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This super Lemon Bundt Cake recipe with a sweet lemon glaze is incredibly light, moist and bursting with fresh citrus flavor! Best of all, the easy homemade Bundt cake comes together in minutes thanks to help from a box of cake mix and a small box of instant pudding mix. It’s a simple dessert that’s perfect for any occasion!

Cake server lifting a slice of the best Lemon Bundt Cake from cake mix

How to Make Lemon Bundt Cake | 1-Minute Video

Lemon Bundt Cake from Cake Mix

This is my mom’s Lemon Bundt Cake recipe, which she made regularly throughout my childhood — and continues to make today. It’s easy to whip up, it looks and tastes impressive, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser! Serve the bright, citrus-infused cake with a cozy Sunday supper, offer it on the Easter dessert buffet, or take it to your next church potluck. With a handful of basic pantry ingredients, this is a simple and delicious cake that you can mix together in minutes for all of your last-minute dessert needs!

What is special about a Bundt cake?

The Bundt pan was invented by H. David Dalquist, the owner of Minnesota’s Nordic Ware company, in 1950. The unique ring-shaped pan allows more of the cake to be in contact with the edges of the pan, and therefore the heat is transferred more evenly. This allows the inside of the cake to cook through without burning the outside, creating a crisp, golden brown crust on each slice.

What’s the difference between a cake and a Bundt cake?

Unlike more traditional sheet cakes or layer cakes that are baked in shallow pans, a Bundt pan has decorative sides and tops that range from ridges to fruit, or other still life scenes. It is typically used for pound cake, coffee cake and other dense, moist cakes like this old-fashioned lemon Bundt cake using cake mix. Since more of the cake’s surface is exposed to high heat in a Bundt pan, you achieve a nice golden brown crust on the outside of the cake, while keeping the inside perfectly moist.

An easy Lemon Bundt Cake recipe with lemon glazed served on a blue and white plate

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need to make a Duncan Hines Lemon Bundt Cake. As always, the specific measurements and the complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Lemon cake mix: my mom always uses Duncan Hines brand, but any similar boxed lemon cake mix will work.
  • Lemon instant pudding mix: just the small 4-serving (3.4 ounce) box of dry mix — not prepared into actual pudding.
  • Water and freshly-squeezed lemon juice: the liquid for the cake batter.
  • Oil: I use vegetable oil, but any neutral oil (such as canola oil) will work.
  • Eggs: give the cake structure.
Ingredients for easy lemon bundt cake from cake mix

Why add pudding to cake mix?

The gelatin component in the instant pudding mix makes the cake super moist. It’s the secret ingredient to make your cake more fluffy, too! When baking a cake in a Bundt pan, a very moist batter is necessary so that the cake doesn’t dry out. Don’t omit the pudding, which is a key ingredient.

How to Make a Lemon Bundt Cake Using Cake Mix

This easy dessert recipe has been prepared in farmhouse kitchens for generations because it’s absolutely delicious (and so darn simple). The cake strikes a perfect balance with a rich, moist flavor and a light, fluffy crumb. It’s not as dense as a classic sour cream pound cake, and it’s finished with a delicious lemon glaze for maximum citrus flavor.

  1. Mix together the batter ingredients in a large bowl on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the batter to a greased and floured Bundt pan. Tap on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
  3. Bake in a 350 ° F oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
Process shot showing how to make Duncan Hines Lemon Bundt Cake using cake mix

Do cakes bake faster in a bundt pan?

No, in fact, Bundt cakes require a longer baking time than most other cakes. This is because Bundt cake batters are so dense and the pans are so large. You’ll need about 40 minutes (or slightly more) to bake this particular cake in a 350 ° F oven.

Lemon Glaze for Bundt Cake

For the quick and easy lemon glaze on this Bundt cake, simply whisk together the following ingredients until a smooth, thick (but pourable) icing comes together:

  • Confectioners sugar: sift the sugar beforehand to make sure that there are no lumps in your glaze.
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice: to thin the glaze and add that bright, tart lemon touch that nicely balances the sweetness of the sugar.
  • Vanilla extract: for warm, delicious flavor.
Lemon glaze for Bundt cake in a small yellow bowl with a whisk

Drizzle the glaze all over the top of the cool cake. Give the glaze a little while to set, then slice and serve!

Lemon pudding bundt cake on a green cake stand in front of a vase of yellow tulips

Storage for a Moist Lemon Bundt Cake

Covered loosely, this cake will keep at room temperature for about 2-3 days. To extend the life of your cake, store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Can I freeze Lemon Bundt Cake?

Yes, this old-fashioned cake freezes beautifully. I often cut the large Bundt cake in half so that we can enjoy part of it now and save the other half for later. Allow the cake to cool completely, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. If possible, wait to glaze the cake until it’s thawed, just before serving.

Front shot of a glazed moist lemon bundt cake on a green cake stand before slicing

Recipe Variations

  • Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake: gently fold 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries into the batter. If using frozen berries, do not thaw.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake: add 1 ½ tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter.
  • Loaf Cakes: If you don’t have a Bundt pan, you can bake this cake in two loaf pans. The cooking time will be about the same or slightly shorter, typically 30-40 minutes in a 350 ° F oven.
  • Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake: gently fold 2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries into the batter. If using frozen berries, do not thaw.
  • Dust with powdered sugar instead of drizzling with the lemon glaze.
Two slices of Lemon Bundt Cake from cake mix on a white surface in front of a white brick wall

Tips for the Best Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe

  • Grease the Bundt pan really well by coating with butter and then dusting with flour. Alternatively, you can use a cooking spray that’s specifically made for baking (like this one). These options will ensure that your cake pops right out of the pan when it’s done!
  • Fresh lemon juice is best if it’s available, but you can use bottled lemon juice in this cake, too.
  • Don’t leave the cake in the pan for too long after baking — about 10-15 minutes is plenty. After that, condensation will start to form and the moisture will negatively impact the crust.
  • The cake gets better as it sits, so this is a nice dessert option to prepare the day before you plan to serve it.
Front shot of an easy lemon bundt cake using cake mix on a green cake stand

More Bundt Cake Recipes to Try

Cake server lifting a slice of the best Lemon Bundt Cake from cake mix

Lemon Bundt Cake

4.93 from 13 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 141 kcal
Thanks to help from a box of cake mix and a box of instant pudding mix, this easy Lemon Bundt Cake with a sweet and tangy lemon glaze comes together in just minutes!

Ingredients
  

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box lemon cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant lemon pudding mix (just the dry mix — not prepared into pudding)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat together the cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, lemon juice, oil and eggs for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour into prepared pan; tap on the counter once or twice to release air bubbles. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and vanilla extract until a thick, pourable glaze comes together. If the glaze seems too thick, add more lemon juice, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. If the glaze is too thin, gradually add more confectioners sugar.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Slice and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Grease the Bundt pan really well by coating with butter and then dusting with flour. Alternatively, you can use a cooking spray that’s specifically made for baking (like this one). These options will ensure that your cake pops right out of the pan when it’s done!
  • Fresh lemon juice is best if it’s available, but you can use bottled lemon juice in this cake, too.
  • Don’t leave the cake in the pan for too long after baking — about 10-15 minutes is plenty. After that, condensation will start to form and the moisture will negatively impact the crust.
  • The cake gets better as it sits, so this is a nice dessert option to prepare the day before you plan to serve it.
  • Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake: gently fold 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries into the batter. If using frozen berries, do not thaw.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake: add 1 ½ tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter.
  • Loaf Cakes: If you don’t have a Bundt pan, you can bake this cake in two loaf pans. The cooking time will be about the same or slightly shorter, typically 30-40 minutes in a 350 ° F oven.
  • Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake: gently fold 2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries into the batter. If using frozen berries, do not thaw.
  • Dust with powdered sugar instead of drizzling with the lemon glaze.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 63mgPotassium: 29mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 80IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: duncan hines lemon bundt cake, easy lemon cake, lemon bundt cake, lemon bundt cake from cake mix
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. I have seen on other lemon bundt cake recipes, that some have had the cake deflate after cooling for about 10 minutes. Has that ever occurred with this recipe? I want to try it out and have it as one of the desserts for a baby shower. Thanks in advance

    1. Hi, Elinor! I have never encountered that problem, nor I have heard from others with that issue. Hope it works perfectly for you! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    What a fantastic lemon cake! I might be biased; this was the first time I got a cake to come out of a Bundt pan in one piece, haha. Wonderful flavor and just the right density. I let it sit for ~12 hours and it was amazing. Thanks for posting!

    1. Thank you, Casey! I’m so glad that it worked well and that you enjoyed the cake. Thanks for taking the time to come back here and leave a note! 🙂

  3. I made this with my boyfriends 6 year old and it was so easy. She took on e bite and said, “This is the best thing I have ever made”. This is definitely a keeper recipe as it is so moist and delicious. Yummy!!!

        1. Hi, Kim! I hope you enjoyed the cake! I think avocado oil should be a good substitute, since it’s a neutral-flavored oil. Olive oil can have a stronger taste that actually flavors the cake, so that wouldn’t be my choice.

        2. 5 stars
          I only have cake mix that ‘ has pudding in the mix’. Do I just delete adding the pudding mix or add it anyway??

  4. 5 stars
    I love lemon cake and this is the best I’ve ever tasted!! I made it without any machines, just a spoon. (Just for fun!) It was beautiful and delicious!

    1. That’s great, Jan! I’m making one tomorrow — my son’s birthday request. 🙂 So glad that you enjoyed it!

  5. 4 stars
    I’ve made a similar recipe in the past and have had great luck!
    This time I added frozen blueberries, folded them in, and baked the cake. It took a LONG time to bake and after baking I discovered why. All the blueberries had settled to the bottom of the batter/pan. (Cold blueberry mass which didn’t allow cake to heat up properly.) It was like a cake covered with blueberry mush – very disappointing. And the mushy part stuck to the pan. It tasted okay but looked horrible and one couldn’t take a forkful and get the mix of blueberry and cake. I will probably make the lemon cake again but not with any fruit.

  6. I couldn’t find lemon pudding so I used vanilla pudding instead and I folded in 2 cups of grated zucchini after I let it drain on a paper towel 1st. It did take longer to bake but it came out good with the lemon glaze. So I made a Zucchini Lemon Bundt cake with your recipe. Next time I want to add 2 cups Raspberries. I’ll toss them 1st with flour so the won’t sink to the bottom. Thanks!!! ☺️

      1. Hi, I am making your lemon Bundt cakes recipe today. What do you think about adding zest of lemon to batter and glaze? If I can how much would you put in the batter and how much for glaze? Thank you for the recipe, I know my daughter and I will love it!! Will let you know!

        1. Hi, Tammy! The lemon zest will work well, but it can be a very strong, overpowering flavor…so I would add a small amount, taste, and go from there. It’s really a matter of personal preference. You’ll get a lot of lemon flavor from the lemon cake mix, lemon pudding, and lemon juice, so I don’t personally think it needs anything more. If you want to give it a stronger lemon taste, I would try about 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon in the cake, and then maybe 1/4 teaspoon or so in the glaze. You can always add more if you want it stronger, but you can’t take it out. 🙂

          Hope you enjoy the cake!

        2. 5 stars
          My husband loves lemon anything! Our neighbor happily shared 4 small lemons, which produce a few more tablespoons of juice. that I felt i could use. I did however zest all of the lemon rinds, which produced about 1/4 of a cup of zest. As it was my first time making it, I filled the pan with about half the batter and sprinkle about 2/3 of it all over the batter. I then added the other batter over it and baked it. The remaining zest, I sprinkled over on the icing as I glazed it! My husband said it was the best lemon “anything” he has ever eaten!

  7. Sounds great but any special instructions if I want to make only half the cake? Using a 6 cup bundt pan, would I just cut the ingredients in half and shorten the baking time?
    Thanks

    1. Hi, Barb! I haven’t tried making half of the cake, but the prep instructions should be the same. You’ll need to decrease the baking time to account for a smaller cake, but I don’t know what the exact timing will be. Just keep an eye on it, I guess! 🙂 If you want to make the full recipe, you can divide it between two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Freeze one of the loaf cakes for a later date, or share one with a friend.

    1. Hi, Diane! Yes, that should work fine. The cake will obviously have a different flavor, but you could add some fresh lemon zest to the batter if you’re worried that you’ll miss some of that lemon taste.

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this simple, but absolutely scrumptious recipe!!!! Just bought Bundt muffin pans and am going to try making them tomorrow morning! Thinking I will keep 6 out and freeze the rest…to slow down our consumption!

    1. Hi, Tamara! I’m sorry to hear that the cake fell. Sometimes that can happen if you open the oven door too soon, or if you jostle the cake too much while pulling it in and out of the oven before it’s totally done. It could also be something as simple as accidentally not adding enough eggs, etc. Hope you get it to work next time!

  9. 5 stars
    My son asked for lemon cake for his birthday. Every adult in the room went nuts over this super moist, lemony cake!

  10. 5 stars
    EXCELLENT!! Made it for Christmas Dinner dessert, and making it again for New Year’s Eve celebration!!!! Yummy