Glazed Lemon Snack Cake – Oh Sweet Basil

A bright lemon snack cake that is dense but moist, soaked in a lemon syrup and topped with a lemon glaze. This one is for all you lemon lovers out there!

This recipe started out as a white cake but I couldn’t resist the lemon and ended up with this tangy, delicious beauty. I haven’t regretted one second of it! In fact, I’ve never regretted any lemon cake recipe I’ve ever made!

A snack is a small amount of food that you eat between meals, so if this is a snack cake recipe, you can technically have at least two, if not three, pieces in one day. One between breakfast and lunch, another between lunch and dinner, and since it’s a cake, one more for dessert! Follow my logic there? Ha!

What Ingredients are Needed for Glazed Lemon Snack Cake?

There is lemon in all parts of this glazed cake…lemon lemon lemon! We will start with the ingredients for the cake and then a few more for the syrup and glaze. Let me just state right up front is that you will want to have about 5-6 lemons to make all the components of the this recipe. Here is your grocery list:


  • Dry Ingredients: All Purpose Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar, Salt and Lemon Zest
  • Wet Ingredients: Butter, Vegetable Oil, Eggs, Milk, Vanilla, Lemon Extract, Almond Extract and Lemon Juice

Lemon Syrup

  • Butter: adds richness
  • Sugar: adds the sweetness and helps thicken the syrup
  • Lemon Juice: adds flavor and tartness
  • Vanilla: adds flavor

Lemon Glaze

  • Powdered Sugar: adds sweetness
  • Lemon Juice (or Milk): If you want bright white glaze, use milk. If you want more lemon flavor, go with the lemon juice.

The measurements for each ingredient are listed in the recipe card below.

a photo of a square lemon cake covered in a white lemon glaze dripping down the sides. the cake is sitting on a piece of parchment paper on top of a gold cooling rack.

How to Make a Glazed Lemon Snack Cake

I’m going to walk you through the steps of making this cake. It is super simple and you’re going to love the bright lemon flavor in every step. Let’s start with the cake…


  • Preheat the oven and prepare an 8×8″ square baking pan with parchment.
    • PRO TIP: Spray the pan, line it with parchment and then spray again.
  • Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add the mixture of dry ingredients and mix until there are no big clumps.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup.
a photo of a lemon cake covered in white frosting. some pieces have been removed and the middle piece has been cut but not removed.

Lemon Syrup

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until the better melts. Stir to combine.
  • When the cake is finished, poke it everything with a toothpick.
  • Pour the lemon syrup all over the top.
  • Let the cake cool completely (at least an hour) before adding the glaze.
a photo of a square lemon cake that has been covered in a white lemon glaze that is dripping down the sides.


  • Whisk the ingredients together and then pour over the cooled cake.
    • PRO TIP: I like to remove the cake from the pan before adding the glaze so that it can drip down the sides.
    • If you want your glaze to be white like the photos, use milk instead of lemon juice to make the glaze.

What is Snack Cake?

A snack cake is typically a single layer cake with either no topping or a really simple topping like a glaze. Several of our cake recipes could be considered a snack cake like our glazed orange bundt cake.

Can I Use Bottled Lemon Juice?

Yes, you can, but I would recommend using fresh if at all possible. It really makes a huge difference in flavor.

a photo of a piece of lemon cake that has been cut from a square lemon cake. it is covered in a thick white glaze. there is a half of a lemon in front of it.

How Much Lemon Juice is in One Lemon?

It depends on the size of the lemon and how ripe it is, but in general, one lemon will give you 1/4 – 1/3 cup of juice.

How to Choose a Ripe Lemon

You want to look for a few key signs that a lemon is ripe. It should feel heavy for it’s size and have a pleasant smell. You also want the skin to be bright yellow and not be wrinkly. Lemons also usually have a thinner skin or a thicker skin. The thinner skin usually has more juice and thicker skin will be better for zesting.

a photo of a piece of glazed lemon cake sitting on a white plate

Can Lemon Cake Be Frozen?

Lemon cake can be frozen.

Cool completely, put in the freezer for a couple of hours without the glaze, then wrap well in plastic and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, let it come to room temperature on the counter and then add the glaze right before serving.

a photo of a piece of lemon cake that has been cut from a square lemon cake. it is covered in a thick white glaze. there is a half of a lemon in front of it.

Does Lemon Cake Need To Be Refrigerated?

No, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but it may last a day or two longer if kept in the refrigerator. If you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it will keep for up to 4 days.

a photo of a square lemon cake covered in a thick white glaze and the corner piece has been cut out and lemon halves are scattered around it.

Watch How this Snack Cake is Made…

All your lemon dessert cravings will be satisfied in this glazed lemon snack cake. It’s lemon on lemon on lemon and it’s just the bright summer cake your family will love! And if you’re looking for a snack cake for Christmas, try our peppermint chocolate snack cake!

More Lemon Desserts:

Servings: 9

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 hour 5 minutes

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For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a square 8×8” pan with parchment paper. I like to spray non stick spray on the pan, press in the paper and then spray again.

  • In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and whisk to combine.

    1 ½ Cups Flour, 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder, 1/4 teaspoon Salt, 3 Lemons

  • In another large bowl, mix together the butter, oil, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon extract, almond extract and lemon juice. Add to the dry ingredients and mix together until no clumps remain. 

    3/4 Cup Butter, 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil, 1 Cup Sugar, 4 Eggs, 1/2 Cup Milk, 2 teaspoons Vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract, 2 Tablespoons Lemon Extract, 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

  • Spread the batter into the lined pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the lemon syrup.

For the Lemon Syrup

  • While the cake is baking, add the butter, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir until melted.

    3 Tablespoons Butter, 3 Tablespoons Sugar, 4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

  • Once the cake it done, remove from the oven and prick everywhere with a toothpick. Pour the simple syrup over the top and allow to cool completely (at least 1 hour) before adding the glaze.

For the Lemon Icing

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice (*see note). Pour over the cooled cake. Let the cake sit for another hour for the the glaze to set up.

    1 Cup Powdered Sugar, 1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon juice

* If you want the glaze to be white, use milk instead of lemon juice.
Cake will keep for about 4 days.

Serving: 1gCalories: 504kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 270mgPotassium: 272mgFiber: 2gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 725IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 2mg

Author: Sweet Basil

Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes

Cuisine: American

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a photo of one piece of lemon cake topped with white frosting and sitting on a white plate. Several servings of cake are in the background.

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