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.

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. 
4.96 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

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.

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: 1piece | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

Comments

Your email address will not be published.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

Recipe Rating




This form collects your name, email, and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.

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

  1. Alley

    Made this for my Grandmother’s birthday! Tastes amazing!! So simple, yet so much better. Thank you!5 stars

  2. Adrienne

    Awesome cake! I cooked it a bit long so the outside was a bit darker but still moist and tasty. The only change I made was to replace more of the water with lemon juice. My son couldn’t believe how lemony this cake was. Very easy recipe. Thank you for posting and for the great pictures!5 stars

  3. Ronda Givens

    Thank you for the response! I love this recipe as a bundt but wanted to take some to my son 1000 miles away and thought loaves would travel better. I will definitely be trying the blueberry lemon loaf, I love all things lemon-blueberry and blueberry season is just around the corner.

  4. Ronda Givens

    Can i bake this in loaf pans?

    1. meggan

      Hi Ronda, yes I’m sure you can. I haven’t tested that way myself (yet) but here is what I would do.
      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans (I like to spray them, line them with parchment, and spray again, aka spray-paper-spray).
      2. Prepare the batter as directed for the bundt cake and then divide between the 2 prepared pans.
      3. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, about 50 minutes.
      4. Cool in pans 15-20 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut around the inside edge of each pan (only if necessary, should not necessary) and turn out on to a cooling rack to cool.

      I also have a from-scratch Blueberry Lemon Loaf that is made with Greek yogurt and makes just 1 loaf. You could omit the blueberries. Might not be what you are looking for at all, but just another option: https://www.culinaryhill.com/blueberry-lemon-yogurt-cake/

  5. Barbara

    Hi Meggan
    Thanks for answering my email.

    I am goona try a white packaged cake mix. Ill let you know the results.5 stars

  6. Isbah

    Hi.. can i use buttermilk instead of water in the mix? Also please suggest what to do if i find the cake mix too sweet… how can i reduce the sweetness for the same recipe?
    Thanks.

    1. Isbah

      Hi Barbra, i made this cake and everyone liked it. For the extra sweetness, i did some research, the tip is to add 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Since this recipe already has lemon juice i only added salt, and it wasnt too sweet. Also tried this with chocolate cake mix and worked beautifully.
      5 stars

    2. meggan

      Hi Isbah, off the top of my head I cannot say whether you could swap in buttermilk. The reason is, when buttermilk reacts with leavening agents (such as baking powder or baking soda, or whatever it is happens to be in the cake mix), it creates extra leavening power. It might not be a problem, but IF it was, it might make the cake puff up super high when baking, and then fall. Without testing it, I don’t know for sure, but that is what concerns me. You could certainly try it and see what happens.

      As far as if the cake mix is too sweet, I am not really sure immediately how to solve that problem. You could potentially add more flour, but then that would mess up the whole recipe (your ingredient ratios would be off, and if you added more of everything else, the cake might be too big to fit in the pan).

      I do have a Hot Milk Cake recipe which I know for a fact is not overly sweet. It’s made from scratch and it uses milk (not buttermilk, but milk), and it’s a great recipe. I feel like if you are worried about a cake being too sweet, you should try the Hot Milk Cake: https://www.culinaryhill.com/old-fashioned-hot-milk-cake-recipe/
      I haven’t tried adding any kind of lemon flavor to it, so if that’s what you’re hoping for, this won’t work for you. Because lemon juice is acidic and could react with leavening agents, I’d have to test the recipe before saying that you can just go ahead and add lemon juice. Lemon zest wouldn’t be a problem, but on its own it probably wouldn’t pack the lemon flavor you are looking for (that is, if you’re looking for lemon flavor).

      If you have any other questions, please let me know! Good luck. I wish I could be of further help.

  7. Barbara

    Hi Meghan
    Can I use a white packaged cake mix?5 stars

    1. meggan

      Hi Barbara, I don’t see why not. If you try it, I’d love to hear if it worked for you! Thanks!

  8. Linda

    Hi Meghan,
    Do you think you could double this recipe to make the cake “taller”?

    1. meggan

      Hi Linda, my guess is if you doubled the recipe, it would spill out over the pan. Unless you had an extra-large bundt pan? Please let me know if you give this a shot, I’d love to hear how it works! :D

  9. Connie

    Meghan, following your recipe but my cake mix calls for 1/3 vegetable oil. Can I leave that out? Extra calories I don’t need..5 stars

    1. meggan

      Hi Connie, yes! To make sure your cake doesn’t dry out like cardboard, are you willing to sub in 1/3 cup of applesauce? You won’t even miss the oil then… Thanks!

  10. Debbie Levita

    Hi Meggan. Can you use this recipe for cupcakes instead of a bundt pan? I have a church function and need to bring cupcakes.
    Thanks;!5 stars

    1. Elaine

      Thank you Meggan! I am doing them today 😉 Last night I finished my reese’s cheesecake bits and cold pasta. Today I am working on Lemon cupcakes and deviled eggs. We have 70 people coming tomorrow. I am also thinking about doing Peanut butter captain crunch cupcakes. Our son live peanut butter captain crunch. I just trying to figure out cake mix to use for it 🤔 Any ideas on this one ? Thank for the help ❤

    2. Elaine

      Hello Meggan, Did you ever try it out? I have made the bundt cake before but I was wondering if you had tried it? I need to do this today for a Saturday party. I have 5 other items to make for a graduation party and my son requested lemon cupcakes.

    3. meggan

      Hi Elaine! I just finished. The recipe works GREAT for cupcakes (not that I had doubts about that). Here’s what you need to know.
      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees for a shiny muffin tin, or 350 degrees for a dark or nonstick muffin tin.
      2. Line muffin tin with paper liners and coat them with nonstick spray (I do this to make sure nothing sticks, ever).
      3. Prepare the batter as directed in the bundt cake.
      4. Fill muffin tins about halfway, approximately 3 tablespoons of batter per muffin cup. I found it easiest to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and not fill it all the way (or fill it all the way and let some stick to the bottom of the cup between scoops which happens naturally anyway).
      5. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs attachd. Make sure you rotate your pans halfway through baking time so the cupcakes all finish at the same time.

      Anything else you need to know? They are great! I will send this to you in an email too. Thanks for your patience and good luck with the party!

    4. meggan

      Hi Elaine, I’m making them today. Sorry for slacking off, I will advise in a couple of hours!!! I’m sure it will be fine but I just want to give you the info you need. So sorry again. I’ll be in touch. I’ll email you AND reply here with the info. Thanks!

    5. meggan

      Hi Debbie, I’m sure you can! I just need to test it and make sure. When is your church function? I can test the cupcakes this weekend. Just let me know if that is too late. Thank you for your patience!

  11. Otto Waldal

    This website is completely awesome. I’ve search through these recipes a great deal and I view it that is good written, easy to understand.
    5 stars

  12. Marla

    Made this today with a light cream cheese frosting and used raspberries on top!
    This cakes the bomb (5) stars!!5 stars

  13. Nikki

    Wow this is delicious! I made it today and it was seriously the most delightful cake I’ve ever made. A definite keeper! I will say my glaze more so soaked into the cake rather than stayed on top as an icing, I’m not quite sure why but it was delicious and pretty either way. 5 stars

  14. Nikee Burton

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I will be making it tomorrow. I was wondering is it possible to use this recipe with spring form pans instead of a bundt pan.4 stars

  15. Vickie

    I don’t mind if you steal it😄😄. So glad you liked the idea.  Happy Holidays

  16. Katy

    Can you make the cake the night before and refrigerate it, and then make and apply the glaze the next day before a party?5 stars

  17. Vickie

    I am going to make this lemon cake for a Holiday party.  I am using mint and maraschino cherries as holly around the bottom of the cake.

    1. meggan

      Hi Vickie, that is the most adorable idea ever! Do you mind if I steal it?? Thank you so much for stopping by and take care!

  18. Rona Stolzoff

    Question what was your answer for using sugar free pudding? I’m diabetic and any way I can cut the sugar super! Love 🍋 also can it be made as a regular cake?5 stars

  19. John Linnell

    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!

  20. ursula

    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. meggan

      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!

Scroll to top