Bake this fragrant, moist lemon sheet cake in a 9 x 13-inch pan and top with creamy lemon glaze and fresh blueberries.
What’s not to love about a lemon sheet cake? It’s really the perfect party-ready dessert, and takes a lot less time than making cake layers in multiple pans and fussing around with decorating them.
This moist, spongy cake has mascarpone cheese in the batter as well in the lemony icing. It’s an easy cake to make and so pretty when simply decorated with with summer blueberries.
If blueberries aren’t your thing (I won’t ask why), lemon sheet cake can be topped with unsweetened blackberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries.
The reason I say unsweetened is because sugar will cause the berries to release their juices onto the pure white glaze — not a tragic detail, but something to keep in mind.
For extra lemony flavor, I added pure lemon extract to the batter which I can promise you makes this cake so fragrant you can smell it across the room.
If you bake the cake one day ahead, just wrap it (without the icing) in plastic and store at room temperature. I think cake “aged” like this actually improves its texture and taste. It’s one of those magical baking science things.
What to know about mascarpone lemon sheet cake:
- Mascarpone cheese is rich and creamy, with a mild tangy flavor. It’s sort of like a cross between cream cheese and sour cream, only with more butterfat. You can substitute full-fat sour cream for a lighter cake.
- Bake the cake in a rectangular cake pan that measures 9 x 13-inches. Butter and flour the pan well to prevent sticking, or spray with cooking spray before dusting with flour.
- A rasp grater (such as a Microplane) makes fine, fluffy lemon zest. You can also use an old-fashioned, inexpensive zester (also known as a channel knife) to make thin, pretty ribbons of lemon zest.
mascarpone lemon sheet cake with creamy lemon glaze and blueberries
Yield 12- 18 servings
- 1 tablespoon butter + 2 tablespoons flour, for pan
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil or cold-pressed vegetable oil
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- Fresh mint sprigs, torn into small pieces
- Lemon zest
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack placed in the center. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with the butter and sprinkle with the flour. Rotate the pan to coat and tap out the excess flour.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- In a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed just to break them up. Add the sugar and beat 1 or 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Pour in the oil in a slow steady stream until the mixture looks emulsified. Add the mascarpone, milk, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extracts and mix until smooth.
- Stir the flour mixture into the batter in two additions, mixing just until the flour is incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 35 - 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
- To make the icing, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in the mascarpone until smooth. Add more sugar if you want a thicker icing, or more lemon juice to thin.
- Spread the icing on the cooled cake (this is easier if you invert the cake onto a baking sheet, then flip right side up onto another baking sheet). Arrange the blueberries on top and sprinkle with the mint and lemon zest.