A lemon bundt cake recipe that’s easy and simple to make with that bold lemon flavour you love. Crunchy outside, light and fluffy inside, drizzled with tangy lemon glaze.
(Love lemon cakes? You will love this simple, no-fail Meyer lemon ricotta pound cake recipe. If you want to bake a layer cake, this lemon curd layer cake is always a hit. And if you’re a fan of Starbucks glazed loaf, you’ll enjoy this lemon poppy seed loaf.)
Lemon cakes (and lemon desserts, in general) are a delicious alternative to rich, decadent desserts.
They’re still sweet and highly satisfying, but light and refreshing so you don’t feel too guilty having a second slice.
Take this lemon bundt cake.
Soft, fluffy and drizzled with a perfectly tangy lemon glaze. Perfect with tea, to serve to company, as a reward at the end of a long day.
It’s a great way to welcome spring and all that comes with it too!
Like Easter, Mother’s Day, warmer weather, sunshine and everything bright and wonderful.
How to make
To make this recipe for lemon cake, you’ll need pantry staples:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest
- Vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
I love making this cake in the colder months, when Meyer lemons are available. However, regular lemons would work too.
For the lemon glaze, you’ll need:
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
I use my Nordicware Anniversary Bundt Pan when making this recipe. That pan can take 10 to 15 cups of batter but as you can see from the photos below, this recipe only fills it up about ⅔ of the way.
So if you have a bundt pan that can hold at least 10 cups of batter, you can use that.
I also use:
- A baking sheet, placed under the bundt pan when baking
- Stand mixer, but a handheld electric mixer will work too
- Cake cooling rack
- Mixing bowls and spoons
- Whisk and rubber spatula
Preheat your oven to 350F and make sure your oven rack is in the lower middle position. Prep your bundt pan (more on this below) and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In another bowl, combine your buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest by rubbing them together using your fingers until fragrant.
I always have a stash of lemon sugar; great for baking all the lemony things!
Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and lemon sugar on medium-high speed…
…until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time.
Make sure to beat well after each addition.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with your buttermilk mixture.
Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl for any rogue batter.
Transfer the lemon cake batter to your prepped bundt pan and smoothen the top with a spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter to help settle it.
Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until a tester comes out with minimal dry crumbs. Rotate your pan at the 30-minute mark.
Take the pan out of the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Then carefully invert the pan onto the rack, release the cake and allow to cool completely.
How to make lemon cake drizzle
You can make the lemon cake drizzle while the cake is baking.
Just whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth, adding more lemon juice as necessary (about 1 teaspoon at a time) until the glaze thickens but is still pourable.
Drizzle it onto the cake while the cake is still slightly warm. And feel free to drizzle more as you serve.
Expert baking tips
How to coat a bundt pan so cake releases easily
There is really no right or wrong way to coat or grease a bundt pan.
Every baker has his or her own 100% guaranteed, no-fail technique. Some use butter with flour, some use just oil, others use ready-made cake release sprays.
If a specific way has worked for you, continue doing that.
I use shortening and granulated sugar.
- Melt about 2 tablespoons of shortening and coat pan using a pastry brush. Every nook and cranny, especially the middle/tube, which a lot of bakers forget.
- Sprinkle about a heaping tablespoon of sugar all over pan.
- Cover the top of the pan with cling wrap or aluminum foil and shake (I do it over the sink so I don’t make a huge mess.)
- See bald patches? Add more sugar and shake some more until the whole inside of the pan is covered.
Using sugar instead of flour gives my bundt cakes a nice crunch on the outside. It adds to the sweetness too but not by much.
How do you get a cake out of a bundt pan
If coated properly, a bundt cake should release from the pan easily.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan placed on a cooling rack. After about 10 minutes, carefully invert the cake onto the rack and lift pan. That’s it!
What to do if cake is stuck in pan
Sometimes, and it happens to the best of the best, cakes just get stuck to the pan. There are a several things we can do to help it along like steaming or freezing.
Check out this helpful guide.
How do you make a bundt cake without a bundt pan
No bundt pan? No problem. You can still make this lemon cake recipe using a rectangular pan or 2 round pans.
Divide the batter equally, just remember not to fill the pans to brim; make sure they’re only about ⅔ full.
Also, the cake will bake faster in these traditional pans so watch your cakes and check for doneness at the halfway point.
Storage and shelf life
You can store lemon bundt cake (with or without glaze) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you plan to store it for longer, it’s better to freeze it, preferably without glaze.
Just wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. It can last up to 1 month in the freezer.
To thaw, set the cake on the counter (still wrapped) for about 4 hours to allow it to come to room temperature.
Freshly baked, this lemon bundt cake is soft, light and fluffy. The next day, it takes on a denser texture similar to pound cake but still delicious!
Speaking of pound cakes, try this equally delicious pineapple pound cake from Paula over at Call Me PMC!
Did you make this lemon cake recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Easy Lemon Bundt Cake
For the lemon bundt cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp, unsalted butter room temperature and cut into pieces
- 3 pcs large eggs room temperature
- 1 pc egg yolk from a large egg room temperature
For the lemon glaze:
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp buttermilk
For the lemon bundt cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350F and make sure your oven rack is in the lower middle position. Prep your bundt pan (see post for details) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder and ½ tsp baking soda.
- In another bowl, combine ¾ cup buttermilk, 3 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 cups sugar and 3 tbsp lemon zest by rubbing them together using your fingers until fragrant.
- Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter and lemon sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with your buttermilk mixture. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl for any rogue batter.
- Transfer the lemon cake batter to your prepped bundt pan and smoothen the top with a spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter to help settle it.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until a tester comes out with minimal dry crumbs. Rotate your pan at the 30-minute mark.
- Take the pan out of the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Then carefully invert the pan onto the rack, release the cake and allow to cool completely.
For the lemon glaze:
- Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth, adding more lemon juice as necessary (about 1 tsp at a time) until the glaze thickens but is still pourable.
- Drizzle the glaze on the cake while the cake is still slightly warm. Feel free to drizzle more as you serve.
- Number of servings depends on how thick or thin you slice each cake piece.
- See the post for the complete step-by-step photos and baking tips.
Nutritional information are estimates only.