Lemon Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Predictably, lemon and I are having a moment.
I’ve been lemon-ing all the things. Like chicken and now sheet cake and even chia pudding that I’ll tell you about soon. I get in lemon mode and I can’t get out.
This is not the first lemon cake I’ve made either. EMBARRASSING.
I’ve made a lemon cake with marshmallow frosting, a lemon loaf cake, a lemon pudding cake, a lemon pistachio bundt cake and lemon cupcakes with coconut whipped cream. Apparently I can’t get enough.
And I’ll always stand by the fact that I need a bite of chocolate dessert and a bite of lemon dessert. They are two totally different taste buds! And dreamy ones at that.
I based this lemon cake off of this stunning strawberry rhubarb cake by my friend Adrianna. She makes the BEST sheet cakes that are gorgeous and perfectly frosted and I attempted to make one as pretty as hers and attempt her style but it isn’t even possible. Hers are just so stylish and stunning!
And the cake base is perfection. I swear.
I’m a big believe in cream cheese frosting. I think it makes all cakes taste better. Has that little extra bite and sort of tastes like cheesecake and just has more flavor overall. But really? This is probably because I am not a frosting person. Nope. Not at all! I’ve never liked frosting by itself and always ask for the cake with the least amount of frosting.
There has to be a perfect cake-to-frosting ration for me to be impressed. Which basically means lots of cake and very little frosting.
However, I do make a few exceptions when it comes to cream cheese frosting. It’s just SO darn good. And it’s really fantastic with lemon! And coconut. Chocolate too.
Basically, don’t even give me cake with other frosting, okay?
On top of the cream cheese icing, I added the little candied lemon rounds from Trader Joes! Do they still have these or are they seasonal?
I bought them in December and even did a Trader Joes haul on Instagram stories – figuring I’d use them for cocktails over the holidays. But then I had the flu of death on Christmas and felt generally awful until New Years, so that didn’t happen. Leaving me with a bunch of candied citrus!
Not that I’m complaining.
Okay, maybe I am a little.
Oh oh and! The sprinkles come from Sweetapolita and she makes the most amazing sprinkle mixes in the universe. I seriously love love love them all. So fun!
Now I have my favorite dessert for the next two months! Until my next favorite dessert comes along… of course.
Lemon Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 3/4 cup cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
- sprinkles for the frosting
- candied lemon slices if you want!
cream cheese frosting
- 2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick or baking spray and line it with parchment paper. Spray it one more time,
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until they are combined. Beat in the extracts. Add half of the dry ingredients, then add the milk and beat until combined. Beat in the rest of the dry ingredients. Beat in the lemon zest.
- Pour the mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is set in the center. Let cool completely before frosting. Once cool, lift the parchment paper on the edges to lift the cake out and frost.
cream cheese frosting
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Beat in the sugar until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract. Frost the cooled cake, then top with the sprinkles!
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
My kind of spread right there.
73 Comments on “Lemon Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.”
Keep the lemon treat recipes coming! Love the candied lemon and sprinkle toppings. Looking forward to that chia pudding recipe you alluded to.
I LOVE Sweetapolita so much…makes every single thing funner! Question: Does it change baking times or anything if you use a glass vs. metal baking pan? These things I do not know.
i am not overly familiar with this, but i think you adjust the cooktime to be slightly lower with glass baking! like 25 degrees lower?
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I love lemon cakes and this sheet cake looks simply delicious and perfect for the weekend!
SO pretty! This looks heavenly.
This is on for tonight! But I don’t have good sprinkles. I bought some at TJMaxx….. why?
Reassure me that sending away for the sprinkles will be worth their weight in gold?
cut my name off Melanson
Yes, sweetapolia sprinkles are definitely superior! They are sweet and crunchy- not waxy at all.
hahaha they are the best sprinkles ever! i swear!
I have to bring dessert to my in-laws tomorrow and now it’s taken care of. Thank you!
yay! xo hope it was a hit
I feel like lemon is really an under-rated dessert flavor, that looks delicious!
agree! thanks karen!
I followed the recipe however I doubled it and the cake was extremely dense & hard
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This looks amazing!!!! Yum
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Gorgeous!!! Just the thing to make it feel like Spring!!
Jess this looks delicious! I’m thinking I will try to make this for the preschool bake sale Friday. But does this need to be refrigerated?
no need to be refrigerated! but it’s great when it is in the fridge.
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Lemon is my all time favorite. Oh my gosshins I NEED this in my life 👍🏻 Can’t wait to try.
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Can’t wait to make this! I love lemon desserts!
You know, I’m th same. Dessert=chocolate, and please keep fruit away from it. Unless it’s lemon. Lemon has a special place in my heart. Anyway, my pregnant self added the ingredients to my grocery list and plan on making it today. And for no other reason than I need it!
yay! hope you loved it!
Hahaha my sister and I joke about the proper frosting/cake ratio but for us it’s more like 50/50 😂
Just made this cake and frosting!!! Delicious! I loved the frosting (I too prefer cream cheese frosting) but I added some lemon juice to it and really liked it!
yay! so glad you liked it lisa!
I loved this!!! Everything was perfect, especially the icing. I took pictures but they looked horrible compared to yours (thanks for the clouds Pittsburgh).
haha thank you sara! i know these clouds are killing me.
i’ll take all your frosting and you can have all my cake! this looks beautiful btw. and totally agree w/ the little bit of lemon, little bit of chocolate…perfect ending to a meal!
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Just made this on a snowy day. I had to bake it longer (which resulted in an over bake – my bad). I also added the lemon extract to the frosting instead of the vanilla. Besides being over baked (again, my bad), it’s delicious!
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A combination of lemon and cream is perfect care recipe
Cannot rate it. Did not make it! Would not allow me to print the recipe😠. Do not want to run back and forth to my tablet to follow recipes.
Love this lemony cake! So perfect for these spring days!
The posting looks delicious and so pretty. I followed this recipe twice and found it to be too dry and crumbly.
I just tried this tonight and it was very dry😢
I m not sure if this is what happened but I recently discovered I had been measuring flour wrong. A few cakes in the past I had made turned out really dry, hard and crumbly. I didn’t realize that you are suppose to add flour into your measuring cup by spoon and then level it off flat across, with out smooshing it in, with a butter knife. I hope this helps. Also, I altered how I heated the oven for this recipe since I only had a glass pan. It took longer to Cooke but came out super light and flufffy.
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This was so delicious! I ended up making this for my Husband’s birthday, which is on July 4th. My 4 year old daughter and I had fun making this and decorating it into an American flag cake with blueberries and strawberries. Thank you for this yummy lemon cake recipe!
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Could you double this to make larger? And then what size pan would you use? Or could you layer it using the 9×13 pans?
I have a big crowd to feed with one bday cake
Hello I tried this recipe and something went wrong, just curious to know what I did wrong, cake was dry….Please help first time doingcake by scratch.🤗
I did recipe in a bundtcake as well, maybe to much recipe😏
Hi, I’m yet to bake this cake but it looks so tasty and refreshing. I was wondering if it possible to make it a layered sheet cake by doubling the recipe? Or can you point me in the right direction. Want to make a layered sheet cake for a birthday coming up.
Thank you for your response in advance.
Recipe sounds wonderful, but love your photographs!
Mine turned out very dense and dry. The icing would be good with cool whip folded in.
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Made this cake for Mothers Day and it was a HUGE disappointment. Bought a bunch of lemons and then realized halfway thru the recipe that the only thing lemon about this cake is the zest in it. There is no fresh juice in the recipe and no lemon flavor at all, sadly. The frosting is delicious and that was all that was good about the cake. It was basically a dense vanilla cake with some zest in it.
lisa – there is no fresh juice in the recipe because lemon flavor comes from the oils in the zest, not the juice. you can’t ever add enough juice to a cake for lemon flavor. there is also lemon extract in this recipe, so i’m not sure why you are saying there is no lemon flavor? finally, the recipe didn’t call for a bunch of lemons, so i’m not sure why you bought them.
Very slight lemon flavor so if you’re looking for a really lemony cake, this isn’t it. Also, the cake itself was pretty dense. Almost like a pound cake but drier. Icing was delicious but runny.
If I’m making this lemon sheet cake and I only have all purpose flour do I need to add anything to compensate.
LOVE this cake! I needed a light and spongy fluffy tasty cake and this is IT. Wonderful!!!!!!