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3-Layer Lemon Mousse Cake

Pastry Chef Shawntae Johnson Rosser, Table 3 Restaurant and Market

Chef Rosser was kind enough to share her family’s recipe for three-layer lemon mousse cake, and we couldn’t be more grateful! In the version of the dessert, a cake is layered with a lemon curd and lemon mousse. Yum!


3-Layer Lemon Mousse Cake

This sweet and tangy cake is layered with a lemon curd and lemon mousse.
4.15 from 7 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course cake
Cuisine American


The Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour sifted
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter – soft
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Lemon Curd

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder
  • 1/2 cup butter cubed

Lemon Mousse

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon extract
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


Note: All three layers will be added to an 8-inch or 9-inch spring form pan. First, you will make and cook the cake, then add the lemon curd and finally spread the lemon mousse over the top (like icing).

    The Cake — Base Layer

    • Pre-heat the oven to 350 °F. Spray the bottom of 8-inch or 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick oil and coat with flour.
    • Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    • Cream butter and vegetable oil together until fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add sugar to butter and continue to mix. Then, add eggs and egg yolks one at a time until incorporated. Add milk and flour to butter mixture in rotations (1/2 milk, then 1/2 flour, ending with flour). Then, stir in the vanilla.
    • Pour 1/2 the batter into the spring form pan (you may freeze the rest of the batter for future use).
    • Cook for about 25 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back or a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Do not remove the cake from the spring form pan.

    Middle Layer — Lemon Curd

    • Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and eggs. Cook over low to medium heat stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and stir in butter cubes.
    • Follow the direction on the gelatin package in order to bloom the gelatin. Then, add the gelatin to the hot curd.
    • Pour the curd directly over the cake layer in the spring form pan. Refrigerate until curd is cool and firm, at least 4 hours.
    • Note: This curd is firmer than most because it has to withstand being cut. You may want to add additional gelatin until you get it to your desired firmness.
    • The curd can be made a couple days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

    Top Layer – Lemon Mousse

    • Whip the cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla and lemon extracts until fluffy, then add lemon juice and whip until mixed.
    • In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream and 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Then, fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until well blended.
    • Spread evenly over cooled and firm lemon curd. Place the completed cake refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    To Serve:

    • Top the cake with thin lemon slices and fresh mint (optional) or lemon zest.
    • Gently remove the cake from the spring form pan and serve.


    • This cake can be made a day ahead and freezes well.
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