lemon watercolour cake


hi! i hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. with all that spring weather we've been having lately, it actually SNOWED yesterday morning! i was way too excited about it.. shocked, but still pretty excited. i just think the town looks so much prettier when it is covered is a little dusting of snow & i wanted to see it one more time before spring starts for real. besides, i brought the spring time inside with this pretty water colour frosted lemon cake!

i have been meaning to test out this frosting technique for so long & a lemon flavoured cake seemed like the perfect opportunity to go with a pastel coloured buttercream. the flavour of the cake AND frosting is lemon. to achieve ultimate lemon flavour i used three forms of lemon: freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest & lorann oils lemon emulsion. the lemon emulsion is water based instead of alcohol based & is stronger then an extract once baked. the flavour really comes through! if you like lemon as much as i do, this cake is for you. the lemon emulsion would work so well in a lemon pie or tart, 100% next on my list of things to make!

lastly, i used just a touch of almond flour in this cake recipe, but in the first testing of this cake i tried to use ALL almond flour! needless to say it did not turn out so i strongly advise against it. it honestly looked like a flat, moist pancake (lol) so learn from my mistake & substitue gluten free flour if you wanted to go the GF route. if you really want to use 100% almond flour i would advise making this in a baking dish & lightly frosting the top.


for the lemon cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lorann oil's madagascar vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lorann oil's lemon emulsion

for the lemon buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lorann oil's madagascar vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lorann oil's lemon emulsion
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
  • 1 pinch of salt


for the lemon cake

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • in a large mixing bowl sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. set aside.
  • in a separate bowl beat the sugar, oil, lemon juice & eggs until light + fluffy.
  • alternate between adding the dry ingreidnets & the whole milk.
  • finish off by folding in the zest, vanilla & lemon emulsion.
  • divide evenly between three greased 6-inch round cake pans or two 8-inch round cake pans.
  • bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake bounces back to touch.
  • let cool while you prepare your frosting.

for the lemon buttercream

  • in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon emulsion, powdered sugar & salt.
  • beat until light & fluffy, about 8 minutes.
  • frost as desired!

note: if you want to decorate using the water colour frosting technique here is how:) start with a crumb coat followed by a second coating of the white frosting. divide remaining frosting into three bowls & colour with yellow, orange & pink food colouring. using an offset spatula randomly dispurse these colours over the white frosted layer. use a cake scraper to blend in the colours until smooth!