Lemon Bundt Cake

This moist and fluffy Lemon Bundt Cake is soaked in a rich, buttery lemon drizzle, then finished with a glossy, powdered sugar icing for the ultimate citrus cake! If you’re a fan of Starbuck’s Lemon Loaf, you’re going to love this lemon butter cake!

So Much to Love About A Lemon Bundt Cake

Slice of lemon bundt cake held by a pie server.

Nothing makes me feel more like a badass baker than turning out a perfect bundt cake. Forget roller coasters, the only adrenaline rush I need is lifting up that pan to reveal a perfectly browned and beautiful bundt. What a feeling!

I promise this isn’t turning into a bundt cake blog, but I am unashamedly making my way through all the potential fruity, chocolatey, and caramely flavors.

Why not have a bundt cake for every occasion and craving? They’re relatively easy to make, look effortlessly gorgeous, and work just as well for a birthday as they do for a cookout or potluck.

So far, we’ve perfected Strawberry Bundt Cake, Pear Bundt Cake, Banana Caramel Cake, and, of course, the one that started it all, The BEST Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Now, we finally have a Lemon Bundt Cake for all of our lemon lovers! This beauty gets its bright, sunny flavor from lemon juice, lemon zest, and a buttery, puckery lemon drizzle.

Iced Lemon Bundt Cake on a glass platter.

The lemon cake has a mild lemon flavor with a tender and fluffy crumb, but it’s the lemon soaking syrup that sets it over the top, delivering a burst of clear, golden citrus. We top it all off with a simple icing, reminiscent of the thickly iced lemon loaf at Starbucks.

This cake will call to you at breakfast; it will beg to be sliced up and served alongside a cup of coffee as an afternoon pick me up, and you might still find yourself looking longingly in its direction at bedtime. Let’s get down to business and make this sunny lemon bundt cake together!

Key Ingredients

What You’ll Need to Make the Cake:

Ingredients for lemon bundt cake in small prep bowls.
  • Milk– I prefer to use whole milk, but 2% would also work.
  • Lemon juice + Zest– Fresh squeezed lemon juice is the way to go! Use a citrus squeezer and microplane grater to make it easy.
  • Eggs– We’ll need a whopping five eggs for this lemon bundt cake. Having them at room temperature helps them incorporate easily into the batter.
  • Flour + Cornstarch– This is my hack for achieving a light, fluffy cake texture without using cake flour.
  • Baking basics– Baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar.
  • Butter– Nothing beats the flavor of a lemon butter cake! I use unsalted butter when baking so I can control the amount of salt in the final recipe.

What You’ll Need for the Drizzle and Icing:

Ingredients for lemon drizzle and icing- powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, butter, lemnon juice, sugar.
  • The drizzle is made with lemon juice, butter, and a bit of sugar.
  • For the icing, you’ll need powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream or half and half.

How to Make Lemon Bundt Cake

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 12-15 cup bundt pan with cooking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy. Zest your lemons before juicing them. Set aside.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the cake flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  4. Add the butter. With the beater attachment in place and the mixer on low speed, begin adding the butter in small Tablespoon sized pieces. Continue to beat until all the butter is added, and the mixture is in small crumbs.
  5. Add the milk mixture. Pour in ¾ of the milk mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is pale and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining milk and beat for a final time, on low to start and then on high for another minute, scraping down the bowl halfway.
  1. Bake. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the center rack until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 60-70 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before placing a wire rack on the top of the bundt pan and inverting it.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. While the cake is still warm, use a pastry brush to soak the cake with the glaze. You’ll likely need to make several passes over the cake before it is all soaked in. Let the cake cool completely.
  3. Prepare the icing. Combine the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the icing over the cake, letting it cascade over the sides. Let it set before slicing and serving.

Storage and Make Ahead Instructions

  • Leftover lemon bundt cake should be covered in saran wrap and stored at room temperature. It will stay fresh for 5-7 days.
  • If you’d like to make the bundt cake ahead of time, prepare it as usual and add the glaze. The cake can then be double wrapped in saran wrap and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight then add the icing.
Pastry brush brushing a lemon butter drizzle into bundt cake.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Lemon Bundt Cake

  • Zest your lemons before squeezing them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve jumped into a recipe, squeezing my lemons with carefree glee, only to realize I still need the zest. It’s MUCH easier to zest the lemons before they’re been sliced and juiced.
  • Starting with room temperature ingredients helps the batter incorporate more completely and quickly.
  • To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, submerge them in a bowl of warm water for about a 1 minute.
  • Make sure the batter is well incorporated by scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl at regular intervals.
  • The soaking lemon drizzle should be put on the cake while it’s still warm, while the icing should be poured once the cake is completely cool.
  • Taking time to let the lemon drizzle soak in makes all the difference! If you enjoyed the flavor and extra moisture this technique gives, try it out in our Peach Bundt Cake with Bourbon Syrup.
Icing being drizzled on a lemon bundt cake.

FAQs

Can I use a regular cake pan instead of a bundt?

The average bundt cake pan holds 12 cups of batter. If you’d like to use a regular pan, you’ll need one 13 x 9 inch cake pan or two 9 inch rounds. Make sure to leave about ½ inch of space above the batter for the cake to rise. You may have a little batter leftover.

You’ll also need to adjust your cooking times. Here’s a great guide to baking times and temperatures for different pans.

How to keep a bundt cake from sticking?

Use a good quality aluminum bundt pan, and coat it generously with Baker’s Joy or another cooking spray that contains flour. I have not had any issues with sticking since switching to Baker’s Joy.

How do you keep a lemon bundt cake moist?

Good news, this cake stays moist for a very long time! The lemon drizzle helps seal the exterior of the cake and keep moisture in. For best results, cover the cake in saran wrap and store at room temperature.

Icing cascading down the sides of a leon bundt cake.

What can I use if I don’t have enough lemon zest?

If you don’t have lemon zest, sub a teaspoon of the zest for ½ teaspoon of lemon extract. I don’t recommend subbing the zest with additional lemon juice as it can impact the final texture of the cake.

Can I use a fine grater to zest a lemon?

Absolutely! Most citrus zesters are, essentially, fine graters. If you don’t have a citrus zester (this one is our favorite), you can absolutely use a fine cheese grater.

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh?


I personally find bottled lemon juice to be much more tart and acidic than fresh, so I don’t recommend using it as a substitute when baking.

Iced lemon bundt cake standing on a yellow plate.

More Lemon Recipes to Try

Slice of lemon bundt cake held by a pie server.

Lemon Bundt Cake

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Moist and fluffy lemon bundt cake is topped with a buttery lemon drizzle and simple icing for an effortlessly elegant dessert.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

For the icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cream or half and half
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 12-15 cup bundt pan with cooking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy. Zest your lemons before juicing them. Set aside.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the cake flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  4. Add the butter. With the beater attachment in place and the mixer on low speed, begin adding the butter in small Tablespoon sized pieces. Continue to beat until all the butter is added, and the mixture is in small crumbs.
  5. Add the milk mixture. Pour in ¾ of the milk mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is pale and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining milk and beat for a final time, on low to start and then on high for another minute, scraping down the bowl halfway.
  6. Bake. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the center rack until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 60-70 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before placing a wire rack on the top of the bundt pan and inverting it.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. While the cake is still warm, use a pastry brush to soak the cake with the glaze. You’ll likely need to make several passes over the cake before it is all soaked in. Let the cake cool completely.
  8. Prepare the icing. Combine the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the icing over the cake, letting it cascade over the sides. Let it set before slicing and serving.

Notes

The cake should be covered in saran wrap and stored at room temperature. It will stay nice and moist for at least 5 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 240mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 5g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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