Lemon Sheet Cake


Here you have the ultimate spring and summer sheet cake! This Lemon Sheet Cake is one of the best sheet cakes I’ve ever had! It’s so bright and lemony, it’s soft and fluffy and each bite melts away in your mouth! And when you top it with plenty of fresh berries it only gets that much better! With the berries it reminds my of my favorite berry lemonades and it’s so perfectly refreshing. This is one of those cakes that is dangerous, I kept walking into the kitchen cutting off little square after little square and before I knew it I had no idea how much I’d actually eaten (oops!).

Lemon Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy

I love sheet cakes because the are easy to make and you don’t have to take the time to layer a cake together and frost it up nice and fancy – just slather it with a fair amount of sweet lemon glaze and slice it up into squares. Sheet cake is perfect for any get together because it makes enough to feed a small crowd and who doesn’t love a good sheet cake? This one is so vibrantly lemony thanks to the glaze but if you are worried it might be a little too strongly lemony for your kids you could replace some of the lemon juice in the glaze with a few tablespoons of buttermilk. This one is definitely worthy of being added to your recipe box and I have the feeling it’s going to be a recipe you’ll want to make over and over again this summer! I hope you love this sheet cake as much as my family does!

Lemon Sheet Cake | Cooking ClassyLemon Sheet Cake | Cooking ClassyLemon Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy Lemon Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy Lemon Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy Lemon Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy


Lemon Sheet Cake

5 from 1 vote

Yield: 20 - 24 slices



  • 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (34g) cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (10g) lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Glaze and toppings

  • 3 1/4 cups (390g) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh strawberries , raspberries or blueberries for topping
  • Sliced lemons and mint leaves , for decoration (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet (average size cookie sheet), dust with flour then shake out excess. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together sugar and lemon zest for 30 seconds until fragrant and slightly yellow in appearance. Add butter and whip mixture on medium speed until very pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in vanilla extract. In a bowl or 2-cup liquid measuring cup whisk together buttermilk, sour cream and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed just until combined then add in 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and mix just until combined. Repeat once more with flour and buttermilk then end by mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture just until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula and fold batter several times to ensure it's evenly incorporated. Pour and spread batter evenly onto prepared baking sheet (it will seem thin but it should bake up nearly to the top). Bake 22 - 25 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze and toppings

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth (If needed you can add a little more powdered sugar to thicken or more lemon juice to thin). Pour and spread glaze over cooled cake. Chill 20 minutes to help set glaze (it won't set fully but to get cleaner cuts you'll need it to set slightly). Top with berries, lemon slices and mint just before serving.
  2. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Juliana Ramsey: As always these look amazing! If I wanted to add Cream Cheese to the Glaze how much should I add? And if I may ask what is the name of the Camera you use? I just love the clarity of the pictures! Thanks!!! April 24, 2016 at 5:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d probably try 4 oz. well softened cream cheese.
      I use a Canon 5d Mark III camera with a 100mm 2.8 macro lens. Thanks for the compliment, I’ve actually been thinking my pictures are blurry lately lol :). April 27, 2016 at 12:26am Reply

      • Juliana Ramsey: Thanks for letting me know! I’m am so going to invest in a camera! April 27, 2016 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Mari-Ann Wise: I’m so sad my husband doesn’t like lemon desserts but I will save this for a party when he has no choice! Your food styling and photography is gorgeous! We just had you chicken and parmesan orzo for dinner last night except used shrimp and it was amazing! One of my favorite recipes. I’ve made it without meet as a side for a dinner party to rave reviews. April 25, 2016 at 4:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear Mari-Ann! Thanks for the kind words! April 25, 2016 at 9:56am Reply

  • Donna: Pinned for making later…looks diving! April 25, 2016 at 7:29am Reply

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet: Beautiful cake, Jaclyn! Love how simple it is yet how fancy it looks! Pinned. April 25, 2016 at 8:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Anna! April 25, 2016 at 9:55am Reply

  • Christine @ WRY TOAST: ah are you kidding?! those decorated squares are DIVINE, I’m so obsessed with them!! sharing on FBK later this week :) April 26, 2016 at 7:10am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Christine! April 26, 2016 at 9:40am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for sharing! April 26, 2016 at 11:16am Reply

  • Fahri Genset Berkualitas: Wow, this looks so delicious, and the design is so beautiful on the eye point of view :) April 26, 2016 at 6:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment :)! April 27, 2016 at 12:18am Reply

  • Roberta Wiebe: Hi, I’m wondering if I would need to double this recipe to do a ten inch round & a 8 in round cake. Love your recipes. May 6, 2016 at 8:45pm Reply

  • Roberta Wiebe: Hi, I’m wondering if I would need to double this recipe to make a double layer cake with 10 in and 8 in round pans, thanks, love your recipes, Roberta May 8, 2016 at 12:08am Reply

  • Cheree Hull: I wanted to drop a line to thank you for this recipe!!! My husband had a work bbq/party this past weekend and, because I recently had major back surgery, I was of absolutely NO help (typically, I freak out, clean house from top to bottom, cook up gourmet things, etc …). My 20-yr old daughter came to the rescue, cleaning the house and found this cake to make for dessert. Everyone thought we ordered it! LOL It was a great hit, and simple to make (which is huge when you’ve got so much to do). The only issue we had was finding smaller strawberries so we just cut some of the bigger ones into slices. My notes for others: As someone who entertains a lot, this recipe works out very well for parties, etc. We washed all berries early, drying them on a towel. She made the cake earlier in the day, setting it to cool while she went off to clean house, and then finishing with the decorating about 1/2 hour before guests arrived; the lemons do “juice” a little (she did dab them with a paper towel first) but it didn’t make the cake soggy or anything. The mint leaves held up and didn’t wilt for hours. I don’t typically turn to sheet cakes for entertaining but this one is going in our family book and I think we’ll be making this for the 4th this year, too! Thanks again! May 18, 2016 at 12:14pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad it was enjoyed Cheree! I hope your back gets feeling better soon!! May 19, 2016 at 1:41am Reply

  • Pat Gualtieri: Beautiful! One question – did you put a jelly glaze on the fruit to help them hold up? Might help contain the juice??? May 19, 2016 at 6:16pm Reply

  • Aly: I have to compliment you, this is one of the prettiest sheet cakes I have ever seen on Pinterests, Kudos! May 28, 2016 at 8:18am Reply

  • Sarah: Does this cake need to be kept refrigerated? My daughter wants this cake for her birthday that we are having outdoors at a pavilion. I’m desperately searching for a lemon cake recipe that can be out for a couple hours without poisoning people!! :) June 23, 2016 at 10:21am Reply

  • Sarah: Does this cake have to remain refridgerated? Can it sit out for a couple hours to be served at an outdoor party? June 23, 2016 at 5:05pm Reply

  • Cassandra Amsler: Would you be able Sub the buttermilk out with any milk? June 24, 2016 at 9:46pm Reply

  • NRS: Just made this and it is so so yum! Thanks! July 1, 2016 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Mary Katherine Samper: I can’t wait to try this! It’s just beautiful! I’ll be watching for more of your recipes! July 8, 2016 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Sheila McDowell: Could I use a boxed lemon cake mix August 1, 2016 at 12:56am Reply

  • Marie: I made this cake yesterday as a “welcome home” for my daughter who’s been away. She loves lemon anything. This is one of the best lemon cakes ever. We love it. Thanx Jaclyn for a winner!! August 26, 2016 at 9:43am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Marie! August 26, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Heidi Aiem: Any ideas for how to keep the edges from over-browning? This and the coconut sheet cake are amazing recipes!!! October 18, 2016 at 7:21am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Are you using a dark non-stick coated pan? The dark baking sheets to brown baked goods and I don’t like to use those. Otherwise you could just try tenting the entire cake near the end if it is getting to dark on top. I’m so glad you like the recipes though :). November 22, 2016 at 9:50pm Reply

  • Mae Bangert: Hi. I’m gonna make this for my son’s 4th birthday party. If i’m gonna use buttermilk instead of lemon juice for the glaze, how many tablespoons of buttermilk should I use? Thanks so much :-) June 3, 2017 at 5:54pm Reply

  • Thriftyredhead: Why does the ad have to show up in the “print” recipe? Very Annoying! June 6, 2017 at 10:49pm Reply

  • Ashley Atherton: I tried your coconut sheet cake recipe and it was absolutely stunning. I am looking for a plain cake base this time around and was wondering if you would try to adapt this lemon sheet cake by removing the juice and zest? Or would you use the coconut sheet cake and just use buttermilk or regular milk instead of coconut milk? Thank you Jaclyn!!!!! September 6, 2017 at 9:59am Reply

  • Preet: Mouth-watering cake. 9 Dec my daughter birthday is coming. I cannot make to try this cake… I will definite make for my daughter birthday… Thanks for sharing… November 19, 2017 at 9:29pm Reply

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