Lemon Sheet Cake

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Thick and easy, these moist Lemon Sheet Cake are bursting with citrus flavor. Topped with a luscious lemon buttercream frosting, you’ll LOVE this recipe!

If you love lemon desserts, be sure to try our classic lemon cake recipe. Or give this delicious lemon meringue pie a try soon.

Why this Recipe is Best

These tender, moist cake bars were a happy accident in my kitchen. 

Originally I set out to make lemon COOKIE bars with a sweet lemon buttercream frosting. But, during the process, a few changes were made and the end result was too fantastic to fix!

What I love about these Lemon Cake Bars is they aren’t overly sweet. You know, that cloyingly sweetness that you can’t manage to finish one bar.

These bars are topped with my favorite lemon buttercream frosting, but if you want something even lighter and less sweet, give my lemon whipped cream a try instead! 

  • Makes a 13×9- easy!
  • Perfect for sharing
  • Freezer friendly

Unlike these Gooey Lemon Cake Bars that start with a cake mix, today’s recipe is from scratch, but so easy!

How to Make Lemon Cake Bars

STEP 1. Cake Bars.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non-stick baking spray (or use my homemade cake release).

In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with sugar until creamy. Add in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and lemon juice, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Using a wooden spoon (so you do not over mix), add in flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.

Spread batter in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove and cool on wire rack.

STEP 2. Lemon Frosting.

For the frosting, beat softened butter with powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and heavy cream. Beat until light and fluffy, for about 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.

Spread frosting over cooled cake bars. Slice and enjoy.

Storing Lemon Cake Bars

Store these lemon cake bars in an airtight container at room temperature.

You can refrigerate these bars if you prefer them chilled (I enjoy them both ways)!

Freezing Lemon Cake Bars

What I love about these cake bars is they freeze beautifully.

You can freeze them with or without the frosting! Just know that the texture will change slightly when frozen with frosting on top.

To freeze, wrap cake bars in plastic wrap then a layer of foil (or slide into a freezer safe ziploc bag or airtight container). Freeze for up to 30 days.

Thaw lemon cake bars overnight in refrigerator or at room temperature. ENJOY.

Tips for Lemon Bars

  • Start with softened butter.
  • Do not over mix batter, use a wooden spoon to incorporate dry ingredients.
  • Use fresh squeezed lemon (not bottled lemon concentrate)
  • Cool completely before adding the frosting!

More Lemon Desserts

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Lemon Cake Bars

4.56 from 9 votes
By: Aimee
Thick and easy, these moist Lemon Cake Bars are bursting with citrus flavor. Topped with a luscious lemon buttercream frosting, you'll LOVE this recipe!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 36 Bars

Ingredients 

For the cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non-stick baking spray (or use my homemade cake release).
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with sugar until creamy. Add in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and lemon juice, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Using a wooden spoon (so you do not over mix), add in flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  • Spread batter in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove and cool on wire rack.
  • For the frosting, beat softened butter with powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and heavy cream. Beat until light and fluffy, for about 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
  • Spread frosting over cooled cake bars. Slice and enjoy.

Notes

  • Start with softened butter.
  • Do not over mix batter, use a wooden spoon to incorporate dry ingredients.
  • Use fresh squeezed lemon (not bottled lemon concentrate)
  • Cool completely before adding the frosting!

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 53mg, Sugar: 12g
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Thick and easy, these moist Lemon Cake Bars are bursting with citrus flavor. Topped with a luscious lemon buttercream frosting, you’ll LOVE this recipe!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on January 27, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. This looks so yummy! My son’s birthday is coming up very soon and he asked for something lemon. I think this will work. 🙂

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