This recipe for a classic lemon bundt cake with cream cheese frosting is a simple yet elegant cake that’s full of sweet-tart lemon flavor – perfect for a birthday or any other special occasion!
When it’s time for a birthday celebration, it’s inevitable that someone in my family requests a lemon cake. This lemon bundt cake is intensely flavored and the frosting really takes it over the top! Serve as is, or with a spoonful of raspberry sauce.
You can never go wrong with a lemon dessert, it’s always a light and refreshing option to end a meal. This lemon bundt cake is packed with lemon flavor. It’s perfectly sweet and moist, and the cream cheese frosting really takes it over the top!
How do you make a lemon bundt cake?
This recipe starts with standard cake ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Buttermilk helps to give the cake a great texture, and plenty of lemon zest goes into the batter for a pronounced citrus flavor. After the cake comes out of the oven, it’s brushed with a lemon syrup for an extra flavor boost. The final step is to add a generous amount of cream cheese frosting. Slice up your cake, then enjoy!
Tips for lemon bundt cake
- Use a microplane to zest your lemons, it works so much better than a standard box grater!
- Be sure to both grease and flour your pan so that the cake will easily release. I use a vegetable oil cooking spray to heavily oil the pan, then add a little flour to the bottom of the pan and shake until everything is coated.
- If you prefer a more vibrant colored cake, feel free to add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the batter.
- You can use any style of bundt pan that you like, I used a classic pan but there are so many different bundt pans these days!
How long does it take for a bundt cake to cool?
You’ll want to let your cake cool for about 10 minutes before you remove it from the pan. It can take up to an hour for your cake to cool completely once it’s out of the pan. It’s important to wait until your cake is cooled before you add frosting, otherwise the frosting could melt.
How to frost a bundt cake
You can frost your cake by simply placing the frosting on top and spreading it around the cake with an offset spatula, or you can pipe the frosting onto the cake. To get the style shown in the photos, you’ll need a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Start at the bottom of the cake, and pipe lines up the cake into the hole in the center. Repeat the process all the way around the cake. You can then use an offset spatula to smooth the frosting that’s landed on the inside of the cake.
This is the best lemon cake I’ve ever tasted, it’s perfect for an every day dessert, birthday parties, wedding showers, you name it!
More delicious cake recipes
- Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
- Earthquake Cake
- Berry Chantilly Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake
- Chocolate Coconut Cake
Lemon Bundt Cake
For the cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar divided
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup finely grated lemon zest
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice divided use
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- cooking spray
For the frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Optional garnishes: lemon zest and mint sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease then flour a bundt pan.
- Cream the butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the lemon zest.
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla.
- Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup lemon juice and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, until mixture is very hot.
- Stir the hot mixture until the sugar dissolves.
- While the cake is still in the pan, drizzle half of the syrup over the top (which will be the bottom of the cake when you invert it). Tap the pan a few times on the counter to loosen the cake then invert onto a cooling rack.
- Drizzle the remaining syrup over what is now the top of the cake. Half of the syrup should be on the bottom and half on the top.
- Cool completely then transfer to a serving plate.
- For the frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until thoroughly combined, 1-3 minutes.
- Add the milk and beat to combine.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Start from the outside of the cake, and pipe stripes of frosting from the bottom of the cake to the inside of the cake.
- Use an offset spatula to smooth the frosting on the inside of the cake.
- Garnish with lemon zest and mint sprigs if desired, then slice and serve.
This post was originally published on February 7, 2016 and was updated on September 4, 2019 with new content.
Hi! Can I replace the 3/4 cup of buttermilk with 3/4 cup of lemon juice as I prefer to have more of the sour taste in the cake? Alternatively, if I can use 3/4 cup of juice and 1/4 cup of buttermilk?
You could do 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup buttermilk, using all lemon juice would significantly change the texture of the cake.
I will be mKing this recipie today. I was thinking of making a butter cream frosting without the cream cheese because I feel that using the cream cheese will force me to put the cake in the fridge and then it will become “harder”. What are your thoughts on that? Any recommendations.
It’s fine to use a regular butterceam!
I love this cake! Much better than the bundt cake store. Thanks for the recipe
Pinned this recipe more than a year ago. Finally made it and it was amazing!
Can I do a 9×13 instead of Bundt pan?
I think it should be fine you’ll just need to adjust the baking time!