Home Desserts Lemon Crazy Cake

Lemon Crazy Cake

This easy one-bowl lemon crazy cake is incredibly moist and bursting with bright lemon flavor. 

So, why do I call it lemon crazy cake? Because it’s CRAZY how few ingredients you need to make it! No eggs, milk, or butter! 

A slice of of lemon crazy cake with cream cheese garnished with lemon slice served on a white plate.
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Of course, the lack of those things is undetectable. It tastes just like a classic lemon cake.

Plus, the tangy cream cheese frosting provides the perfect balance of sweetness. I can’t get enough of this delicious treat!

Why You’ll Love This Lemon Crazy Cake

No Dairy: As mentioned, this cake is made without eggs, butter, or milk. It’s perfect for those with egg allergies or lactose intolerance.

Crazy Moist: The unique combo of oil, lemon juice, and vinegar creates a moist and tender crumb.

Minimal Cleanup: You mix everything for the cake in one bowl and bake it in one dish. That means a faster cleanup overall. 

Cake batter poured to a baking pan with baking sheets.

Ingredients

For the cake: 

  • All-Purpose Flour: The foundation of the cake batter that provides structure and texture.
  • Baking Soda: The leavening agent that helps the cake rise and become fluffy. 
  • Granulated Sugar: The sweetener. It also adds moisture and helps to tenderize the cake. 
  • Salt: A flavor enhancer. It’ll bring out the natural sweetness and complexity of other ingredients. 
  • Lemon Zest & Juice: Use fresh zest and juice for tang and a bright burst of citrusy goodness.
  • Vegetable Oil: It keeps the cake moist and tender, providing a delicate crumb. 
  • White Vinegar: It reacts with baking soda to help the cake rise. It also adds lightness. 
  • Yellow Food Coloring: (Optional) It gives the cake a vibrant, sunny hue. 

For the frosting: 

  • Cream Cheese: Adds a rich, tangy flavor that pairs beautifully with the lemon cake. 
  • Unsalted Butter: Creamed with cream cheese, it adds richness. It also helps achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. 
  • Powdered Sugar: It sweetens the frosting and contributes to its creamy texture. 
  • Vanilla Extract: It adds a warm, aromatic flavor to complement the tanginess of the lemon and cream cheese.
Whole lemon crazy cake in a baking pan.

How to Make Lemon Crazy Cake

This cake is as easy as it gets!

1. Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan (or line it with parchment paper). 

2. Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl until combined. Then, make three wells in the mixture. 

3. Add the wet ingredients. Pour the lemon juice into one well, the oil into the second, and the vinegar into the third. Pour water over everything and mix until the batter is smooth. Mix in the food coloring (if using). 

4. Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until done. 

5. Make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then, mix in the lemon juice and vanilla. Gradually beat in the sugar until light and fluffy. 

6. Frost and serve. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Serve and enjoy! 

Ladle lifting a slice of lemon crazy cake with cream cheese on a baking pan.

Tips for the Best Lemon Crazy Cake

Here are a few tips to remember for the tastiest cake. 

  • Zest the lemons first. Always zest lemons before juicing them. Trying to do it the other way around is a nightmare. Also, be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
  • Don’t overmix! Mix the batter just until it’s smooth and no large lumps remain. Overmixing will result in a dry, dense cake. 
  • Choose your consistency. You can easily adjust the frosting consistency. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add extra lemon juice.
  • Let it chill. Let the cake cool completely before frosting it. Otherwise, the frosting may melt.  
  • Switch things up. Swap out the lemon zest and juice for other citrus fruits. (I love making this recipe with orange juice and zest.) Lime is another option. You can also add fresh berries, poppy seeds, or different extracts to the batter. 
Slice of lemon crazy cake with fork.

How to Store

You can store or freeze leftover lemon crazy cake. Here’s how: 

To Store: Wrap the leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, or transfer them to an air-tight container. Refrigerate them for up to 5 days. 

To Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing frosted lemon crazy cake. However, you can freeze unfrosted cake quite easily. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then, freeze it for 2 to 3 months. 

To Thaw: Let frozen lemon crazy cake thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, frost and serve.

Lemon Crazy Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

9

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

35

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minutes
Calories

605

kcal

Get ready to go crazy for lemon crazy cake! It’s light, refreshing, and the cream cheese frosting on top is the literal icing on the cake!

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2-3 lemons)

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 2-3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

  • For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest until well combined. Make three wells in the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the lemon juice into one well, the oil into the second, and the vinegar into the third. Pour the water over everything and mix until the batter is smooth. Add food coloring if using and mix until evenly colored.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Spread frosting over the cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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