Gooey Lemon Butter Cake Recipe

Prepare to indulge in a slice of sunshine with our Gooey Lemon Butter Cake! This dessert combines the zest of fresh lemons with the creamy richness of butter and cream cheese for a delightful treat that’s perfect for any occasion. Below, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of the ingredients and steps needed to create this delicious cake, along with some helpful FAQs and a piece of expert advice from our chef.


For the Lemon Cake:

  • 1 box of lemon cake mix
  • 1½ teaspoons of fresh lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar


1. Preparing the Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F (175° C).
  • In a medium bowl, combine the lemon cake mix, fresh lemon zest, one large egg, and a cup of melted unsalted butter. Stir until well mixed.
  • Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and pat the cake mixture evenly into the bottom.

2. Making the Filling:

  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add the two eggs, lemon extract, and another cup of melted butter to the cream cheese. Beat until these ingredients are fully integrated.
  • Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until the filling is smooth and creamy.
  • Carefully spread the filling over the cake layer in the pan.

3. Baking:

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. The edges should be set and golden, but the center should still be slightly gooey.
  • Allow the cake to cool slightly before serving, allowing the filling to set up a bit more for easy slicing.


Q1: Can I use fresh lemon juice in addition to the zest for more flavor?

  • Yes! Adding a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to the cake mix can enhance the lemony flavor.

Q2: How should I store the leftover cake?

  • This cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Ensure it’s tightly covered to maintain its moisture and flavor.

Q3: Can I make this cake ahead of time?

  • Absolutely! You can prepare the cake a day in advance and keep it refrigerated. Just bring it to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.

Q4: Is there a substitute for the lemon extract in the filling?

  • If you don’t have lemon extract, you can increase the amount of lemon zest in the filling for a natural lemon flavor.

Q5: Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

  • Yes, simply use a gluten-free lemon cake mix to make this dessert suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

Q6: What’s the best way to ensure the filling sets properly?

  • Make sure not to overbake the cake; the center should be slightly gooey. Letting the cake cool and set after baking is crucial for the perfect texture.

Chef’s Advice

  • “For an added touch of elegance and a burst of fresh lemon flavor, garnish your cake with thinly sliced lemon rounds and a sprinkle of powdered sugar right before serving. This not only makes your cake visually appealing but also enhances the flavor profile.”

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