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Lemon Sheet Cake

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Summer’s almost here, and there’s no better way to indulge in a bite of sunshine than with this Lemon Sheet Cake! Made with store-bought cake and pudding mixes, this sheet cake is as easy as it is delicious. The lemony icing on top of the moist cake makes for the best zesty bite!

A sliced lemon sheet cake garnished with lemon wedges and zest is on a sheet of parchment paper.

To me, spring and summer always mean something very important – it’s time for lemons! Lemon chicken, lemon juice in salads, extra lemons in my water, and plenty of sweet lemon desserts are what fills my kitchen during the warm, sunny months.

While this recipe predominantly uses store-bought lemony ingredients, there’s also plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice in the mix to give each bite a touch of natural lemon flavor as well. Just make sure you’re using freshly squeezed lemon juice (and grated zest) to really get the best tangy flavor!

Store-bought cake and pudding mixes usually aren’t found in my favorite recipes, but this sheet cake recipe is one of the exceptions. It’s moist, deliciously lemony, and tastes homemade! The combination of the cake and pudding mixes yields a pretty incredible consistency, and the sweet, zesty icing on top pairs perfectly with the summery cake.

A square piece of sheet cake is presented on a round white plate.

What You’ll Need:

For the cake:

  • Yellow Cake Mix – This specific kind of cake mix helps with the overall yellow color, and the sweetness of it balances well with the tart lemon flavors.
  • Lemon Pudding Mix – Any brand will do, just make sure it’s lemon flavored!
  • Lemon Juice – Squeeze those lemons, and do NOT buy the bottled stuff!
  • Eggs – I like using free-range organic eggs in all of my recipes.
  • Butter – It should be unsalted and melted.

For the icing:

  • Powdered Sugar – No icing would be complete without it! Don’t substitute this with any other type of sugar.
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Zest
A piece of lemon sheet cake is presented on a white plate next to a lemon wedge and a fork.

How to Make Lemon Sheet Cake

For more detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Make the batter. Combine all of the ingredients for the cake batter in a mixing bowl.

Bake. Pour the batter into a prepared sheet pan and bake the cake for 20 minutes at 350°F.

Cool and ice. While the cake is cooling, make the icing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Once the cake has cooled, ice it… And make sure to lick the spoon when you’re done, of course!

Enjoy! Slice, serve, and enjoy your iced Lemon Sheet Cake.

A lemon wedge and fork are placed next to a plate topped with a slice of sheet cake.

Common Questions

Is my batter supposed to be thick? Yes! The batter will be fairly thick, so when you pour it into a pan, you’ll need to smooth it out with a spatula. That way, the cake bakes into a single smooth sheet with no bumps or uneven sections.

I like lemon but not TOO much lemon, can I do something to bring down the intensity of the lemon flavor? Yes, I recommend using milk instead of lemon juice in your icing and leaving out the zest.

Can I make this in a 12X18 sheet pan? Yes, you can. The batter will just spread out more and the cake will be thinner. You will want to adjust the baking time slightly and check the cake at 15 minutes because it will cook a but faster.

Can I use bottled lemon juice for this recipe? I always recommend using fresh lemon juice if possible but if you don’t want to squeeze THAT MANY lemons, you can use bottled of course but I recommend baking with the bottled juice and squeezing a couple for the icing. The difference in taste is very noticeable in the icing.

How long will Lemon Sheet Cake stay fresh? In an airtight container at room temperature, this cake will stay nice and fresh for about 3 days.

A garnished piece of lemon sheet cake is placed on a small round white plate.

Brighten up your kitchen with my favorite lemon dessert recipes!

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Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Stunning Lemon Tart

Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Sheet Cake

Made with store-bought cake and pudding mixes, this sheet cake is as easy as it is delicious. The lemony icing on top of the moist cake makes for the best zesty bite!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

For the cake:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix, (15.25 ounces)
  • ¼ cup unmixed (dry) lemon pudding mix
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • cup unsalted butter, melted

For the icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
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Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a 9X13 inch oven-safe cake pan using a non-stick spray (I prefer one with flour in it, such as Baker’s Joy) or you may use parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix, dry pudding mix, lemon juice, eggs and melted butter using a stand or handheld mixer. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the dry ingredients.
  • The batter will be fluffy and a bit thick. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and use a spatula to smooth and even out the batter. Make sure the batter is even throughout, because of its density, it won’t automatically level out.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and check for doneness using a toothpick. If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, bake for 3-5 minutes more or until set. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the icing glaze. In a large bowl add the powdered sugar, lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Use a stiff whisk or mixer to blend together and add the last tablespoon of lemon juice if needed. You want a spreadable icing that is thick but will still pour. If the icing becomes too thin and runs easily, add more powdered sugar until you achieve the right consistency.
  • Once the cake has cooled, you can pour the icing glaze over it in the pan and cut it. Or you can remove the cake from the pan, place it on a serving tray, cut it, then pour on and lightly spread the icing.
  • Top with lemon slices and serve.

Recipe Notes

I choose to make the glaze a bit thicker so it would hold up well and still drizzle a bit on the side, but the reader can make it very thin and runny like a Texas sheet cake.

YOUR NOTES

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 387 kcal | Carbohydrates: 77 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 68 mg | Sodium: 338 mg | Potassium: 65 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 58 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon recipe, mother’s day, sheet cake
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