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Magic Lemon Custard Cake (+Target Giveaway)

  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 55 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


This Magic Lemon Custard Cake is truly special. Make one batter, bake it, and witness the magic. You’ll find layers of sponge cake and custard waiting for you once it’s done. Don’t forget the powdered sugar and lemon zest on top.


  • 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated, room temp
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (not from a bottle)
  • zest from 2 lemons, divided
  • 1 3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk
  • powdered sugar and extra lemon zest for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 325F, with rack on middle position. Line bottom of 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and sides of pan. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg yolks with sugar and beat with paddle attachment on medium-high for 3 minutes, scraping sides down as needed.
  3. Add butter and lemon extract and beat on medium 1 minute. Add flour and mix on low just until incorporated; don’t over mix.
  4. Add lemon juice and half of the lemon zest. Slowly add lukewarm milk and beat on low until batter is fully incorporated. Transfer batter to a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Wash out the bowl of stand mixer and dry well (important for it to be clean before putting egg whites in.) Using whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium high 3-4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove bowl from stand mixer. Using a rubber spatula, gently add egg whites to the large bowl of batter, using a gentle and soft folding action until all whites are folded in – note that there will still be bits of egg whites visible in the batter; looks like tiny bits of cheese curds floating around. That’s ok.
  6. Gently pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake 45-70 minutes or until the top is golden brown and center of cake feels firm to the touch; don’t start checking until cake has baked at least 45 minutes. Oven temps vary, so bake time will vary.
  7. Cool cake completely to room temp. Sprinkle on the rest of the lemon zest. Cover and chill until ready to serve (cake tastes best chilled.) Right before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


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  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon cake, lemon layer cake, magic lemon cake, lemon sponge cake