If you love lemons, then this is the dessert for you! This classic lemon sheet cake recipe is delicious AND easy to make — it’s almost foolproof! We started with a soft and fluffy lemon buttermilk sheet cake and topped it with just the right amount of luscious cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect dessert for summer potlucks and guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser! You won’t believe how moist this cake is!
Lemon Sheet Cake
I’m a confessed chocoholic, but there is just something about a fluffy lemon cake with cream cheese frosting that I can’t resist!
Now, I’m usually partial to layered lemon cake (like this one). However, this moist lemon sheet cake recipe won me over right away! It’s incredibly soft and moist, thanks to a few “secret” ingredients. And the frosting…oh the frosting! It’s sweet, smooth and creamy, with a little bit of zesty lemon mixed right into it!
Take a bite, close your eyes, and let the tangy lemon deliciousness mingle with the decadent frosting. It’s the kind of dessert that will make any chocolate lover change their mind!
Love Lemon? Try our easy Mountain Dew Cake recipe too!
What is a Sheet Cake?
A sheet cake is a one layered cake, baked in a large rectangle pan. It is usually topped with a generous layer of frosting.
Sheet cakes are popular because they are easy to make — you don’t have to worry about making perfectly even layers. They’re also easy to slice and serve.
It’s no wonder that they are a popular choice for potlucks and holiday gatherings!
If you’re a novice baker, a sheet cake is a great way to get started making cakes. They’re almost foolproof!
For your convenience in re-creating our Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policy here.
What You Need to Make Lemon Sheet Cake
- Flour – All purpose baking flour is our default.
- Baking powder & baking soda – You need both of them for this recipe.
- Butter – Be sure to use unsalted butter when baking!
- Oil – When baking, use an oil with a neutral flavor, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or even coconut oil.
- Granulated sugar
- Egg yolks – Using the yolks only makes for an especially moist cake.
- Salt – Since there is already added salt in this recipe, that is why it is important to stick to unsalted butter.
- Lemon zest
- Buttermilk – Using buttermilk in baked goods adds a little tanginess and the acidity makes a softer cake.
- Cream cheese – The richness of the cream cheese plays perfectly with the zippy tartness of the lemons.
- Powdered sugar – For a fluffy frosting.
- Sour cream – This gives a little extra flavor and complexity to our frosting.
Kitchen Tools Used
- Stand mixer – We purchased our KitchenAid stand mixer refurbished and saved a ton of money! We’ve had it for 7+ years now and it works like a dream.
- Non-slip mixing bowls
- 9 x 13 inch baking pan – This one comes with a handy lid to keep you cake fresher!
Tips for the Perfect Sheet Cake
- Make it gluten free by swapping out the all-purpose flour for a gluten free all-purpose flour. They are usually a 1:1 substitution, though check the labels to make sure.
- Top with delicate lemon slices and/or fresh blueberries for an extra special treat.
- Because it is made with cream cheese frosting, this lemon sheet cake should be kept refrigerated. Covering it will help it keep longer, up to a week. Though of course it is best enjoyed in the first day or two.
Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe (Printable Copy)
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Lemon Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 9 x 13 inch pan
- stand mixer
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) + 6 Tablespoons
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8 egg yolks room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Lemon zest from 4 lemons
- 3/4 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Zest of 1-2 lemons
- Preheat oven to 335°F and line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper. You can also butter and flour the pan.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.
- Add softened butter to the bowl of stand mixer and mix until very creamy and smooth.
- Add oil and sugar to the bowl with butter and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg yolk at a time, mixing about 30 seconds between each.
- Add salt and lemon zest.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to you bowl, mixing as you go. Continue mixing until all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 33-37 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar on lowest speed until completely smooth.
- Add sour cream and lemon zest and continue mixing until smooth.
Pin our Easy Lemon Sheet Cake on Pinterest:
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