Citrus Sheet Cake

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Chrissy Teigen once said that tiered cakes are out and sheet cakes are in. I'm 100% on board with it so let's make Citrus Sheet Cake!!

Citrus Sheet Cake


Don't get me wrong, I love a tiered cake, but holy moly they are a lot of work. Sheet cakes are waaaaaay easier and I'm into it. This Citrus Sheet Cake is just 3 easy parts....

1: a really delicious lemon cake that's made with cake flour so it's a bit lighter since it has less protein than All Purpose flour which results in a super melty tender cake layers.

2: a crazy delish buttercream that you'll want to eat with a spoon. The buttercream gets dolloped all over the cake and swooped into decorations. You could also do my marshmallow meringue instead which is beyond and would take this in a different but excellent direction!

3: sliced citrus on top to give it an extra oomph because we have to milk the end of citrus season as long as humanly possible! Blood oranges, grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, etc. You name it... and it's fair game.

Citrus Sheet Cake

Tell me that doesn't make you happy just looking at it?! Let's all make some Citrus Sheet Cake this weekend and get into it!

Citrus Sheet Cake
Citrus Sheet Cake from (@whatsgabycookin)

Citrus Sheet Cake

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 3 votes
Sheet cakes are SO much easier than layers - let's get to it!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 people


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk or nut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 2 ⅔ cup cake flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Peeled and sliced citrus for topping


For the Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13 inch caeke pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined. Add the milk and lemon extract and mix on low until just incorporated.
  • In another small bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Place egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl of a stand mixer. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water, not touching the water. Whisk or stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to approximately 160ºF.
  • Immediately place the bowl on the stand mixer and whip on high using the whisk attachment until frosting has become thick and glossy, forming a stiff peak. Continue to whip frosting until the bowl feels room temperature to the touch, a total of about 10 minutes.
  • Switch the whisk attachment to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, drop in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. If frosting appears curdled or clumpy at any time, increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth.
  • Once all of the butter has been incorporated, mix in extracts and pinch of salt. If needed, continue beating until smooth.
  • Swoop and dollop the Swiss Meringue Buttercream on top of the cooled cake and add the sliced citrus on top


For the most attractive citrus, I recommend carefully cutting all the peel away from the whole fruit, and then thinly slicing along the equator.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!


  1. Can the cake and frosting be made ahead and just assembled day of? I'm thinking of just storing the frosting in the fridge and bringing to room temp before putting it on the cake. Will that work?

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this and it was delicious!! The cake is the perfect balance of sweet and lemony and the Swiss meringue buttercream is gorgeous! The citrus on top is the perfect garnish for both the eyes and the tastebuds! Another awesome Gaby recipe!

    1. I used all purpose + cornstarch to replace the cake flour and it turned out great! For every cup of cake flour, you use 1 cup (minus 2 tbsp) of all-purpose + 2 tbsp corn starch.
      So, for this recipe, you would put in 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, remove 5 tbsp and 1 tsp of the all-purpose flour, then add in 5 tbsp and 1 tsp of cornstarch.

  3. I just love all things citrus, and this lemon sheet cake is going to feature this weekend!! Beautiful photograph! I just want to dive right in!

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