Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake


One bite of this Arnold Palmer-inspired cake and even golfers will agree: There's such a thing as the perfect slice.

Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Active Time:
35 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
12 to 15 servings

Feeling rowdy? Spin this into a tipsy cake by substituting up to 2 Tbsp. vodka or bourbon for the lemon juice in the frosting.



  • Shortening

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water

  • 3 family-size tea bags

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 3 ½ cups cake flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon table salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

  • ¼ cup butter, softened

  • 6 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease (with shortening) and flour a 13- x 9-inch pan. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over tea bags in a heatproof glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and steep 10 minutes. Lift tea bags from liquid, and press against side of bowl, using back of a spoon; discard tea bags. Cool tea 20 minutes.

  2. Beat butter in a separate large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Whisk together cake flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with 1 cup tea, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (Discard any remaining tea.) Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan.

  3. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 20 minutes).

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the Lemonade Frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Beat in lemon zest and fresh lemon juice just until blended. Increase speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy.

  5. Spread Lemonade Frosting on cooled cake.

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