This easy recipe for Lemon Bundt Cake starts with a simple cake mix. Fresh lemon juice, zest, and homemade frosting make it irresistible! You’ll love this super easy, weeknight-friendly dessert.
A Frosted Lemon Cake That’s Easy to Make Anytime!
If you’re anything like me, you love to eat cake, but you don’t always have a lot of time for baking cakes. Enter this ultra-simple lemon cake recipe! It’s a doctored-up cake mix recipe that’s simple enough for any day of the week. The batter comes together quickly in just one mixing bowl – no folding, creaming, or whipping needed. 🍰
Flavor-wise, lemon Bundt cake is perfect for spring. It’s light, fresh, and beautiful to look at. What more could a busy cake-baker ask for? 🍋
Top it with frosting (like this Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting) and a bit of lemon zest, and you’ve got a fabulous fresh lemon cake that tastes like a million bucks, with minimal effort and cleanup.
Can You Use Regular Cake Mix in a Bundt Pan?
Definitely! Regular cake mixes bake just fine in a bundt pan, although they will most likely need a longer bake time than if you were making the cake in layers, or in a 9×13 pan. Bundt cakes made with cake mix also tend to be a little more dense than cupcakes, layer cakes, or sheet cakes made from cake mix. The bundt cake will probably have more of a pound cake texture – which is fine by me. ☺️
What You’ll Need
So just what goes into this “doctored-up” cake recipe? Just a few pantry basics, and a little fresh lemon. Here’s the complete list:
- Cake Mix: I use yellow cake mix, but white cake mix is fine, too. Don’t use cake with pudding in the mix.
- Eggs: Large, whole eggs add richness and bind the cake together.
- Oil: Make sure to use a neutral-flavored oil, like vegetable oil.
- Lemon Juice and Zest: Divide the zest so that you can put some in the cake, and some on top.
- Frosting: Make a batch of Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting, or use store-bought frosting, if preferred.
Let’s Bake a Lemon Cake!
- Preheat the Oven and Make the Batter. To begin, make sure to preheat the oven to 350°F, that way, the cake can start baking as soon as it’s in the pan. Next, mix the cake mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil, half of the lemon zest, and the lemon juice until smooth. You can do this in a stand mixer, by hand with a whisk, or with a handheld mixer.
- Bake the Cake. Pour the cake batter into a greased Bundt pan, and bake it in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool and Frost. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then, carefully invert the cake onto a cake stand. Allow to cool completely on the cake stand. Once the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting over the top.
- Enjoy! Garnish your cake with lemon zest, and serve.
Helpful Tips and Easy Variations
Baking is fun, and it’s even more fun when you know all of the ins and outs for your recipe. Here are my favorite tips and some delicious variations for making this simple Lemon Bundt Cake.
- Grease the Pan: Even if your Bundt cake pan is nonstick, make sure to grease it well. Baking spray and cooking spray are handy for getting into the corners of the pan. If you’d rather grease your pan with something simple like butter or coconut oil, I recommend rubbing it generously all over your Bundt pan with a piece of clean paper towel.
- Enrich the Cake: If you’d like the cake to be even more moist and rich, try substituting melted butter for the oil. Seriously good stuff!
- Glaze Instead of Frost. Do you love those thick slices of glazed loaf cake you get at cafes? Me, too. Channel that same vibe by glazing this cake instead of frosting. You can use the vanilla glaze recipe from this Phyllo Pastry Pop Tarts recipe, or the lemon glaze from this sweet Pear Cake.
- Key Lime Cake: Make this same cake with white cake mix and key lime juice for a different twist. Key limes are especially sweet and “tropical” in taste, compared to regular limes.
Storing Your Cake
- The cake can be frosted and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I recommend storing on a covered cake plate, or a platter topped with a large mixing bowl, to keep it fresh.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, cakes in general freeze very well! You can freeze the cake frosted or unfrosted, for up to two months.
- If it’s unfrosted, just make sure it’s completely cool, and then wrap it well in plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil.
- If it’s frosted, place the whole cake in a covered cake plate (or on a platter topped with a big mixing bowl), and stick it in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will “set” the frosting and keep it from getting smushed when you wrap it. Wrap your mostly-frozen cake in plastic wrap followed by foil.
- On the day you’d like to serve the cake, just place it on your countertop and let it thaw. Slice and enjoy!
Lemon Bundt Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease a Bundt cake pan with cooking spray or butter; set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk the cake mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil, half of the lemon zest, and the lemon juice until smooth.
- Pour the cake batter into the greased Bundt pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
- Remove from oven and let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then, carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack; let cool.
- Once the cake is completely cool, spread frosting as desired over the top. Garnish with lemon zest, and serve.