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This easy lemonade bundt cake recipe is the best lemon bundt cake with cream cheese frosting. An incredibly moist buttermilk batter with a tangy lemon cream cheese frosting. Luscious, lemony, and light, this is one moist cake using fresh lemon juice; the perfect summer cake!
I love easy bundt cake recipes, much less fussy than regular cakes, simple enough for everyday, fancy enough for a special occasion. Very much like a lemon pound cake in texture, this is a delicious cake for all lemon lovers.
Why You Will Love This Lemon Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!
- This tangy dessert isn’t cloyingly sweet — it strikes the perfect balance!
- Its thick, rich frosting is beyond easy, and you can use it on pretty much anything.
- This would be beautiful for bridal showers, baby showers, or a great Mother’s day dessert.
Full recipe with list of ingredients and instructions are in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Butter | Use real butter, if it’s soft coming straight from the fridge it’s not 100% butter, you will use salted or unsalted butter at room temperature.
- Sugar | We used all-natural cane sugar but you can use regular white sugar if you wish
- Buttermilk | Buttermilk* makes this cake so very moist and delicious, however you can replace some or part with sour cream or Greek yogurt if you wish.
- Lemon Juice | Fresh squeezed lemon juice is kind of a must in this cake, using bottled lemon juice will give it an off taste.
- Lemon Zest | You will use the zest from 4 large lemons for this recipe, this Microplane zester tool makes quick short work out of zesting. Fresh lemon zest gives amazing lemon flavor!
- Vanilla Extract | I love Rodelle vanilla extract, it’s pure, all-natural and amazing.
- Eggs | I used large eggs, brought to room temperature
- Flour | All-purpose flour is what we use here, I used organic, unbleached all-purpose flour
- Misc | We’ll also use baking powder, baking soda and a little kosher salt
- How to Choose the Best Lemons | Choose lemons that are firm, but yield to gentle pressure, with a smooth, thinner skin. The lemon should not have blemishes, be pale or have any green; this indicates unripeness. Good lemons for juicing, should be heavier relative to their size.
- How Best to Store Lemons | Lemons stored on the counter, look pretty, but dry out within a week. Lemons stored in the fridge will last longer, about a week to 10 days, lemons stored in a sealed plastic bag last up to a month!
- Zesting | It is much easier if you zest your lemons before cutting in half to juice them. Wash and dry lemons before zesting, and do not zest too far down, the white part, called the pith is bitter.
- Juicing Lemons | To get more juice from your lemon, try these ONE of these two tricks: 1) Place lemon on cutting board or counter and firmly roll with palm of hand until it starts to yield slightly, OR 2) Place lemon in microwave for about 10 seconds, then roll and squeeze.
- An average lemon contains about 2 ½ – 3 tablespoons of juice.
- Check out this post for all the fun facts about lemons!
*How to Make Buttermilk
Make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice into a 1 cup measureing cup, then add whole milk, stir and allow to sit 5-7 minutes.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- Butter | Again, real butter, room temperature
- Cream Cheese | I used full fat cream cheese, but you can use Neufchatel or lower fat cream cheese as well
- Powdered Sugar | Also called confectioners or icing sugar, this will be how you sweeten the cream cheese frosting
- Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste | Personally, I love using Vanilla bean paste for frostings, those gorgeous vanilla bean flecks shining through
- Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice
How to Make Lemonade Bundt Cake
Step 1 | Prep the Pan & Preheat the Oven
Step 2 | Make Lemonade bundt cake batter
In a large bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup or in a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice with a whisk.
Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and lemon zest. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy once more about 4-5 minutes — this will take longer if using natural cane sugar.
Add the eggs to the electric mixer one at a time and mix on medium for 1 minute for each egg, scraping the sides of the bowl on occasion.
Reduce the speed to low, add a cup of the dry ingredients. Follow with a cup of the wet, and alternate between the two — finishing with a cup of the dry. Beat until just combined.
Pour batter into the prepared bundt cake pan, tapping on a cutting board or hot pad several times to settled the batter and reduce air pockets. Bake for 45-60 minutes, and poke the center with a skewer or cake tester, it should come out with a few moist crumbs. Let cake cool in the bundt pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack before inverting onto a cooling rack.
Step 3 | Make the Lemonade Syrup (optional)
While the cake cools, add the sugar and lemon juice to a saucepan, warming over medium-low heat. Once the sugar dissolves and syrup thickens, brush it all over the warm cake. Cool the cake completely.
This step is optional, but adds more great lemon flavor and moisture to the cake.
Step 3 | Make the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Mix again on low while slowly adding the powdered sugar and a bit of lemon juice, alternating between the two. Continue whipping and adding a little lemon juice at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a round tip, or cut ½“ off a plastic bag edge and use that instead.
If the lemon cream cheese frosting is too thick, add more lemon juice or a little water or milk to the mixture, if too thin, add a few tablespoons of powdered sugar at a time until desired consistency.
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake | Add 1-2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries into your batter for a delicious lemon blueberry cake! Before folding gently into the batter, toss blueberries with a few tablespoons of the flour mixture, this will help keep the blueberries from bleeding and sinking.
- Lemonade Cupcakes or Bundtettes | Bundtlettes or cupcakes | scoop batter into prepared pans (not quite 2/3 full, makes about 14 bundtlets, probably closer to 18 cupcakes. Bake as directed above; 20-25 minutes bundtlets, 18-22 minutes cupcakes. Done when cake springs back when lightly touched and no longer jiggly, don’t over bake. Cool 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack.
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake | Add ¼ cup poppy seeds into batter when adding the dry and wet ingredients.
- Lemon Extract | I prefer using real ingredients and real lemon juice and zest for the best fresh lemon flavor, but if you wanted it extra lemony, add ¼-½ teaspoon of lemon extract.
- Yellow Food Coloring | I try and keep my cakes as natural as possible, so this looks more like a pound cake since I am not using a lemon cake mix. I wouldn’t recommend adding just for color, to me it doesn’t add to the overall goodness of the cake. If you do add food color, just add a few drops.
- For gorgeous “fingers” of frosting you see on Nothing Bundt Cakes lemon bundt cake with cream cheese frosting. Begin frosting from the inside or outside of the cake and work your way up, over, and into the center, but be consistent, you can double back for a thicker finger of frosting. I use an offset spatula to smooth the inside of the delicious lemon cream cheese frosting.
- Frosting too thin? You can add small amounts of powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until it thickens up.
- If the top looks like it’s browning too quickly, cover the pan loosely with a bit of tinfoil.
Frequently Asked Questions
The simplest solution to moisten any cake is with a simple syrup soak! Brush the liquid over the top while the cake is still warm, adding moisture.
This lemon bundt cake with cream cheese frosting is also made incredibly moist and decadent with the addition of buttermilk. Buttermilk is more acidic than regular milk, helping to tenderize the cake, and also adds a pleasant, tangy bite.
You can make an easy tart lemon glaze with 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice (to taste), and 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Whisk all of that together and drizzle over your cake once it’s cooled a bit. I would add the zest of one lemon as well.
Sort of! Apply glaze to your cake while it’s still warm, coating evenly along the sides and all over the top. You don’t want it to be hot — wait until just warm and the mixture will spread easily and thoroughly.
If frosted with cream cheese frosting, I would keep the bundt cake in the refrigerator. The lemon bundt cake will get hard, but set on the counter, bringing to room temperature for about 45 minutes before serving to soften it up.
Yes, I have actually made this recipe several times using half gluten-free flour and ½ almond flour, the texture is consistent and delicious. Be sure to use a cup for cup gluten-free all purpose flour blend.
- Bundt Cake Pan | I love all of my Nordic Ware Bundt Cake pans! They are heavy, solid, have some non-stick properties to them and bake up bundt cakes more evenly. Use any of the beautiful Nordic Ware Bundt pans, just be sure to grease extremely well!
- You can use a Stand Mixer or a Hand Mixer for this easy lemon cake!
- Microplane Zester | this tool will become your new best friend! Use it for zesting lemons, limes or oranges (like in this Orange Scones) or for the best Key Lime Pie! But you can also use it for grated cheese, chocolate, nuts, spices and more.
How to Store Easy Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe
Store the cake in a bundt cake keeper on the counter if eating within a few hours of baking. If not, store in the fridge up to 7 days, or flash freeze the lemon cake for one hour in the freezer (if frosted) and then wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months.
Lemon cream cheese icing may also be frozen up to 3 months, bring to room temperature and whip well with whisk or with mixer, then frost as planned.
High Altitude Lemon Bundt Cake
With just a few simple adjustments you will be able to make this delicious lemonade bundt cake at high altitude!
- Reduce sugar to 1 ¾ cups
- Increase Flour by 2-3 tablespoons
- Reduce baking powder to ¾ teaspoon
- Bake cake in 375 degree oven
Lemon bundt cake with cream cheese frosting
Serve this beautiful lemon bundt cake with cream cheese frosting on a cake platter or cake plate and enjoy! This is definitely one of the easiest cakes made from scratch, perfect for lemon lovers.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for some fantastic free products! Check out the prizes below the recipe card along with the raffle entry form. And be sure to check out all of our fabulous recipes this week for Lemon week below.
Monday #LemonWeek Recipes
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- Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake No Churn Ice Cream by Blogghetti
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- Lemon Curd Cookies by Best Cookie Recipes
- Lemon Donuts by The Freshman Cook
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- Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta by An Affair From The Heart
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- 15 Minute Lemon Pasta by Jen Around The World
- Lemon Cheesecake by Lemon Blossoms
- Lemon Smoothie by Home Cooked Harvest
- Aromatic Lemon Chicken by That Recipe
- Lemon Pound Cake by The Redhead Baker
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- Lemon Garlic Pasta by Magical Ingredients
- Pear Bundt Cake
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- Easy Old-Fashioned Butter Pound Cake Recipe
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About Kathleen Pope
Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer
Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.