Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Bundt Cake

Ok so Bundt cakes aren’t exactly pretty cakes….they are a bit homely but they can be really scrumptious assuming, of course, that you use the right recipe.  My favorite Bundt cake is this Lemon Bundt Cake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.  This cake is fresh-tasting, moist and a summery treat.

Whole Lemon Bundt Cake

Whole Lemon Bundt Cake

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Lemon Bundt Cake

You will need between five and six tablespoons of lemon juice for this recipe. Because the amount of juice can vary from lemon to lemon, we suggest you first measure the juice from the three lemons you have zested, then juice a fourth lemon if necessary. The cake has a light, fluffy texture when eaten the day it is baked, but if well wrapped and held at room temperature overnight its texture becomes more dense — like that of pound cake — the following day.

Serves 12 to 14


3          lemons , zest grated and saved, then juiced for 3 tablespoons juice (see note above)  [After making this cake several times, I’ve found that 2 lemons are usually enough for this recipe]

3          cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces)

1          teaspoon baking powder

1/2          teaspoon baking soda

1          teaspoon table salt

1          teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4          cup low-fat buttermilk (preferably)

3          large eggs , at room temperature

1          large egg yolk , at room temperature

18          tablespoons unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks), at room temperature

2          cups sugar (14 ounces)


2 – 3          tablespoons fresh lemon juice (see note above)

1          tablespoon buttermilk

2          cups confectioners’ sugar (8 ounces)

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour (alternatively, brush pan with mixture of 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon melted butter). Mince  lemon zest to fine paste (you should have about 2 tablespoons). Combine zest and lemon juice in small bowl; set aside to soften, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Combine lemon juice mixture, vanilla, and buttermilk in medium bowl. In small bowl, gently whisk eggs and yolk to combine. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce to medium speed and add half of eggs, mixing until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Repeat with remaining eggs; scrape down bowl again. Reduce to low speed; add about one-third of flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until just incorporated after each addition (about 5 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Scrape into prepared pan.

3. Bake until top is golden brown and wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into center comes out with no crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes.

4. FOR THE GLAZE: While cake is baking, whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, buttermilk, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more lemon juice gradually as needed until glaze is thick but still pourable (mixture should leave faint trail across bottom of mixing bowl when drizzled from whisk). Cool cake in pan on wire rack set over baking sheet for 10 minutes, then invert cake directly onto rack. Pour half of glaze over warm cake and let cool for 1 hour; pour remaining glaze evenly over top of cake and continue to cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours. Cut into slices and serve.


20 comments on “Lemon Bundt Cake

  1. this is my kind of cake!

  2. Jonathan says:

    I suppose that chocolate is perhaps the most popular cake in general terms, but I’ve always been a big fan of a good lemon cake. A great glaze makes all the difference.

  3. michelle says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday and it turned out great! 😀 thanks for posting it! I made it without the glaze becuase I ran out of powdered surgar but it was delicious without it!

    • tortatebukura says:

      Thank you, Michelle, for letting me know that you tried this recipe. I love hearing from my readers and I’m so glad you liked the cake. 🙂

  4. Lauren says:

    I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it got rave reviews! I substituted wheat for regular flour and it was just wonderful. I will be making it again for Christmas, thank you for sharing it!

  5. HI! I just saw your lemon bundt cake recipe as I stumbled upon it when I was looking for another recipe! I tried to make a lemon bundt cake and it did not turn out very good so I am excited to try your recipe. I also have a blog that I am in the midst of working on so if you could check it out and give me any pointers that would be great! I will let you know how my lemon bundt cake turns out with your recipe as my last attempt was very unsuccessful. Here is the url to my blog! http://sweetladybakerlks.wordpress.com/

  6. A.B. Robbins says:

    The recipe is great. The print function on your website stinks. I wanted to print the recipe not the seven pages of your blog.

    Never again.

  7. Traci says:

    My 5 year old and 3 year old love this recipe so much it is the number one cake that ask me to always bake! and they even help in the kitchen. It looks great and tastes great for all to enjoy!!
    Thank you for posting this recipe.

    ps I use half wheat and half white flour but not sure if that makes any difference but I have found that the cake comes out of the pan better if you use butter on it.

  8. Charlotte says:

    I made this cake thins morning for a dear one’s birthday. It is beautiful! I cannot wait to serve it this evening.

  9. jbe says:

    I have made this cake, oh, prob. 6 times now. I can’t for the life of me get it to be as moist as I think it should be. I just can’t figure it out. I first used it when I had a subscription to Cooks Illustrated, and then lost the recipe, but found your blog with it. So I tried it again yesterday. Same thing, I felt it good, but too dry. So I took it to work and let them devour it (hey, when it’s free, everyone says it’s good). So today I’m making another, and I thought, hey, why not…Sour Cream. So I’m adding about 2.5 TBL to the buttermilk and lemon mix. I figured it can’t hurt, and it might just be enough to give it that extra moisture I’m looking for. I think I also might bake it 4 minutes too long. I’m leery of leaving any moisture on the stick, I wait till it’s clean, but maybe I should take it out a tad before, as I know it will theoretically cook a little more while it cools down. I find 45-50 minutes ends up being 55-60 on my watch. Anyway, is it just me, or do others find this a bit dry?

    • tortatebukura says:

      I’m sorry that your cake doesn’t come out as moist as you’d like.
      I’m wondering if you are using one of those dark, non-stick pans to bake your cake. Those pans tend to bake cakes much quicker so they need to be used at a lower temp. I don’t recommend those dark pans when it comes to baked goods.
      As far as a clean toothpick goes, you can have one or two crumbs on it and still consider it clean. What you don’t want is raw batter on the toothpick so a couple of crumbs won’t hurt anyone. Maybe these suggestions will help you.

  10. Leah says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I tried it out yesterday… my dad says that it beats out my mom’s baking, and that is definitely a compliment coming from him; he loves anything she makes. So I thought I’d drop back in to thank you and let you know that the cake was a smashing success!

    I substituted milk and lemon juice for buttermilk, and considering the recipe I don’t think the substitution hurt it at all.

  11. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog!

  12. Tara says:

    This was my first time making a cake from scratch, and a bundt cake. It turned out wonderful! This is going to be a recipe I save and use again for holidays.

  13. Tammy says:

    My first time also baking a cake from scratch. Fresh lemons off the trees & easy to follow directions. Lots of compliments!! Definitely a keeper!!

  14. Connie says:

    Well worth the effort!

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