How To Make An Easy Lemon Cake With Just 3 Ingredients

While complex desserts can be fun to make, sometimes we just want a super simple recipe — especially if it only requires a handful of ingredients. Next time you're in the mood to whip up an easy-to-make dessert, consider making a 3-ingredient lemon cake.

To make the cake, all you need is a 16-ounce box of angel food cake mix, a 21-ounce can of lemon pie filling (or lemon curd), and one large lemon. You'll use the lemon for both its juice and its zest, which will add extra, fresh lemon flavor. Additionally, disregard any instructions on the angel food cake mix (such as adding water) and only add the mix.

Not only does it require just three ingredients, but it only takes three steps: Mix the ingredients in one bowl, pour into a 9x13 baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes. You'll know the cake is done when the edges are golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean. The result is a light and fluffy cake, full of bright lemon-y flavor. You'll hardly be able to tell the difference between this and a lemon cake with more ingredients.

How to customize the 3-ingredient lemon cake with extra ingredients

One of the most common ways to customize this cake with an extra ingredient is to add powdered sugar to the top for just a little bit of extra sweetness (and decoration). Another option is to add a layer of frosting or icing to the top. For this option, you can go with homemade vanilla buttercream or stick with the lemon theme and make a batch of lemony sugar cookie icing (which works just as well on a cake). Or, for something a bit more unique, you can take inspiration from our lemon meringue cupcakes and go with a meringue for the frosting option — after all, lemon and meringue go hand in hand.

Another option is to add fruit into the mix to make the lemon cake a little more interesting. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries will all pair well with lemon and can easily be integrated into the mix. Or, if you wanted to infuse citrus flavors, you could add lime juice or orange juice to the batter — either in place of the lemon juice or combined with it. You could even add crushed nuts — perhaps pecans or almonds — to the batter for a nutty and citrusy infusion.