This Single Layer Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting is a bite of sunshine: a light and bright lemon cake, infused with lemon syrup and topped with a smooth lemon cream cheese frosting.

all-purpose flour baking powder baking soda salt granulated sugar lemon zest unsalted butter eggs vanilla extract buttermilk lemon juice cream cheese powdered sugar lemon curd

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Trace the bottom of the cake pan on a piece of parchment paper and cut it to match. Line bottom of cake pan with the parchment.

Prep the Pan

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until fragrant. Cream together the butter and lemon sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Cream the Butter

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed until fully incorporated after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat briefly to combine.

Add the Eggs

5. Add a third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined, then add half the buttermilk and beat on low speed again. Repeat with remaining third of flour mixture, the rest of the buttermilk, and end with the last third of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until the batter is smooth, but do not overmix.

Add the Flour

6. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 30-32 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then invert the pan to release.

7. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the lemon juice and sugar on high until bubbling and sugar has melted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Whisk together and set aside.

Make The Syrup

8. Poke holes all over the top with a toothpick. Slowly pour the lemon syrup over the cake, letting it soak in fully. Let cake cool completely before frosting.

9. In a large bowl using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter at high speed until pale and very fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon curd (if using), and salt, and beat at medium to high speed until fully combined and light.

Mix The Frosting

10. Spread cooled cake with cream cheese frosting. Decorate the outer edges of cake with additional lemon zest and lemon slices if desired. Serve!