Lemon Zucchini Cake

Lemon Zucchini Cake

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This lemon zucchini cake is fresh, bright and packs a zesty punch! It has 2 layers of a spongy, moist cake filled with zucchini and is layered with two different types of lemony icing; a soft fluffy, lemon buttercream and a lemon glaze. This cake is for lemon lovers!


Units Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or soured milk* at room temperature
  • 2 cups grated zucchini, lightly squeezed (approx. 2 medium zucchinis)

Buttercream Icing (middle layer)

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons whipping cream (or milk)

Glaze Icing (top layer)

  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 23 Tablespoons warm water (approx. may need to add a few more teaspoons)

Sugared Lemons


Note: If decorating with sugared lemons they need to be made a day or two ahead.

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two 8” cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk sugar with vegetable oil until well incorporated. Add eggs, lemon rind and buttermilk.  Mix well.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in two batches to wet ingredients; mix just until combined and you can still see flour. Add the grated zucchini and gently fold in to incorporate. Be careful not to overmix!
  5. Divide the batter evenly into your prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Note: the cakes will not look overly brown so be careful not to overbake.
  7. Let the cakes cool on cooling racks for 5 minutes, then release the cakes from the pan and flip them upside down to cool completely.
  8. Meanwhile, make your buttercream icing. In a bowl add butter, icing sugar, lemon juice and whipping cream. Beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  9. Once the cakes are at room temperature, place one cake on your cake stand. Top with all of the buttercream icing, pushing the majority of the icing to the edges so it’s nice and thick. Flip the other cake upside down so the bottom is now on the top, press down gently. For a flat, even cake trim the cakes using a bread knife before stacking.
  10. Make your glaze. In a bowl add sifted icing sugar and lemon juice. Slowly add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until you reach the consistency you like. You want it to be thick enough to hold but soft and pliable enough to fall off the cake a little. I ended up adding 3 more teaspoons of water to get the icing a little thinner.
  11. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it fall off the edges. Let the icing dry for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Top with icing sugar, sliced lemons or sugared lemons (optional).


  • *Soured milk – make soured milk by adding 1 teaspoon lemon juice to 1/4 cup milk, stir and let sit for 5 minutes or until thickened and starting to curdle. 

Store the cake in a cake dome or covered in plastic at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze the cake in plastic wrap for up to one month.

Decorate with sugared lemons once ready to serve and keep away from moisture as the sugar will melt away from the lemons.


Keywords: Zucchini, Cake, Lemon

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