Cream Cheese Lemon Cake Recipe

This Cream Cheese Lemon Cake is so easy to make and tastes amazing. It has the perfect amount of glaze (which is coming from a total frosting hog), and is perfect for summer. It is so light and delicious.

Our family loves frosting.  I know, to some it may be gross, but we love a cake with thick, delicious buttercream.

However, the thought of that much frosting on a cake makes my husband gag.  He isn’t much of a frosting fan.

What is a cake without frosting?  I thought I would whip up a cake that had more of a glaze than a frosting and he absolutely loved it. This cake is so light and fluffy and the cream cheese topping is to die for.

You can make it as thick or as creamy as you’d like. We usually do some thick, and some just a light glaze. Either is delicious, and the cake is extremely moist.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

do these need to stay refrigerated?

I love this recipe, but it tastes even better when it has been refrigerating for an hour or so, and is cold. It has the most amazing texture, but the fridge really does keep it fresh, and moist.

We highly recommend refrigerating it. Especially with the cream cheese topping, we recommend keeping it cool.

But we also think it tastes better cold. It really makes it the perfect summer dessert.

why is there applesauce in this recipe?

The applesauce is a much healthier alternative to oil in this recipe. Have you ever made banana bread or cookies with applesauce instead of butter or vegetable oil?

It definitely lightens up the cake, and adds the perfect amount of sweetness. If you don’t have applesauce, or prefer the heavy stuff, you could switch it out for softened butter, or vegetable oil.

The applesauce also adds the perfect amount of sweetness. We do recommend using plain applesauce and not cinnamon, just because lemon and cinnamon don’t really vibe to me.

However, we had some pineapple apple sauce and some banana applesauce, and that worked great for this one. It was delicious.

watch how to make another delicious summer recipe, here:

Did you know we have a Youtube Channel? We have hundreds of simple and delicious recipes, your family is going to love. We take you through each recipe, step by step, and show you exactly how to make them.

This Mandarin Orange Pretzel Jello Salad is a hit at every family party. It is so easy to make and tastes absolutely amazing. Watch how easy it is to make, here:


Looking for more delicious lemon recipes? Here are a few of our favorite:

Serves: 12

Cream Cheese Lemon Cake Recipe

15 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

50 minTotal Time

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    1st Layer:
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2nd Layer:
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
  2. Mix all of the 1st layer ingredients together and pour into a greased 9x13-inch cake pan; set aside.  
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together all the 2nd layer ingredients until smooth.  
  4. Pour over the 1st layer in the cake pan and spread evenly.  
  5. Using a butter knife, cut into the layers making "S" shaped strokes to swirl the two layers together.  
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cream cheese layer is barely golden.  
  7. Let cool completely before serving.



1009 cal


20 g


208 g


5 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Recipe adapted from

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Comment on this Recipe

5 Responses to “Cream Cheese Lemon Cake Recipe”

    • They are fine to sit out for a little bit, but if you aren't serving them until later, I would stick them in the fridge because of the cream cheese. We have left them out for a few hours at a time before and they were just fine.
    • Hi Kelli. We have not made this cream cheese lemon cake into cupcakes. You could follow the recipe as directed and place in cupcake liners instead of the 9 x 13 inch pan. The main thing would be the cooking time. Watch them really closely so they don't burn. You don't want to waste the ingredients.

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