Filed Under: Cakes & Cupcakes

Lemon Bundt Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
January 3rd, 2018
4.67 from 3 votes
4.67 from 3 votes

Beautiful and tender Lemon Bundt Cake is full of bright and fresh natural lemon flavor, it's the perfect show stopping cake for any occasion!

Yield: 14 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Bright and fresh with just the right amount of sweet lemon flavor.
Texture: Moist and tender, but not too delicate.
Ease: Very easy! The glaze is an extra step, and it’s not completely necessary, but it adds more flavor and moisture to the cake.
Pros: Beautiful and vibrant cake.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? I’ve already made it a few times now.

Sometimes there’s nothing I crave more than the bright, vibrant, and fresh taste and aroma of fresh lemon. As a complete chocoholic, this tends to be a deviation from my usual sweet cravings.

Maybe it’s because we just kicked off the New Year and something that feels a little lighter and brighter is in order. Although this cake would be perfect during spring and summer as well. It smells absolutely amazing while it bakes, like the combination of a clean house, a bakery window, and the best candle ever.

Fresh lemon bundt cake with lemon cake, sweet glaze, and a thick icing

Here’s the scoop on this bundt cake…

It’s made with butter, which gives it a rich taste and texture, as well as buttermilk. The buttermilk truly does lend an incredible taste and insanely moist texture. You can learn more about how buttermilk works in baking and about buttermilk substitutions here.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can also use whole milk, though the taste and texture won’t be quite the same.

Beautiful and tender Lemon Bundt Cake is full of bright and fresh natural lemon flavor, it's the perfect show stopping cake for any occasion!

After the cake is done baking it gets a drenching of lemon glaze. This amplifies the citrus flavor and boosts the moisture of the cake. You could skip this step to save time and dishes, but often times it’s the little things that really add up to make show stopping desserts.

Slice of lemon bundt cake

The icing on this Lemon Bundt Cake is just the way I like it: ultra thick and smooth! Feel free to add more cream or lemon juice to thin it out, but I think thick icing makes a bundt cake extra beautiful and gourmet. Just be sure to let the icing set completely before you serve or transport it.

The cake will stay good for about 2 days if it’s kept in an airtight container. Don’t refrigerate it, that’ll just dry it out.

How to Prevent Bundt Cake from Sticking

There’s absolutely nothing worse than spending a bunch of time, energy, and ingredients on a cake only to have it stick to the pan. This is my favorite bundt pan* that cooks beautifully and doesn’t stick.

In the below video I detail my best tips for bundt cake that glides out of the pan perfectly. I also share some tricks for releasing a cake that’s already stuck:

If you make this Lemon Bundt Cake recipe then be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram, tagging me and #handletheheat!


4.67 from 3 votes

How to make
Lemon Bundt Cake

Yield: 14 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Beautiful and tender Lemon Bundt Cake is full of bright and fresh natural lemon flavor, it's the perfect show stopping cake for any occasion!


For the cake:

  • 2 sticks (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) buttermilk
  • 3 large lemons, zested

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 1/2 juicy lemons)
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

For the icing:

  • 1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspon fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream


Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Add the lemon zest. Mix on low speed until the batter is lump-free.
  4. Generously grease a 10 to 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Use a pastry brush to grease every nook and granny. Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Hit the pan against the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Make the glaze:

  1. Meanwhile, in a small heatproof bowl combine the lemon juice and sugar. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until the sugar is just dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Remove the cake from the oven, and carefully run a thin flexible knife between cake and pan all around the edge. Place the pan upside down on a cooling rack. If the cake drops out of the pan onto the rack, remove the pan. If the cake doesn’t drop onto the rack, let it rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift the pan off the cake. If the cake still feels like it's sticking, give it another 5 minutes upside down, then very gently shake the pan back and forth to loosen and remove it.
  3. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the hot cake. Let it absorb before brushing on more. Repeat until the glaze is gone. Let cool completely.

Make the icing:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the icing ingredients until smooth. Add more powdered sugar tot thicken, or more lemon juice to thin. The glaze should be extremely thick but pourable. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Let the icing set for about 20 minutes before serving. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Recipe Notes

*Affiliate link

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Jackie — January 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Tessa

    I have a problem with the top of my bundt cakes being hard, but the rest of the cake is soft. Can you tell me why that happens. Thanks.

  2. #
    Sue McDonald — January 6, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Where did you buy your offset silicone spatula?

  3. #
    Sabrina — January 20, 2018 at 11:29 am

    nice recipe and video, good non-stick tip! Love bundt cakes for entertaining, they just seem like the right thing to serve, and don’t have a lemon recipe. so thank you!

  4. #
    drae — July 27, 2018 at 7:53 am

    I often use a glaze comprised of 1 stick of butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of liquid (water, juice or alcohol) which I put in small pan and cook until butter and sugar dissolved and slightly thickened. I then loosen the cake in the pan and pour it over the cake while in pan & let it sit for approx. 15 – 20 minutes. After cake has cooled completely turn pan over and remove on cake plate. You can use as is or add frosting.

  5. #
    Rita Zelig — April 7, 2019 at 7:58 am

    I really want to make this for Passover. My only problems are these:
    A) I use use Potato Flour instead of regular cake flour
    B) I need to use Splenda instead of sugar

    I would appreciate any advice you could give me as to how this might turn out? Does baking time stay the same? Will it rise high enough? Be too dense or dry. Should I make any adjustments to other ingredient levels? Add any other ingredients not already mentioned in your recipe? Should I try separating eggs for more lightness due to potato flour?

    Thanks Tessa! I’m one nervous wreck to make this cake. I’m sooo sick & tired of same old boring coffee cake & marble cake!


  6. #
    cookie lady — April 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    I made this exactly as presented. It stuck terribly to the pan, even though I carefully greased it as suggested with the pastry brush and got every nook and cranny. I had to remake the whole thing. Very disappointing.

    This time I followed my intuition and also floured the pan after I greased it (as I do with all my banana bread recipes.) Still waiting for it to come out of the oven.

    I feel there should be more lemon in the cake itself rather than just zest. I would add some lemon juice and decrease the buttermilk. Just a suggestion.

  7. #
    Hebatallah — November 23, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Oh my God! This is the best white cake that I have ever made……EVER. The crumb, the flavor, everything.

    There’s another white cake recipe that I used over the past years but this for sure will be replacing it.

    I cut the ingredients in half to make it in a loaf pan and it worked perfectly. I wanted to really taste the lemon in the icing so mine didn’t come out as white but it was full of flavor. I use non stick spray al over the pan and lightly flour it to eliminate the risk of the cake sticking to the pan.

    I see myself making this very often and next time it will be in a bundt pan 🙂

    Btw….80% of the cake was gone in less than an hour. Where can I post pictures? Lol

  8. #
    David W. — March 25, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    My son asked for a “lemon cake” for his 24th birthday. I tried this recipe, and it was AMAZING!!! It delivered great lemon flavor, and was a moist and tender cake. It released beautifully out of my bundt pan thanks to your tip of using a pastry brush to put melted shortening all over the inside of the pan, and then dust the entire pan inside with almond flour. Worked like a charm! Thank you!

  9. #
    Mary — November 8, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you Tessa, I love this recipe! Robust lemon flavor, and wonderful texture, especially with the Buttermilk in the recipe!

    I do have a question please: At about 55 minutes at 350F, the cake appeared done (with tester insert coming out clean). However, there was one “hot spot” in the cake that was not done, still had some semi-wet batter. So, I baked a little bit longer to try to finish the one spot (even rotated pan in oven). So, the rest of the cake got a little bit overdone to try to finish baking the one spot. I have never had this happen before – any ideas what would have made the one spot not bake evenly?

    Thank you so much! Xx Mary

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