Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe

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.

Our love of all things lemon knows no bounds! From Lemon Poppyseed Cake or Lemon Bars to bite-sized Lemon Cookie Balls, lemony citrus treats are always met with big smiles.

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.

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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
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Eggs

    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.

     

How to make Lemon Bundt Cake:

Pucker up, buttercup! This is easy and breezy.

  1. Butter your prettiest bundt cake pan. Shortening or non-stick cooking spray works too!
  2. 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!
  3. Then all you have to do is pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

    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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. You have to make the lemon glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, then drizzle it over the cooled cake.
  7. 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.

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.

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.

4.94 from 30 votes

Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 211kcal

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
  • 1/4 cup 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcal

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  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Lisa

    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. meggan

      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.

  6. Debbie

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

    1. meggan

      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!

  7. Lisa K.

    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. meggan

      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!

  8. Jennifer

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

    1. meggan

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

  9. Beverly

    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. meggan

      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!!

  10. 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

  11. Dave

    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

  12. Thanks for the super-easy pdf recipe. Will try it now. :)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!

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