Pecan Lemon Cake

Lemon cake with lemon cream cheese icing


This lemon cream cheese icing... there are no adequate words to describe it. If I were not a grownup, I would have licked the bowl. Since I am in fact a grownup, I scraped the bowl with a spoon and licked it off the spoon. The pecans add a perfect, flavorful crunch. The lemon cake itself is so dense and moist but the flavor is very light.

Now, because the cake is so dense and moist, you need to be VERY careful when removing it from the cakes pans. I always line my cake pans with parchment paper and even then I still spray them with cooking spray. Wait until the cakes have cooled at least 10-15 minutes before removing them from the pans (but also don't leave them in there too long). Then, just to be extra careful, run a knife along the outside to make sure none of the cake is sticking to the sides. Next, place a cooling rack on top of the cake pan and hold the rack and the pan together before flipping it all over. Allow the cakes to cool completely before icing or you will have a runny mess on your hands. Spread icing between the layers and all over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle pecan pieces over the top. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving because the icing has cream cheese in it! This cake is delicious cold. 

pecan cake, pecan lemon cake, lemon cake
cakes, dessert
Yield: 24Pin it

Pecan Lemon Cake

prep time: 20 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 20 mins

This recipe can be used to make a cake or cupcakes!



1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

3 cups flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup whole milk, room temperature

¼ cup lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Lemon Curd Filling

4 egg yolks

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

½ cup chopped pecans

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

zest of 1 lemon

8 cups powdered sugar

1/8-1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Pecans, optional for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake pans with cupcake liners or line and grease 3 cake pans.

Add the ¼ cup lemon juice to the ¾ cup of whole milk, set aside.

Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

Whisk together the egg and egg yolks then add to the mixer and mix until just combined.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer, mix, then add half of the milk/lemon juice mixture and mix. Repeat with the other half of the dry ingredients and then the remaining milk/lemon juice.

Stir in lemon zest and lemon extract. Pour batter into cupcake tins or cake pans, filling them only ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely while you make the lemon curd.

To make the lemon curd, combine all ingredients except the chopped pecans in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Once thick, add the chopped pecans. Allow lemon curd to cool before filling cupcakes.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes on medium/high speed. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar one scoop at a time. Once all the sugar is incorporated, add the lemon extract and lemon juice. Whip on a medium/high speed for another few minutes until the frosting is very light and fluffy.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a small melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out a hole in the center. Fill each cupcake with a small dollop of lemon curd.
If you're making cake, use an icing piper to pipe a thick circle of icing around the top perimeter to hold in the filling then spread half of the filing in the center. Add your next cake layer and repeat.

Frost, sprinkle with chopped pecans and enjoy!



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