Royal Austrian Desserts: Ginger Lemon Cake

| December/January 1995

Serves 12 to 16
The warmth of ginger, the tang of lemon and the richness of cream cheese combine in this spectacular cake.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • Zest and juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then butter the paper and flour the pans. Beat together the sugar and butter until creamy. Add the eggs and beat thoroughly. Stir in the lemon zest, juice and vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes. Turn out on wire racks, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, juice and vanilla for the frosting. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Chill 30 minutes.
  4. Place one layer of the cake, top side down, on a serving plate. Spread the bottom side (now the top) with 1/2 cup frosting. Place the second cake layer, bottom side down, atop the first and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Sprinkle the top with the crystallized ginger.

Ron McNeely is a Colorado-based writer and gourmet cook.

Click here for the original article, Royal Austrian Desserts. 

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