Lemon Bundt Cake

This Lemon Bundt Cake recipe is absolutely fantastic! The lemon pound cake is so soft and buttery, with a delicious tangy lemon taste. It features a lemon syrup, and a lemon glaze, which makes the cake burst with lemon flavor even more!

And you will find out that this is an easy dessert to make! The results will be totally amazing, and you will wow any lemon lovers!

lemon bundt cake with a cream cheese glaze on top.

Lemon Pound Cake

You need simple ingredients to make this Lemon Bundt Cake.

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For this recipe you will need:

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Lemons (zest and juice): about 10 lemons in total for the whole recipe
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream: can use full-fat greek yogurt instead
  • All-purpose flour: you can sub for cake flour
  • Leavening agents: baking powder, baking soda
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Sweetened condensed milk: used for the glaze. I give other glaze options in the recipe card that are not made with sweetened condensed milk.
slice of lemon cake on top of a plate.

Cake instructions

This cake is butter based, with a lemon sugar that gets beaten into the butter until the mixture becomes fluffy and light.

To make the lemon sugar, simply rub the lemon zest and sugar together between your fingers. You could also gently pulse the sugar with the lemon zest in the food processor. The goal is to rub the sugar crystals against the lemon zest, which will make the lemon release its natural oils which are so rich in lemon flavor and aroma.

The eggs get added, as well as the sour cream and fresh lemon juice. The sour cream can always be substituted for greek yogurt, make sure to use full-fat for richer results.

rubbing sugar and lemon zest between fingers over a bowl, second picture: mixing butter and sugar in a mixer, third picture a bowl with sugar and butter beaten together and an egg, fourth picture: sour cream being added to the bowl.

Once the wet ingredients are all incorporated we add half of the flour and leavening agents plus salt.

Mix just until the flour is incorporated.

Add the milk at once. Make sure the milk is room temperature also.

Mix the batter just until incorporated in order to prevent the cake from being dry or tough when it bakes.

first picture: adding flour to a bowl with cake batter, second picture: adding milk to the same bowl, third picture: spatula running through smooth batter.

Make sure to grease the bundt cake pan well, ensuring each crevice of the pan is coated of butter and flour.

Spoon the cake batter in the greased bundt pan. I used a 12-cup bundt pan.

Use a spatula to smooth it out, and ensure the batter is evenly distributed.

spooning batter inside of a bundt pan, then smoothing out the batter with a spatula.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, give or take, start checking at around 45 min to be sure where you are at. A cake tester or toothpick inserted in the cake should come out clean. If you touch the top of the cake, it doesn’t feel jiggly underneath.

If the cake is browning too much but the inside isn’t cooked yet, cover with foil to help prevent the outsides of burning.

Lemon Syrup

While the cake is baking, you should make the Lemon Syrup. It just consists of boiling sugar and lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a small saucepan.

When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool down for 5 minutes, then prick the top with a fork.

Pour the syrup all over the cake.

Trust me on the syrup, it is fantastic!

You can add 1/4 cup of limoncello to the syrup if you want a little punch in your cake, and even more lemon flavor.

first picture: pan with a whisk and lemon syrup inside, second picture: poking holes on top of a cake, third picture: pouring syrup over the cake.

Let the cake cool down. I like to serve this type of cake when it’s barely warm.

While the cake is cooling down, make the glaze.

lemon bundt cake.

Lemon Glaze

For the glaze, I am going with a sweetened condensed milk glaze. Mixing sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice creates a reaction and it thickens the sweetened condensed milk. Plus it tastes like lemon! I adore sweetened condensed milk, so I think this glaze is super worth it.

You can add the zest to the glaze, or put on top of the cake like I did.

If you don’t want to make the sweetened condensed milk glaze, you can make a simple cream cheese frosting, or a lemon glaze to pour over the cake. I give instructions for both in the notes section of the recipe card below.

first picture spoon with sweetened condensed milk over a bowl, second picture adding lemon juice to the sweetened condensed milk bowl, third picture pouring the glaze on top of a bundt cake.

Once the glaze is ready, just drizzle it over the cake. Top with lemon zest if desired.

If using the sweetened condensed milk method, you will have leftover sweetened condensed milk. You can make a half batch of brigadeiros, or save in the fridge for about 10 days in a container.

lemon pound cake with glaze on top and lemon zest.

How to store lemon cake

Store any leftovers of this lemon bundt cake in an air tight container, or covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Let the cake come back to room temperature on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

lemon bundt cake sliced.

Lemon Cake Variations

These are some suggestions of variations you can make to this recipe:

  • Use a different citrus zest or juice, such as lime or oranges.
  • Add limoncello to the lemon syrup to add a bit of a punch to the cake.
  • Instead of the sweetened condensed milk, you can dust the cake with powdered sugar, or top it with any of the other glaze suggestions in the notes of the recipe below.
  • This recipe could be made on a 9×13″ pan.
  • Add blueberries to the batter. Coat about 2/3 cup of blueberries in one teaspoon of flour. Add them to the cake batter. Whenever I add berries or fruit to my cake batter, first I pour about 1/2 of the batter in the pan, then add the fruits on top, swirl with a spatula gently. Top with the remaining batter. This will prevent the berries or fruit pieces from sinking to the bottom.
slice of lemon cake on a plate.

The texture of this cake is unmatched! The lemon flavor is bursting through each layer: the cake sponge, the syrup, and the glaze. There’s a buttery texture to the cake, it has a tender and rich bite, while remaining soft and moist.

You will absolutely love this cake!

lemon pound cake with glaze drizzled over the top.

You can make my awesome Lemon Curd Recipe and serve it alongside this cake! Now that would be a lemon lovers dream!

If you loved this Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe, check out some of these recipes:

slice of lemon cake on top of a plate.
lemon bundt cake with glaze on top, and lemon zest.

Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe

Camila Hurst
Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe is absolutely fantastic! This lemon cake is so soft and buttery, with a delicious tangy lemon taste. It features a lemon syrup, and a lemon glaze, which makes the cake burst with lemon flavor even more!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

Lemon Bundt Cake
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 350 grams, or cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 400 grams
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest from about 3 lemons
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226 grams plus more for greasing
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 120 grams
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice 60 ml
  • 1/2 cup milk 120 ml
Lemon Syrup
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice 120 ml
  • 1/2 cup sugar 100 grams
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
Lemon Glaze
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk 193 grams (alternatives in the notes)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest

Instructions
 

Lemon Bundt Cake
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. If using convection oven set it to 325ºF.
  • Grease a 12-cup bundt cake pan with butter. You will need about 1-2 tbsp to grease the pan, make sure the butter is softened when you do this. Once the butter is evenly coating the pan, sprinkle flour all over, and shake the pan against your hands, to make sure the flour is evenly being incorporated and distributed all over the pan. If using a bundt pan with details, make sure to get the nooks and crannies well covered, or the cake might stick in those areas that aren’t nicely greased and floured.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Make the lemon sugar. Zest the lemons and mix them with the sugar, rubbing between your fingers. The sugar crystals will help the lemon release the natural oils that have so much flavor and aroma. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. You can use a stand mixer or a hand held mixer.
  • Add the lemon sugar and beat again until the mixture is fluffy, the butter is lightened in color, which should take about 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well until incorporated before adding the next egg.
  • Add the sour cream and lemon juice and mix on low to combine.
  • Now add half of the flour mixture to the bowl.
  • Mix on low to combine.
  • Once the dry ingredients are just incorporated, add the milk at once.
  • Mix on low to combine.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared bundt pan.
  • Make sure to spread it out with a spatula so it’s nice and evenly distributed.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 to 65 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on your oven. Convection ovens might bake faster.
  • If the cake is browning too much but the inside isn't cooked yet, cover with aluminum foil to help prevent the outsides of burning.
  • The cake is done baking when it doesn’t feel jiggly when you touch the top. And also a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Lemon syrup
  • While the cake bakes, make the lemon syrup, and have it ready for when the cake is done baking.
  • Place the sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Turn the heat off as soon as the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Set it aside.
  • When you remove the cake from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes. Prickle holes on top of the cake with a fork.
  • Pour the lemon syrup all over the cake.
  • Let the cake cool down for another 15 minutes in the pan.
  • Flip the cake over in a cooling wire rack.
  • Let it cool down almost completely. I like to serve this cake when it’s almost done cooling down, where it’s still a bit warm and soft.
Lemon Glaze
  • To make the Lemon Glaze simply whisk the sweetened condensed milk and the lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • You can add the lemon zest to the glaze, or sprinkle on top of the cake once it’s done being glazed.
  • I left mine out, so once the glaze was ready, I drizzled it over the cake. Then, the lemon zest gets sprinkled on top of the cake.
Storage
  • Store the cake in the fridge for up to 4 days, in an airtight container. Let it sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before serving, it should be served at room temperature.

Notes

Milk, eggs, sour cream: Make sure these ingredients are at room temperature. Just remove them from the fridge about 20 or 30 minutes before you have to use them in the recipe.
Butter: The butter also needs to be softened, but it can take longer than 20 minutes to soften butter. It’s ideal that it’s at 72ºF.
Lemon syrup variation: Add 1/4 cup of limoncello to the syrup.
Lemons: You will need about 10 lemons for the whole recipe.
Glaze: You can substitute the sweetened condensed milk glaze for a simple lemon glaze or a cream cheese glaze instead. 
Lemon glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar + 2 to 3 tbsp lemon juice
Cream cheese glaze: 1/4 cup soft cream cheese + 1 tbsp unsalted butter + 1/2 cup powdered sugar + 1 tbsp lemon juice
Sour cream: can be substituted for greek full fat yogurt.
Lemon sugar: You could also gently pulse the sugar with the lemon zest in the food processor instead of rubbing between your fingers.
Pan size: I used a 12-cup bundt pan, however this recipe could be made on a 9×13″ pan.
Keyword cake, lemon

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11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh so good!! Followed recipe exactly, just used mini bundt pan! Even made the suggested curd (better than store bought)!! Everyone enjoyed!!

  2. I just made this cake and it is delicious. I’m an avid baker and have made many lemon cakes over the years and this is one of the best I’ve made. Moist and very lemony. Rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar is a genius move, it really helps extract the lemon oil from the zest and elevates the flavor. I made a cream cheese icing, but will try the condensed milk icing eventually, I just love cream cheese with lemon. Thanks for this great recipe!

  3. Thank y so much for this recipe , I baked it twice first time only cake without syrup or icing and second time add a blueberry thank u for the tricks you add I really got used to it . Love u .

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice, the first time I added a berry compote and it was so delicious I wanted to try it without anything else. OMG, thank you! IT’S PERFECTION! So moist and fluffy. I’m about to make it for the 3rd time now with orange and lemon juice and zest. Thank you!

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