Easy Pink Lemonade Cake

Cool, creamy, and super fluffy, this recipe uses quite a few boxed ingredients but is still absolutely delicious. No need to be snobby about a box mix when the result is this good.

square slice of pink cake with pink frosting

Easy Pink Lemonade Cake

Light, fluffy, and easy to make, this lemony cake is perfect for a baby shower, birthday, or any summer party.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Serving Size 16 slices

Equipment

  • 13 x 9 baking dish
  • Hand mixer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spatula

Ingredients 

For the Cake

  • 1 package lemon cake mix
  • 1 3.4 ounce package instant lemon pudding
  • cups water
  • 3 egg whites

For the Frosting

  • 1 3.4 ounce package instant French vanilla pudding
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
  • 1 8 ounce package Cool Whip defrosted

Instructions 

  • Prep the pan and oven. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish generously with nonstick baking spray. Preheat your oven to 350° F with a rack in the center.
  • Make the cake batter. Combine the boxed mix, egg whites, lemon pudding mix, and water in a large mixing bowl. Beat on low with a hand mixer for 3-4 minutes. Add pink food coloring to your preference.
    mixing bowl and baking dish full of cake batter
  • Bake and cool the cake. Bake the cake for 22-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool at room temperature for at least an hour before frosting.
    fully baked rectangular cake
  • Make the frosting. Beat the milk and vanilla pudding mix in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add the lemon extract if using, and gently fold in the whipped topping. Add pink food coloring until it reaches your desired shade of pink.
  • Assemble and cool. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, spread the frosting on top and refrigerate at least 2 hours, until chilled.
    finished cake

Notes

The cake will look coral/ orange at first when you add the pink food coloring because of all the yellow in the ingredients.  You can keep adding pink dye or just let it be. 
We prefer this recipe without the lemon extract, but lemon lovers will probably enjoy it. 
small plate with square piece of cake

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s so, so easy. Not too much to measure and just a few mixing bowls is all you need. Plus, it’s make-ahead.
  • It’s super yummy. You’ll love the creamy frosting on top of this delicious cake.
  • Cute and pretty. It’s the perfect shade of pink for any summer party.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on white wood counter

You’ll need the following for this sweet pink treat:

  • lemon cake mix
  • instant lemon pudding
  • water
  • egg whites (make vanilla ice cream with the yolks!)
  • instant French vanilla pudding
  • milk
  • lemon extract (optional)
  • frozen whipped topped such as Cool Whip 
  • 13 x 9 baking dish
  • Hand mixer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spatula

🍴Instructions

Step One: Make batter

mixing bowl and baking dish full of cake batter

First, prepare the pan and oven. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Then, preheat your oven to 350° F with a rack in the center.

To make the cake, first combine the boxed mix, egg whites, lemon pudding mix, and water in a large bowl. Stir together with a spoon for a few minutes. Next, add pink food coloring to get the desired color. Use a hand mixer on low speed to mix everything together for 3-4 minutes.

Step Two: bake

fully baked rectangular cake

Bake the cake for 22-26 minutes, until it is done. Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour before frosting it.

Step three: make frosting

if you’re using French vanilla pudding mix, it will look very yellow at first!

To make the frosting, beat the milk and vanilla pudding mix in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add the lemon extract if using, and gently fold in the whipped topping. Add pink food coloring until it reaches your desired shade of pink.

Step FouR: Frost, chill, serve

finished cake

Assemble the cake. Once it has cooled, spread frosting on top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so it will be chilled.

🥫 Storage instructions

This cake needs to be stored in the fridge because of the whipped topping frosting. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container. It will last up to 4 days in the fridge.

🔍 FAQs

How can I tell the cake is done?

This one will be browned slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes! This cake is actually better if you make it ahead of time and allow the flavors to meld together.

Can I use a different size pan?

You can, but the bake time will be different.

Can I use a different flavor of cake mix or pudding mix?

We’ve only tried it with lemon, but any flavors should work.

Can I skip the food coloring?

Sure! It will be lovely, soft yellow. 😊

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before beginning, especially the eggs. Room temperature ingredients mix together more easily and produce a better cake.
  • Do not add the ingredients on back of the pudding mix or cake mix. Just follow the recipe!
  • This cake is best served chilled. The flavors meld together better when it’s cold and the texture is much better.
  • To get perfect slices, use a serrated knife and wipe it clean after each cut.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

Having a sweet springtime party? Try some of these recipes:

slice of cake with lemons

📖 Here’s the recipe

Easy Pink Lemonade Cake

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