Lemonade Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

LEMONADE CAKE! This is an easy cake with lemonade concentrate added right into the batter AND the frosting. It's a MUST MAKE!

This Lemonade Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting is an all time favorite recipe!

So, my kids won’t eat any lemon flavored baked goods. Lemon cake, lemon pasta, lemon cupcakes, lemon muffins…they say they’re too sour. BUT they drink lemonade, and can’t seem to get enough Sour Patch Kids, Cry Baby Candy, Sour Skittles or Lemon Heads. I even tried once to make Lemonhead Cookies, thinking I had cracked the lemon code, and they were like, nope.

Explain this to me.
Even the other day as I was making this cake, my child SAW me use lemonade in this recipe and STILL says he won’t like it. I DON’T UNDERSTAND!! Anyhow, now here I sit, staring at a giant Lemonade Cake with no one to share in it’s deliciousness with…except maybe you guys…you get it, right?
LEMONADE CAKE an easy cake recipe with lemonade concentrate added right into the batter

How To Make Lemonade Cake

This cake isn’t hard…plus you can make it ahead until you’re ready to frost it…AND it all starts with a boxed cake mix and Frozen Lemonade from concentrate.  Good stuff!

  1. You have a lemon cake mix, amped up with some lemonade concentrate, topped with a lemonade sugar glaze to keep the cake supremely moist and finished with a creamy, gorgeous, lemonade cream cheese frosting.
  2. I even like to make the cake and let the glaze soak into them overnight. You don’t have to do that, but if you’re making this for a special occasion, it’s a really nice option!
  3. I topped my cake with some lemon peels, which is, of course, totally optional!
LEMONADE CAKE starts with a cake mix and is topped with lemon cream cheese frosting
Like I said, this Lemonade Cake starts with a lemon boxed cake mix, which is a great shortcut. AND you can make this cake a day ahead, which means it’s perfect for party prep!
LEMONADE CAKE is soft, sweet, and starts with a cake mix

Top This Lemonade Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

The cream cheese frosting on this cake is AMAZING! It’s an easy cream cheese frosting recipe, with the addition of lemonade from concentrate. It’s simple, creamy, and the perfect topping for any lemon cake recipe!


LEMONADE CAKE! This is an easy cake with lemonade concentrate added right into the batter AND the frosting. It's a MUST MAKE!

Lemonade Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert


This ULTRA moist Lemonade Cake is soft, tart, and topped with creamy lemon cream cheese frosting!


  • 1 Lemon boxed cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Lemonade from Concentrate, thawed
  • Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons Lemonade from Concentrate, thawed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Frosting:
  • 1 (8- ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Lemonade from Concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 cups powdered sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2, 8″ round cake pans generously with cooking/baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix cake mix, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and 2 tablespoons of Lemonade from Concentrate on low for 30 seconds, and then on medium for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Keep the remaining frozen lemonade concentrate in the freezer…you will need it again.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake is set and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Let the cakes cool in pan, approximately 1 hour. Do not remove.


  1. When the cakes are cooled level them off with a serrated knife, so they are flat on top.
  2. If the cakes didn’t dome much and don’t need to be leveled, poke holes with a skewer throughout the top, so the glaze will sink in.
  3. In a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, Lemonade from Concentrate and water.
  4. Stir until smooth and pour equally over the top of the cakes, still in the cake pans.
  5. Cover and let sit for at least an hour, or overnight in the refrigerator is best.


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, mix butter and cream cheese together for 2 minutes on medium speed, until combined and creamy.
  2. Turn mixer to low and add your lemonade and vanilla.
  3. Slowly add in your powdered sugar and then beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. When ready to frost, remove your cakes from the refrigerator.
  5. Loosen cake around the edges with a butter knife so they will release easily.
  6. Frost as desired.


Store refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Keywords: Lemon Cake, Lemonade Cake, Lemon Recipe, Cookies and Cups, cake recipe, lemonade

Helpful tip… out of sour cream?
This recipe was originally posted in 2011 and updated in 2017 with new photos and a video.


136 Responses

  1. Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I'm finally beginning to appreciate lemon flavored desserts and this looks wonderful! That lemon cream cheese icing and I would get along real well:-)

  2. Jenn @ BentoForKidlet

    Lemon desserts are my absolute favorite! This looks so tasty, it's going on my must make list for once the Easter candy has subsided 😛

  3. bridget {bake at 350}

    Oh my goodness! That sounds SO fabulous, Shelly!

    My son LOVES lemon, so this is going on my "must make" list. And I agree with Kristan….glaze PLUS icing? Winning.

  4. Diane {Created by Diane}

    oh I LOVE lemon, your cake looks wonderful.
    I'm so glad my kids just moved past the stage of not liking lemon pasta, they love it now….funny think about the sour candy..LOL kids are so funny.
    My kids have never had trouble when it came to the lemon desserts though, they always seem to get devoured.
    Maybe I should call all dinners..dessert. That'll get them to try more dinners 🙂
    I love short cut cakes and this recipe is a keeper for sure!

  5. Robyn

    I love, love, love, love, love all things lemon lately and know I'd scarf down this entire cake. It looks absolutely scrumptious, Shelly!


    I'm in the same situation. nobody wants to eat it.I give it my neighbors. I hope they like the cake. Sorry about my english, because I'm brazilian woman.

    my husband wrote it.

  7. *Just Fran*

    I make a very similar sheet cake that is missing your yummy frosting. We make it all summer for cookouts, and with your frosting, I bet it will be an even bigger hit! Thanks.

  8. JHill

    Pretty sure that if you swapped out the lemonade for limeade and a little of the liquids with tequila… you'd have a Margarita Cake. Mmmm.

    Make one, sprinkle some sea salt on top and mail it to me for Cinco de Mayo, k?

  9. Heidi

    I do love baking from scratch but I am all for using a cake mix at times. In fact, I think I prefer the texture of cake mix cakes most of the time! They are kind of no fail. This lemon cake sounds delicious. I have 3 young kids and I know they do not appreciate a good lemon dessert but I certainly do. I will have to wait for a special ocassion to arise where I can make this cake to share with others. If I made it and kept it at home, I would be the only one eating it and that just won't work! The lemon glaze I'm sure adds some wonderful moistness & tanginess to the cake. Thanks for this recipe. I can't wait to try it. Your photos are so good it just makes me want to eat a piece right now!

  10. Sherry G

    I love lemony desserts. This even reminds me of a tres leches cake with the soaking process. Putting the two together tastes great I bet!

  11. Joanne

    See I felt like Easter seemed like it would take FOREVER to get here because it was so cold outside until the bitter end! How could it be Easter when we're wearing winter jackets?!?!? Craziness.

    I think this cake brought in the sun, though. Looks delicious!

  12. Mindy

    I love anything lemon….except lemon cleaning products. Can't stand the smell.

    I also drink coffee by the gallons but can't stomach coffee-flavored ice cream or candy.

    Weird, huh?

    Can't wait to try the cake….I'm thinking it sounds like a great Mother's Day idea!

  13. Jennifer

    Looks delicious!!
    I just made a lemonade ruffle cake too! Don't know how the inside came out since I gave it away but it SMELLED delicious!

  14. grace

    way to amp up a cake mix! i never felt the desire to have a lemonade stand, but a lemonade cake stand, well, that's a different story. 🙂

  15. Barbara

    I'd share it with you! We'll just pig out and let the kids drink lemonade!
    I gave up trying to figure out children's tastes ages ago. 🙂

  16. Pink Little Cake

    Did you make this cake for me and forgot to ship it to Princeton? It looks so good, perfect for my pregnancy cravings!

  17. Jasmine Gee

    Hello, I happened to stumble on your blog && that cake looks very delicious… I've been looking through your other tasty creations, && I honestly gotta say I have major props to you :]] I'm new to blogging and just start to create one… stop by if you have the chance, thanks hope you dont mind that i grabed a button


  18. ~The Bargain Babe

    So. 36 people have already commented on this. I'm gonna have to be number 37! Your cake sounds amazing. The glaze before the icing…yum!

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    I saw you at Tidy Mom's link party. Hope you can come say hi at my friendly little blog sometime. 🙂


  19. Madigan at madiganmade

    Love the idea of using lemonade concentrate. That sounds so refreshing! Your kids don't know what they are missing! (more for us! hehe)

  20. The Farm Girl

    Oh my!! I just found your blog at Tidymom and I LOVE it. We have the same lemon dilemma at our house but I make them anyway even if I have to eat them all myself. I just made some lemon curd cupcakes and would love you to stop by and see. By the way, I am also a new follower 🙂

    The Farm Girl Recipes

  21. Wendy

    Finished making this cake yesterday and dug right in – it's amazing!! So sweet and delicious – a very small piece goes a long way. Thanks!

  22. www.StarHughes.com

    wow, all I can say is YUM!!! That cream cheese frosting looks incredible. I can't wait to make it!

  23. Personalized Sketches and Sentiments

    Oh my oh my! I LOVE cake and cupcakes and cookies…a definite sweet tooth (more than one) in my mouth! I am following you now (#2019), so I can see what other treats you share!

    Blessings & Aloha!

  24. Jill

    I searched for a lemon cake to make for my mom today, for Mother's Day. Of the recipes I perused…I decided to try this one! My mother likes lemon desserts and she loved this! I served the cake on (off?) a cake stand and garnished the edges with strawberries. Pretty AND tasty–thank you! I DID have one question though. Is there a reason why you used 4 eggs vs. the 3 included in the package instructions? Just wondering for when I make it again…

  25. Meaghan Luby

    I HAVE NEVER SEEN A LEMONADE CAKE LIKE THIS! whoops, caps lock. keeping it because my excitement was caps worthy i guess. i have seen the kind with the mixes and some with just lemons… this seems like a win! thanks so much for sharing, love you and your blog 🙂
    @ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com

  26. BS Recipes

    this was DELICIOUS! it tasted just like the Costco lemon ice box cake, which everyone knows is FANTASTIC! give this recipe a try if you have not already!

    1. yes! i used this recipe for cupcakes, and they turned out amaaaaaaaaazing. i added a smidge more lemonade to the frosting, because i am a sucker for lemony things. oh, also, this recipe makes a lot of frosting if you’re not doing a cake, so i had a bunch left over. i put it in the fridge in a tupperware container and pulled it out a week later to make a whole second batch of cupcakes. i had to fight off the people at work, who all loooooved them.

      this recipe is awesome!

  27. Mary G.

    I bet it’d be even BETTER with chocolate icing. I LOVE chocolate/lemon!

    It would be awesome to do a filling of seedless raspberry jam too, then cover it with the chocolate icing.

    You could do the same thing with ORANGE concentrate….. the possibilities are endless!

  28. Caroline Otto

    Oh, my goodness, this cake is incredible. It was a HUGE hit at the party tonight! The birthday boy was ecstatic. Shelly, thank you SO much for the amazing recipe and the gorgeous photo that caught my eye on Pinterest. Here’s a less gorgeous picture of what’s left of mine … not much. 😉


    I’m not sure if I did that right, so here’s a link:


  29. Sara

    Made this cake for my husbands birthday. It’s TOO rich! Next time I’ll just skip the glaze. Let it soak in overnight like it says and it made the cake all spongy and really dense – maybe it’s just too much glaze? It didn’t turn out like the picture where the cake still looks like it has a cake texture. Also, the lemonade concentrate doesn’t make it taste like lemonade to me. Next time I’ll just use lemon juice.

    1. shelly

      Sorry it didn’t come out as you would have hoped. I have made this cake multiple times and haven’t had the cake get too dense, but I am sure it is certainly a matter of preference. Yes, it is a rich, cake for sure.

  30. Candie

    This looks delicious ! Is the butter unsalted or not ? Can you use original cream cheese instead of reduced fat ? Would like to make for Easter !

    1. shelly

      i always use salted, but that’s a personal preference! And yes, of course you can use regular cream cheese instead of reduced fat!!

  31. Tracy


    I made this cake for Easter this weekend and everyone loved it. Thanks for posting on Pinterest. My question to you is, how did you frost it like the picture? I made the cakes the day before so I could refrigerate over night and frost the next morning. My frosting was room temperature when I frosted, but the frosting seemed to crumb the cake up. How did you get the frosting so clean and smooth in the picture? Mine had crumbs in it and looked messy, although didn’t change the yummy flavor. I would just like to know for future.

    1. shelly

      I always crumb coat my cakes. WHat that means is icing the cake with a thin layer of frosting, crumbs and all. Let it set up and then go over it with a nice even finish of frosting. The crumb coat seals all the crumbs so they won’t be visible. There are some great tutorials on the internet, just Google, “how to crumb coat a cake”, that’s how I learned!

  32. Tana

    I am making a 2 teired cake tomorrow and she made a last min change to lemonade cake. It is going to be a double layered 6″ and 8″ With the glaze, would this cake fall apart or will it be okay?

    1. shelly

      I believe the cake would hold up with the tiered, but if you’re worried you could always leave off the glaze 🙂

  33. Sarah Marcum


    My mom requested a very lemony cake for her birthday and this one fits the bill. Her birthday is tomorrow so I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing this wonderful looking recipe!

  34. Louise

    The Lemonade cake recipe says to level off cakes (plural) when cool then poke holes in the one that wasn’t cut. Confused. Sounds real good, though. I don’t imagine it will matter whether I poke holes in both or one.

  35. Claire

    Has anyone made this using oranges? I have a ton of fresh off the tree oranges around but LOVE the sound of this recipe!!!

  36. Rachel

    I know that this post is almost 2 years old now, but I want you to know that this has become the FAVORITE cake of my family. I first made it for my boyfriend and he fell in love with it. For the past 2 years I’ve made it for both my Mom and my Grandfather as their birthday cakes. It is so easy and so good! Everyone kept telling me that I should try different flavors- any flavor that you could get both a cake mix and juice concentrate in. So, last week I tried strawberry. I used a Duncan Hines strawberry cake, and the closest thing I could find to juice concentrate: Strawberry Daiquiri. It was almost as good as the lemon version. Almost. Just thought I’d share. Next time I might try orange!

  37. Hello … Lovely recipe! I would like permission to post this recipe to my page. I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you. You have a beautiful place here and of course I will source the recipe back to your website. Thanks so much. Sherry Cates

  38. Becky


    Once frosted with the cream cheese frosting does this need to be refridgerated?? And/or once i make it can i put it in the fridge for a day and would the frosting hold up and not fall off???

    1. Shelly

      I don’t imagine the frosting would fall off, but if you are worried, go ahead and make the cake, glaze, it and let it sit in the fridge glazed until the day you’re going to serve it and then frost it then 🙂 Hope this helps!

  39. Heather

    I made this yesterday for my birthday- superyum! I loved it so much. Thanks for the recipe. Because I’m that kind of girl (calorie conscious), I halved the frosting recipe and it was still plenty for my taste.

  40. Cynthia

    I was on your site looking for a cake for my sons first birthday on saturday and I found this! It sounds awesome and kind of fits in with our circus theme, and I looove anything lemon! With the icing being lemon, will I still be able to add food coloring? I was planning on a baby blue color…Love all your recipes!

  41. Ligaya

    Shelly, It is 2015…4 years and counting since you posted this but I just wanted you to know I love this cake! I found it through pinterest. I just finished it today. My 4 kiddos even love it. Definitely a keeper!

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  43. Bonnie

    FYI:Tonja Zickefoose scraped this recipe on Facebook on June 29th of this year with one of your photos (with your website cropped off). She did not claim it was her recipe but neither did she give you any credit.)

  44. Kelly

    Just so we’re clear, I should cut the top off of BOTH cakes and poke holes in both cakes and drizzle the glaze over both cakes? The part when you say to poke holes in “the cake that wasn’t cut” that threw me off. Thanks! I cannot wait to try this recipe!

  45. Mary

    This was delicious, the cream cheese frosting came out a little soft. I think next time I will add a little more cream cheese to make the frosting a little stiffer.

  46. Brenda JClinton. Milwaukee, WI

    Love It!
    Wonderful to know that this is something
    I can add to my collection to make for
    A scrumptious summer desert!

  47. Amelia

    I made this cake and turned out good! The only problem I have is the icing, mine is loose and keeps running of the cake.I added extra powder sugar to try to thicken up but I am having on luck. Can you help?

  48. cookinggram

    i went through 20-25 recipes before coming upon this one. though comments all from 2011, i am taking a chance and making it for my son’s birthday, today. i added pkg of lemon pudding instead of lemonade. i will use that in glaze and frosting.

  49. Suzan Brown

    I would like to try this cake. It looks delicious. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to the vegetable oil. What can I substitute it for and how much of it should I use?

  50. Tara

    I made this cake last night and let it sit overnight in the fridge before frosting it this morning. It has an amazing flavor but the texture is wrong. So very VERY wrong. It is more of a pudding cake than a normal cake. It has no crumb to it. I work in a construction office full of guys who all gave this cake a thumbs down on mouth feel but liked the flavor. I followed the recipe and only deviations made was on the frosting — I did used considerably less sugar and upped the lemon flavor.

  51. Jane

    what size box mix did you use , the old 18.25 oz or the new small 15.25 oz size, or did you take the new box size, and combine it with another box to bring it up to the old 18.25 oz size

    1. Shelly

      Yes for sure. I would bake it for 25 minutes to start and test from from there. And you could cut the frosting by 1/3 if you are only frosting the top of the 9×13.


    Hi, thanks for posting! It looks amazing and I am trying to make it. Quick question, is the lemonade from concentrate straight out of the container pre-diluted, or do I prepare it with water first. Sorry, but I just don’t want to make it wrong. Thank you 🙂

  53. Brenda Warner

    I’m always looking for reviews of a recipe. All I see is remarks as to how good “it looks”!! Has anyone tried this recipe?

  54. Adele

    This cake looks fabulous. I need to make a dessert in a 9×13 pan and freeze it take to a retreat. Do you think this would freeze?

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  60. Monica Dawson

    Would adding a packet of lemon pudding mix to the cake be a terrible idea? I usually do it to my boxed cakes but I’m hesitating for this one lol.

  61. Zippyt

    I made this cake last night, but as a 13×9. Baked for 28 minutes. It was super moist, delicious and a hit with my family! Loved the tangy, tart lemon flavor!
    This recipe is a ‘keeper’ as the lemon flavor on every level is what makes this so good!
    Thank you for sharing!

  62. Judy

    I have made this cake many times it is wonderful . Can I double the recipe and make a pound cake in a tube pan , Or will this be to much batter . Thanks

  63. Josie

    Question – are you using the lemonade concentrate in it concentrated form (melted of course) or do you make the lemonade up and then use that. I want this in my belly but want to get it right. I love any and all things lemon!!!

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