Keto Lemon Layer Cake with Mascarpone — Recipe — Diet Doctor (2024)

Keto Lemon Layer Cake with Mascarpone — Recipe — Diet Doctor (1)

This cake is ‘extra’ as the young people say! Extra effort, extra time, and extra flavor — for an extra special occasion. Any low carb foodie will appreciate the moist lightly lemon-flavored layers of cake, which holds the rich burst of lemon curd accompanied by a whipped mascarpone frosting. Tastes like spring!

April 15 2019 recipe & photo by Kristie Sullivan, PhD, nutritional review by Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE in Recipes, Dessert

This cake is ‘extra’ as the young people say! Extra effort, extra time, and extra flavor — for an extra special occasion. Any low carb foodie will appreciate the moist lightly lemon-flavored layers of cake, which holds the rich burst of lemon curd accompanied by a whipped mascarpone frosting. Tastes like spring!

USMetric

20 servingservings

Ingredients

Lemon curd

  • 6 6 large egg yolklarge egg yolks
  • ½ cup (2¼ oz.) 120 ml (65 g) powdered erythritol
  • ½ cup 120 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 3 oz. (6 tbsp) 85 g (90 ml) unsalted butter, cubed

Lemon layer cake

  • 23 cup (2¼ oz.) 160 ml (65 g) coconut flour
  • ½ cup (1¾ oz.) 120 ml (55 g) oat fiber
  • ¼ cup (¾ oz.) 60 ml (25 g) whey protein isolate (unflavored)
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp salt
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) 230 g (240 ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 23 cup (5 oz.) 160 ml (140 g) granulated erythritol
  • 8 8 large egglarge eggs
  • 1 cup 240 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 5-6 drops liquid sweetener, to taste

Mascarpone frosting

  • 2 cups 475 ml heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1 cup (4½ oz.) 240 ml (130 g) powdered erythritol
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lb (2 cups) 450 g (450 ml) mascarpone cheese, chilled
  • 1 1 large lemon, finely grated zestlarge lemons, finely grated zest

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Keto Lemon Layer Cake with Mascarpone — Recipe — Diet Doctor (4)

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Making low carb simple

Instructions

Instructions are for 20 servings. Please modify as needed.

Lemon curd

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetener, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 170°F (75°C) on a candy thermometer and begins to thicken. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you will know that the curd is thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon and begins to cling to the whisk. Remove from the heat.

  2. Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking constantly to melt the butter and incorporate it into the lemon curd.

  3. When the butter is fully incorporated, strain the curd to remove any lumps or larger pieces of zest. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap gently onto the top of the curd to prevent skin from forming.

  4. Let fully cool for at least an hour before assembling the cake.

Lemon layer cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Liberally grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the pans with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, oat fiber, protein isolate, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  3. In a separate large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the butter and granulated sweetener. Add the whole eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and liquid sweetener by hand. Add the dry ingredients and mix by hand until just incorporated.

  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cake, comes out clean.

  5. Let the layers rest for about 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cooling racks to cool completely.

Whipped mascarpone frosting

  1. To make the frosting, start by whipping the cream with a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl.

  2. As you whip the cream, sprinkle in the sweetener and extract. When thickened, add the mascarpone and whip just until firm.

  3. Stir in the lemon zest by hand and refrigerate until ready to frost the cake. If you refrigerate for longer than 30 minutes, the frosting may become too firm to work with easily.

Assembling the cake

  1. To assemble, slice each cake round in half horizontally.

  2. Place one layer on a cake plate or cardboard round and spread 1/3 of the lemon curd on top. Use a light hand or a piping bag to cover the lemon curd with a thick layer of mascarpone frosting.

  3. Add another layer of cake followed by another 1/3 of the lemon curd and another thick layer of frosting. Repeat until the four layers of cake are assembled.

  4. Cover the top and sides of the assembled cake with the remaining frosting.

  5. Garnish with additional lemon zest if desired.

  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.

Kristie's tip

When zesting the lemons, be careful to include only the yellow zest; the white pith underneath is bitter-tasting and will affect the flavor of your curd.

You can make powdered sweetener by putting granulated sweetener in a clean, dry blender or coffee grinder. Measure after powdering the sweetener.

Storing the cake

If covered well, the cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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57 comments

  1. 1

    Jordan

    April 16 2019

    Can the cake be frozen?

    Replies: #3, #5, #52

  2. 2

    Kit Schroeder

    April 16 2019

    I can't wait to try this, looks DELISH!!! I do have a question about the lemon curd - Should it read to add 1/3rd of the lemon cream curd to each layer? It says add half, but there are four layers.

    Reply: #4

  3. 3

    Reply to comment #1 by Jordan

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    April 16 2019

    Can the cake be frozen?

    Yes, you may wish to slice it and then freeze the individual portions.

  4. 4

    Reply to comment #2 by Kit Schroeder

    Kristie Sullivan, PhD Team Diet Doctor

    April 16 2019

    Yes, I’ve just realized that I need to fix that! Thanks!

    Reply: #9

  5. 5

    Reply to comment #1 by Jordan

    Kristie Sullivan, PhD Team Diet Doctor

    April 16 2019

    I’ve frozen the cake layers, but I’m not sure how the whipped mascarpone would hold up to freezing.

  6. 6

    Tammy Milburn

    April 16 2019

    I have two questions -
    (1) under Kristie's tips, it says to reserve the egg whites for the cake layers, but the recipe calls for 8 whole eggs. Is that a typo?
    (2) should the bake time be adjusted if using 4 of the 8" layer pans?

  7. 7

    Simon

    April 17 2019

    Thank you so much for adding metric grams. So accurate and easy, especially with add on scales.

  8. 8

    Linda

    April 17 2019

    I only made the mascarpone frosting and put it into glass jars to serve as I am currently trying the relaxed carnivore diet but wanted a "dessert". It's lovely to eat with a spoon 😋
    I made the amount of the frosting for 5 servings of cake and split that in two for me and hubby.
    So I rated it 5 stars but have only tried and tested the frosting... No fault with that!! 😁

  9. 9

    Reply to comment #4 by Kristie Sullivan

    Kit

    April 17 2019

    If I made it as a regular two layer cake, I could just keep it as is. This looks so good!

  10. 10

    Sandra

    April 17 2019

    What is oat fibre.

    Reply: #11

  11. 11

    Reply to comment #10 by Sandra

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    April 18 2019

    What is oat fibre.

    Oat fiber is the insoluble outer husk, not part of the oat itself. You may be able to get it from Amazon or iHerb.com

  12. 12

    Mariana Rodica

    April 18 2019

    si se puede, que pongáis esta receta en la pagina española .....

  13. 13

    Vanessa McAfee

    April 19 2019

    I don't have oat fibre, what can it be substituted with? I have xanthum gum and psyllium husk, could I use this?

    Reply: #14

  14. 14

    Reply to comment #13 by Vanessa McAfee

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    April 19 2019

    I don't have oat fibre, what can it be substituted with? I have xanthum gum and psyllium husk, could I use this?

    Unfortunately there is not a good substitution for oat fiber.

  15. 15

    Tammy

    April 21 2019

    Another masterpiece by Kristie - thanks for a perfect Easter dessert !

  16. 16

    Mary

    April 22 2019

    This cake takes time, as all good cakes do. I found all of the ingredients but had to really search for the oat fibre.
    I found it difficult to get the eggs and butter incorporated properly. Took a lot of mixing and I ended up switching to the whip attachment for my kitchen aid to get a good consistency before adding the dry ingredients. After baking, the pans were quite buttery on the bottoms and the cakes did not rise well. Most likely due to lack of mixing the dry ingredients well enough. When I try this cake again, I will do a better job of whisking the dry ingredients and make sure that my butter is just a bit softer before starting. The cakes were difficult to slice since mine hadn't risen well but i made it work. The crumb of the cake is course, similar to a sponge type cake, but delicious just the same. I'm sure it will be better next time with the changes I intend to make! I've made lemon curd plenty of times before, never had one turn our quite this dark yellow but it tasted delicious and you'd never know that it is sugar free. The "frosting" was easy to make although where I live, expensive. I'm serving the cake for Easter Dinner tomorrow and looking forward to my family's comments. I think they will be pleasantly surprised that mom's weird keto dessert will taste so good!
    The left over egg whites were used to make keto bread.

  17. 17

    Jenny

    April 23 2019

    I made this cake because it looked so good to only be 3 grams a serving. Also, for Easter, as my sister and I are doing Keto. I had to make another cake (Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake - also a time taker as you make honeycomb to cover the whipped cream frosting - this is a favorite of my family - surprisingly, I did not have a problem NOT eating it). Back to the Lemon Cake - problems I had:
    I could not find Oat Fiber in time to make this, so I substituted oat bran, which didn't seem to hurt anything. The cake does not rise as well as a "normal" cake, but it was still fine. The lemon curd: I had problems with this - it basically oozed out of the layers as it didn't thicken enough, in spite of my best efforts. Had I known it wouldn't hold up on the cake, I would have added Xanthum gum to thicken before putting on the cake. The frosting is to die for, so good. However, next morning, belly not too happy. Probably too much erythritol, overall, for my digestive track (between cake and curd and frosting). I will probably have to throw out what has not been consumed, as I had this problem two days in a row, even with 1/20th serving of the cake (very thin slice).

    Reply: #19

  18. 18

    Debbie

    April 24 2019

    We had this for Easter and no one would have known it was low carb. It was wonderful. Want to try to convert it to chocolate. mmmmm

  19. 19

    Reply to comment #17 by Jenny

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    April 24 2019

    However, next morning, belly not too happy. Probably too much erythritol, overall, for my digestive track (between cake and curd and frosting). I will probably have to throw out what has not been consumed, as I had this problem two days in a row, even with 1/20th serving of the cake (very thin slice).

    Unfortunately, that may have been the oat bran. Oat bran is not a good keto substitute for oat fiber. Oat fiber is the completely insoluble outer husk, not part of the oat itself.

  20. 20

    Christy

    April 24 2019

    I'm thinking of making this into a poke cake, pouring the lemon curd over the poked cake then frosting with the mascarpone. Any idea how long I should cook it in a 9x13 glass pan? Thanks!

    Replies: #21, #32, #33, #55

  21. 21

    Reply to comment #20 by Christy

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    April 25 2019

    I'm thinking of making this into a poke cake, pouring the lemon curd over the poked cake then frosting with the mascarpone. Any idea how long I should cook it in a 9x13 glass pan? Thanks!

    I am not sure, we have not tested this in a larger pan.

  22. 22

    Arlene

    April 26 2019

    Kristin, can I substitute cream cheese for half of the mascarpone?

    Reply: #23

  23. 23

    Reply to comment #22 by Arlene

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    April 27 2019

    Kristin, can I substitute cream cheese for half of the mascarpone?

    We have not tested this with cream cheese and mascarpone. They have different consistency and taste.

    Reply: #24

  24. 24

    Reply to comment #23 by Kristin Parker

    Arlene

    April 28 2019

    I did the 8 oz of cream cheese and 8 oz marscapone it turned out fine.

  25. 25

    marlene

    May 2 2019

    I am planning on making this... It looks soooooo ooooo oooo good. I am the only one in my family of 4 (2 are an 8 and 6 yr old and will eat pretty much whatever I make) doing keto and want some yummy "treats" for them.

  26. 26

    Filter for no sweeteners in search bars please

    May 6 2019

    Can this site add a filter to the searches that discards recipes with sweeteners? It's getting really annoying seeing recipes with sweeteners.

    Not only is it still not consistent if they cause you to jump out of ketosis or not (it seems to have done that on one test Endfeldt did, but that's a anecdote). They are also fairly expensive.

    Reply: #27

  27. 27

    Reply to comment #26 by Filter for no sweeteners in search bars please

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    May 7 2019

    Can this site add a filter to the searches that discards recipes with sweeteners? It's getting really annoying seeing recipes with sweeteners.
    Not only is it still not consistent if they cause you to jump out of ketosis or not (it seems to have done that on one test Endfeldt did, but that's a anecdote). They are also fairly expensive.

    Avoiding desserts is one easy way to accomplish this! Our recipe filters can select main or side dishes and you can avoid desserts.

  28. 28

    Emily

    May 11 2019

    I made this last night, and it’s fabulous. Probably the best keto dessert I have ever made. Non-keto people said they would have had no idea this was low-carb if I didn’t tell them The texture was very cake-like. In my oven, using silicone pans, it took 30 minutes to bake. The brand of oat fiber really affects the taste. I like Lifesource. I threw away the oat fiber I had from Honeyville, as it does not taste good. I use Sukrin Melis and Sukrin:1 in place of the straight erythritol called for in the recipe. I did not slice the cake layers, just put all the lemon curd in between the two layers, then frosted the cake with the mascarpone frosting, so I have leftover frosting in the fridge. That frosting is so good! Thank you, Kristie!

  29. 29

    Frieda Rossouw

    May 19 2019

    Thank you, Kristine! This is a awesome cake, it is delicious. With this cake and icing there is hope for my daughter to have a cake in the form of a princess dress cake for her birthday.

  30. 30

    Sherry Harrold

    June 11 2019

    I just made this cake. The lemon curd was delicious, frosting was to die for..l have got several ideas for that in other recipes. The cake as good but it didn’t stay together when I sliced it so the tops were broke all to pieces..any suggestions..next time I probably want cut them in two.

  31. 31

    Gayle

    June 25 2019

    I love this cake. It's my go to cake. It freezes well and I just cut it into portions. I rarely make the mascarpone cream as I use it as a slice of cake with lemon butter and cream on top.

  32. 32

    Reply to comment #20 by Christy

    Amy

    June 26 2019

    Great idea Christy did you try this? How long did you bake it for?

  33. 33

    Reply to comment #20 by Christy

    CBE

    July 6 2019

    Good idea!

  34. 34

    Peter

    July 18 2019

    Hi. Can I use cream chesse instead of Mascarpone?

    Reply: #35

  35. 35

    Reply to comment #34 by Peter

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    July 19 2019

    Hi. Can I use cream chesse instead of Mascarpone?

    We have not tested this with cream cheese instead of the mascarpone. Since it's just in the frosting and doesn't need to be baked, it may work though may result in a much "heavier" frosting.

  36. 36

    Christine Thibeault

    August 20 2019

    Hi, this cake is fabulous but I don't know why, I'm getting 24g net carb per portion when entered in my calculator. All of the other recipes from here are accurate so far, I'm only having that problem with this one.

    Reply: #37

  37. 37

    Reply to comment #36 by Christine Thibeault

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    August 23 2019

    Hi, this cake is fabulous but I don't know why, I'm getting 24g net carb per portion when entered in my calculator. All of the other recipes from here are accurate so far, I'm only having that problem with this one.

    You can leave out the oat fiber and the sweetener when calculating macros as they don't affect blood sugar.

  38. 38

    Jocelyne Slattery

    September 26 2019

    This looks lovely. I would like to know if the icing is good for piping? I was asked to make a keto wedding cake for my daughter in a weeks. Thanks for the feedback.

    Reply: #39

  39. 39

    Reply to comment #38 by Jocelyne Slattery

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    September 26 2019

    This looks lovely. I would like to know if the icing is good for piping? I was asked to make a keto wedding cake for my daughter in a weeks. Thanks for the feedback.

    This should work well for piping!

  40. 40

    donnafa*glie

    April 6 2020

    Oh my goodness, Kristie this is fantastic! My Mom follows the Royal family of Great Britain and ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married and had Lemon Elderflower Cake she has been wanting some of that cake. She is Type 2 Diabetic and we are Keto so my friend in England sent me a copycat recipe for Harry & Meghan's royal wedding cake. I knew I could count on you to help me make this for her. The changes I made were substituting 1 TBSP of the lemon juice for 1 TBSP Elderflower Cordial & in the icing 1 tsp of the vanilla extract for 1 tsp of the Elderflower Cordial. She has just had a piece and is thrilled with the taste! Thank you so much! Her smile and enjoyment of this cake was worth every minute. Thank you again!

  41. 1 comment removed
  42. 42

    claudia3bartsch

    January 5 2021

    I can't wait to try this cake for my hubby's birthday. But I can't work out why you need liquid sweetener when you have already added erythritol to the cake mix. I also made the mistake thinking that oat bran could be substituted for the oat fiber. It will be hard to find by Saturday.

    Reply: #43

  43. 43

    Reply to comment #42 by claudia3bartsch

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    January 5 2021

    I can't wait to try this cake for my hubby's birthday. But I can't work out why you need liquid sweetener when you have already added erythritol to the cake mix. I also made the mistake thinking that oat bran could be substituted for the oat fiber. It will be hard to find by Saturday.

    Adding additional granulated sweetener also adds to the volume of dry ingredients. You can taste the batter to see if you think it's sweet enough before adding liquid sweetener if you prefer.

  44. 44

    Emily

    April 29 2021

    Lovely recipe! my only caution is to make sure that you are using untreated lemons to make the zest. Sad to say that, unless otherwise indicated, most citrus is sprayed with anti-fungals that you really shouldn't be eating (or steeping in your co*cktail). I never see this mentioned in American recipes - I suspect that it's a non-food additive that distributers in the US are not required to label.

  45. 45

    Lily

    August 14 2021

    This looks delish. How much stevia (powdered form) would it be instead of erythritol? Thanks for helping out.

    Reply: #46

  46. 46

    Reply to comment #45 by Lily

    Britta Patterson

    August 16 2021

    Trading out sweeteners can pose a bit of a challenge. You will want to make sure that you use the same form (powdered, granulated, liquid) for any substitutes. Some sweeteners such as Stevia are more potent than others, so you might want to read through our sweetener guide first: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/sweeteners. You may try to slowly add in your preferred sweetener to taste until you reach your desired sweetness. Hope that helps!

  47. 47

    Dirk

    August 19 2021

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it together with my 13-year-old. It looks and tastes amazing!
    Instead of the oat fiber (not sold in the stores we buy our stuff), we used flaxseed meal (the mentioned amount for oat fiber) and guar gum (1%of the total dry ingredients weight for the cake layers). The latter ingredients we use more regularly to prepare our non-wheat-containing dough.
    We did not use any 'liquid sweetener' and the specified amount of erythritol made it a bit too sweet, but no worries, still great taste amazingly filling and something else for a difference.

  48. 48

    john

    September 5 2021

    I love making this cake. The only frustrating thing is that you have to wait 8 hrs after assembly but it is worth it. It looks, cuts and tastes amazing. I've made a variation this evening using some blackberries, cooked then strained and thickened by reduction. Looks like it worked well; big slicing ceremony tomorrow!!

    Replies: #49, #58

  49. 49

    Reply to comment #48 by john

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    September 5 2021

    I love making this cake. The only frustrating thing is that you have to wait 8 hrs after assembly but it is worth it. It looks, cuts and tastes amazing. I've made a variation this evening using some blackberries, cooked then strained and thickened by reduction. Looks like it worked well; big slicing ceremony tomorrow!!

    Thank you for letting us know how much you enjoy this recipe!

  50. 50

    Malou Söderlund

    May 27 2022

    Hi, I wonder if it’s possible to replace the oat fiber with another ingredient? Because I don’t think I’am able to find oat fiber in a store. Also the online shopping to my country is struggling.
    I would be very grateful for an answer, because I would like to bake this cake for a birthday in next week.

    /Malou

    Reply: #51

  51. 51

    Reply to comment #50 by Malou Söderlund

    Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    May 30 2022

    Hi, I wonder if it’s possible to replace the oat fiber with another ingredient? Because I don’t think I’am able to find oat fiber in a store. Also the online shopping to my country is struggling.
    I would be very grateful for an answer, because I would like to bake this cake for a birthday in next week.
    /Malou

    Hi, Malou! You should be able to add more coconut flour instead of the oat fiber.

  52. 52

    Reply to comment #1 by Jordan

    Kirk Duncan

    June 18 2022

    Absolutely! I’ve made it several times for a party a few days ahead. You may want to wait to ice it ,the day of, if you are going to use for a party but I’ve frozen the whole dang thing and it’s actually very delicious semi thawed. Hope you enjoy!!

  53. 53

    JT

    July 23 2022

    Hi, the cake layer portion of this recipe originally had 8 whole eggs and 4 Egg Whites at the end. The recipe seemed to have changed on your website and I no longer see the egg whites listed- is this a mistake?

    Reply: #54

  54. 54

    Reply to comment #53 by JT

    Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    July 27 2022

    Hi, the cake layer portion of this recipe originally had 8 whole eggs and 4 Egg Whites at the end. The recipe seemed to have changed on your website and I no longer see the egg whites listed- is this a mistake?

    Hi, JT! I checked with our recipe team, and there haven't been any recent changes to this recipe. Perhaps you are thinking of a different recipe?

  55. 55

    Reply to comment #20 by Christy

    Rae Turner

    March 3 2023

    Did you ever make this a poke cake? Would love to know how it turned out!

  56. 56

    Daniela

    March 23 2023

    Can whey protein be substituted for something else ?

    Reply: #57

  57. 57

    Reply to comment #56 by Daniela

    Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    March 24 2023

    Can whey protein be substituted for something else ?

    While we have not tested this substitute, sometimes egg white protein powder can be used in place of whey protein isolate in recipes, but sometimes it can make the baked good texture more rubbery. The protein in whey protein isolate helps replicate what the protein in gluten in wheat flour does - it helps to give lift, rise and structure to baked goods to help prevent them from being so dense.

  58. 58

    Reply to comment #48 by john

    mannie.webb

    August 28 2023

    I used this recipe to make a almond-raspberry cake and it was fantastic. I subbed in almond extract instead of lemon juice/zest and used the DD low carb instant raspberry jam instead of the lemon curd. I used allulose instead of erythritol as I don't like the cooling effect and it bothers my stomach - taste was great, but allulose make the frosting a bit softer than I'd like. I changed it to 10 servings, which fit well into two 6" pans, which I was easily able to make into 4 layers. Wrap your cake and refrigerate for 30 min to an hour and the cake becomes easier to handle. So far, my favorite keto cake!

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Introduction: My name is Laurine Ryan, I am a adorable, fair, graceful, spotless, gorgeous, homely, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.