Lemon Velvet Sheet Cake is like a long tall glass of lemonade in a sheet pan…tart and tangy and oh so inviting. This easy vintage inspired lemon cake is a potluck classic!
Lemon velvet sheet cake…the name alone makes me drool!
My list of lemon desserts is getting pretty long, but who’s counting? There’s no such thing as too many recipes that feature this epic fruit. In the cake category alone I’ve got everything from a lemon breakfast cake and a lemony loaf cake to a decadent lemon layer cake and a classic lemon cheesecake. And don’t worry, I’m not stopping any time soon.
This lemon sheet cake brings a casual, vintage vibe to my lemon desserts collection. It’s laid back and super simple, but doesn’t skimp on the lemon factor at all. Yes, it’s made with my special lemon sugar, did you even have to ask?
Why I use lemon sugar in so many of my lemon desserts
- By processing sugar with fresh lemon zest I’m able to extract the very most flavor from lemons.
- It’s very easy to do, and the payoff is huge.
How to make lemon sugar
- Put granulated sugar in a food processor along with the zest of a lemon.
- I use a ratio of about one lemon per cup of sugar.
- I peel the zest with a serrated vegetable peeler, making sure to take only the yellow part, and avoiding as much of the bitter white ‘pith’ as possible.
- Process until the two are completely combined, and the sugar is moist, pale yellow, and incredibly fragrant.
- Use right away for best flavor.
This is the type of snacking cake you’ll sneak little pieces from all day long…
it’s hard to stay away, take my word for it. The texture of the cake is firm and slices into perfectly irresistible thin slivers, no fork necessary.
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Lemon Velvet Sheet Cake
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola, you can use a light olive oil if you like)
- 1 tsp lemon paste (optional)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup sour cream, creme fraiche, or full fat yogurt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 5 Tbsp lemon juice (plus more if needed)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter and flour a 9x13 pan.
- Put the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and process until they are completely combined and the sugar is pale yellow and fragrant.
- Put the lemon sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk in the eggs, oil, and lemon paste.
- Whisk in the lemon juice and sour cream, and get it as smooth as you can, but don't worry about little lumps.
- Whisk in the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then fold in the flours. Note: the batter will be somewhat lumpy.
- Pour the batter into the preapred pan and bake for 30-33 minutes just until the cake is firm to the touch and is starting to turn golden.
- Cool for 15 minutes before spreading the glaze over the entire surface.
- Whisk or process your sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. Add a bit more lemon juice if you feel that your glaze is too thick.
- Spread evenly over the warm (but not hot) cake. Let cool before slicing. Note: if you want very sharp slices, make sure you let the glaze completely harden before you cut into it.
notes and variations