Skip to content

It’s finally here! Order the Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Cookbook

Sweet Pea's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Homemade Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe

  • Pin
  • Rate
  • 3.50 from 2 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclosure policy.

piece of homemade lemon cake on plate

Next time you are looking for a sweet treat, make this fantastic Lemon Sheet Cake! You’ll get a vibrant burst of flavor in every bite of this homemade lemon cake. Whether you are hosting a baby shower, bridal shower, Easter dinner, or just want a delicious dessert; this easy lemon cake recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

I have made this lemon buttermilk sheet cake for friends and have had some of them beg for the recipe when they usually don’t like lemon. I take that as a great sign that they love it!

Scroll to bottom for printable recipe card.

Easy Homemade Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe

When it comes to dessert, you know how much I love chocolate! However, there are times when I want a special treat that is fruity and amazing. I used to eat lemon cake, growing up, and new that I wanted to find a way to make my own. That is where this lemon cake recipe from scratch was born. It’s a creation that I will never get tired of, and I don’t think you will either. 

piece of homemade lemon cake on plate

Lemon Sheet Cake Ingredients

The ingredients for this moist lemon cake are simple and items you most likely already have on hand. It’s incredible how you can take these ingredients and turn them into the best lemon cake recipe ever. Plus, the lemon frosting is so good you could eat it with a spoon!

  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Unsalted butter
  • Oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Salt
  • Lemon zest 
  • Buttermilk

Sour Cream Layer

  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Sour cream
  • Lemon zest

slice of ready to serve lemon cake

How To Make A Lemon Cake From Scratch

Don’t worry, just because this is a cake from scratch doesn’t mean it’s complicated. There are several steps, but all of them are very simple. You’ll be munching on a piece of this refreshing moist cake in no time. Check out how to make your own. 

First Step: Line a 9 x 13-inch pan using parchment paper. Then preheat the oven to 335 degrees F. 

Second Step: Prepare the baking pan by greasing with butter, and sprinkling flour then set aside. 

Third Step: In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside for later. 

Fourth Step: Using a stand mixer, cream the butter until it’s smooth. 

Fifth Step: Pour in the oil and sugar and cream until it’s fluffy and a light texture. 

Sixth Step: Mix in one egg yolk then combine for 30 seconds. Then add in the next egg yolk and mix for an additional 30 seconds. 

Seventh Step: Sprinkle in the salt and the fresh lemon zest. 

Eighth Step: Pour in 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix together until it’s combined. Then add half of the buttermilk and mix until combined. 

Note: It’s important to alternate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients so the cake will mix together properly. Don’t skip these steps, or the cake will turn out dense and not light and fluffy. 

Ninth Step: Add in 1/3 more flour and mix well. Then pour in the remaining buttermilk and combine. Finally, pour in the rest of the flour mixture. 

Tenth Step: Pour the lemon cake batter into the pans and bake for 33-37 minutes. 

Eleventh Step: After the lemon sheet cake has baked, let it cool for 5 minutes, then turn over onto a plastic-lined cutting board. 

Twelfth Step: Place the cake upside down on a serving platter. 

Thirteenth Step: Prepare the frosting by mixing the room temperature cream cheese and powdered sugar together with a mixer until they are smooth and creamy. Pour in the sour cream and lemon zest, combine and frost the homemade lemon cake. 

lemon sheet cake ready to eat

How Do I Know When Cake Is Done?

To tell if the lemon buttermilk sheet cake is done, use a toothpick to insert in the center of the cake. It should be clean when you pull it out. Otherwise, it needs to bake a little longer. 

It’s important not to overbake the lemon buttermilk sheet cake either. Keep a close watch as it nears the end of baking. Another way to tell if the cake is done is you’ll notice that the edges of the cake have pulled away from the sides of the pan when it’s done. The top of the cake should be set, and you should be able to touch it without leaving a dent in the top. 

How Do You Store Lemon Sheet Cake?

After the cake has cooled and you’ve frosted it, you need to make sure it’s covered all the way so air can’t get to it. Then you can store it at room temperature. It will last 4-5 days sitting on the counter. 

If you want the lemon cake to be even more refreshing, you can put it in the refrigerator. Then serve it cold. This is an especially great idea if it’s summertime because it will cool you off too. 

Can You Freeze This Easy Moist Lemon Cake Recipe?

Yes, you can freeze this lemon sheet cake recipe. I find it freezes best when it’s not frosted. Wrap up the entire cake with plastic wrap, or put it in slices. Then place the cake inside of a freezer-safe bag or container. The cake lasts 1-2 months in the freezer. 

To thaw the cake, just put it on the counter or in the fridge until it’s thawed. Then right before serving, make the frosting, and put it on top. 


Slice of lemon sheet cake on plate

Now, time to save this recipe on Pinterest for later 🙂

Easy Homemade Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe


Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Easy Homemade Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe

Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
This Lemon Sheet Cake is super moist and flavorful. You can make this easy homemade lemon cake for all your parties and get-togethers! It will win over any crowd.
piece of homemade lemon cake on plate
3.50 from 2 votes


  • 2 C cake flour
  • 2 TSP baking powder
  • 1/8 TSP baking soda
  • 8 TBSP + 6 TBSP unsalted butter, soft
  • 3 TBSP oil
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 TSP salt
  • Lemon zest from 4 lemons
  • 3/4 C buttermilk, room temperature

Sour Cream Layer:

  • 1 8 oz pack of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 3/4 C sour cream
  • Zest of 1-2 lemons

Want to save this recipe? Enter your email below and we'll send the recipe straight to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

NOTE: By saving this recipe, you agree to join our weekly recipes newsletter.


  • Preheat oven to 335°F.
  • Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Alternatively, butter and flour pan and set aside.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.
  • Mix butter until very creamy and smooth.
  • Add oil and sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Add one egg yolk at a time and mix at least 30 seconds between each.
  • Add salt and lemon zest.
  • Add 1/3 of flour and mix until combined.
  • Add 1/2 of buttermilk and mix until smooth.
  • Add another 1/3 of flour and mix smooth.
  • Add remaining buttermilk and once combined add remaining flour.
  • Scrape batter into pans and place in oven and bake for 33-37 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes clean.
  • After 5 minutes turn upside down on a plastic food lined cutting board.
  • Once cooled turn upside down onto a serving platter.
  • To prepare frosting, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar on lowest speed until completely smooth.
  • Add sour cream and lemon zest and combine.
  • Frost cake.
  • Serve at room temperature and store airtight.
Author: Laura

Follow me on Pinterest for daily delicious recipes!

Follow Me

More Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Desserts:

I know how much you love cake recipes! That’s why I wanted to remind you of these tasty cakes that are all easy to make. 

Best Easy Red Velvet Poke Cake – This rich, moist cake will leave you yearning for more. It’s that incredible. 

easy poke cake with fork in it on plate

German Chocolate Layer Cake With Coconut Pecan Frosting – If you’re a fan of German chocolate, you seriously have to try this one! AMAZING!

German Chocolate Layer Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Caramel Cream Cheese Pumpkin Poke Cake – I can never get enough poke cakes or pumpkin. This amazing cake recipe has both! 

Caramel Cream Cheese Pumpkin Poke Cake Recipe

Best Banana Cake Recipe With Cream Cheese Icing – This moist and flavorful cake is just like your grandma used to make. Plus, you can feed a crowd with it too! 

Best Banana Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing

Get new recipes weekly plus our FREE ebook!