Lemon Sheet Cake

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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

Helloooooooooooo! It’s me, Lily again! Did you miss me? I know… it seems like a long time since the last time I posted. 😉 Spring time makes me think of fruit and lemons and the dessert we are sharing today. It’s 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. There were only a few other ingredients we put in the cake besides those.

The best part is the lemon buttercream frosting on top. This lemon cake is SO delicious and creamy!! I already told my mom I want to make this again. I think it’s the perfect dessert for Spring and for Summer!!

Lemon Cake Frosting in a mixing bowl

Check out that creamy lemon frosting!!

How to Make Lemon 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 (I know that’s a large window, but ovens vary so much. Just start checking with a toothpick at 23 minutes and bake longer if needed).

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 15-20 minutes. You will need to double the recipe for a jelly roll pan. 

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.

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

4.23 from 9 votes

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!

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
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice you can use more if you want more lemon taste
  • 2-3 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Add lemon cake mix and pudding mix to a medium bowl.
  3. Add buttermilk plus the ingredients on the back of the cake mix box and beat until well combined.
  4. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 23-35 minutes. Let cool.
  5. While cake is cooling make frosting by creaming together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, jello mix, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk. Beat until smooth.
  6. Frost cake and ENJOY!

Recipe Video

 

Author

Kristyn Merkley

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!

More by Kristyn

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Comments

  1. Hi Lily,
    It’s nice to hear from you. I love your recipe for lemon cake and I love lemon. I hope you have a wonderful Easter Sunday in all ways.

  2. I made this for Easter dessert and everyone loved it. It was so lemony, light and delicious! Would love to be able to cut the recipe down to make just an 8 x 8 cake when it is just the two of us, ingredients and bake time? Any suggestions! Thank you so much for posting this recipe

  3. Just looking at the lemon cake mix and it calls for 1C of water. This may be a dumb question but do you use that and the cup of buttermilk?? I want to make this tomorrow for our Memorial Day picnic…. thanks!!! It just seems like a lot of liquid. Thanks for sharing this recipe, looking forward to trying it!!

  4. 5 stars
    I made the recipe exactly as outlined, but my cake fell. I think that there’s too much liquid with the buttermilk and water. I hope it still tastes good, next time though I think I will try cutting back on the water

    1. 4 stars
      Mine fell too. When I inserted a toothpick for doneness at 23 minutes it wasn’t ready. I did the toothpick test again 5 minutes later and the toothpick came out clean. It looked perfect but fell within 5 minutes. It’s almost as if it’s not done, as it is very flat and dense when I cut into the cake. Bake time of 23-35 minutes is pretty broad. Should I have baked it longer? Would this have prevented the cake from falling? Flavor wise, it’s fantastic….just doesn’t look like a cake…not fluffy at all. I’d like to make again. It looking for tips or suggestions on how to not have the cake fall.

      1. There are lots of reasons for a cake to fall in the middle after baking…too little or too much liquid, other ingredients like baking soda. I haven’t had that issue, but I would google ways to prevent it. The baking time is varied, because all ovens are different or higher altitude. I always start with the least amount, then add a couple minutes at a time. You can always keep baking it, but once burned, you can’t take that bake. I hope that helps. I wish I knew the answers.

  5. I made the lemon cake yesterday…HELP…I can’t stop eating it, SO good! All my FB friends want the recipe…

  6. 5 stars
    I made the lemon cake yesterday and can’t stop eating it! Followed the recipe exactly, came out PERFECT! I LOVE lemon…posted pics on Facebook and all my lemon loving friends want the recipe! Thanks!

    1. Danielle I have the exact same question and was wondering if you had tried this yet. I need to bake a sheet cake and this recipe sounds absolutely perfect

  7. I cant find the white chocolate pudding in my area, is there a substitute? Thinking cheesecake pudding but would appreciate your thoughts please. Love your site and recipes.

  8. Can’t wait to try this on my “Elderberries” at church! Love to try out new recipes and they love to try them too!

  9. Just have a quick question on the lemon sheet cake recipe: You mention the white chocolate pudding mix in the cake batter. Then you mention the lemon Jello mix for the icing. I want to make sure that I bought the correct mix for each. Do you just use the Jello lemon mix and not the lemon pudding mix for the icing?

  10. Hi.
    I am in the process of making the lemon butter frosting. Help!!!
    Please!!! It is not creamy, it is coming out more soupy. I don’t know what to do to make it more creamy. I followed your directions and used all of the ingredients. Any advice/suggestions???
    If not, I’m on my way to buy store bought frosting :-0

  11. 1 star
    My cake fell too, as others reported. I followed the recipe exactly with all fresh ingredients.
    Running out now to buy a back up cake for my daughter’s birthday 🙁

  12. I don’t understand TB in your recipes – is that Tablespoon?

    I don’t know what you want when you ask for website?

      1. I think i know why cake fell & is heavy! Many cake MIXes have pudding mix alreafy in them, that would be double pudding mix!
        Use cakemix w/ out pudding already in the mix, just use plain caKe mix & then u can add pudding miX! Going to try it now!7

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe is excellent. I made it for work and everyone loved it and was gone quickly. I made it 2 days ago and now I’m making it again for my family. This is going to be a staple. I used the Duncan Hines lemon signature box of cake mix and the hershey’s brand of white chocolate pudding mix and did everything as directed in above recipe. I read the other comments and made sure to bake 35 minutes and came out perfectly. 25 minutes wasn’t long enough. I would highly recommend this recipe and normally dont comment but wanted to help others know this is a great cake.

      1. Hello! I am curious what your thoughts are trying a lemon pudding instead of the white chocolate? I want it to be super lemony!
        Thank you!

  14. THIS IS THE FIRST CAKE I HAVE MADE. I HATE DRY CAKE SO I WANTED A RECIPE FOR A MOIST CAKE. IT TURNED OUT GREAT. I FORGOT IT WAS IN THE OVEN SO I COOKED IT FOR 45 MINUTES, WHICH WORKED OUT PERFECTLY ACTUALLY. family DEVOURED IT.

  15. 5 stars
    I FollOwed this recipe as recommended by one of the reviewerS with the duncan hines box of lemon cake with the Hersheys white chocolate pudding ! It came out perfecf ! I baked it in 2 9 inch pans for a round cake and had to bake it For About 40 minutes. It was delIcious and moiSt ! My husband and kids loved it ! For sure dont get a box of cake that already has pudding mix dded 🙂

  16. 4 stars
    I love this cake. I am still having problems with cook time and it collapsing in the middle when I remove it from oven. I used Duncan Hines lemon cake mix. Your directions say to use ingredients on back of box. Plus add 1 cup buttermilk and white chocolate pudding mix. The ingredients on back of cake mix are 1 cup water, 2 eggs and oil. I wonder if you use a different cake mix and don’t include 1 cup of water and 1 cup of buttermilk. Also with your pan size, the chocolate sheet cake recipe calls for a 10 X 14 jelly roll pan. For lemon cake you say 9 x 13. Just want to clarify as I am doing something wrong. I baked it for 35 minutes. Beautiful. 10 minutes later it fell in meddle.

    1. I can’t remember what mix I used, but they should all be similar & yes, I did use all the ingredients. This cake is in the 9×13 🙂 I’m really not sure what made it fall?? I’m sorry it did! Did you add the pudding mix?

  17. 4 stars
    Just made this cake and have not frost it yet. But I noticed that it sunk a little in several places. I have not had this happen before with a cake mix. Also tHe frostiNg tastes good but its A little gritty. Any ideas why these things happened?

    1. I really wish I knew. There are reasons a cake might sink & I’m not saying you did them, but it’s hard to know…undermixing, incorrect amounts of ingredients, moving the cake while baking, etc. I’m sorry it did. If my frosting gets too gritty, I just add a little more powdered sugar.