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Bright Lemon Sheet Cake with creamy lemon buttercream frosting is a sunny dessert perfect for feeding a crowd!
Of all the Lemon Cakes I have recipes for, this Lemon Sheet Cake 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.
a lemony dessert for spring & summer
This Lemon Pudding Cake with Lemon Frosting is one of the easiest Lemon Cake Recipes you will ever make! It’s similar to our Chocolate Sheet Cake, kind of a Lemon Texas Sheet Cake!
We started with a lemon cake mix from a box – so simple! It also has a pudding mix in it, which makes it so good. Because of the added pudding and buttermilk mixture, 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 Sheet Cake Recipe is SO delicious and creamy!!
The lemon flavor is a perfect dessert for Spring and Summer!!
Lemon cake from a mix
The reason this is an EASY Lemon Cake is that it’s not made totally from scratch.
You actually use a box mix plus some instant pudding and buttermilk to make it even more scrumptious!
PREP. Preheat oven to 350°F.
DRY INGREDIENTS. Add lemon cake mix and pudding mix to a medium bowl.
WET INGREDIENTS. Add buttermilk plus the ingredients on the back of the cake mix box to the cake mix and pudding mixture and beat until well combined.
BAKE. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 23-35 minutes (or for more slices and thinner cake, use an 11×15 pan and bake for 18-20 minutes).
COOL + FROST. While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese frosting by creaming together butter and cream cheese.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla, Jell-o mix (gelatin), lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk. Whisk until smooth.
Frost the cake and ENJOY!
Lemon zest. Making lemon zest is very simple. Wash the lemon. Zest before juicing.
Using a grater or a traditional zester, simply rub the lemon against the blades of the grater or zester, making sure to only grate the outermost peel of the lemon. Zesting adds great citrus flavor!
Cake mix. I used a 15.25 box of lemon cake mix. The ingredients on the back included 1 cup water, ½ cup vegetable oil, and 3 large eggs. Purchase a cake mix that is similar in size and purchase the ingredients that are listed on the back of the box.
Pudding. Substitute the white chocolate pudding mix with a vanilla-flavored instant pudding mix. Sugar-free pudding also works just fine! Be sure that it is the instant kind and only use the pudding powder in the recipe, DO NOT make the pudding.
- Top with lemon slices or berries like raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
- Use lemon glaze or dust with powdered sugar.
- Pair with a complementary frosting like Strawberry Frosting, Vanilla Buttercream, or light Whipped Cream.
Sheet cake tIPS
A traditional sheet cake is a rectangular single-layered cake. It can vary in length and width, but it is usually about 2 inches in height. Easily make a double-layered sheet cake.
The ingredients of a sheet cake are often the exact same as round cakes or layered cakes.
Different-sized pans. A half sheet cake is 9×13 inches, a medium sheet cake is 11×15 inches, and a large sheet cake is 12×18 inches.
One trick to make a larger sheet cake is to bake 2-3 smaller cakes, place them side by side on a serving tray, and frost them as if it is one large cake.
- Large sheet cake. Make the cake a little thinner and use an 11×15 pan to get more slices out of it. The estimated cook time is 17-20 minutes.
- For smaller-sized pans and circle pans, adjust the cook time to about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. The cake may have a rounder top. As it cools it will flatten as seen in the recipe video.
Sheet cake servings are usually cut party size 1½x2 inch, or wedding size 1×2 inch.
Make ahead of time. Assemble the cake completely and cover the top with a lid or plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge 2 hours before it’s served to let it come to room temperature.
- To avoid the cake from drying out, store it (without frosting) covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.
- Make the Lemon Cake Icing right before serving. If made 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.
STORE leftovers covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for 5-6 days. Take it out of the fridge an hour before serving to give the frosting time to get to room temperature.
Do not store this cake at room temperature for longer than 8 hours because of the cream cheese in the frosting.
FREEZE the Lemon Sheet Cake before or after frosting it.
- To freeze unfrosted. Wrap the cooled cake with plastic wrap and again with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Unwrap before thawing. The frosting can be frozen in a separate container for 3-4 months. Thaw before using.
- Freeze the frosted cake whole, or in slices. Place the cake in the freezer until the frosting has hardened, then wrap it with plastic and foil. The cake is best when eaten within 3- 4 months, but can last for 5-6 months.
I used a 15.25 box of lemon cake mix, specifically Duncan Hines. Purchase a box of cake mix that is similar in size and make sure you also have the ingredients that are listed on the back.
If you can’t find white chocolate flavored pudding, I would use vanilla or lemon flavored. Make sure it’s the instant pudding!
One of the main culprits is buying a cake mix that already has pudding in it. Make sure your box of cake mix does NOT already have pudding. Or, if it does, omit the instant pudding mix when making the cake batter.
And for more lemon treats:
Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe
- 1 box lemon cake mix plus ingredients on box
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 oz white chocolate instant pudding mix
- 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 9×13 pan. Bake for 23-35 minutes (or for more slices and thinner cake, use an 11×15 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!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.