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Lemon Dream Cake (+Video)

Easy Lemon Dream Cake starts with a boxed cake mix swirled with lemon pie filling. All topped with a creamy, lemony whipped topping!

A CREAMY CAKE FOR LEMON LOVERS

This lemon cake has quickly become one of my favorites (and a favorite of my co-workers!) My co-workers are often my guinea pigs for new recipes. This recipe is definitely for those who love lemon desserts. It is so easy to make but looks like you spent hours making it. If you want a fun new lemon recipe, try making this Lemon Dream Cake!

Lemon Dream Cake, slice with lemon on a white round plate.

LEMON CAKE MIX AND LEMON PIE FILLING

Now, you would think looking at this recipe that this cake is on lemon overload. Let me assure you – it really isn’t. It isn’t crazy sweet or a big ole lemon bomb. It is the perfect balance of sweet and a little tart from the pie filling.

closeup photo of a slice of lemon dream cake with a small bite removed.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • vanilla cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake (eggs, oil and water)
  • lemon pie filling
  • lemon flavored frosting
  • whipped topping (COOL WHIP)
vanilla cake mix, ingredients needed to make cake (eggs, oil and water) lemon pie filling, lemon flavored frosting, whipped topping (COOL WHIP).

HOW TO MAKE LEMON DREAM CAKE:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare cake mix as directed on the back of the box. Pour batter into baking dish.

a yellow stand mixer with cake batter being mixed in the clear stand mixer bowl.

Place spoonfuls of lemon pie filling all over the batter.

vanilla cake batter in a glass baking dish with pie filling dotted all over the cake batter.

 Take a knife and swirl it all around to help evenly distribute it better.

a knife swirling together the cake batter and the lemon pie filling.

Note: The lemon pie filling is heavier than the cake batter. So it will sink to the bottom of the cake as it is cooking. Don’t worry, it won’t burn. This is normal.

swirled lemon cake before baking in a clear baking dish.

Bake at 350F degrees (in center rack) for about 35-40 minutes. Until it springs back to the touch and isn’t jiggly in the center. Let cake cool completely before proceeding to the next step.

lemon dream cake shown fully baked in baking dish.

In a bowl, combine lemon frosting with whipped topping. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Cool Whip and lemon frosting shown being mixed together in a bowl.

Spread frosting over cooled cake.

lemon frosting on lemon swirled cake in baking dish.

Refrigerate until chilled and keep any leftovers refrigerated.

a fork holding up a bite of lemon dream cake.

CRAVING MORE LEMON RECIPES?

Lemon Dream Cake recipe

Lemon Dream Cake (+Video)

Easy Lemon Dream Cake starts with a boxed cake mix swirled with lemon pie filling. All topped with a creamy, lemony whipped topping!
4.83 from 117 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 15.25 ounce box vanilla cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake: eggs, oil & water (according to the back of the cake mix box)
  • 15.75 ounce can lemon pie filling
  • 16 ounce tub lemon flavored frosting
  • 8 ounce tub whipped topping (COOL WHIP) thawed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Prepare cake mix as directed on the back of the box. Pour batter into baking dish.
  • Place spoonfuls of lemon pie filling all over the batter.
  • Take a knife and swirl it all around to help evenly distribute it better.
  • Bake at 350F degrees (in center rack) for about 35-40 minutes until cake springs back to the touch and isn’t jiggly in the center.
  • Let cake cool completely before proceeding to the next step.
  • In a bowl, combine lemon flavored frosting with whipped topping. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Spread frosting over cooled cake. Slice and serve or place in the refrigerator to chill slightly before serving.

Video

Notes

  • Refrigerate any leftovers.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 453mg | Sugar: 54g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Originally published: July 2012
Updated & republished: July 2019

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157 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love lemon and so does my staff, I make this cake at least 6 times a year. it’s a big hit and I never have any to bring home. I do use a lemon cake mix and it’s fabulous

  2. 5 stars
    this is one of my favorite, go-to recipes when I want to wow them and don’t have a lot of time. it’s always a hit. I have one cooling on my counter as we speak!

  3. 5 stars
    Can I substitute sour cream for the oil or will it make the cake to dense for the lemon pie filling? I make this recipe and everyone loves it but I have heard sour cream added to a cake mix makes it even better.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this cake tonight and I called it my cheap cheat sheet cake. It sure is delicious though. Thank you so much for the great recipe. My mother told me the trick with the frosting from a can and cool whip and I wasn’t very sure of it. I am a purist when it comes to frosting but it is delicious. I loved it and so did my husband which is amazing because he doesn’t like anything except chocolate. Thank you again and again. I will try your other lemon recipes. I have a really good lemon tear apart loaf bread that is good too. .

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious! We love anything lemon. I did put fresh blueberries on top of the whipped frosting. Very refreshing.

  6. 5 stars
    YUM! This was so easy and it was such a big hit it was gone in one day. That’s saying something when there are only 3 of us. Ever since I made it my hubby wants more lemon cake. He is a fan of yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I think that is so boring. But I try to keep him happy. He even went out and bought more lemon cake mix-that is what I made your cake with and it was GREAT. I love your recipes. Thank you. Thank you.

  7. 5 stars
    I have a friend who needs to eat gluten free. Her birthday is coming up & her husband called & asked specifically for this cake since she loves it & I do too. I used a GF yellow cake mix. I made a lemon pie filling from scratch & used GF flour. Now waiting on cake to cool. We will be celebrating tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe.