Summer picnic lemon cake with cream cheese frosting is an easy crowd-pleasing dessert. A moist and tender sheet cake with vibrant lemon flavor is frosted with a layer of irresistible cream cheese frosting. Serve this delicious summer picnic lemon cake with cream cheese frosting at barbecues, potlucks, and summer gatherings. Prepare to dazzle your guests!
Lemon lovers will adore this refreshing, cheerful dessert. It bakes into a tender, sweet and tangy cake that’s frosted right in the pan. Candied lemons on top give it a stunning finish. This lemon cake can be baked ahead of time and frosted right before serving, and is perfect for feeding a crowd.
Get the Tools
You’ll love how easily this cake comes together, and GoodCook has the Bakeware you need to get started. Get started with a GoodCook Citrus Squeezer, perfect for getting every last drop from your lemons. You’ll also need a GoodCook Touch Mixing Bowl and a GoodCook Gourmet Stainless Steel Spatula Spoon for mixing. Bake it all up in a GoodCook Premium Nonstick Covered 13×9” Cake Pan and let it cool. Simply frost this Summer Picnic Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting right in the pan using a GoodCook Touch Spreader Spatula and top with candied lemons. Done!
Bake & Share
Happy Summer Picnic Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Baking! If you try this recipe at home, we’d love to see a photo of it! Snap a picture and upload to Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us @goodcook.com #goodcookcomPrint
Summer Picnic Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Summer picnic lemon cake with cream cheese frosting is an easy crowd-pleasing dessert. Serve this stunning cake at barbecues, potlucks, and summer gatherings.
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon zest, divided
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Makes about two cups
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Candied lemon slices
- 2 lemons, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch cake pan, line with parchment, grease the parchment and lightly flour the pan. Shake out any excess flour and set pan aside.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir with a wire whisk to ensure that the mixture is fully combined. Set aside.
In a glass measuring cup, combine the lemon juice and buttermilk. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon zest and mix on medium speed until the zest is fully incorporated into the sugar. Add the butter and beat for two minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Turn the mixer speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by ½ of the buttermilk mixture. Continue alternating the flour and buttermilk mixtures in this manner, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, until batter is well mixed. Take care not to over mix the batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes. The cake is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan most of the way before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely
While the cake is baking, prepare the candied lemons: bring a pot of water to a boil (enough to hold the lemon slices). Fill another bowl with ice and water. Once the water is boiling, add the lemon slices and boil for one minute. Remove lemons from the boiling water and plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the boiling water and pour out the rest. Using the same pot, add the cooled lemon slices, 2 cups of sugar and the reserved cup of water. Turn on the heat and gently simmer the lemons for about an hour. Once the lemons are done, using tongs gently transfer the slices onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and let cool.
To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and beat until well combined.
Once the cake is cooled, flip the cake onto a serving plate (or back into the washed and dried 9×13 pan). Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake (and the sides if on a serving plate). Add the cooled candied lemon slices on top and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of lemon zest.