This nearly-from-scratch recipe looks so elegant no one will guess how easy it is to make! This moist cake drizzled with lemon glaze, lemon cream cheese frosting, and white chocolate is bursting with lemon flavor! Trust me, this is one of the lemon desserts craved by lemon lovers everywhere!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Bursting with lemon flavor, just like my Lemon Swirl Cheesecake!
- An easy cake recipe that's great for beginning bakers.
- Moist, never dry cake with fresh lemon flavor!
- May be easy but looks like you spent hours in the kitchen!
- This beautiful cake is perfect for holidays or birthday parties!
- Detailed, step-by-step instructions with pictures so you can successfully make this delicious lemon cake!
- Cake Mix - Any brand is fine. Doesn't matter if it's the pudding in the mix kind or not. Due to supply issues, if lemon cake mixes are unavailable, then a white or yellow cake mix will do in a pinch.
- Pudding Mix - Must be instant pudding. Any brand is fine.
- Sour Cream - Regular-fat sour cream works best. Plain full-fat Greek yogurt may be substituted.
- Olive Oil - You can substitute vegetable oil, canola oil, or coconut oil instead.
- White Chocolate Chips - may use white chocolate wafers instead if you would like.
- Lemon Juice - Must be FRESH lemon juice or lemon juice mixed from True Lemon Crystalized Lemon powder. Bottled lemon juice causes the flavor to be lacking or vary greatly depending on how old it is.
- Lemon Zest? - You are welcome to add the zest from the lemon you're going to juice if you would like, but it's optional.
Step by Step Instructions
- NOTE - You will only be using the cake mix from the box. Do not use any instructions or ingredients listed on the back of the cake mix box.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 10 or 12-cup Bundt cake pan by making sure it is well-greased and floured or coated with cake release. See my tip below on how to make your own cake release.
- Pour the lemon cake mix into a large bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add the pudding mix.
- Add the sour cream.
- Add the olive oil.
- Add the eggs and water.
- Mix at a medium speed until all the ingredients are incorporated and mixed together well. This takes 30-45 seconds.
- Take a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything got mixed in well.
- Pour the cake batter into your prepared bundt pan and spread it around evenly.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
- The top will be quite browned. A skewer or cake tester should come out clean.
- Cool on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes before turning the cake out to finish cooling.
- The cake needs to be completely cool before icing.
Instructions for the Homemade Lemon Glaze:
- Mix 2 Tbs. FRESH Lemon Juice to 1 Cup of Powdered Sugar in a small bowl. Just like when you make Lemon Bars, the lemon juice has got to be fresh to get the right flavor.
- Since this is a glaze, it is runny.
- Slowly drizzle around and over the top of the cake.
- As you can see from the pictures, it does run off and puddle a bit.
Instructions for the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- In a small mixing bowl (I like to use my 2-cup glass measuring cup beat together 2 oz (yes, 2 oz) cream cheese and 1 Tbs. softened butter.
- Beat in the powdered sugar and milk.
- Beat in the FRESH lemon juice and a little bit of yellow food coloring.
- Beat until completely smooth. You will get roughly 1 cup of this icing, and trust me, it will be plenty.
- Spoon the icing into a 12 oz disposable frosting bag.
- Snip off a little of the end and pipe the icing in a back-and-forth motion over the cake.
- Melt the white chocolate and drizzle in a back-and-forth motion over the icing.
- You can do this by putting the hot melted chocolate in a disposable frosting bag as well. Just keep in mind that the bag will be quite hot to the touch.
- Place the cake in the fridge to harden the chocolate quickly.
- Keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve, and store the leftovers in the fridge.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
No! Absolutely not! You only need the dry pouch of cake mix. Only use the ingredients listed in this recipe.
Yes, you do still need to add the pudding mix.
It is best to store this cake in the fridge due to the cream cheese icing.
You could substitute a tube pan for this recipe if you don't have a bundt pan. Or you could use 2 regular-size bread loaf pans. If you use the loaf pans, you will likely need to reduce the cooking time to 35-40 minutes.
Looking at a bundt pan, you are probably thinking that your cake is going to stick in all sorts of places. So how on earth are you going to get your cake out of the bundt pan?!?!? The trick is to grease and flour your pan well or use cake release. Instead of buying cake releases, I make my own. All you need are equal parts of vegetable oil, shortening, and flour mixed together. For this recipe, I mixed ½ Tbs. Vegetable Oil, ½ Tbs. Shortening and ½ Tbs. Flour together well and brush it all over the inside of my bundt pan with a pastry brush. You can use that little mix for any cakes you make.
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Easy Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe
Lemon Bundt Cake
- 15.25 oz Lemon Cake Mix (Preferably Betty Crocker) 15.25 oz pkg.
- 3.9 oz Instant Lemon Pudding Mix 3.9 oz. pkg.
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Large Eggs
- ½ Cup Water
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tbs. FRESH Lemon Juice
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 oz Cream Cheese softened
- 1 Tbs. Butter softened
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tbs. Milk
- 2 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
- Yellow Food Coloring
- 6 oz White Chocolate Chips or White Chocolate Wafers
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-cup bundt pan by making sure it is well greased and floured or coated well with cake release. (See the note below on how to make your own cake release quickly.)
- Put the cake mix, instant pudding mix, sour cream, olive oil, eggs, and water into a large mixing bowl.
- Beat until mixed together well. About 30-45 seconds.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread it out evenly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. A skewer should come out clean, and the top should be quite browned.
- Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before inverting.
- Cool the cake completely before icing.
- Whisk 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 Tbs. FRESH lemon juice together and drizzle it over the bundt cake. Since this is a glaze, it is runny.
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- Beat 2 oz cream cheese and 1 Tbs. butter until well combined.
- Beat in the 2 Cups of powdered sugar and 1 Tbs. Milk.
- Beat in the 2 Tbs. FRESH Lemon Juice and little bit of yellow food coloring.
- Beat until completely smooth.
- Spoon into a 12 oz disposable frosting bag.
- Snip a small bit off the end of the frosting bag and pipe over the cake in a back-and-forth motion.
- Melt the white chocolate chips carefully.
- Drizzle over the bundt cake in a back-and-forth motion. I find it is easiest for me to melt the white chocolate and quickly put it in a disposable frosting bag to drizzle it the way I want; just be aware that the frosting bag will be hot to the touch.
- Store the finished cake in the fridge!
- Homemade Cake Release: To make your own cake release, mix together equal parts of shortening, cooking oil, and flour. Use a pastry brush to brush into the baking pan. For this recipe, I mix ½ Tbs. Shortening, ½ Tbs Olive Oil and ½ Tbs Flour.
- This cake can be made using a stand mixer, hand beaters, or completely by hand.
- The cake mix in this recipe is being used just for the mix. You will not need any ingredients listed on the back of the cake box, nor will you be following any instructions from the cake box.
- Bottled lemon juice flavor varies by brand, bottle, and age, which is why I recommend using only FRESH Lemon Juice. You can, however, mix up lemon juice using True Lemon Crystalized Lemon in place of the Lemon Juice and get optimal results.
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