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A lemon bundt cake topped with cream cheese frosting and lemon zest.

Lemon Bundt Cake

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! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 506kcal
Author Sara Welch


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.


Adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)


Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2.1mg