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Citrus Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting Easy Recipe

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A moist and flavorful Citrus Cake easy recipe with a combination of lemon, lime, and orange flavors. I use tricks with cake mix for this easy recipe.

green and orange cake which is lemon and lime flavors

My easy Citrus Cake only requires 6 ingredients. The Lemon Lime frosting is only 4 ingredients. I love making cakes full of flavor without all the work. This is one of those easy cake recipes with a couple of flavorful cheats.

Table of Contents

Citrus Cakes are not all the same

Many citrus cake recipes are made from scratch using lemon zest, cake flour mixtures, and lemon curd between the layers then topped with a twirl of extra-tangy frosting. This is not that cake.

I prefer a much simpler layered cake with each of the layers being a different citrus flavor and frosted with a creamy lemon-lime cream cheese frosting. My cake is perfect for summer flavors and even a Thanksgiving dessert.

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This Citrus layer cake is inspired by my Rainbow Layer Cake. It has 4 layers and was a lot of work but the flavors were wonderful. This Citrus Cake recipe is a spin-off of the Rainbow cake with only 2 layers.

a two layer cake frosted with lime slices on top  displayed on a cake plate on a stand

Sometimes I enjoy getting in the kitchen and creating something completely new like this cake recipe with tropical fruity flavors of lemon, lime, and orange. A perfect cake for spring and summer with an abundance of citrus fruit flavors.

Made from scratch lemon-lime cream cheese frosting really is ‘the icing on the cake’ with this easy recipe for a Citrus cake. 

A word about making homemade frosting

Made from scratch lemon-lime cream cheese frosting really is the icing on the cake with this easy recipe for a Citrus cake.

Once you learn to make homemade cream cheese frosting with powdered sugar, you should be able to make it the flavor you want each time. Rather than adding milk to this frosting, we use the juice of limes to create a hint of tropical flavor perfect for this cake. 

Do you prefer a fresh lemon flavor in your frosting? Replace the limes with lemons and follow the same instructions for an easy substitution option.  

a round cake with lime slices swirled on top sitting on a cake plate

Have some fun with frosting and decorating cakes you bake. Every single cake does not have to look like you picked it up from a professional bakery.

Just something simple like I did. I used a butter knife to fluff the frosting on this Citrus cake. If I knew how to do elaborate décor, I probably would do it but frankly, simplicity is a great thing!

Making the cake

Just like the Rainbow Layer cake, flavored jello is our secret ingredient in this Citrus Cake with Lemon-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting. You might be surprised to taste the amazing flavor the jello adds to a cake.

Ingredients

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix
  • Egg Whites according to box directions
  • Oil according to box directions
  • Water according to box directions
  • 1 (3oz.) Box Lime jello
  • 1 (3 oz.) Box Orange jello

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese softened
  • 1 small pkg. Lemon jello
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • Juice of 1 or 2 limes

Equipment Needed

  • Electric mixer
  • Wire rack for cooling
  • Two 8″ Round Cake pans or square pan if you prefer
  • Sifter
  • Cake plate
  • Rubber spatula
  • Large bowl

Cake Instructions

The cake layers will each have a different flavor, lime and orange making a delicious tropical combination perfect for a summer dessert.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare cake mix according to package directions.

Step 2

Divide prepared cake mix into two medium bowls with equal amounts in each bowl. It should be about 2 cups per bowl.

orange and green cake frosting being tinted

Step 3

Stir the entire box of orange jello into one bowl of batter and mix thoroughly using a rubber spatula until well blended.

Do the same with the lime jello.

Step 4

Pour the orange batter into a prepared 8″ round cake pan and do the same with the lime batter in the other cake pan. Bake until done according to package directions.

How to tell when the cake is done

The cake is done when separating from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

How To Make The Frosting

This made-from-scratch cream cheese frosting adds lime flavor to your easy Citrus cake. It’s the perfect combination of citrus flavors in a dessert.

Step 1

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl to remove any possible lumps. This is always wise when making homemade frosting.

Step 2

In a separate large bowl, fluff the cream cheese with the mixer on medium speed. Once the cream cheese is fluffy, begin adding powdered sugar to the cream cheese, a little at a time blending well as you go.

Step 3

Once the powdered sugar and cream cheese are blended begin adding the liquid.

Squeeze lime juice into the mix and continue to blend until the desired consistency.

If your frosting gets too thin, add more confectioners sugar, about one tablespoon at a time until it is the desired consistency.

If your frosting gets too thick, add more lime juice just one or two drops at a time. Sometimes we have to make these adjustments when making frosting from scratch.

Citrus Cake with Lemon Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Shirley Wood
Easy cake recipe with citrusy flavors throughout
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix
  • Egg Whites according to box directions
  • Oil according to box directions
  • Water according to box directions
  • 1 Box Lime jello
  • 1 Box Orange jello
  • FROSTING
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 small pkg. Lemon jello
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • Juice of 1 or 2 limes

Instructions
 

  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Divide prepared cake mix into two bowls with equal amounts.
  • Stir entire box of orange jello into one bowl of batter and mix thoroughly until well blended.
  • Stir entire box of lime jello into the other bowl of cake batter and mix until well blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared 8″ round cake pans and bake until done according to package directions. Cake is done when separating from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • FROSTING DIRECTIONS
  • Sift the confectioners sugar to remove lumps.
  • Fluff the cream cheese with the mixer. Add powdered sugar a little at a time blending well as you go. Add the box of lemon jello and blend well.
  • Squeeze lime juice into the mix and continue to blend until the correct consistency. If you get the frosting too thin, add more confectioners sugar.If it is too thick add more lime juice.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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How to make Orange Lime Layer Cake with Lemon Lime Cream Cheese frosting. Tricks with cake mixes. Tropical fruit flavored cake. #cakerecipe #citrusdessert

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12 Comments

    1. Pam, Thank you so much for leaving a comment. Nope you didn’t miss anything, I did. The recipe has been updated. The lemon jello blends along with the powdered sugar while making the frosting. Thank you for letting me know! I hope you enjoy the cake!

  1. I love citrus. I’m thinking that the lime frosting sounds especially delicious. (Is my weakness for frosting showing)? I’m one of those people that likes a little cake with my frosting. Thank you for sharing this recipe at Think Tank Thursday link party.

We enjoying hearing from you!