This amazing Lemon Bundt Cake uses two secret ingredients (cake mix and instant pudding!) to make it the easiest, most delicious lemon cake you’ve ever had.

Lemon bundt cake slices on white plates with strawberries.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled lemon bundt cake ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Lemon cake mix: Duncan Hines makes a great mix.
  • Instant pudding: This makes the cake ultra moist and delicious. Restaurants and bakeries all over the country have been using lemon cake mixes for years. They just don’t tell you!
  • Lemon zest: Zest the lemons before you cut them in half for juice.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Grease your prettiest bundt cake pan. Then, whisk together the cake mix and pudding mix in a big bowl. Add the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and oil. Give everything a good stir to combine.  Then all you have to do is pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
    Lemon bundt cake batter being poured into a bundt pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert it over a wire rack to finish cooling. It should be completely cool when you glaze it.
  3. To make the 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 bundt cake slices on white plates with strawberries.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Bundt pan size: Any 12-cup bundt pan will work.
  • Greasing the pan: Be very generous with your nonstick spray or shortening. Nothing ruins a bundt like a stuck cake!
  • Vanilla instant pudding: Can’t find lemon pudding? Vanilla tastes great too! Most of the lemon flavor comes from the cake mix, so you don’t lose too much flavor with vanilla pudding. I tested this to make sure.
  • Lemon Jell-O: There are other cakes in the world that use lemon Jell-O instead of pudding. The amount of eggs, water, oil, etc. are different for cakes made with Jell-O. This recipe has only been tested with pudding.
  • Blueberries: Fold 6 ounces fresh blueberries into the batter at the end of Step 2 (do not use more than 6 ounces). Bake as directed.
  • How to zest a lemon: Hold a grater in one hand and the lemon in the other over a cutting board or clean work surface. Going in one direction, push the lemon away from you across the rough side of the grater, removing the colorful part of the fruit, exposing the pith. Gently rotate the lemon as you go.

More delicious cakes:

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a rating and a comment below!

Lemon bundt cake with strawberries on a white plate with a silver fork.

Lemon Bundt Cake

This amazing Lemon Bundt Cake uses two secret ingredients (cake mix and instant pudding!) to make it the easiest, most delicious lemon cake you’ve ever had. 
4.98 from 98 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 367

Ingredients 

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 package lemon cake mix
  • 3 ounces instant lemon pudding
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
  • 4 large eggs

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries for serving, optional

Instructions 

To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat large Bundt pan with shortening or nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix and pudding mix. Add water, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and eggs and whisk to combine.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, about 40 minutes.
  • 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.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Bundt pan size: Any 12-cup bundt pan will work.
  2. Greasing the pan: Be very generous with your nonstick spray or shortening. Nothing ruins a bundt like a stuck cake!
  3. Vanilla instant pudding: Can't find lemon pudding? Vanilla tastes great too! Most of the lemon flavor comes from the cake mix, so you don't lose too much flavor with vanilla pudding. I tested this to make sure.
  4. Lemon Jell-O: There are other cakes in the world that use lemon Jell-O instead of pudding. The amount of eggs, water, oil, etc. are different for cakes made with Jell-O. This recipe has only been tested with pudding.
  5. Blueberries: Fold 6 ounces fresh blueberries into the batter at the end of Step 2 (do not use more than 6 ounces). Bake as directed.
  6. How to zest a lemon: Hold a grater in one hand and the lemon in the other over a cutting board or clean work surface. Going in one direction, push the lemon away from you across the rough side of the grater, removing the colorful part of the fruit, exposing the pith. Gently rotate the lemon as you go.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieceCalories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 374mgPotassium: 55mgFiber: 1gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 90IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Trying this now! Since the cake is from a mix…..I decided to make a homemade glaze/topping and am attempting a homemade lemon curd. Hopefully, the tartness will refreshingly accompany the lemon cake!

  2. Hi Meggan!  Made this  for  my co  workers and it was a  huge  success !   Didn’t  last  long!  Getting  ready  to  make another  now….5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Ursula! I used to make this for work when I went to an office and it was always a hit. :) So glad your coworkers loved it! Thank you again and take care!

  3. Hi Meggan,

    Thank you for the recipe. I am making lemon bundt cakes for a church meeting, and was hoping to find a recipe that uses a cake mix. This looks like a good one!

    Thanks again. Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa! This Bundt cake is absolutely spectacular. I think you will really enjoy it, at least I hope you and everyone else at church does! It’s a keeper for sure. Good luck and thank you so much for your comment. Take care.

  4. Love lemon cake and this one sounds delicious! One question, can sugar free instant pudding be used in this recipe?

    1. Hi Debbie! I am not sure what effect sugar free instant pudding would have. I feel like it would work just fine, though. I really don’t think it would affect it, I just haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. When I get a chance to try that, I’ll update the recipe. If you happen to try it, too, I’d love to hear what you think! Thank you so much!

  5. Hello, just a quick question…when it says under # 2 “stir to combine”, does that mean you literally just stir everything together with a spoon?  No mixer or beaters?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa! Yes, well my preferred tool is a rubber spatula, but same difference. I should probably say “stir vigorously” and/or offer the option of using beaters, I just don’t do that for this cake. It’s pretty fool proof without an extra horsepower! I hope this helps. I’ll fix up the post though and suggest that just in case. Thank you!

  6. Fabulous easy recipe!  I garnished it with fresh flowers in the center and strawberries surrounding it.  Lovely!

    1. That DOES sound lovely! What a great idea. I’m requesting that for Mother’s Day… flowers and all! :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. When I make the lemon bundt cake my recipe calls for lemon jello…not lemon pudding and it gives it a great flavor and is really moist.  

    1. Hey Beverly, that’s really interesting! I’m always up for trying something new, and I cannot imagine how this could end badly. Thanks so much for the suggestion!!

  8. Lemon is such a great flavor. I am going to use this recipe for Easter. I think I will do a raspberry glaze on it just to give it some Easer color.5 stars

  9. Mornin’ Meggan.  I’ll be incorporating these flavoring and moisture-building ideas into the next gluten-free lemon cake I bake because like you said, “Who doesn’t like lemon?”  Dave
    PS:  I’ll likely zest one lemon and throw it into the batter as well.  Meyers are in season and they excel in flavor.   Yum!5 stars

    1. Thank you, Luciana! I hope you enjoy it. It’s definitely one of my favorites, people always think it is from a bakery. :) Thanks for stopping by!