A Lemon Cake to Die for!

We don’t eat chocolate in this house.  Seems a bit strange, being that three women live in this house. However, The Farmer doesn’t like chocolate.  So I don’t make cookies, brownies or chocolate cake to just sit on the counter and and tempt me to eat it.
Instead, we like ice cream.  And fruit flavors.  Cherry desserts.  And citrus.  I absolutely love lemon and lime.  Key lime ice cream is my all-time favorite.  Side note, curse to Ben and Jerry’s for taking their Key Lime off the shelves last year and not bringing it back.  I was going through withdrawals until I found a Key Lime Gelato that is even better! My hips aren’t very thrilled but my taste buds are.


As I continued my search through Gooseberry Patch 101 Homestyle Favorites from Gooseberry Patch, I was ready to try something different.  Dessert sounded fun.  And I was thrilled when I found a recipe for Lemon Cake.  Holy cow, this thing is incredible.  I dare you to not eat more than one piece when you try it!
Even better about this cake, it’s sort of homemade.  It uses some boxed items and some “real” ingredients to make a cake that is quick and easy.  And delicious.

The recipe:

A box of yellow cake mix
A small box of instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 c. oil
3/4 c. water
4 beaten eggs


2 c. powdered sugar
2  Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp water
1/3 c. lemon juice

Lemon cake ingrediants
Start by beating the eggs in a bowl.  Then add the cake mix, lemon pudding, oil and water.


While you are mixing, go ahead and make the glaze.  Powdered sugar, lemon juice (I recommend actually juicing a lemon for better flavor,) butter and water all get mixed with a fork.


Pour the batter in a greased 9×13 pan.  I like this glass pan for non-chocolate cakes.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350.  When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and immediately use a fork to poke holes in it.  Then pour the glaze over.
Holy cow this is good!!  My kids devoured it.  I LOVED it.  And I’m hiding it from The Farmer so he can’t eat it all!  Not really, but I am leaving a note next to it indicating I will be back for another piece!  This cake will be a recipe that I use often. I can’t wait to take it to the field for meals during harvest. The guys will love it.
Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. If you would like to see other great recipes, check out http://www.realfarmwivesofamerica.com/
lemon cake
 A Lemon Cake to Die For


4.9 from 39 reviews
Recipe #5 - A Lemon Cake to Die for!
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Lemon Cake to Die For
  • A box of yellow cake mix
  • A small box of instant lemon pudding mix
  • ¾ c. oil
  • ¾ c. water
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • Glaze:
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ⅓ c. lemon juice
  1. Beat eggs in a bowl.
  2. Add cake mix, lemon pudding, oil and water to eggs. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour batter in a greased 9x13 pan
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350.
  5. When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and immediately use a fork to poke holes in it. Then pour the glaze over.
  6. Glaze:
  7. Melt butter
  8. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice and water and mix with a fork.
  9. Pour glaze over warm cake


  1. Sounds yummy! I, too am not a huge chocolate fan, though I do indulge occassionally. I prefer other flavors, too. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Can I use a lemon cake mix?

      • Yes!! Both taste very good!

        • Do you think it would work adding coconut to the cake…..with regard to baking time, etc? Or maybe just on top of the glaze. I’m making it for an anniversary treat for a couple who like lemon (her) and coconut (him) so I thought that would be an interesting twist.

        • I just followed your recipe but only had cook&serve pudding mix, so I made it on the stove and instead of using 3/4 cup water, I used the (2 cups milk) finished, cooked pudding. I beat it all fast, before the pudding increased too much in thickness, and also substituted coconut oil, melted from a solid state to 3/4 cup liquid. For the glaze, I did as directed but also sprinkled unsweetened 1/2 cup coconut flakes on top. I did 38 minutes for cooking in a 13×9″ Pyrex glass pan. It fell! The glaze stayed on top-couldn’t get over the sides! However, I am not worried as my husband’s 67th birthday wish will still taste great, I am sure.

        • Pamela Tyrey says

          Is the cake mix supposed to be pretty thick?

      • I have been making this for yrs. Yrs you can use lemon cake mix . I think it taste better.

        • That sounds good too!

        • The lemon cake mix makes all the difference along with the box of lemon pudding mix. I do a few extra tricks to give it that true homemade taste. I add a cup of whole milk instead of the water and 3/4 cup of melted butter instead of the oil. I also added a tablespoon lemon extract and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Remember to use fresh lemon juice when making the glaze it makes a huge difference in flavor. Enjoy!

      • Judy Bykowski says

        Do I still use the lemon pudding, if I use lemon cake?

        • Heather Harrington says

          My grandma has been making this for as long as I can remember. Her recipe you use a lemon cake mix with lemon jello mix. Makes a very moist cake. I’ve made a similar version with orange cake mix, orange jello and orange juice in the glaze.

        • Of course, use the lemon pudding with the lemon cake mix! Isn’t the idea for it the great LEMONY taste? I even bought LEMON EXTRACT to increase that taste!

      • I have a question do you have to make the glaze and just make a lemon cake

    • Nancy Billings says

      My name is Nancy B. How cool

  2. I have to try this with lemon! I make one almost the same using strawberry cake mix and strawberry jello.

  3. That cake sounds so delicious!!! @KentuckyFarmGirl-that sounds good too! I was wondering if you could share that recipe??!!

  4. YUMMMY I bet it would be even yummy with some rum in it 🙂 ARG!!!!! Is it time for pirate talk again?

    Hope to see you Wednesday.

    P.S. I LOVE lemon cake; it’s always so refreshing.

  5. I have been making this same recipe for years, and it is great. To make it even better, fold in a cup (or more) of blueberries just before you pour it in the pan. Lemon and blueberries, what a delicious combination. Enjoy.

  6. This sounds just like my late MIL’s recipe! Nothing better than a piece of lemon cake in a glass with milk poured over it!Yummy!!

  7. I made this recipe last night and it is awesome! I usually like chocolate, but lemon is my next go-to sweet treat. I didn’t have yellow cake mix but I had lemon so I gave it a shot. It was great! Lemony goodness 🙂 I sent it to work with my husband and they love it as well.

  8. I make a very similar cake. The only variations are in the glaze instead of butter I use vegetable oil and instead of lemon juice I use orange juice. It is delicious and very moist.

  9. Have you tried a angel food cake mix and a can of lemon pie filling. Just fold no mixing with a mixer. Bake 350 for 20 to 25 min. You can eat plain, powder sugar on top or cream cheese frosting.

  10. Anonymous says

    My Mama used to make this in a Bundt pan….even easier to walk by and cut a piece and run….love it!

    • L. Grant says

      How did your Mom apply the glaze when baked in the Bundt Pan? While in the pan or on top once removed from the pan?

      • Jeanette says

        If it’s made in a bundt pan, you should turn the cake out onto a plate then apply the glaze on top. Not in the pan. If it’s a simple 9×13, then on top of the cake in the pan is fine!

  11. That is close to a family recipe of mine – only instead of lemon juice for the glaze, we use countrytime lemonade powder… makes the whole cake taste super lemony. Lemonade cake is the ‘birthday cake’ request for several family members… it’s so sweet and yummy, but doesn’t need frosting.

  12. Have been making this for years, but use the lemon cake mix instead of the yellow. Kick it up a notch and frost it with homemade lemon buttercream frosting instead of the glaze. Just find a recipe for buttercream frosting and substitute lemon extract for the vanilla. Citrus heaven!

  13. This recipe says 3 cups lemon juice in one place and another says 1/3 cup. Does anyone know which it is?

    • Thanks for the question! I don’t see where it says 3 cups of lemon juice? It is only 1/3 cup. I like to juice a lemon and use the real lemon juice instead of the stuff in the bottle. But you could do either. I hope you enjoy the cake!

  14. Just made this! It sure smelled good when it was cooking
    Its cooling now..

  15. I made this cake and it was hit from my family. I also made it and added poppy seeds for my husband and it also a hit. I was told that this recipe was a keeper

  16. After adding glaze….put cake under broiler to get bubbly and golden!!

  17. Would this work in 2 loaf pans like lemon bread

  18. Loved this recipe! So moist and flavorful! I will add blueberries next time as suggested by another poster. This recipe is definitely a keeper. 🙂

  19. Maggie in Michigan says

    Jean so glad to find this recipe, sounds too too too good, and glad I came across your site. Will look forward to more posts from you on these delicious recipes, thanks for sharing!
    Maggie in Michigan

  20. My mother made this cake 45 years ago and it has been a family favorite ever since!! I love it when great recipes reappear!

  21. Jay Carter says

    Thank you, this is the Best Lemon Cake ever

  22. I have made a simular cake for years. Only difference glaze is powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

  23. janice friedrichsen says

    I made this with lemon cake mix instead of the yellow. I had to add 5-10 min to cooking time as the center was too loose. I used a tooth pick and even though I thought it still looked too soft in the center nothing came up on the tooth pick. It was so rich with lemon flavor. My 8 year old grandson said he now wants this as his birthday cake.

  24. Brenda Bell says

    I made it the cake was good but my glaze did not look like the picture. Can someone tell me if I did something wrong.

    • My glaze didn’t come out like the pic. Maybe I didn’t let it set long enough. I didn’t make it until the cake was almost done. It’s still good tho

  25. Kittie K Phifer says

    My recipe is the same, except in place of lemon pudding, I use 1 Pkg. dry lemon jello.

    • P Kelley Ament says

      I also use lemon cake mix.. Follow directions on the box then pour one cup of cake mix into a cup to mix with the box of lemon jello. I pour a little cake mix in. The bottom of a PAM sprayed Bundy cake pan and then pour in the cup of cake mixed with box of lemon jello. Top off with rest of plain cake mix and proceed to bake as normal for bundt cake baking time. Either glaze or leave plain. Either way cake is to die for!!!

  26. I tossed a teaspoon of poppy seeds into it. Lovely

  27. Pat Streetman says

    I make this cake in a bunt pan. My Grandchildren love it, it’s their favorite cake. It is moist and delicious.

  28. Do you make the pudding first or just put the mix in?

  29. Could this same recipe go for vanilla cake mix and vanilla pudding?

  30. I have seen recipes where they omit the liquid for a can of soda what are your thoughts on that?

    • I’ve never made the cake with a can of soda, but have heard about many of those. Not sure how it would work in this recipe.

  31. My glaze went straight to the bottom, seemed really runny. Any suggestions of what I did wrong?

    • I’m not sure. You could add more powdered sugar to make it a big thicker. Or wait for the cake to cool a bit and then pour on the icing.

  32. My mom has been making this cake for 40+ years. It is delicious with orange nello instead of lemon pudding and orange juice in the glaze. My dad’s favorite cakes.

  33. Do u put the lemon pudding mix dry or do I make up the pudding then add to ingredents? Making this right now..
    Thank you for responding.

  34. I’m baking this cake right now. I can’t wait to eat it. Thank you for such an easy, delicious cake!!!!

  35. Michelle Pankey says

    oh my GOODNESS!!!!!!!! Just made this and it is AMAZING!!!!!

  36. Doll Searby says

    How should you store it? In the fridge? On the counter? It is only two of us eating it.

  37. Lisa Haviland says

    My Husband Loved it.

    • I’m so glad to hear that! My husband just reminded me last night that we haven’t had the cake in awhile and I should make one 🙂

  38. Mysti Adams says

    A friend at work want me to try lemon cake with lime glaze for her birthday cake…

  39. Did you use fresh lemon juice or the one out the bottle?

  40. If you use lemon cake mix, do you still use the lemon juice?

  41. Have any one tried to replace the vegetable oil with butter & the water with milk? If so how did it turn out?

  42. My grandma made this for us when I was very young. I’m 56 now. I was so surprised to see this recipe. It’s an oldie and a goody. My son wants this cake for his birthday every year. Pretty much can use any flavor of pudding to change it up.

  43. I make this cake for my family and they love it. but I use a lemon cake mix and a cup of lemon pudding. To add some to add something extra to the glaze crunch some hard lemon candy sprinkle over or in the glaze.

  44. I made it and it was not done in the middle

  45. I use lemon cake mix and a can of sprite for the water.
    Also, with a fork poke holes in the cake once out the oven and pour the glaze on it. I only use 1.5 cup of powdered sugar and juice of 2 lemons for the glaze. Put Saran Wrap over the container once the glaze is on so the glaze will be pulled throughout the cake.

  46. Do you store this cake in the fridge or on the counter?

  47. Pat Grummonstowle says

    Can u put blueberries in this cake

    • Jeanette says

      Blueberries would be great! Just rinse them first and toss in a small amount of flour before adding to the mixture. The flour helps them from sticking together in the batter. Let me know how it turns out!

  48. I had never tried one of these before, I have to wonder why now. I didnt feel like going to the store after a cake mix so I made a basic yellow cake and used Meyer lemons in both the cake and the glaze. Now that I am thining about it, I think I better go make another before it gets too hot to have the oven going.

    Thanks for the recipe, you rock!

  49. Ginnybug says

    Can this be frozen?

  50. Ginnybug says

    Can this be made and frozen?

    • Jeanette says

      I’ve never frozen it. Maybe if it is was wrapped in plastic then foil it would keep? Just never tried it!

  51. Carol Gatewood says

    Anxious to taste this afternoon. It looks like the picture has quite a bit of glaze compared to mine. I was able to cover the cake once but mine is not puddled on the sides. I feel like I should of doubled the glaze recipe or I did something wrong. Did any one else experience this? As long as it tastes good, I’m ok with it. My finish product just didn’t look like the picture.

  52. Pearl Atherholt says


  53. Amy Corlett says

    Have you ever tried this in a bundt pan? I’m curious what the baking time/temp conversion would require?

  54. This was absolutely delicious! Thank you!

  55. Fantastic, so very, very good!

  56. Belinda w/the picky family says

    This cake deserves6 stars

  57. deborah johnson says

    I like making cake from scratch, but this receipt was so so QUICK….i woke up the entire house with the smell..i even doubled the receipe absoutely DELICIOUS,

  58. Hi,I tried this Lemon Cake recipe about a month ago and I have baked 5 more since then! This is absolutely the best lemon cake I have ever tasted. In case anyone is interested,I used Betty Crocker’s (Super Moist Lemon) cake mix with lemon pudding added in it. I still used the box of lemon pudding called for in the recipe. It’s just delicious and My husband and son who aren’t big cake lovers,absolutely love this one. They are the reason I’ve already baked 5!!! Thank you so much for sharing this great cake recipe! June Wilson

  59. I had a friend ask me to add lemon zest to the cake… do I add that to the glaze or after the glaze? Or should I have added it to the cake mix?

    • Jeanette says

      I think you could add it either to the cake or to the glaze!

      • Grace J Amidon says

        I would use a lemon cake mix, and real lemon rind&juicelets face it 3 cups of lemon juice wouldn’t make sense. It’s 1/3 cup. Add lemonrind to cakeand glaze.

  60. Linnea Hannigan says

    Followed directions – middle of cake – 35min into cooking – is like soup!! ugh I’m so disappointed !

  61. Cheryl McQuinn says

    I love this recipe and used moist lemon cake mix and lemon pudding mix! Everyone said it is the best lemon cake they ever had!

  62. I just made this cake but my glaze on the cake looks nothing like this picture. Mine just looks like a thin clear glaze on the cake. Why?

  63. Could you use white cake mix instead of yellow or lemon?

  64. We call this cake Florida cake and we use orange juice instead of lemon juice. I like it served cold on a hot day. It is so good. Not as pretty as some cakes, but makes up for that in flavor.

  65. I’d like to make this. I just love lemon! I do have a question, though: Since cake mixes now contain less than they once did, is it necessary to adjust any of the other ingredients? (I don’t recall when the smaller sizes started appearing on the shelves, but I have several family recipes that use cake mix as an ingredient, & they do not (224) 958-1255ork, as written, any longer.)

  66. What is the name of the Gooseberry Patch cookbook you refer to?

  67. i have made the lemon version but was wondering if this could be made with strawberry cake mix and jello?

  68. Angie Haynes says

    I use all the same ingredients, 1 less egg, and replace the water with 1 cup lemon lime soda! It makes it so moisr..also I use a white cake mix, much better than yellow..happy baking!

  69. I made this with a lemon cake mix for a family reunion and it was a hit not a piece was left. It was so easy to make and is a very moist, flavorful cake.

  70. Just made this last weekend and it was super moist and very delicious – Thanks for sharing!!

  71. I have an.old one that my mom ised to make. It has a box of lemon jello instead of pudding. And for the glaze we just use lemon juice and powder sugar or regular sugar no water or butter in glaze

  72. My family and I LOVE this cake. I used lemon cake mix.. Thanks for the recipe

  73. This is not baking. Making is making things from scratch, Night cake mixes an instant putting! I guess I’m a purist want to comes to that.never serve my family or friends cake mixes , instant putting or Jell-O’s or bought donuts Or fake whipped cream!!If you’re going to take the time to bake take ,the time to use great ingredients and then you’ll have a truly delicious dessert.

    • Judy, if you don’t like it then just move along, you don’t have to bash or shame others. And you may want to use spell check or at least proof-read your posts. Pudding not putting, and not an. This is a delicious recipe by the way!

    • Judy, you are rude and judgemental. From reading your post, I doubt you are a “purest” or “perfectionist” How can you judge therecipe when it is obvious you haven’t even tried it!

  74. kathi m sturgeon says

    this is the best lemon cake I have ever tasted!!!!!!!

    • Do you think this cake would work in mini loaf pans for coworker’s Holiday gifts? (instead of a quick bread)?

      P.S. Sounds wonderful!!!

  75. Question: Someone mentioned that they used Jello. Does this mean gelatin or Jello brand pudding mix? How this change the results?

    • There are cake recipes that use lemon jello instead of lemon pudding mix, however, they are NOT this same cake. I’ve had both types and THIS cake with the lemon pudding mix is by far the best! My adult son STILL requests it for his birthday! I suggest you make it as this recipe states; you won’t regret it. Delicious!

  76. I made this recipe last night!! I used lemon cake mix and I did follow another users suggestion of using butter and milk instead of oil and water, and adding the vanilla and lemon extract. I did the glaze per recipe and it turned out perfect!! This was delicious!!!

  77. Shanilla says

    Can you use vanilla pudding instead of lemon?

  78. Is the butter on the glaze with salt or without salt?

  79. It’s a great cake,, my mother use to make a lemon cake like this almost 50 yr ago. It’s REALLY good if you place in refrigerator and serve cold on a hot day

  80. late to this but hoping i can get a response. Do you add the already made pudding (after using the instructions of the pudding mix box) or do you add the pudding mix (without it having been already made?) I ask because the instructions say add lemon pudding and not pudding mix. However, that’s a lot of eggs (i think 8 eggs for one cake).

  81. Hi- I am wondering how much lemon juice and zest I could add to a yellow cake to intensify the lemon flavor? any suggestions?
    Thank you,

    • The only successful ingredient I have found to intensify the taste of lemon is lemon extract. Zest is for viewing pleasure-never found it to add much taste. As for add’l juice-it is more successful if its source is fresh from an actual lemon.

  82. Mary E Gill says

    The only successful ingredient I have found to intensify the taste of lemon is lemon extract. Zest is for viewing pleasure-never found it to add much taste. As for add’l juice-it is more successful if its source is fresh from an actual lemon.

  83. How would you adjust(time) to make cupcakes instead?

  84. Bertha Parrish says

    Could this cake be baked in in small individual loaf pans

  85. I had a couple of lemons, a yellow cake mix, and a box of lemon pudding I purchased for something else, all in my pantry. So I searched the internet till I found a recipe that didn’t call for anything I didn’t have already on hand (no one likes extra trips to the store these days). I was so happy when I found this! Super easy and it came out delicious! I made it exactly as written and I wouldn’t change a thing. My husband who can’t eat chocolate really loved it.

  86. Mary E Gill says

    Of course, use the lemon pudding with the lemon cake mix! Isn’t the idea for it the great LEMONY taste? I even bought LEMON EXTRACT to increase that taste!

  87. Of course, use the lemon pudding with the lemon cake mix! Isn’t the idea for it the great LEMONY taste? I even bought LEMON EXTRACT to increase that taste!

  88. Love this cake! I followed the recipe but when I was poking holes in the cake the middle sank! It didn’t affect the taste, of course. It was yummy! I was wondering why the middle sank and if anyone else had that happen.

  89. Nicole Ramos says

    I have made this last year and followed directions, and the outcome was so delicious, my girls loved it too. But I am wondering could I use this same recipe to make a 2 layer cake with 9 inch round pans?

  90. Would love your scone recipe!

  91. This is one of the best cakes I have ever made, so easy and so moist, my husband would eat the whole thing if I would let him.

  92. I have made this recipe several times and it always comes out great. It tastes like spring and summer baked in a cake. This time I made it as a blueberry filled bundt cake. I only had white cake mix and cheesecake pudding so I added lemon and sour cream to give a richer flavor. I flipped the bundt out (beautifully), poked holes, and glazed. Delicious!!! Your recipe is one of my all time favorites and a “never lose this” recipe. Thank you♡


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