This Lemon Bundt Cake started with a trip to Houston, Texas to celebrate my aunt's (my mother's sister) birthday. We arrived on Friday and my aunt made this cake for Sunday dinner. This cake made me fall in love with bundt cakes. Before tasting it, the only other bundt cake I liked was my mom's Kentucky Rum Butter Cake. Other than that all other bundt cakes were either too dry or just OK.
My aunt's lemon bundt cake is off the charts good. Moist, super lemony, and the icing was more tart than sweet. My sister and I raved about this cake. When we left about a week later auntie made us a cake to share to take back home. Sad to say only a small portion made it back to Portland. While sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to board, I decided to taste a just small piece of cake. Next thing I knew I had eaten over half of my cake.
The next trip I asked my aunt for the recipe, got the recipe, lost the recipe, got it again and finally typed it into my computer in order to keep track of it. My aunt gave me some directions, but I had to work out a few details, like how long to cream the sugar and butter. This cake is delicious and moist and lemony, but I will confess that my aunt's version is still the best.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON BUNDT CAKE
To ensure that I don't forget a step I have everything in place before I start mixing the ingredients, this step is called mise en place. It's a French term for "putting in place." The cake pan release speeds up the process of prepping the pan. This method ensures your pan and all the crevices are completely covered. Sift your flour and then whisk in the salt and the baking soda. Crack your eggs into a separate bowl and measure out your sour cream.
My aunt's instructions weren't very detailed so I've learned some things through experimenting. I put the sugar into the mixing bowl and then zest the lemon directly into the bowl on top of the sugar to capture the oils that are released. One medium lemon will usually produce the right amount of zest, but since you are zesting directly onto the sugar you'll need to eyeball the amount. You may need a second lemon. Creaming the butter and sugar for 8 minutes may seem like a long time, but it will ensure that enough air is incorporated into the batter and that you get a good rise. I think the first time I beat it for about 3-4 minutes and there is a difference in height.
The cake is good with or without the glaze, but I love the lemony tartness of the glaze. When I make the glaze for the cake, I sifted a little over 3 cups of powdered sugar, but I used 2-3/4 cups with the amount of lemon juice listed in the recipe. One thing I learned in making this recipe a few times is that no matter how carefully you try to put powdered sugar back in the container you still get some on the counter.
I share the story behind this cake with other people whenever I make. It is one of the best lemon bundt cakes I've ever had and I love the look on the face of friends and family when they try it. I think you'll enjoy this cake and it will become your new favorite too. Please drop a note or contact me if you have any questions.
Lemon Bundt Cake
Cake Pan Release
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Lemon Bundt Cake
- 3 cups (300 grams) cake flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-3/4 cups (550 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest about 2 lemons
- 6 (300 grams) large eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup (230 grams) sour cream
- 2-3/4 cups (308 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tbsp fresh squeezes lemon juice
For the Cake Pan Release
- In a small bowl stir the melted butter and the flour together until it forms a paste. With a pastry brush thoroughly coat the sides and bottoms of the bundt pan.
For the Lemon Bundt Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl. Put the sifted flour, baking soda and salt together in a another bowl and combine with a whisk.
- Place the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and zest the lemons on top of the sugar. Use your fingers to mix the lemon zest with the sugar. Juice the lemons until you have at least 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
- Add the butter to the bowl and beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until the butter and sugar are fluffy about 8 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl. Add eggs one at time on low speed and then increase to medium until each egg is well incorporated. Stop the mixer after adding the first 3 eggs and scrape the bowl from the bottom to ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Add the remaining 3 eggs and scrape the down the after adding the last egg.
- Add the lemon juice and mix on medium until well combined.
- Add one-third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well combined, but do not over mix. Add one-half of the sour cream and mix on medium speed until well combined. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients, then the rest of the sour cream. Add the remaining the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cake rack to cool. Cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes and then invert it onto a cake rack. Allow it to cool completely before adding the lemon glaze.
For the Lemon Glaze
- Sift the powdered sugar to remove the lumps and measure out 2-3/4 cups and put it into another bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and stir until the glaze is smooth. At this point you can decide if you want a really thick glaze. If you want it a little thinner, add the remaining lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time until it is the desired consistency.
- Place the cake on a wire cake rack. Use a large spoon to slowly pour the glaze over the top of the cake. The glaze will run down the sides the cake. Put as a little or as much of the glaze as you like. Allow the glaze to set, about 10 minutes and then move the cake to a platter or cake holder.