Sometimes there’s nothing I crave more than the bright, vibrant, and fresh taste and aroma of fresh lemon. Like a fresh slice of moist, buttery, Lemon Bundt Cake.
As a complete chocoholic, this tends to be a deviation from my usual sweet cravings.
While this cake is delicious year-round, it’s the perfect citrusy dessert to enjoy during spring and summer. Also, this lemon cake smells absolutely amazing while it bakes. Imagine the combination of the smells of a clean house, a bakery window, and the best candle ever. Guests won’t want to leave when they smell this baking!
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.
The icing on this best Lemon Bundt Cake recipe is just the way I like it: ultra thick and smooth! Feel free to add more or less cream or lemon juice to thicken or 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.
How to Make Lemon Bundt Cake
What is the Difference Between Cake and Bundt Cake?
The main difference, of course, is the style of baking pan that’s used. A bundt pan is typically 10 to 12 cups in volume capacity, whereas a single 8-inch round cake pan has 6 cups volume capacity. Besides the shape and design, Bundt cakes are typically more dense, moist, and sturdy than some layer cakes. They need to hold up to the more intricate design of the Bundt cake pan without collapsing or breaking apart.
Lastly, Bundt cakes are covered in an icing or glaze instead of being assembled with buttercream frosting.
Lemon Bundt Cake Ingredients:
- All-purpose flour – Measure correctly for moist and tender results.
- Cake flour – Using half all-purpose flour and half cake flour is the secret to a perfectly light and moist bundt cake. More on this below.
- Baking powder – Helps the cake rise.
- Salt – Balances out the sweetness.
- Granulated sugar – Sweetens and moistens.
- Lemons – Both lemon zest and lemon juice provide the perfect punch of flavor.
- Eggs – I know 8 large eggs seems like a lot of eggs, but trust me, the eggs are so important to baking up that perfectly rich and moist cake.
- Sour cream – Helps create that rich texture. You can also use full-fat plain unsweetened yogurt instead.
- Butter – You can’t have moist, buttery bundt cake without the butter! This recipe uses a LOT of butter because it’s essentially a pound cake.
Can I Use Baking Soda Instead of Baking Powder in Cake?
Baking powder and baking soda are both chemical leaveners that work to create light textures in baked goods. Although baking powder actually contains baking soda, the two leaveners are very different. Baking powder and baking soda are NOT interchangeable, so make sure to use baking powder for this recipe.
Check out my Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder article to learn how to test your leaveners for freshness (very important!) and for more information, as well as more shocking baking experiment results like this one below:
Do I Have to Use Cake Flour in this Lemon Bundt Cake?
This recipe uses half all-purpose flour and half cake flour for the best of both worlds. When using only all-purpose flour, the cake has more of a muffin texture. When using only cake flour, the cake is too delicate and crumbly.
While you can use only all-purpose flour in the flour mixture, I’d highly recommend using real cake flour for the best results. Check out my Cake Flour 101 article (and why I don’t use DIY substitutes) for more on the science of this ingredient.
How to Make a Lemon Glaze for a Bundt Cake:
- Powdered sugar
- Fresh lemon juice
- Milk or cream
Instructions: Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until thick but pourable. The consistency of your glaze will depend entirely on the brand of powdered sugar you’re using and how humid it is in your kitchen.
To make the lemon glaze thinner: Add more lemon juice or milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.
To make the lemon glaze thicker: Add more powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Do You Glaze a Cake When it’s Hot?
Allow the bundt cake to cool completely before glazing, otherwise your glaze will melt right off the hot cake.
How to Make Lemon Bundt Cake Overview:
- In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
- Using a food processor or blender, pulse the sugar and lemon zest. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and sour cream, and pulse. Gradually drizzle in the melted butter until well combined.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix gently until just combined. Don’t worry if there’s some lumps in the batter.
- Generously grease a bundt cake pan. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
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 and fall apart like the cake on the right:
Here are my three top tips for preventing bundt cakes from sticking to the pan:
- Use a simple, quality nonstick bundt pan and take proper care of it (hand washing and drying instead of using the dishwasher). This is the best bundt pan I’ve found.
- Use the right type of grease. I use baker’s nonstick cooking spray for this recipe, specifically Baker’s Joy. I’ve also had success in the past using melted shortening to grease other bundt cake recipes.
- Grease every nook and cranny of the bundt pan just before baking. This prevents the grease from sliding down the sides of the pan and collecting in a pool at the bottom by the time you pour in the batter. Use a pastry brush to generously apply the grease, being careful to get every centimeter, including that middle column.
In this article, I detail even more of 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.
Should You Let a Bundt Cake Cool Before Flipping It?
After baking the cake, cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, then run a thin flexible knife around the edges before inverting onto a wire cooling rack.
Topping Ideas for Best Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe:
- The Lemon Glaze included in the recipe below
- Fresh berries, such as strawberries or blueberries
- Whipped cream
- Cream cheese frosting (if using cream cheese frosting, serve the same day you frost)
- A dusting of powdered sugar
- Learn How to Make Ice cream with my simple, easy-to-follow recipe!
How to Store Lemon Bundt Cake:
The glazed cake can be covered in foil or plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Don’t refrigerate this cake as that will just dry it out. Wrap sliced leftovers well in plastic wrap and store in a ziptop bag or an airtight container for up to 2 days.