This amazing Lemon Bundt Cake recipe uses two secret ingredients (cake mix and pudding!) to make it the easiest and most delicious lemon cake you’ve ever had. There’s nothing like it, so get ready for a whole lot of sunshine, served up on a plate.
Making Lemon Bundt Cake for an impromptu weekend party? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Why add pudding to cake mix? Why use cake mix at all?
This easy dessert recipe has been used for generations by cooks of all levels. It’s even been sold at cute little restaurants and bakeries all over the country. People go wild for it.
Somehow, the combination of cake mix and boxed pudding just… works. Some bakers use lemon Jello instead of lemon pudding, but no matter which you decide to use, the gelatin component makes the cake super moist and fluffy.
One of the handiest things about this recipe is that you can keep the mix and the pudding in your pantry to use when you need them, because no perishables are required, other than the eggs.
You don’t need sour cream.
You don’t need to let butter soften or wait for eggs to come to room temperature.
The cake is almost ready when you need it.
Ingredients in lemon pudding bundt cake:
- Lemon cake mix (Duncan Hines works great, but if you’re keeping it a secret, just write down ‘DH’ on your shopping list— no one has to know.)
- Instant lemon pudding
- Vegetable oil
- Lemon zest
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
How to make Lemon Bundt Cake:
Pucker up, buttercup! This is easy and breezy.
- Butter your prettiest bundt cake pan. Shortening or non-stick cooking spray works too!
- Then, whisk together the cake mix (DH!) and dry pudding in a big bowl. Add the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and oil. Give everything a good stir to combine. That’s it!
- Then all you have to do is pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. A few crumbs are okay.
- Cool the cake for 15 minutes, then invert it over a wire rack to finish cooling. It should be completely cool when you glaze it.
- You have to make the lemon glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, then drizzle it over the cooled cake.
- Let the lemon glaze harden before you cut into it, although who could blame you if you just dug in?
Lemon cream cheese frosting for lemon cake:
If you’re a cream cheese frosting kind of cook, then this one is be the end-all, be all of cream cheese frostings. Slather a thick layer all over this cake and stand back.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided (about 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest the lemon first, then juice it!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Using a stand mixer or a sturdy hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed. Do this until the mixture is smooth, without lumps—about 3-4 minutes.
Turn the speed to low and add powdered sugar, lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and salt. Turn the speed up to high once the powdered sugar has mixed in and beat the frosting for 3 minutes. Add the remaining lemon juice if you think the frosting is a little too thick.
Lemon pudding cake sheet cake:
Pour batter in a greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees. Once cool, frost or glaze however you see fit! Cut big lemony squares and serve on cute paper plates with a plastic fork sticking out the top!
Lemon cake cupcakes:
The recipe below should make 12 cupcakes, if you’d rather have adorable lemon cupcakes at your party instead. Keep an eye on the oven, though—these bake in 13-15 minutes, much quicker than a bundt cake.
Line the cupcake tin with liners. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe
FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 package lemon cake mix
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding
- 2/3 cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 4 large eggs
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat large Bundt pan with shortening or nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix and dry pudding in a large bowl. Add water, oil, lemon juice, eggs, and lemon zest and stir to combine.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.
- Cool 15 minutes in pan. Invert on to cooling rack set over a baking sheet and cool completely.
- To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Drizzle over cooled cake and let glaze harden for at least 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving platter and serve with fresh strawberries if desired.