Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake packed with zippy lemon flavor and topped with an incredible sugary crunch.

Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Alright guys, today I’m bringing you a dessert that just screams spring! After the crazy winter that we had here I’m more than ready to say “goodbye winter, hello spring”!

Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}


I’m a huge fan of anything lemon flavored recipes-whether it’s cookiesbreadcupcakes or muffins-it’s an obsession! Especially this time of year, I tend to go a little overboard on the lemon treats. 😉


Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}


Zippy, tender, Lemon Buttermilk Cake topped with an incredible sugary crunch. This cake is ridiculously simple to make and takes no time at all to bake.


Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Make sure you use fresh lemons. I can’t stress that enough, don’t pull out the pre-bottled lemon juice or lemon extract-you need the real deal for this one. You’ll need a total of 7 tablespoons lemon juice (from 3 or 4 lemons) and 3 tablespoons of zest for this cake.

Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake packed with zippy lemon flavor and topped with an incredible sugary crunch.

Yield: 16 servings


For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest from 3 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice from 3 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature

For the Glaze:
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease a 9x13 inch square baking pan and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in liquid measuring cup.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat granulated sugar and lemon zest until moist and fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture to small bowl, cover, and set aside. Add butter to the remaining sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time, until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk mixture, and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.

6. To Make the glaze: In a medium bowl whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and buttermilk until smooth. Using an offset spatula, spread glaze over warm cake and sprinkle evenly with the reserved sugar mixture. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Serve.

Source: Cook's Country, August/September 2008

Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

One Year Ago: Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Two Years Ago: Lemon Doodles lemon doodles

Three Years Ago: Carrot Spice Muffins Carrot Spice Muffins

17 Responses to “Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake”

  1. #
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — March 21, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

    I had the day off yesterday on the first day of spring. It was a spectacular day. You are sooooo correct that this cake screams spring. It is so fluffy looking all yellow and white like a little girl’s Easter dress. AND it is easy to make and I suspect flat out delicious. Aaaah, life is good.

  2. #
    Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron — March 21, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

    I am also super obsessed with lemons at the moment. This cake sounds perfect with a cup of tea!

  3. #
    Turner — March 22, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    Wow this looks delicious and so perfect for spring!

  4. #
    Dina — March 22, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

    this looks so great for spring!

  5. #
    Trish — March 22, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    oooooh this just sounds like the perfect March cake! Looks delicious.

  6. #
    sarah k @ the pajama chef — March 22, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

    i can almost smell this lemony cake right now! i wish i had a slice or two. :)

  7. #
    Sarah|Pickled Capers — March 23, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

    Very intrigued by the combination of lemon and buttermilk in this recipe. Sounds like it would round out the sweetness so perfectly.

  8. #
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — March 23, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

    I go so overboard on lemon all year, especially now. These are gorgeous!

  9. #
    ChgoJohn — March 24, 2014 @ 12:58 am

    A citrus glaze is such a great way to top a cake. I’m sure it worked quite well with this cake of yours, Christina.

  10. #
    Medeja — March 25, 2014 @ 6:41 am

    This cake is so beautiful and sunny! Just lovely!

  11. #
    Carol — March 25, 2014 @ 8:51 am

    I made this cake over the weekend, and it was DELICIOUS! Definitely the best lemon cake I have ever had. I especially liked the real lemon flavor without any artificial taste. The lemon-sugar sprinkle over the top made it different than just a plain glaze. This recipe will be saved and made many times! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  12. #
    Renee@Two in the Kitchen — March 25, 2014 @ 10:04 am

    I am seriously in love with anything lemon right now!! I could eat this whole pan Christina!!

  13. #
    Laura Dembowski — March 29, 2014 @ 7:44 am

    I love sheet cake so much! This lemon flavor is just what I need to kick winter to the curb too :)

  14. #
    Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books — May 20, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    I love lemon desserts! =) This sounds delicious!

  15. #
    Sam — May 27, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

    Great recipe Christina! Literally the best lemon cake I’ve ever had. The guests couldn’t stop raving, and the crunchy topping was amazing!

    • Christina replied: — May 27th, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the cake, Sam! :) It was a huge hit in my house too. Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out for you!

  16. #
    Sue Sand — October 23, 2014 @ 5:24 am

    Absolutely, hands down, the best lemon cake I’ve even made. You simply can’t stop eating it. Everyone loves it. I have a great lemon filling I’d like to try by splitting this delicious cake and filling it. Thanks for sharing this beautiful cake!

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