Filed Under: cake | Cakes & Cupcakes

Lemon Bundt Cake

By Tessa Arias
  |  
May 18th, 2022
4.34 from 6 votes
4.34 from 6 votes

This Lemon Bundt Cake is ultra moist, tender, buttery, full of fresh lemon flavor and so easy to make. Topped with a simple lemon glaze. 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. 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.

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 for more details on these two leaveners, as well as more shocking baking experiment results like this one below:

comparison of homemade muffins made with baking powder vs baking soda

Do I have to use cake flour?

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:

You’ll need:

  • 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 Cake Overview:

  1. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Generously grease a bundt cake pan. Pour in the batter.
  5. 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:

  1. Use a simple quality nonstick bundt pan and take proper care of it (hand washing and drying instead of using the dishwasher).
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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

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.

More Lemon Recipes You’ll Love:

4.34 from 6 votes

How to make
Lemon Bundt Cake

Yield: 14 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
This Lemon Bundt Cake is ultra moist, tender, buttery, full of fresh lemon flavor and so easy to make. Topped with a simple lemon glaze. It's the perfect show stopping cake for any occasion!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (191 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (500 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (from about 6 lemons)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 4 sticks (452 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the glaze:

  • 2 1/2 cups (313 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream

Directions

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to evenly distribute the zest. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and sour cream and pulse until combined. On low speed, gradually drizzle in the melted and cooled butter in a slow steady stream until well combined.

  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredient mixture. Pour in the wet ingredients. Mix gently with a rubber spatula until just combined. Batter will be slightly thin.

  5. Grease a 10 or 12-cup bundt pan generously with baker’s nonstick cooking spray, such as Baker’s Joy, or melted shortening. Use a pastry brush to spread the spray into every nook and cranny of the pan. Immediately pour in the batter.

  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 50 to 60 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan for 15 to 20 minutes, then run a thin flexible knife around the edges before inverting onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Make the glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients until thick but pourable. Add more juice or milk to thin out or more sugar to thicken until your desired consistency. Spoon over the cake, letting it drip down the sides if desired. Let set for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  2. The glazed cake can be covered in foil or plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Recipe Video

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : lemon bundt cake, lemon cake

This post was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2022 with new photos and recipe improvements. Photos by Joanie Simon.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

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!)

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!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Wendy — June 25, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    I dont have a blender or food processor I used a hand mixer to blend the wet ingredients and tried to slowly pour the melted and cooled butter and this cake tasted amazing, but it was really dry and dense. After a day or so it kept tasting more and more like eggs.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 27, 2022 at 8:07 am

      Hi Wendy! I’m sorry to hear this bundt cake didn’t turn out as you had hoped. I definitely think something went wrong here, unfortunately! I would love to help you troubleshoot what may have happened here! Firstly, how do you measure your flour? By volume (using cups), or be weight (using a digital kitchen scale)? It’s so easy to add extra flour to a recipe and throw off the entire chemistry of a recipe if measuring by volume. Tessa talks about how to best measure ingredients, to ensure accuracy every time, in this article here! You also mentioned you don’t have a a food processor or blender, and instead used a hand mixer. This could have resulted in over-mixing, which would account for the density and dry texture. Lastly, I just want to mention your leavening agent. If your baking powder is not fresh, it won’t correctly lift and lighten your baked goods. Tessa talks about the science behind leavening agents, and how to test for leavener freshness, in this article here! I hope this helped! Please feel free to reach back out if you have any further questions! Happy baking 🙂

  2. #
    Carol Baxter — June 18, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    I made this for a group of 10 people. Everyone loved it!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:51 am

      Hi Carol! So happy you and your friends enjoyed this cake so much!!

  3. #
    Maria M. — May 31, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    Spectacular recipe! Made this beauty for my moms birthday and it did not disappoint. My bundt would not come out of that darn tin but I flipped it and used a hair dryer all around and after just a couple of minutes it slide right out!

    Great lemon flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness. Can’t wait for another occasion to make this 🙂

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 1, 2022 at 7:21 am

      Woohoo, so happy you were able to get the cake out of the pan, Maria!! So excited that you and your mom enjoyed this cake! 🙂

  4. #
    Julie — May 20, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    I’m anxious to try this! Do you think this would work for mini bundt cakes?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 23, 2022 at 9:10 am

      Hi Julie! Unfortunately, we have not tested making this recipe into mini cakes! I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but having not tested it, I can’t tell you how long to bake them for! Make sure you read Tessa’s tips (in the pink box above the recipe), and watch carefully once they’re in the oven. Bake only until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let us know how you go, and good luck! 🙂

  5. #
    Alicia — May 18, 2022 at 7:37 am

    It looks amazing!!! What would be the best brand for a Bundt pan?

  6. #
    Fina — November 28, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Hi! I would like to make this recipe but i want to bake it in 6inch pan, can you tell me how do i convert the measurements?

    • #
      Emily — December 1, 2021 at 11:57 am

      I can’t say for sure, we haven’t tried that! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try 🙂

  7. #
    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

  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. #
    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

  10. #
    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.

  11. #
    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!

    XOXO

  12. #
    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.

  13. #
    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!

  14. #
    Sue McDonald — January 6, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Where did you buy your offset silicone spatula?

  15. #
    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.

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