For me this cake represents the ultimate pairing of simplicity and style. Luxurious white swirls of creamy, velvety frosting transform this dessert into an elegant affair. It’s lusciously spiced centre mellows over time and is even better eaten the day after it is made. Beautiful enough for a wedding, easy enough for everyday.
Recipe & Food Styling Mari Loewen. Photography Ross Cornish

Recipe & Food Styling Mari Loewen. Photography Ross Cornish

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 12Servings


Cake batter

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  • 1 1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 3/4 cups icing sugar, sifted


For frosting, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons lemon peel, and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar a little at a time, and beat until frosting is smooth.

For cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Place butter and sugar into cleaned bowl of electric mixer and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla. 

In another bowl, sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda; add to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk in 3 additions each, beginning with dry ingredients and beating with each addition. Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden brown and tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes. Using small, sharp knife, cut around sides of pans to loosen cakes and turn onto racks to cool completely. Remove parchment paper. Trim outsides of cakes if you wish.

To assemble, place one cake layer on cake stand and spread 1 cup frosting over top. Place remaining cake layer on top. Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting over sides and top in decorative swirls. Cover and refrigerate. Allow cake to stand at room temperature 30 for minutes before serving.