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Lemon Bundt Cake

This lemon Bundt cake with a lemon glaze is all about LEMON! Lemon juice, zest, lemon curd, and a glaze create a bright bite in this lemon Bundt cake recipe. 

Make a gluten free lemon cake with the simple substitution of a gluten free flour blend. I’ve made the cake both ways and had great success!

slice of lemon bundt cake on white plate

This lemon bundt cake with glaze will brighten up your afternoon as it is perfect with a cup of tea. The original recipe is a sour cream lemon pound cake from Cooking Light. Making lemon curd cake from scratch is easy to do!

Everyone needs a reliable lemon cake recipe and this Lemon Bundt cake with Lemon Curd is my go-to lemon cake. By layering the lemon flavor with lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon curd, and a lemon glaze, you are sure to enjoy a bright and citrusy cake any time of year!

Ingredients

dry ingredients for lemon cake in white bowl

This cake recipe uses the basic dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, and salt. You can use a gluten free flour blend for a gluten free Bundt cake.

(The photos in this post all show the gluten free version except for the one photo of cake with a lemon curd layer.)

wet ingredients for lemon cake batter

You’ll need lemons, sour cream, sugar, butter, eggs and lemon curd to make a lemon cake batter.

The secret to a moist Bundt cake is sour cream. I like the texture in this sour cream lemon Bundt cake. You could use yogurt instead as I did in this mango Bundt cake.

How to add lemon flavor to cake

three photos of lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon curd

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When baking with lemon you need to layer in flavors to create a depth of flavor. In this cake we use lemon three ways: zest, juice and curd.

Zest: Lemon zest is the outer layer of a fresh lemon. Use a citrus tool like this one from Amazon.

Juice: You can squeeze lemon juice by hand or with a hand held citrus squeezer.

Curd: Homemade or store-bought lemon curd are both wonderful. I make homemade curd frequently using these recipes for microwave curd, stovetop meyer lemon curd, or curd in the Vitamix. A lemon curd cake is moist and flavorful.

If you love lemon recipes like I do, you’ll enjoy these recipes for lemon bars, lemon poppy seed bread, and lemon almond flour cookies. I’ve baked each of these recipes traditionally and gluten free.

Step by step instructions

six photos showing steps to make bundt cake with lemon
  1. Prepare the Bundt pan with baking spray and dust with flour (or gluten free flour if making a GF cake).
  2. Gently whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Use a stand mixer to beat the butter, sugar, and eggs.
  4. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon curd.
  5. Now alternate and fold in some of the flour, then the sour cream until all is incorporated. (photos 5 and 6)
  6. Bake then cool completely before turning the cake over onto a cake plate.

Lemon cake with lemon curd

When I first started baking this lemon cake I used lemon curd in the batter AND as a separate layer of filling. You can see from the photo that the lemon curd layer faded into the cake. It just didn’t stand out enough for me.

The colors of the filling and of the cake are so similar that it was hard to make a distinction between the two.

Lemon Bundt cake with glaze is a slice of cake on a white plate
Photo from 2013. Lemon Bundt with Lemon Curd Filling. Baked with all purpose flour.

Now, when I bake this lemon Bundt recipe I fold all of the lemon curd into the batter and skip the step of a filling. You can try it either way– the cake is delicious both ways!

slice of gluten free lemon cake with piece on fork
Gluten free lemon cake baked in Bundt pan

Lemon glaze

overhead view of lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze

Do you need icing on this lemon Bundt cake? While you could use traditional buttercream, I think a glaze is your best option.

And that glaze, yes more lemon! A lemon and powdered sugar topping seals the deal here.  All this talk about lemon and you might think this cake is overwhelmingly strong with citrus. It is not.

When baking with lemon it’s best to layer the flavors so that the citrus is not lost during the baking process. I find that you have to load up on lemon flavors for the lemon to sing in this lemon bundt cake once baked and the combination is quite pleasing.

Tips for Baking Bundt Cakes

stages of baking Bundt cakes in three images
What kind of pan is best for Bundt cakes?

Use a nonstick baking pan like this one from Amazon.

How to prepare the cake pan?

Grease the pan thoroughly. This baking spray called Bakers Joy is sold on Amazon and it does a wonderful job of allowing your baked cake to release from the pan. It is not a gluten free spray.

If you are baking gluten free you can’t use a spray that contains flour. Spray with pan or brush with butter then use GF flour or confectioner’s sugar to dust the pan.

How long to cool a Bundt cake?

There are two schools of thought regarding when to flip over your baked Bundt cake. The traditional advice is to wait about 15 minutes after the cake comes out of the oven.

I’ve had better success letting the cake cool completely and then turning it over onto a cake plate.

If you love baking Bundt cakes try these recipes for Candy Corn Bundt Cake, Mango Yogurt Bundt CakeChocolate and Wine Bundt Cake, and this Lemon Raspberry Sour Cream Bundt Cake from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen.

Yield: 16 slices

Lemon Bundt Cake

slice of lemon bundt cake on white plate

Lemon, lemon and more lemon! Make this cake and share your love of lemon!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice plus 1 TB lemon juice for glaze
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray Bundt pan with baking spray and dust with flour. (or GF flour if makng a gluten free cake)
  3. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork or whisk.
  4. Using a stand mixer beat the butter for 2-3 minutes, until it lightens in color and texture. Slowly add the sugar, then the eggs, Next add the lemon zest, lemon curd and lemon juice. Blend well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and the sour cream in stages, alternating and mixing at low speed as you go.
  6. The batter will be thick. Scoop it into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, add an extra ten minutes if necessary.
  8. Cool completely in the pan then invert the pan and remove the cake. Whisk together the glaze of 1 Tb lemon juice and 1/2 cup powdered sugar and pour over the cake.

Notes

Recipe adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.

If you are making a gluten free cake, use a gluten free flour blend that contains xanthan gum.

You may use all purpose flour if you don't need a gluten free cake.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 5g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Pin with me!
freshly baked slice of lemon cake in Bundt pan

Please note that this post was originally written in 2013 with the most recent update of new photos and text in 2021.

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Cornelia Guest

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

I thought it was not cooked after an hour. I checked it after another five minutes and it still looked not fully cooked, so I gave it five more. The finished cake, while delicious, was a little dry. I think it's hard to know when it's done, since sticking a testing stick in will come out moist from the curd. What do you recommend?

Bee

Thursday 11th of April 2019

What a great cake for Easter brunch or a spring picnic! I will have to make this over spring break next week!

Holly Baker

Thursday 11th of April 2019

Hope you enjoy this lemon filled cake!

Betty Tuder

Saturday 20th of October 2018

This cake did not workout out for me. First problem was the time needed to cook. For some reason it is taking significantly longer than an hour. The top looked done and I even took it out of the pan. I found uncooked batter mixed with lemon curd dripping out of the center of the cake. The lemon curd spilled out the outside of the cake as well. It created a split in the cake that was so obvious it was ugly. I was able to slide the cake on to a cookie shee and returned it to the oven. I am still waiting to see if I can salvage it.

Holly Baker

Saturday 20th of October 2018

Hi Betty, I am really sorry to hear that this cake didn't work for you. What type of pan did you use? Maybe your oven temperature wasn't quite right? To salvage it, perhaps you could make a trifle and layer the cake with cream and/or fruit in a deep glass trifle dish (or glass bowl). It is so disappointing when a cake doesn't turn out, so much time and effort (and ingredients) go into baking.

Debbie Skelton

Monday 8th of October 2018

Made this for my son’s birthday and it was a BIG hit! It was like a lemon pound cake with a surprise! My family are such lemon lovers they ate the leftover lemon curd with the cake! Will definitely be making this again!

Holly Baker

Monday 8th of October 2018

I am so pleased that your family enjoyed the cake! Hope your son had a happy birthday!

Geni

Wednesday 27th of March 2013

This looks fantastic! So bright and cheerful and I LOVE that you adapted a Cooking Light recipe.

Holly @ abakershouse.com

Wednesday 27th of March 2013

Thanks so much, yes, I love Cooking Light recipes! It was my first cooking magazine years ago when I moved into an apartment and it has followed me to every home I've lived in. That reminds me, it's time to renew my subscription, thanks!

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