Cakes & Cupcakes

Lemon Sheet Cake with Vanilla Frosting

March 13, 2019

A light and fluffy sheet cake with a hint of lemon flavor and swirls of soft vanilla frosting. This is […]

A light and fluffy sheet cake with a hint of lemon flavor and swirls of soft vanilla frosting. This is a simple and delicious springtime cake you’ll make again and again any day of the week.

This post is sponsored by Wilton. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Browned Butter Blondie possible.


Today’s post is all about easy {and of course, delicious} baking. Cakes are one of my favorite things to bake. Bundt cakes, snack cakes, coffee cakes, layer cakes…l love them all. Oh, and cupcakes, they’re my fave! Cakes sometimes do require a fair amount of time in the kitchen and a bit of skill if you want to decorate your layers like a boss. But cakes aren’t just for birthdays and anniversaries if you ask me, which is why I’m a big fan of the almighty sheet cake. A one layer, no sifting, no fuss kinda cake. Just as perfect for an everyday weeknight on the sofa as it is for any special occasion.


I’ve partnered with Wilton to bring you this one layer wonder which combines two of my most favorite flavors. Meyer lemons and vanilla. The official start of spring is just days away and I’ve been baking up all the lemon things lately. It helps that I have a Meyer tree in the backyard that was bursting with tons of juicy fruit this winter. This Easy Lemon Sheet Cake is made with just a hint of lemon flavor and a healthy dollop of greek yogurt to deliver the most tender crumb. Your kitchen will smell like heaven when you bake this cake. To frost this cake I’ve used Wilton’s NEW Naturally Flavored Warm Vanilla Icing. I’m usually a homemade buttercream kinda girl but this frosting is seriously swoon-worthy and you’d never guess it’s store-bought. It’s free of artificial flavors and preservatives, with no high fructose corn syrup so you get that rich vanilla flavor without the icky after taste. And since it’s pre-made, it’s a perfect match for this quick, no fuss sheet cake. 


But before we talk frosting let’s chat cake. For this Easy Lemon Sheet Cake, begin by mixing all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  I use a combination of all purpose flour and cake flour for this recipe. Cake flour has a lower protein content compared to all purpose flour which gives the cake a lighter, more airy consistency. If you don’t have cake flour hiding out in your pantry, you can use only all purpose flour. No big deal. Your cake will just be slightly denser. Once your dry ingredients are mixed, cream the butter and sugars together on high speed for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. I know you’ll be in a hurry to get this batter in the oven, but don’t skimp on this step. Next, add the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix on low until combined. Then we add the flour mixture and yogurt by alternating, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Be very careful not to over mix your batter during this final step. 


Pour your batter into the prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes. After 20 minutes you’ll want to keep a close eye on the oven to be sure the top isn’t browning too quickly. Place a sheet of foil carefully over the top for the last 10 minutes of baking if it’s looking a bit too golden brown before the center is set. Let the cake cool completely before frosting…it’s torture I know, but at least your kitchen smells dreamy while you wait.

To frost the cake I first add a bit of fluff factor to the canned Warm Vanilla Frosting by scooping the frosting into my stand mixer and running it on high with the paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes. This incorporates some air into the frosting and allows you to create beautiful, sweeping swirls on top of your cake. I mean, don’t you just want to dive in to these swirls?? Feel free to layer on the frosting extra thick like I did. More frosting is always better in my book.

If you aren’t able to get your hands on Wilton’s Warm Vanilla Frosting, you can whip up your own simple buttercream in minutes. To the bowl of stand mixer, add 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter. Beat on high speed until light and creamy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 4 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Once the sugar is incorporated, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, a pinch of salt and 4 tablespoons of whole milk. Increase speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Easy peasy!


And because I always love a little something extra, I decorated this cake with the most adorable rainbow confetti sprinkles which also happen to be from Wilton’s new line of naturally flavored products. These spring pastel colors are just the cutest and who doesn’t love cute sprinkles on top of cake? My kids will go crazy for this ultimate lemon cake the minute they lay eyes on it.  And I can feel good about feeding them these springtime sprinkles since they are made with no artificial flavors or colors. I for one could eat this cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner….and of course a snack or two in between. This is one cake you’ll want to make again and again, no special date on the calendar required.  


If you do make this Meyer Lemon Sheet Cake with Warm Vanilla Frosting, be sure to tag @brownedbutterblondie on Instagram. I love to see what you’re baking up in your kitchen. And be sure to follow Browned Butter Blondie on Pinterest for all the latest recipe details straight from the blog. I’ve got lots of new spring recipes coming up all month long. Check back here often and happy baking bakers!

If you like this Easy Lemon Sheet Cake with Vanilla Frosting, you may also like:

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Glaze & Fresh Cherries

Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

Meyer Lemon Bar Tart

Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

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Easy Lemon Sheet Cake with Vanilla Frosting

  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Dessert


A light and fluffy sheet cake with a hint of Meyer lemon flavor and swirls of soft vanilla frosting. This is a simple and delicious springtime cake you’ll make again and again any day of the week.



For the Cake

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of one Meyer lemon
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Meyer lemon juice (use an extra TBSP if you want more lemon flavor)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

For Frosting

  • Homemade buttercream (recipe below) or use one can of Wilton Naturally Flavored Warm Vanilla Frosting

For Decorating

  • Wilton Naturally Flavored Confetti Sprinkles

For Homemade Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 46 TBSP whole milk
  • pinch of salt


For Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined.
  7. Add eggs one at a time until fully combined.
  8. In a small bowl combine buttermilk and yogurt. Stir.
  9. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three additions along with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  10. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  11. Smooth top of batter with an offset spatula to level the batter evenly.
  12. Tap the pan firmly on countertop twice to release air bubbles.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until edges of cake are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with few crumbs remaining.
  14. Cool cake completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For Frosting

  1. Scoop Wilton’s Naturally Flavored Warm Vanilla Frosting into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  2. Run mixer on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.

For Homemade Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce speed to low and gradually add sifted confectioner’s sugar, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Once fully incorporated, add vanilla, milk and pinch of salt.
  5. Increase speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Frost cake with large sweeping swirls and sprinkle with confetti sprinkles.


All purpose flour can be used in place of cake flour.
Store cake in a cool, dry place for up to 4 days.


*Visit www.wilton.com to purchase products, including the products featured in this post from their Naturally Flavored Collection. 

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