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Lemon-Lime Checkerboard Cake

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  • Prep 40 min
  • Total 4 hr 20 min
  • Servings 10
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Put a citrus spin on the iconic British Battenberg cake with our photo-worthy Lemon-Lime Checkerboard Cake. It's deceptively easy to make, but just as delicious as it looks.
Updated Mar 29, 2021
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  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Yellow Cake Mix
  • 4 oz cream cheese (from 8-oz package), softened
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon Betty Crocker™ Green Gel Food Color
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon Betty Crocker™ Yellow Gel Food Color
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd


  • 4 oz cream cheese (from 8-oz package), softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Grated zest of lemon and lime, for garnish


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans with shortening; lightly flour.
  • 2
    In large bowl, beat cake mix, 4 oz cream cheese, the water, 1/4 cup lemon juice and the eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour half the batter (2 cups) in another medium bowl.
  • 3
    To one half of the batter, add lime zest and green gel food color. Mix until combined. Add lemon zest and yellow gel food color to remaining half of batter. Mix until combined. Pour green batter into one loaf pan and yellow batter into other loaf pan.
  • 4
    Bake 22 to 27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of each cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling rack 10 minutes; run metal spatula around edges of each loaf to loosen. Remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 5
    Using serrated knife, cut rounded tops off each cake, so they’re level. Trim 1/4 inch off all 4 sides (leave bottoms uncut). On serving platter, set one cake on top of the other, top sides up, and line them up as much as possible. Make one cut down middle of cakes, lengthwise, making 4 long strips. Switch position of two of the strips to alternate colors in two layers, making sure top sides remain up.
  • 6
    Gently remove both strips from top layer. To help bottom strips stick together, spread 2 tablespoons lemon curd between the two bottom layer strips, and gently press together. Then spread 1/4 cup lemon curd on top of the bottom layer. Spread remaining 2 tablespoons lemon curd between the two strips of the top layer, and gently press them together. Place on top of bottom layer so the strips create a checkerboard pattern, if looking at them from either short end.
  • 7
    In medium bowl, beat 4 oz cream cheese and the butter with electric mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice; mix on low speed 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
  • 8
    Spread icing over cake, using spatula to completely coat top and sides. Garnish with grated lemon and lime zests. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Refrigerating the cake before serving helps to keep the slices neatly intact after they’ve been cut.
  • tip 2
    The frosting should be thick, but spreadable, and only needs a teaspoon liquid. If you add more lemon juice, it may not set properly after it’s been refrigerated.
  • tip 3
    The cake is garnished with grated lemon and lime zest. The easiest way to get the prettiest look is to grate the zest directly over the cake. That way it won't clump, as it would if you grated it on a cutting board and tried to sprinkle it over the cake by hand.


Nutrition Facts are not available for this recipe
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