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. 
4.99 from 151 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
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

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.

You May Also Like

Questions and Comments

Thank you for your comments! Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST, excluding holidays. Comments are moderated to prevent spam and profanity.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. I made this cake today and it is perfectly delicious and simple to make. Thank you for sharing this recipe5 stars

    1. Hi Nancy, we haven’t tried it with cook and serve pudding. But we know it tastes great with instant vanilla pudding if you can’t find instant lemon pudding. Hope this helps! -Meggan

    1. Hi Sherisse, I am not sure. It’s a cake mix, so they make the rules. You could definitely try it, if you wanted to try it I’d use an equal part butter to the oil listed (1/2 butter, or 1 stick). I’m not sure what will happen. I can’t imagine it would taste bad… it just might change the baking time. I tried making a cake once with margarine instead of butter, and it took WAY longer to bake. So I don’t know if that means a cake with butter would be done sooner, not necessarily. I would just be prepared for anything! Thanks. -Meggan

  2. I am not too familiar with glazes, but next time I am going to make it quite a bit thicker. I recycled it three times over the cake and it still looks pretty bare. The taste is spot on though!5 stars

    1. Hi Nancy, we haven’t tried it with cook and serve pudding. But we know it tastes great with instant vanilla pudding if you can’t find instant lemon pudding. Hope this helps! -Meggan

  3. I’ve made this delicious lemon cake so many times and have passed it on to my sisters who have made it as well. We’ve all done variations of the basic recipe. One that I really enjoy is I replace half the water with amaretto. I put maraschino cherries in the bottom of the indentations on my Bundt pan. For the glaze I use powdered sugar and maraschino cherry juice.

    1. Hi Brunet26, I’m so sorry your cake fell! Sometimes bundt cakes fall in the middle if they are not cooked all the way. Did you check the center of the cake with a toothpick, and it came out clean? Also, ovens vary on temperature, so the cake might have needed a little more time. I’m sorry again, I hope the next one turns out better! – Meggan

  4. I loved this recipe. I am making it for the second time and I am going to leave off the icing this time. I think the can can stand alone. I love anything lemon and it is so moist.5 stars

  5. This cake was AMAZING! I made it in my behive Nordicware pan and it released from the pan perfectly! My friends thought it was so delicious! Thanks for sharing it, I know I will make it again!5 stars

View all comments