Lemon Sponge Valentine Cake

lemon sponge

My husband and I have never been keen about Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember I’ve ever received flowers. We feel cheesy to eat with another 20 couples in a restaurant. And who the hell cares about diamonds now? We would make a fancy dinner at home with a bottle of good wine, a great home movie, and maybe something “special” after. Haha…

In fact I can’t really recall a very memorable Valentine’s Day simply because we don’t really care! Funny thing is that now we have kids, and they enjoy exchanging love/treats with their friends at school. And I enjoy making treats for them. Something home-made, special and hopefully memorable – heart sugar cookies, love cake pops, red velvet cupcakes… Honestly it’s been way more fun!


At home, we are each other’s valentines. And we like to celebrate together! This year we are going to eat this very simple but delicious lemon sponge cake. And I will put two little red hearts on top to decorate the cake, and call it a Valentine’s Day Cake.

This lemon sponge cake can be your every day cake. It goes equally tasty with whipped cream instead of buttercream. I like it so petite that you can make it for just two of you, and eat it with nothing else but two forks!

Ingredients (one 5-inch layered cake):
Cake Topper
10 disc red candy melts
1 teaspoon canola oil (if melted candy is too thick to pipe)
Lemon Sponge Cake
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Lemon Buttercream
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
a drop of yellow food colouring paste

To make cake topper, outline a template of a small heart shape on a parchment paper.
Place candy melts in a microwaveable Ziploc bag. Microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds to completely melt the candy melts. Add oil if it’s too thick to pipe. Push the melted candy toward one corner of the bag. With a pair of scissors, snip off a very small opening.
Start piping the candy over the template, starting with the outline. Place a toothpick in the middle, then fill the outline with zigzags.
Let it dry completely before peeling the cake topper off the parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease three 5-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes, until light and triple in volume.
Mix in vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture on low speed, and mix until just incorporated.
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the cake batter into a bowl, and stir in the melted butter. Add the mixture back to the cake batter and gently fold with a spatula until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans evenly and smooth the top. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the centre of the cakes spring back when gently pressed. Let cool completely in the pans.
Run a pairing knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper circles.
To prepare buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add heavy cream, lemon zest and juice, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy. Add food coloring, if you prefer, and mix for another minute.
To assemble the cake, sandwich each cake layer with a thick layer of buttercream. Top with a final layer of buttercream. Use an offset spatula to smear the buttercream squeezed out between the cake layers along the sides of the cake to create the naked cake effect.
Carefully place the cake topper on the cake.


  1. Hi,
    Just wanted to clarify if vanilla should be added? The recipe dies not have it listed but does say to add in the vanilla with butter into the matter

    1. Hi Raina, I missed the ingredient of vanilla in the recipe which I’ve just correct. Sorry about that. :)

  2. The recipe does not call for vanilla in the recipe but said to add vanilla and melted butter in the batter. Could you please clarify.

  3. Oh Fanny you know I LOVE lemon!!! Must try, I have only made one other sponge cake and it was a success :) xoxo

    1. HIIIIIIIIIIIII SHELLY!!!!! How’s life? I do hope this recipe works for you as well as the one you tried before. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Super cute cake! The cake topper is really adorable! And it sounds pretty easy to make too. I think im gonna try to make one. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Love lovr love this cake! The cake toppers are genius! Can i use white chocolate instead?

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