don’t be fooled by the whole grain part of it, this cake from King Arthur’s Flour is not something to overlook. The cake was not too dense and you got enough of the lemon flavor without it being overpowering. I added some delicious jams we had in the house as the fillings between the layers, and it was outstanding with the lemon flavor (I added lingonberry and blackberry jam). This is a great cake for a summer brunch or get together, or to just relax outside on a weekday night. Enjoy!

Whole Grain Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Makes 1 3 layer 9″ Cake or 1 13″ by 9″ Sheet


  • 7 5/8 ounces whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 1/4 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 12 1/4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) milk
  • 1/4 cup (3 oz) seedless jam of your choice


For the Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare the pan(s) of your choice.
  2. Whisk together the flours, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and the lemon zest. Mix half of the flour mixture in, and then mix in the lemon juice and milk. Add the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the sides to make sure there are no dry/wet spots.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Level the top of the batter with an offset spatula or a spoon.
  4. Bake Times- for 8″ cake- 20-22 minutes. 9″ cake- 27-30 minutes. 13″x9″ cake- 35-38 minutes.
  5. The cake is done when it is an even golden brown and it starts to pull back from the edges of the pan. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing the layers from the pan, and wait until completely cooled before frosting.

For the Buttercream- makes 4 1/2 cups


  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 4-5 cups (1- 1 1/4 pounds) confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Beat the butter until fluffy in a stand mixer. Add half of the sugar and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla,  lemon juice, and half of the milk or cream and beat until fluffy. Mix in the remaining sugar and milk, alternating until they are completely incorporated, and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Fold in the lemon zest.

To Assemble the Cake

  1. Place one layer, bottom side up on a plate. Spread with a thin layer of the jam of your choice. Place another layer on top, bottom side up. Spread another layer of jam. Place the final layer, bottom side up. Frost with the Lemon Buttercream above.

I’m drooling just thinking about it!

-Rayna 🙂






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