Lemon Sheet Cake

If you’re looking for an easy lemon cake recipe, look no further! This super moist and delicious Lemon Sheet Cake recipe topped off with a tasty lemon buttercream frosting is our new favorite dessert, and it’s perfect for feeding a crowd!

Of all the lemon cakes I have recipes for, this just might be the easiest of them all! It’s moist just like our lemon buttermilk cake, and has a delicious frosting like our lemon bundt cake. Try for yourself!

Moist Lemon Cake on a white plate

a lemony dessert for spring & summer

Spring time makes me think of fruit and lemons and the dessert we are sharing today – Lemon Sheet Cake!

This lemon cake is one of the easiest lemon cake recipes you will ever make!

The reason why it’s so easy is because we used a lemon cake mix that came out of a box! It also has pudding mix in it, which makes it so good. Because of the added pudding and buttermilk the texture will be more dense and moist than a regular cake, and a bit fudgy like a brownie.

The best part is the lemon buttercream frosting on top. This lemon cake is SO delicious and creamy!! I think it’s the perfect dessert for Spring and for Summer!!

Lemon Cake Frosting in a mixing bowl

How to Make Lemon Sheet cake

The reason this is an EASY lemon cake is because it’s not made totally from scratch. You actually use a box mix plus some instant pudding and buttermilk.

MIX. Combine cake mix and pudding mix in a bowl. Then add the ingredients listed on the cake box and the buttermilk. Beat with a hand mixer until well combined.

Note: Make sure when you select a cake mix that it is a regular mix and doesn’t already include pudding. If you can’t find white chocolate pudding mix, you can substitute vanilla flavored instant pudding mix. And if you prefer sugar free pudding, that works just fine!

BAKE. Pour cake batter into a 9×13 cake pan and bake at 350° for 23-25 minutes.

Using different sized pans: If you are going to use a pan bigger than a 9×13, or a jelly roll pan, the estimated cook time is about 17-20 minutes. We love to make the cake a little more thin and use an 11×15 pan to get more slices out of it.

For smaller sized pans and circle pans, it will need to cook a little longer. The estimated cook time is for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick that is poked into the center comes out clean. You may notice that when you take the cake out of the oven it has a rounder top. As it cools it will flatten as you can see in the recipe video.

How to make lemon frosting:

Start by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon jello mix, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk. Beat until the frosting is creamy and smooth. And that’s it! Easy peasy.

Lemon zest?? Making lemon zest is very simple. You can use a grater or a traditional zester. Be sure to do this before juicing the lemon because it makes it a lot easier, and wash the lemon before starting! Simply rub the lemon against the blades of the grater or zester, making sure you’re only grating the outermost peel of the lemon.

homemade lemon cake with lemon frosting on a white plate

Making ahead + Storing

Making ahead: There are a couple of options for doing this. You can assemble the cake completely and cover the top with a lid or plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge. Then, take it out of the fridge 2 hours before it’s served to let it come to room temperature.

To avoid any chances of the cake drying out from sitting in the fridge overnight, you can store it (without frosting) covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.

You can make the frosting right before serving, or if you make it beforehand store the frosting in the fridge in an airtight container. Take it out 2 hours before frosting the cake so it can come to room temperature and go on smoothly.

Storing: To store the leftovers, cover the pan with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 5-6 days. Take it out of the fridge a while before you serve to give the frosting time to get to room temperature. I wouldn’t suggest storing this cake at room temperature for longer than 8 hours because of the cream cheese in the frosting.

This cake is perfect for the ultimate lemon fan. I haven’t always loved lemon, but I DO love this cake. It’s so delicious and so moist!

And for more lemon treats, check out:

Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe

4.66 from 23 votes
Bright Lemon Sheet Cake with creamy lemon buttercream frosting is a sunny dessert perfect for feeding a crowd!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 174 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box lemon cake mix plus ingredients on box
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 oz white chocolate instant pudding mix

Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon jello mix
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice you can use more if you want more lemon taste
  • 2-3 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Add lemon cake mix and pudding mix to a medium bowl.
  • Add buttermilk plus the ingredients on the back of the cake mix box and beat until well combined.
  • Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 23-35 minutes (or for more slices and thinner cake, use an 11x15 pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by creaming together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, jello mix, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk. Beat until smooth.
  • Frost cake and ENJOY!

Video

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Lemon is my dads favorite so I made this last night before he and my mom left on their mission today. I read the comments and used the Duncan Hines Lemon mix as suggested. I used Jell-O brand white chocolate pudding mix. The only change I made was to mix poppy seeds into the frosting.
    The top of the cake did flatten as the posts states and looked like the one in the video. It was “heavier/fudgier” than a normal cake mix, but with the the added pudding and milk that was expected. My dad and I actually LOVED the texture and flavor of the cake. My dad even put a few slices in a container to take with him. It was a good thing he did because there weren’t any leftovers. I will definitely be making this again.

    1. Thanks for sharing that! I’m glad your dad loved the cake. That’s cute that he wanted to take a few extra slices with him too!

  2. I can’t find white chocolate pudding at my store do you think I could sub vanilla pudding?

  3. 5 stars
    I had a box of yellow cake mix that I needed to move out of my pantry, so I looked for a recipe online. It was for Christmas, and even though I felt like this was more of an Easter recipe I made it because as I mentioned, I needed to use that box of cake mix! The cake turned out to be the star of the show. Everyone wanted to take some home, and the printed recipe became the property of my daughter-in-law. (Thank goodness I found it again…)
    So easy, and so yummy. The moistness of the cake, and the cream cheese icing are the talking points of everyone who samples it.

  4. 5 stars
    I love every recipe you’ve shared ! Thank you, I love following your blog ♥️I’m newly retired and enjoying being in the kitchen trying new recipes!

  5. I tried this cake recipe with a 9 x 13 pan. With the one cup of water and one cup of buttermilk it was a disaster I baked for 45 minutes it was golden brown took it out of the oven and it was not done and it fell. It sure did not work me.

    1. Ruby try it again ! I’ve made this cake several times and it is fabulous ! I’ve used white chocolate,vanilla and lemon pudding..doesn’t matter..all work just fine..definitely encourage you to try again 😎

      1. Thanks for the feedback Joanne! Yes, this is one of our favorites… so I’d say give it another try too. Not sure why it turned out so soupy. You could try an 11X18 sheet pan and bake for 18-20 minutes instead. Might turn out better for you, Ruby.

  6. 5 stars
    I love making sheet cakes for a group of people and this lemon one is amazing for the spring weather and especially summer! thank you for sharing this!

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