The Lemon Bundt Cake

I’m in Ohio now, right? So I might as well start putting ‘the’ before any phrase I feel is worthy of being distinguished to the utmost. I can’t think of any other recipe than this Lemon Bundt Cake. Or should I say The Lemon Bundt Cake.

As I was on the phone with my mom she asked, “What are you baking today?” I told her I was baking lemon bundt cake. She responded, “The lemon bundt cake?”

Yes mom, The (the with a capital T and all the emphasis in the world) Lemon Bundt Cake. This cake is worthy of every honor and stands alone. It is ultra moist thanks to buttermilk, tangy, bright and that glaze!

The best part is this cake is two in one, depending on how long it sticks around in your house. As it sits on the counter the texture becomes more like pound cake and even more decadent. But honestly, this cake won’t last past the day it is made.

It is perfect for sharing, gathering and embracing spring. If you find one better than this one, please let me now. But I really don’t think you will.

Worried about flipping this cake out of the bundt tin and achieving that no-stick experience? First remember the batter does its own thing and you have no control once it is in the oven. Now, once you accept that you can do your best to makes sure all the hills and valleys of the pan are oiled well- don’t forget the center pillar from top to bottom. Then really dust it with flour too. Once you are ready to flip and it feels at little…sticky…try the old and trusted technique of hitting the tin around with a wooden spoon. Be patient and it’ll happen!

Let gravity do its thing when it comes to the icing and just pour and drizzle!

The Lemon Bundt Cake


3 tablespoons grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons lemon juice (3-4 lemons)

3 cups (15 oz.) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature

18 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool

2 cups (14 oz.) granulated sugar


2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoons buttermilk

2 cups (8 oz.) confectioners’ sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, with the oven rack at the lower-middle position. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with baking spray and flour. Make sure to coat the pan well.
  2. Mince lemon zest and combine with lemon juice. Set aside while preparing the other ingredients, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice/zest mixture, buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Gently whisk eggs and egg yolks together in additional bowl.
  6. In a stand mixer with paddle, or using an electric mixer or danish whisk, cream together butter and sugar on for 3 minutes or until pale and fluffy.
  7. With speed at medium, incorporate half of the egg mixture and mix until combined. Repeat with remaining egg mixture.
  8. After scraping down bowl, with speed at low, add one third of flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
  9. Add half of buttermilk mixture and scrape down sides of bowl.
  10. Add half of the remaining flour mixture and mix, followed by the remaining buttermilk mixture.
  11. Add final bit of flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Stir with spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated fully.
  12. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  13. Bake until golden brown, 45-50 minutes. Rotating halfway through baking. Check doneness with skewer- should come out clean with no crumbs.
  14. Let cool on wire rack on top of baking pan for 10 minutes.
  15. Invert on wire rack.

For the Glaze

  1. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, buttermilk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add remaining lemon juice if needed to make glaze pourable- should still be thick however.
  2. While cake is still warm, pour half of glaze over the cake. Let cool for an hour.
  3. Pour remaining glaze evenly on top of cake and cool to room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Baking Book: Baking Demystified.

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