Is your sweet tooth calling? Do you love the tangy zip of citrus combined with the indulgent decadence of cream cheese? Are you craving a dessert that will brighten any dreary day with its bursts of sunshine flavor? Well, gather round, my friends – I’ve got just the treat for you! This lemon cream cheese dump cake is sure to satisfy even the strongest craving for something sweet and vibrant.
What exactly is a dump cake, you ask? It’s a magical dessert that comes together in minutes with very little effort required. Unlike fussy layered cakes that demand frosting expertise and piping skills, a dump cake is humble, homey, and incredibly easy. You simply dump the ingredients straight into a baking pan and let the oven work its magic to transform the mixture into a mouthwatering masterpiece.
This lemon iteration in particular has already earned countless fans for its irresistible combination of textures and flavors. It starts with a basic vanilla cake batter that bakes up tender and lightly sweet. But here’s where it gets really good – into that cake batter you’ll dump an entire filling made of rich, tangy cream cheese spiked brightly with fresh lemon juice and finely grated zest.
As the dump cake bakes away in the oven, the cream cheese filling melts into luscious ribbons that marble their way through the cakey base. The result? An effortless yet show-stopping creation with a texture almost like that of a lemon cheesecake meets cake. Every forkful delivers the creamily tart sensation of smooth cream cheese punctuated by vibrant pops of citrus. It’s sweet, it’s sunny, it’s impossible to resist going back for more!
What makes this dump cake so special is that despite its fancy flavor, it actually couldn’t be simpler to prepare. You don’t need to be a Top Chef or even crack open a cookbook. Thanks to just a handful of humble ingredients, even kitchen novices can stir this baby together. No frosting skills, piping tools, or cake decorating prowess required. Simply grease a baking pan, dump in the ingredients, and relax while your kitchen fills with the most irresistible lemon aroma. By the time the timer dings, you’ll have created a glorious cake loaded with bright lemon flavor in all its melt-in-your-mouth glory.
I don’t know about you, but I’m already dreaming of enjoying a big slice out on the patio in the golden glow of sunset. Doesn’t that sound perfect? The sweet, citrusy flavors paired with a cold glass of milk or a cup of tea? Absolutely heavenly, if you ask me!
Okay, okay, I can see the oven mitts twitching from here. You’re ready to get started! Let’s preheat that oven and get dumping, my friends! But first, keep reading and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to recreate lemonade happiness in cake form…
What is a dump cake?
A dump cake is a super easy cake where you just dump the ingredients straight into a baking pan without fancy mixing or layering.
What makes this one a lemon cream cheese dump cake?
This dump cake features a cream cheese filling flavored with fresh lemon juice and zest that gets swirled into a vanilla cake batter.
Why does it have such a great texture?
The cream cheese filling melts into luscious ribbons that marble their way through the tender cake for a sensation similar to cheesecake meets cake.
What flavor combo does it deliver in each bite?
Every bite has the tangy zip of lemons contrasted by the sweetness of vanilla cake and indulgent cream cheese for a creamily tart flavor.
How hard is it make this recipe?
It couldn’t be simpler – just grease a pan, dump in the ingredients, and bake. No mixing bowls or cake decorating skills required!
Should it be served warm or cooled?
Allow it to fully cool so the filling can firm up for nice, neat slices that hold together well.
What would pair nicely with this sunny cake?
Enjoy it with a cold glass of milk or hot cup of tea. The possibilities are endless!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- 225g all-purpose flour
- 170g granulated sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 115g unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 170g cream cheese, softened
- 60ml fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest (from 2-3 lemons)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- In your large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until thoroughly blended with no lumps. Create a well in the center and pour in the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Using a flexible rubber spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, blending just until combined. Be careful not to overmix or you’ll end up with a dense, tough cake texture. A few lumps are A-okay here! This gentle folding action is key for lift and rise.
- In your smaller bowl, beat the cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until completely smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. No cream cheese lumps allowed! Add in the fresh lemon juice and zest a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue mixing until it forms a beautifully bright, creamy lemon cream cheese mixture.
- Pour half the vanilla cake batter into the prepared pan, spreading gently to distribute evenly. Dollop large spoonfuls of the lemony cream cheese filling evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the filling through the batter, zig-zagging back and forth to create that gorgeous marbled effect. Finally, carefully spoon the remaining cake batter over the swirled filling layer.
- Bake the lemon cream cheese dump cake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through. It’s done when the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs clinging.
- Allow your masterpiece to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before attempting to slice. This helps the filling set up nicely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve it up! Store any leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature before mixing to ensure it blends smoothly into the batter while baking.
- Zest your lemons before juicing them to get the most flavor. The zest packs the bright citrus flavor while the juice provides the signature lip-puckering tartness.
- Resist any urge to overmix the batters. Gentle folding blends without deflating the rising agents that create lift as it bakes.
- An 8-inch square pan gives the perfect ratio of creamy cheesy filling to cakey goodness per serving. But a round pan could also work.
- A glass baking dish allows you to peek at the marbling effect as it bakes up. So gorgeous!
- Let it fully cool before enjoying for neat, pretty slices that hold together nicely with all that melty filling.