Go Back
+ servings
layered lemon cake buttercream recipe

Romanian Lemon Cake (Snow White Recipe)

A glorious Romanian lemon cake with lemon buttercream – Lamaita (Lemon Cake) or Alba ca Zapada (Snow White Cake), this layered cake is just amazing!
Course Sweets
Cuisine Romanian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 307kcal
Author Adina


  • Lemon buttercream:
  • 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 350 ml/ 11.8 fl.oz/ 1 ½ cups milk
  • about 10 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste (Note 1)
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter soft
  • icing sugar
  • Crust:
  • 60 g/ 2.1 oz/ 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ 1/3 cup + 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter soft
  • 1 tablespoon baker's ammonia Note 2
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ 2 ½ cups flour
  • zest of 1 organic lemon


  • Use a kitchen scale, it guarantees for best results.
  • The layered lemon cake with lemon buttercream should be made one day in advance, it needs to spend the night in the fridge in order to become really tender and develop the flavor.

Lemon buttercream:

  • Place the flour, starch, and sugar into a bowl and mix with so much of the measured milk to obtain a thick yet runny paste.
  • Place the remaining milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly add the flour-sugar paste while whisking all the time. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil again, that will happen very quickly.
  • Let bubble for a few seconds while whisking, and remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl and place a piece of cling film directly on top of the pudding to prevent it from getting skin and let it cool completely.
  • When cool add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir well. Taste after adding about 8 tablespoons and continue adding until it is as tart as you like it.
  • To make the buttercream, both butter and pudding have to have the same temperature, which is room temperature, otherwise, the buttercream might curdle.
  • In another bowl beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Slowly start adding the lemon pudding to the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Beat until incorporated.
  • Taste the buttercream again and add more lemon juice if you like it.

Cake layers:

  • While the pudding for the buttercream cools, make the cake layers.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Beat together the soft butter and the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Mix together the baker's ammonia and the milk and incorporate that into the egg mixture.
  • In another bowl mix together the flour and the grated lemon zest. Incorporate into the egg mixture. You will now have a rather oily looking dough that should not stick to your hands at all. You may add one tablespoon of extra flour if you feel it necessary, it depends on the size of your eggs if you need that extra tablespoon or not.

Roll and bake:

  • Divide the dough into four equal parts. Wrap the three dough balls that still have to wait in cling film to prevent them from drying out and set them aside in a cooler place, not the fridge but also not that close to the oven.
  • You will only need to butter the tin before you bake the first layer of crust.
  • Roll the first dough ball into a rough rectangle on a lightly floured surface, place it on the buttered baking tin, and roll again until the dough layer is as large as the baking tin: 32x22 cm/12x9 inches approximately (or similar size, it doesn't have to be so exact). And don't stress too much about having perfectly straight edges, you will cut those away before slicing and serving the cake.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Take out of the oven and while holding one side of the tin with a gloved hand, run the blade of a long knife underneath the crust. Let it slide carefully and slowly onto a cooling rack.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
  • Keep in mind that the tin is now very hot, don't touch it when rolling the dough on top, and use gloves when you transfer it to the oven.
  • When the crust layers are baked, you can carefully staple them one on top of the other, they will not stick. Let them cool completely.


  • Divide the filling into three portions. Reserve the best looking crust for the top of the cake.
  • Place one crust on a serving plate and top it evenly with one portion of the buttercream.
  • Place the second crust layer on top, press gently then cover it with the second buttercream portion.
  • Repeat one more time.
  • Place the reserved crust layer on top, press gently again, and cover the cake with cling film.
  • Place in the fridge for several hours or better overnight.
  • Cut the rough edges (and eat them), then cut the cake into small rectangles. Dust with icing sugar shortly before serving.



  1. I used about 10 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the buttercream, that would be the juice of 2-4 lemons, depending on their size. I like the buttercream to be really tart, that strong lemon flavor is the best thing, but you should start tasting after adding about 8 tablespoons and decide yourself if you want more or not.
  2. Baker's ammonia or ammonium bicarbonate should not be confused with cleaning ammonia, which is poisonous.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g