Ridiculously Easy Lemon Cake made with just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, then baked until golden around the edges with a delightfully light and airy texture. It’s a perfect citrusy dessert for summer or anytime.
And I bet you have all the ingredients on hand to make our 3 ingredient sugar cookies, too!
3 Ingredient Lemon Cake Recipe
If you love lemon pound cake or lemon bars and craving a lemon treat, but lack the time or energy to make them, this easy lemon cake is an absolute gift! Made with just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, it truly doesn’t get any easier.
A simple combination of angel food cake mix, lemon pie filling, plus juice and zest from a lemon, is baked for a short time until golden in appearance and light and airy in texture. A dusting of powder sugar is completely optional, but a nice way to finish off the dessert.
This lemon dessert is perfect for a potluck, brunch, luncheon, holiday, or any occasion when you need a quick dessert using pantry items.
You only need 3 simple ingredients to make this easy lemon cake recipe, plus optional powered sugar.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Angel Food Cake Mix – A 16 ounce box of your preferred brand. I use Betty Crocker but Duncan Hines or any other brand works fine. You’ll be using just the powder, do not add water, eggs, oil, or anything else.
- Lemon Pie Filling – A 21 ounce can.
- Lemon Juice and Zest – Juice and zest from 1 large lemon really elevate the lemon flavor.
- Powered sugar (optional) – Feel free to dust the baked, cooled cake with a little powdered sugar for a hint of of sweetness and lovely presentation.
Tips and Variations
- Do not use lemon Jello pudding – Jello pudding and lemon pie filling are not interchangeable. Lemon pudding will change the consistency of this snack cake.
- You can use lemon curd – The lemon pie filling can, however, be replaced with an equal amount of lemon curd, either store bought or our quick and easy homemade lemon curd for best flavor.
- Add in some blueberries – Lemon and blueberries love one another! Feel free to toss in up to 1/3 of a cup of fresh blueberries.
- Don’t overmix or overbake – Don’t overmix your batter or the cake will be tough, and make sure to keep an eye on the cake toward the end of bake time to make sure it’s not overbaking or it’ll end up dry and crumbly.
How to Make 3 Ingredient Lemon Cake
This lemon cake doesn’t get any easier in just 3 steps, as the oven does almost all of the work!
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details and don’t miss the helpful tips and video below.)
- Combine ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together until incorporated and smooth.
- Pour into baking dish. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish in an even layer.
- Bake & Cool. Bake at 350F For 30 minutes or until slightly golden and a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely.
I usually dust the baked, cooled cake with some powdered sugar or a drizzle of lemon icing. This is completely optional and not needed for the cake to turn out, but it does add an extra level of deliciousness and visual appeal.
Video: 3 Ingredient Lemon Cake
This lemon cake is best eaten the day it’s made, but leftovers will keep for a bit longer.
- Fridge. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container with wax paper or cling wrap in-between any layers. It will keep for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer. You can also freeze either the whole cake or cut into portions. Wrap tightly, then transfer to a freezer safe Ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or set out on the counter at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
More Lemon Desserts:
3 Ingredient Lemon Cake
- 16 ounce box angel food cake mix (Just the powder. Do not add water, eggs, oil, or anything else)
- 21 ounce can lemon pie filling
- 1 large lemon , juiced and zested
- (optional) powdered sugar , for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and combine until incorporated and smooth – don't over mix or whip.
- Pour batter into prepared pan in an even layer.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until slightly golden and a tester comes out clean.
- Let cool completely, then lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Cut into squares and enjoy!