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lemon cake with white frosting and a lemon slice on top.
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5 from 11 votes

Lemon Cake Recipe

This is the perfect lemon sheet cake with tons of lemon flavor and a lemon buttercream.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Dorothy Kern
Cost: 8


For the Cake:

  • 3 cups (372g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (237ml) milk
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
  • 4 large eggs

For the Frosting:

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 3 cups (339g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13” pan with nonstick cooking spray (the kind with flour) or grease the pan with butter or shortening and flour.
  • Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the milk, lemon juice, zest, and eggs to a large measuring cup or bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Add the wet and dry ingredients into the creamed butter in two additions, mixing between each, just until the mixture is combined. Don't over mix!
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-43 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting: cream butter and powdered sugar until crumbly. Add salt, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon milk. Mix until smooth, adding more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you've reached desired spreading consistency.
  • Frost cooled cake and serve.



  • Store cake loosely covered on the counter for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Cake can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Make sure to use fresh lemon juice, it tastes much better than bottled.
  • Don't omit the lemon zest - that's where all the lemon flavor comes from.
  • Want even more lemon flavor? Add 1 teaspoon lemon extract to the cake and/or 1/2 teaspoon to the frosting.
  • It's best if your eggs are room temperature before mixing.
  • This cake can also be baked in three 8-inch pans or two 9-inch pans.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 412IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg