Soft & Fluffy Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe

Soft & Fluffy Lemon Sheet Cake Recipe – If you’re looking for a simple to make lemon cake with bold citrus flavor and a soft and fluffy texture, look no further!  This cake is bright and refreshing with a tender crumb that melts in the mouth!

Servings: 16



2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (252g) all purpose flour*
1/4 cup (28g) cornstarch*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170g) plain full-fat Greek yogurt, at room temperature*
1/4 cup (59ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon if using imitation vanilla flavoring)
1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (about 20 grams) lemon zest (reduce to 3 tablespoons for a less strong lemon flavor)*
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature (freeze egg white for later use)


2 cups (227g) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (59ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed


Mixed Berries
Lemon slices
Mint leaves


To make the cake:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 162C/325F.
  2. Spray a 13X9-inch (33X23 cm) baking pan with non-stick cooking spray, or grease the bottom and sides with butter and dust with flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup (or small bowl), whisk together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl and electric hand mixer), beat together the sugar and lemon zest on medium speed until the sugar has moistened and smells fragrant; about 1 minute.
  6. Add the butter, and beat together until the mixture lightens up in both color and texture; 2 to 3 minutes. The color should turn very pale (almost white) and texture should look fluffy.
  7. Add in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until well incorporated.
  8. On lowest speed, add in one-third of the flour mixture and mix until mostly combined. Add in half of the lemon/yogurt mixture and lightly stir until almost mixed in. Continue with adding another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining lemon/yogurt mixture and ending with the last third of flour mixture. Mix until just combined and a smooth, thick batter forms. Do not overmix. With a rubber spatula, give the batter one good, final stir to make sure that everything is well incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a few cooked crumbs attached. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze (recipe below).
  10. Take the cake out of the oven, and while still hot, immediately pour on the glaze and spread to cover the surface. Allow the cake to cool completely over a wire rack, at least 1 hour. Garnish with berries, lemon slices and mint leaves if desired.
  11. Cut into squares and serve at room temperature. Store leftovers covered tiightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To make the glaze:

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth, and a thick but pourable consistency is achieved. Cover until ready to use.


  • Cornstarch is used in combination with all-purpose flour in this recipe to imitate the results of cake flour, which produces a finer and more tender crumb. Cake flour could be hard to find in some countries, so this trick works like a charm in this recipe. If you have cake flour on hand, feel free to use that instead of the all purpose flour/cornstarch combo. You will then need to use a total of 2 cups plus 6 tablespoons (280g) cake flour.
  • Buttermilk and sour cream may be substituted for the Greek yogurt. However, note that buttermilk will produce a slightly less moist cake and sour cream will produce a relatively denser one; still amazing though.
  • I have not tried natural-style yogurt in this recipe, so can’t vouch for its success. I’d concern that the excess moisture will make the cake soggy. If it’s all you have, I’d recommend straining it over a cheesecloth-lined sieve overnight in the fridge, to rid it of its excess liquid. Remeasure amount called for in the recipe before using.
  • Note that 4 tablespoons lemon zest makes for a super lemony cake, that is slightly sour but not bitter. If you prefer a milder lemon flavor, feel free to reduce the lemon zest amount to 3 tablespoons (15g). You’ll need about 6 large lemons for the cake.
  • The cake bakes at a lower than normal temperature, to decrease the chance for doming, creating an evenly flat top.

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