Best Ever Lemon Cake - Betty Streff
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Best Ever Lemon Cake

lemon cake

Best Ever Lemon Cake

“When life gives you lemons, make lemon cake!” ~Nancy Rogers Williams


Today I baked a sunny, yummy lemon cake. A classic! I used a recipe from the 1960’s. It’s from a cookbook so tattered the cover is gone and the pages are held together with two blue rubber bands from a stalk of celery. Of course, the page is spattered with batter. Those are the ones that always bookmark the best stuff.


Ah, the 60’s. It was an iconic age to be sure. Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and lemon cake. To this day, it’s a winner and a family favorite. Moist, dense and topped with a slightly crunchy glaze. Pure bliss! Great all by itself or heaped with spring berries. Thought you might like the recipe. Here you go, enjoy!


Best Ever Lemon Cake

1 lemon cake mix

1 small box instant lemon pudding

4 eggs

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix all together and beat at medium speed for about 3 minutes.

Pour in 13 x 9 ungreased pan and bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until top springs back when touched lightly. The cake should pull back slightly from the edges of the pan. Don’t underbake.


While cake is baking, stir up the glaze so it’s ready as soon as the cake comes hot out of the oven.



2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice (or lime juice or orange juice if you like)

2 T vegetable oil


When cake comes out of the oven poke it all over with a fork while it’s still hot and pour glaze over the top. Use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly. (Hint: While glaze is wet, sprinkle the top with coarse sugar or yellow colored sugar for an extra pretty touch! )

lemon squeezy






  • Gail

    Thanks Betty! I’m glad you shared the recipe! Wish I had instant lemon pudding though… rats!

    February 27, 2018 at 7:22 am
  • Mary E Seigel

    Back in the late 60’s someone gave my Mom this recipe with a twist. Instead of the 3/4 water, they substituted orange juice. Mom cooked in an angel food pan. The cake get’s moister the next day (assuming there is any left). I have learned too, you can use a chocolate cake mix with the chocolate instant pudding and there ya go! Lot’s of ways to go. Thank you for bring back sweet memories of Mom & childhood.

    July 15, 2018 at 7:08 am
  • Teresa Matkin

    I have never heard of use oil in a glaze. It is correct when says 2 use 2 T veg oil. Right?

    March 14, 2019 at 2:19 pm
  • Jennifer Groseclose

    I made mine just like you said, but it rose really high and was jiggly when I pulled it out. I even cooked it an extra minute. When I forked it, the middle fell and was goopy. Any idea what went wrong?

    April 24, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    I was given a recipe from the 60’s that used Lemon Jello instead and 3 tsp Lemon Extract in the cake, and no oil in the glaze. That makes it even more intensely Lemony.

    May 6, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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