Lemon Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Lemon Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Just in time for the long weekend - lemon cake with chocolate ganache! If you're a fan of lemon desserts, this is a perfect dessert idea for you! With bright lemon flavor in the cake, homemade lemon curd and fresh lemon buttercream, what's not to love?? Then we top it with rich chocolate ganache because why not!

I feel like spring and summer just scream all things citrus. I'm always looking for delicious lemon dessert ideas. I love that this cake is super moist, super lemony and not overly sweet. For this cake recipe I chose to do a semi-naked frosting, so the frosting is super light.

Looking for some more lemon recipes? I've listed all my favorites at the bottom of the post!

When I'm baking cakes, I make it super easy on myself by splitting the task into two parts. One day I bake the cakes, and then the next day I frost them. I just store the baked and cooled cakes by wrapping them very well in plastic wrap, and keeping them in the fridge so they're cold to frost.

This cake just looks like a bright, sunny summer day, don't you think? I love how happy it is! A perfect cake for BBQs, picnics and summer birthdays.

Cake Ingredients: 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Juice and zest of 3 lemons

Lemon Curd Ingredients: 

1/2 cup sugar
Juice and zest of 3 lemons
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter

Lemon Buttercream Ingredients: 

2 cups butter, softened
5-6 cups powdered sugar
Zest of two lemons
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients: 

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I always use Ghiradelli)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Cake Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottoms of three 6" cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt.

In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and zest, mixing until all ingredients come together.

Pour batter into the three prepared cake pans, and bake in the preheated oven for 22-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for about 5-10 minutes, and then turn them out on a wire cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. I like to turn my cakes upside down to help them flattten. When the cakes are room temp, I freeze them for 30 minutes to make frosting them easier.

Lemon Curd Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Be sure to whisk constantly so the mixture doesn't burn. Cook about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remember that the curd will continue to thicken as it cools! Remove the curd from the heat, and melt in the butter. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Lemon Buttercream Directions: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Add 5 cups powdered sugar one cup at a time, starting your mixer on low and increasing to high with each addition. Add the lemon zest, juice and extracts, mixing on high speed for about 3-4 minutes. Add the additional cup of powdered sugar if necessary. Taste! If you'd like the frosting to taste even more like lemon, add additional zest!

Chocolate Ganache Directions: Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small mixing bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and stir well. Add a few more seconds if the chocolate chips aren't fully melted. Drizzle the chocolate ganache over the sides of the cake with a spoon, or using a squeeze bottle. Then drizzle the chocolate over the rest of the top of the cake and smooth. For this cake I did an inverted drip, which just means that I frosted the cake, did the drizzle, and flipped it over!

Assembly tips:

  • If necessary, cut the top of each cake so that they're flat. This will make frosting easier! I like to do this with cold (refrigerated) cakes and a sharp bread knife. 
  • Cover the top of the first layer of cake with the lemon buttercream. Pipe a border of frosting around the circumference of the cake. Spoon lemon curd into the well you've created. Top with the second layer of cake, and repeat steps. Then top with the third layer of cake, and frost the cake lightly for a semi-naked cake like mine, or completely for a fully frosted cake.
  • If you want to decorate with lemon slices, this is my trick - toothpicks! I push toothpicks through the lemon rind, far enough in that you can't see them. Voila! Obviously remove all the picks before serving.

My daughter Charlotte couldn't resist diving into this cake - literally haha! I made this same cake for her second birthday last weekend, decorated in a Disney Cars theme! You can see it on Instagram here.

More Delicious Lemon Recipes:

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Kirsten Bell
Strawberry Lemon Coffee Cake

Strawberry Lemon Coffee Cake

You guys, I was going to wait until we were a little further into the warm weather season to share this recipe, but I'm planning to make this for Mother's Day, and kept thinking that maybe you would like to as well! So here it is: Strawberry Lemon Coffee Cake! This is quite possibly my favorite recipe on the blog so far, and you know I don't say that lightly! It is such a light and fluffy coffee cake recipe, with fresh fruit, bright lemon, and topped with brown sugar streusel. And then the lemon drizzle. I mean, seriously.

Want To Save This Recipe For Later? Click Below! 


You know I'm also all about easy recipes, and this fits the criteria! Super quick, super easy coffee cake recipe and a perfect brunch recipe for this weekend! This is going to be baked on repeat this summer in our house, and if you try it once, I guarantee you will be hooked.

Cake Ingredients: 

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups strawberries, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

Topping Ingredients: 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Drizzle Ingredients: 

3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 lemon, zested 


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8" round cake pan or 8x8 baking dish with butter, and set aside. 

Prepare the topping. Combine the flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add the butter, and gently mash the ingredients together with a fork. Finish quickly with your fingers until the mixture resembles course crumbs. You can also do this by pulsing together ingredients in your food processor.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients - flour through salt. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, buttermilk, sour cream, and egg, mixing until all combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 

Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing until just combined. Batter will be thick. Gently stir in the strawberries until equally distributed in the batter. Pour into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle prepared topping over the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes uncovered, then cover the pan lightly with foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

For the drizzle: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until powdered sugar is fully dissolved. If it's too runny, add additional powdered sugar. If too thick, add additional lemon juice. Drizzle over the cake when the cake is cooled to room temperature.

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Kirsten Bell
Asparagus, Ham & Gruyere Crustless Quiche

Asparagus, Ham & Gruyere Crustless Quiche

I love a good and easy weeknight dinner idea, don't you? We always seem to be scrambling, and between meetings, activities and early kid bedtimes, we just need a quick dinner recipe that everyone will love. This crustless quiche is also a healthy low-carb meal idea, and tastes just as indulgent as a traditional quiche recipe! Win, win, win!

I also love this quiche for brunch. It's easy to make the day ahead (even a few days ahead!), so I can bake a fun dessert or focus on mixing cocktails. Scroll to the bottom - I've listed some of my favorite brunch recipes at the bottom of the post to help round out your meal!

Want To Save This Recipe For Later? Click Below!


You can really use whatever meat and veggies you like - quiche is so versatile! I'll often just throw leftover veggies in, because why not! When I set out to make this crustless quiche recipe I knew that I wanted to use asparagus. We're just heading into asparagus season, and I looooove asparagus, and am always looking up easy asparagus recipes so I can take full advantage!

You'll notice below that for the first time, I've included "step by step" photos for this recipe! I realized as I was writing it out that it was hard to describe in just words what the process looks like, so I snapped a few pictures along the way! Hopefully that's a helpful reference as you make this at home!


1 lb asparagus, washed, ends snapped off and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
6 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups gruyere
5 oz ham steak, diced
3 scallions, white and green sections


In a medium pan, cook the asparagus and garlic in the butter over medium heat until the asparagus is fork-tender. Season with a little extra salt and pepper. Once asparagus is done cooking, set aside, and start preheating the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Transfer the asparagus as well as the ham into a greased 9" tart dish, pie dish, or an 8x8 casserole. By doing this first, we can be sure that all of the meat and veggies are evenly distributed. Top with the shredded gruyere, and then with the chopped scallions.

When I was growing up and helping my mom in the kitchen, she would always ask me "If you got that piece, would you be happy?" as a way to help make sure I evenly distributed ingredients throughout a casserole, cobbler, whatever it was! It's funny, but I think of that literally every time I make a recipe that requires even distribution of ingredients haha! Would I be happy with that piece? No, it needs more asparagus!

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the layered ham, asparagus, cheese and scallions. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the very middle of the quiche is just a little wobbly in the middle if you gently shake it. It should not be wet, but just have a little movement and the top will be golden brown. Allow to cool before serving - I actually prefer my quiche cold, which means I can make this the day before! 

Finish Your Brunch With These Recipes: 
Brunch Inspiration For Your Table:

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Kirsten Bell
Honey Cake with Peach Mascarpone Frosting

Honey Cake with Peach Mascarpone Frosting

This is the naked cake that dreams are made of! Made with mostly honey for sweetener, layered with slightly sweet mascarpone frosting and topped with fresh fruit and honey drizzle. If you're looking for an easy Mother's Day dessert recipe, maybe the perfect brunch dessert recipe or just a healthier dessert idea - you will love this honey cake!

In This Post: 

Fun fact: my husband doesn't like dessert. I know, kind of ironic since I'm a food blogger who loves to bake cakes! But it's actually a blessing in disguise, because as my primary taste tester, my recipes have to pass his high bar of approval before they get published!

This means that my dessert recipes are in general much less sweet than the average dessert recipe. The most common comment I get when people try my recipes is "I don't usually like desserts, but I love this!". So if you're in that same boat, give this a go! I know you're going to love it.

If you've never tasted mascarpone before, it's an Italian cheese that tastes like a mix between cream cheese and whipped cream. You can find it in any grocery store, most likely in the specialty cheese area. Since mascarpone isn't as sweet as cream cheese, it pairs so deliciously with the juicy sweet flavor of peaches!

Cake Ingredients: 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups dark honey
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cups sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients: 

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - 1 1/2 cups finely diced peaches
Extra fruit for garnish


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and line the bottoms of three 6" cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients flour through salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and honey, beating until all combined. Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla. The batter may look "piecy" at this stage, which is totally fine. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed until the batter is just combined and smooth.

Pour the batter into the three prepared cake pans. Since this is a naked cake and I wanted my layers to be pretty even, I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter was evenly distributed.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-44 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

For the frosting: Using a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it can hold stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, combine the mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla. Gently fold the whipping cream into the mascarpone mixture. Stir in the peaches. That's it!

Complete Your Mother's Day Menu:

Another Favorite Recipe From My Food Blogger Friend:


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Kirsten Bell
Sweet and Spicy Mango Jalapeno Margaritas

Sweet and Spicy Mango Jalapeno Margaritas

These mango jalapeno margaritas are a little sweet, a little spicy, with just a squeeze of fresh lime! They're a perfect Cinco de Mayo drink, and a great summer cocktail recipe.

If you love margaritas, you should also check out my Peach Margarita Cupcakes! Super easy, super delicious and super festive!

I love the taste of jalapenos, but my biggest complaint with a lot of jalapeno cocktails is that they're way too spicy. As in, not at all enjoyable. So I set out to create a jalapeno margarita recipe with all the delicious jalapeno flavor, and just a hint of spice. Combined with the sweet, fruity mango, this is a margarita you'll enjoy all summer long!

Makes 1 Margarita

Mango Jalapeno Margarita Ingredients:

1 oz tequila
1/2 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz jalapeno simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 cup mango juice
Juice of half a lime
Margarita salt


To rim the glasses in salt and lime zest, dip the glass in a shallow bowl of fresh lime juice, then dip the glass in a bowl of salt and zest.

Combine the tequila, orange juice, jalapeno simple syrup, mango, lime juice and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until combined, and then pour into combined cocktail glass! 

Jalapeno Simple Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed and sliced lengthwise

Jalapeno Simple Syrup Directions: 

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir constantly until all the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, continuing to stir. Once you reach a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and steep for 10 minutes for mild jalapeno simple syrup and 20-30 for spicy jalapeno syrup. Be sure to taste the syrup along the way, so that when it reaches your desired spice level you can strain the pepper out. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, and remove all the pepper. Allow to cool completely.

Similar Recipe From My Blogger Friends: 


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Kirsten Bell