Lemon Sheet Cake – Cookies and Cups

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This easy Lemon Sheet Cake recipe is ultra moist and perfect for a party or holiday dessert. The soft cake is topped with tart and creamy lemon icing that I could eat with a spoon!

Make sure to try my Lemon Cream Pie Recipe too! It’s fantastic!

pulling a piece of lemon cake from the pan with a cake server

Homemade Lemon Sheet Cake

This lemon sheet cake recipe is one of my latest obsessions. The only problem with this cake is that I will eat the whole thing! I’m the only one in my house who likes lemon desserts…weird, right? They all seem to love lemon candy, lemonade, lemon/lime soda…but not lemon cake? Makes ZERO sense to me! But the great thing about this recipe is it’s perfect for travel, which means any party you’re invited to, this is the dessert to bring…that way I get a slice, but I’m not tempted with an entire cake on the counter!

What To Expect With This Sheet Cake Recipe:

What makes this cake so great is that there is no stand mixer or hand mixer required, meaning it’s an EASY recipe! It’s pretty foolproof. The cake is so super moist and soft, and the icing is tart and creamy. It makes such a pretty presentation if you add those little lemon wedges on top too. It’s the perfect Easter/springtime/summer cake recipe! 

sheet cake in a pan sliced with lemon wedges

What You Will Need/Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon zest and juice
  • Butter 
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Butter 
  • Powdered Sugar

How To Make Texas Sheet Cake:

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 15x10x1- inch pan, also known as a jelly roll pan, with nonstick baking spray, or you can grease the pan with butter. Certainly you could line the cake pan with parchment paper if you prefer, but it’s not necessary since you’re serving this right out of the pan!
  2. Make the Cake Batter: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest together in a large bowl and set the dry ingredients aside. Next grab a medium saucepan and add in the butter, water, and lemon juice. Heat this over medium high heat and bring it to a boil. Once it’s reached a boil remove it from the heat. Pour the hot butter mixture right into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Then you’ll add in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepped pan.
  3. Bake: Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center is set, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cake pan on a wire rack and allow it to cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes while you are prepping your icing. 
  4. For the icingAdd the butter and lemon juice to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Alternately you could do this in the microwave in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Stir the butter and lemon juice together to combine and then add in the powdered sugar slowly, whisking until combined and smooth. Once the icing is ready pour it all over the cake while it’s still a little warm. This allows a little bit of the icing to soak into the cake, while still leaving a nice, thick layer of icing on top. 
  5. To Serve: Allow the cake to cool completely for the prettiest slices. I also like to garnish with some fresh lemon slices or fresh berries, like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries. But note the fruit will leak a little juice onto the icing, so I do this step right before serving.
pouring icing onto a cake

Tips:

This lemon cake recipe is really quick and easy to make, but I do have a few tips for you for success!

  • Sift the powered sugar for a lump free icing. No matter how much I whisk icing, I always end up with a few powdered sugar lumps. The sure way to prevent this from happening is to sift the powdered sugar before adding, getting rid of any big lumps!
  • Use fresh lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is really key to this cake. The icing is so sweet and creamy, but the tartness of fresh lemon juice really stands out! Using a lemon squeezer is a huge help!
  • I use this pan to make all my sheet cakes. It was a gift given to me at Christmas and I love it so much. It’s totally nonstick and I barely have to grease my pan. Plus, it bakes evenly and has great handles! 

Variations:

  1. You can make this into a Lemon Texas Sheet Cake with the addition of nuts. I think some chopped pistachios  would be delicious! Sprinkle some of the chopped nuts right into the lemon frosting before pouring in on the cake. Make sure to check out my Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake Recipe and my White Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
  2. Switch up the icing recipe and make it a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting instead! Simply melt 4 ounces of cream cheese and 4 ounces of butter together. Add in the 1/3 cup of lemon juice, and 3 cups of powdered sugar.
  3. Make this cake any flavor citrus you like, easily swap out the lemon zest and juice with either lime or orange!

How To Store:

This cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cover it airtight with plastic wrap right in the pan!

side shot of a slice of lemon sheet cake

Love Lemon? Here Are More Lemon Cake Recipes To Try:

Print

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Description

This Lemon Sheet Cake is perfect for a crowd! The soft, moist lemon cake is topped with a creamy and tart lemon icing that I could eat with a spoon!


Cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  1. Cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 15x10x1- inch pan (jelly roll pan) with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. 
  3. Melt together the butter, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 1 minute and remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Pour the hot butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and stir until smooth. 
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center is set, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Icing: Add your butter and lemon juice to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter melts.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth.
  10. Pour the icing on top of the warm cake.
  11. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Notes

store airtight for up to 3 days

Keywords: cookies and cups, cake, sheet cake, lemon cake

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