Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake
A sweet-tart lemon sheet cake holds a lot of promise as a light summer dessert-but sheet cakes are hard to bake evenly, and we wanted bright, not sour, lemon flavor. In our recipe, tangy buttermilk reinforces the lemon flavor in both the cake and glaze.
Why This Recipe Works
We chose cake flour for our Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake recipe because it yielded a fine, velvety crumb. We used the creaming method—beat the butter and sugar together before adding the wet and dry ingredients—to develop structure and height in the cake. Replacing some of the baking powder with baking soda reduced doming, as did reducing the baking temperature—the slower baking meant the edges and interior of the cake set at the same time, resulting in a perfectly flat top.
We added grated zest from to round out the lemon flavor and created a homemade lemon sugar that lent a wallop of lemony richness to the cake. For icing, a simple glaze of confectioners’ sugar, buttermilk, and lemon juice worked perfectly. A sprinkle of some reserved lemon sugar added crunch and gave a final flourish of lemon flavor and color.