Tired of boxed lemon cake mixes that have that screaming fake yellow color? Want to make a moist, fragrant, luscious lemon cake that starts with the ease of a boxed mix? Here you go! White cake infused with lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon pudding makes this cake heavenly.

AMAZING Lemon Cake from a Mix


  • 1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 box Jell-O brand instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla flavor
  • 2 tsp lemon extract (I prefer Watkins)
  • Zest and juice from 2 large lemons


    Mix all ingredients for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl and mix for an additional minute. Pour into greased cake pans with a greased flower nail in the center of each pan. Bake in a 325 degree oven. Cake is done when a toothpick has some crumbs clinging to it. I divide the batter from this recipe into two 8″ x 3″ pans which makes two nice tall layers that I then torte twice and fill with lemon curd. Yum! :)


jgrob3 Says... 11 Nov 2009 , 7:36pm

I have to say that this is the best lemon cake recipe I have ever tried. I doubt I will ever try another. This recipe combined with a recipe for a raspberry filling has produced my most asked for cake. The cake is extremely moist and heavy....at the same time an amazing lemon flavor.

Lyns082608 Says... 5 Jan 2010 , 7:25pm

This recipe is excellent! I doubt I'll ever try another lemon cake recipe; this one turned out so moist and flavorful. YUM!

superdupercakes Says... 12 Jan 2010 , 2:30pm

My mouth is puckering up as I read this recipe. It sounds REALLY GOOD! Do you have any idea how lemon juice that would be? I squeezed a bunch lemons recently and froze the juice. Thank you for your help and recipe. I will definitely try this.

Carlymoon Says... 17 Jan 2010 , 3:39pm

this cake is amazing and so moist! I've adapted the flavors and use this same recipe for other flavors of cake now by changing the pudding and extract flavors.

bexpose Says... 2 Feb 2010 , 2:37pm

AMAZING! This cake is super moist and full of flavor. I get tons of compliments each time I serve it!

britt8992 Says... 5 Mar 2010 , 10:21am

I can't wait to try it!

nosvold Says... 14 Mar 2010 , 5:35pm

Made this for my husband's birthday cake. Absolutely delightful. Used two 8 inch rounds with enough left over for a half dozen cupcakes.

BTown Says... 5 Apr 2010 , 4:12pm

Sounds delicious! Does it carve well?

fairestoneofall Says... 14 Apr 2010 , 2:43pm

I've made this recipe several time, and I swore that I'd already reviewed it? It's amazing and to die for! I won't use another lemon cake recipe again! Thank you Cakepro for unselfishly sharing this goodness!

achourn Says... 16 May 2010 , 9:37am

After this recipe, there is no need to try another. I use raspberry filling & cream cheese frosting.

jlkallred Says... 2 Jun 2010 , 1:38pm

I can't wait to try this recipe, sounds so yummy! Can anyone tell me if it'd work alright to use bottled zest and juice? Maybe I'm lazy....

Mom2ANC Says... 18 Jun 2010 , 7:01am

How much does this make? Will it make an 11X15 sheet, or do I need to double it?

MJTKNT Says... 18 Jun 2010 , 7:37pm

This recipe really is AWESOME! In the past, I've only baked from scratch b/c I've always felt box cakes have a different taste than scratch, but you couldn't even tell with this cake! Like another reviewer said, this made enough for 2 8" cakes plus about half a dozen cupcakes. I cooked the cakes as normal, but added about 1/2 t of poppy seeds to the cupcakes. YUM. Oh, and just a note- wait to add the zest until after the mix is already mixed. Then add it and just blend until it's combined. If you mix it all at the same time, the zest always seems to find it's way to the paddle and clump together.

MJTKNT Says... 19 Jun 2010 , 12:30am

I want to add to my earlier post. As my cakes and cupcakes sat, they fell. Has anyone else had this issue with the recipe, or could it be related to the DH mix? I thought I read somewhere that they changed their recipe...?

Mom2ANC Says... 21 Jun 2010 , 7:21am

I wanted to add that I made two batches and it was fine. My cake did not rise a ton, but was very level. Everyone said this was the best lemon cake thay had ever eaten. Thank you!

bvwilliams Says... 3 Aug 2010 , 1:15pm

This sounds really good and I'd like to try it. If I'm using two 8x2 round pans instead of 8x3, do I still need to use the flower nails in the center? I usually use baking strips. Is that okay? How many cups of batter does this recipe make?

Caitnash Says... 4 Aug 2010 , 6:57pm

I think I'll add some more rising agents next time. Just poking it with a toothpick to see if it was done caused the center to sink in quite a bit. The recipe adds quite a bit of flour and sugar but no extra risers. With an added half teaspoon of baking soda I think it may become my standby lemon cake recipe because it tasted wonderful (so I hear from the friend who requested it. I tried it and didn't like it but I don't like lemon cake!)

candyman Says... 19 Aug 2010 , 10:13pm

Is that a small or large box of Instant Lemon pudding?

fairestoneofall Says... 18 Oct 2010 , 3:53pm

candyman - It's a 3.9 oz box.

Bela89 Says... 28 Nov 2010 , 3:20pm

I just made this cake for Thanksgiving for my Mother's birthday, delicious lemon cake. It was moist and dense. I put a raspberry mouse filling. I would like to know how long do you bake it for because I made a 10" x 2" and baked it for an hour. Didn't know if that was too long or not.

kjbrat Says... 23 Jan 2011 , 5:59pm

I made this cake today to serve tomorrow for my company's monthly employee birthday cake. I meant to grab my 10 inch pan but grabbed my 14 inch round pan on accident. Once I realized my mistake, it was too late! So I popped it in the oven anyway. I made two of these and each took about 35 minutes in my gas oven at 325 F. Once they completely cooled, they were about 1.25 inches high. I torted each cake into two layers and used a raspberry filling in between each layer with a vanilla buttercream dam. I frosted everything with vanilla buttercream. The crumbs of this cake taste wonderful; it is very dense, moist, and pliable. Depending on the height, this recipe could probably stand up under fondant. Thanks for the great recipe!

hrnewbie Says... 26 Feb 2011 , 7:47pm

Made this cake recently after a major falling out with my regular lemon cake recipe. Super easy to make and the taste was pretty good too. I was worried about it rising given some other reviews but mine rose just perfectly. I baked it in two 2" deep 9" round pans for 30-35 minutes at 325. Will definitely keep this one in the ol' recipe box.

DecoratedDreams Says... 3 Apr 2011 , 11:58am

Love this recipe! Have baked it numerous ways: (3) - 8 x 2" (1) 11 x 15" (about 1.5" tall) (1) 9 x 13" (about 3" tall) Bakes perfect every time!

mojaki Says... 5 Jun 2011 , 9:17am

I made this cake using a lemon box cake, lemon yogurt, I omitted the lemon flavoring (couldn't find any) and I had to use lemon pie filling (approx 3/4 cup) for the lemon pudding since my store did not have. It came out very lemony (yum, just like I like it!) but I was not sure it would compliment well with buttercream so I did not use it for my cake. The family did not complain and ate it all up! I used 2 pans (10"x2") with a cake nail, and they baked evenly but did not rise too much. Admittedly the batter would have been too much for just the one pan so I cannot complain. I may try them as cupcakes next time, served with a dusting of powdered sugar. Yum!

TinkerCakes Says... 25 Aug 2011 , 1:24pm

I made this not long ago and everyone LOVED it! I don't really like lemons and I couldn't stop eating it. Now I want to try some different flavors, does anyone have suggestions??? Orange maybe??? what else??

BrooksieCakes Says... 6 Feb 2012 , 1:47pm

This cake was amazing. My go-to lemon cake from now on!! Thank you so m uch for sharing. Even people who aren't normally fans of lemon cake loved this one!

forjenns Says... 9 Jul 2012 , 7:37am

Oh Gosh! This was FANTASTIC!!!! My DH who likes lemons but does not like anything lemony had 2 cupcakes I made from this recipe. I can't believe how refreshing this tasted.

bgp623 Says... 1 May 2015 , 12:23pm

I have made lemon cakes with lemon,coconut or raspberry filling for many years. My all time favorite recipe was a made from scratch of my mom's that has a whipped cream and coconut frosting.  It is absolutely my favorite cake but very finicky to make. This recipe has replaced my lemon,orange, spice, caramel devil's food and deep chocolate cake recipes. I can adapt it,with just a bit of imagination, to just about any Duncan Hines mix there is. I love this recipe. I get unending compliments every time. I have recently been using this for my cake pops and they are delightful. Many thanks for the post, it has been a blessing.

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