Lemon Bundt Cake

4.39 from 68 votes
208 Comments

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This Lemon Bundt Cake recipe tastes just like a Nothing Bundt Cakes original! A sweet, tart cake with an AMAZING cream cheese frosting.

Slice of Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake on a plate.

Lemon Bundt Cake

This gorgeous Lemon Bundt Cake is just as delicious as what you can get at the Nothing Bundt Cakes store, but now you can make it right at home! The dense, rich, moist cake is bursting with lemon flavor, with the flavor and consistency of lemon pound cake. It’s topped with a light, fluffy cream cheese frosting. Make this yummy Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake for an special birthday, baby shower, or a casual Saturday evening dessert.

This is one of our most popular cake recipes! And we didn’t stop at lemon! We have copycat recipes for all the Nothing Bundt Cakes classics: Chocolate Chocolate ChipWhite Chocolate RaspberryRed Velvet and more!

Ingredients for Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake

Ingredients for this Lemon Bundt Cake

Using cake mixes helps this recipe come together in a snap! You’ll avoid having to use salt, baking powder, baking soda, etc. Here’s all you need for the best lemon bundt cake recipe ever:

  • One lemon cake mix from the store – any brand will do!
  • One package of lemon pudding mix – you’ll stir the dry instant pudding right in the batter.
  • Sour cream 
  • 4 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemon juice – you can use fresh lemon juice squeezed right from a lemon or you can measure ¼ cup of lemon juice from a bottle.
  • whisk in some water
  • For a richer cake, fold in some white chocolate chips into the batter using a rubber spatula.

The cream cheese frosting is so easy and can be used on dozens of treats. Here’s all you need:

  • Cream cheese – make sure it is softened at room temperature.
  • Butter – I like to use unsalted butter at room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar – use a sifter to make sure the confectioners’ sugar is nice and fine.
  • Use fresh raspberries or mint leaves as a garnish. You can also use a little lemon zest on top for a beautiful finish.

How to Frost this Lemon Bundt Cake

Sometimes I frost this cake like the store on our Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake. This looks pretty, but I always feel like someone gets short-changed if they don’t get the big blob of frosting on their slice. To prevent this, I sometimes frost the whole cake as pictured above. There is always plenty of frosting and I pile the extra in the middle so there is added frosting on each piece when I slice it.

Top view of Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake.

More Than Meets the Eye

Because of the richness of Nothing Bundt Cake’s Lemon Cake, one bundt cake can easily serve 15-20 people. It saves in the refrigerator for several days if you have leftovers. The cake can also be frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator before it is frosted. Make sure it is wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil before freezing to maintain the moisture and texture of the cake.

Close up of a fork with a piece of lemon nothing bundt cake.

Tricks of the Trade

Sometimes it can be tricky to remove the cake from the bundt pan after baking. Here’s a tip to remove the cake once it cools.

  1. Run a knife around the outer and inner edges of the cake (between the cake and the pan).
  2. Place the plate or stand you will be using to hold the cake upside down on top of the bundt pan.
  3. Gently hold the bundt pan and plate together as you flip them both right side up. The cake may pop out of the pan as you are flipping, but if it does not leave the cake pan upside down on top of the plate.
  4. Gently tap around the top of the pan with the handle end of a butter knife. This will loosen the cake from the sides and it should easily come out onto the plate.
  5. If not, flip the platter and bundt pan over again and start over by running the knife around the edges of the pan.

What Readers are Saying About this Recipe

“I have made this cake from this recipe so many times I figure it is way past time I gave a review. It is a delicious moist cake and the frosting is to die for. I do not add all the powdered sugar (usually around 2 cups) and I grate a little lemon zest along with the raspberries and mint leaves for the top. This is one of my go to recipes when I want to impress!!!” – Rosie G.

“Amazing! I’ll never spend $30 on the real deal Bundt cake ever again. This recipe is as good, if not BETTER! Thank you for sharing! It was delicious!!” – Michelle

“I even made this Gluten Free using Magnolia Mixes GF Lemon pound cake mix. I also zested my lemon before juicing it. The non-gluten free family and friends could not believe how good it tasted! Thank you!” – Leah N.

More Nothing Bundt Cake Copycat Recipes

  • Carrot Cake – I found a new way to use all of the same ingredients, including the ease of a cake mix, yet give the cake a lighter texture that is similar to the Nothing Bundt Cake texture.
  • White Chocolate Raspberry Cake – White chocolate chips and a raspberry filling give this cake so much flavor!
  • Try the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake – A rich and moist pumpkin cake that is perfect for the holidays.
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake– This Bundt Cake is rich, moist, and delicious! Our recipe tastes just like the cake you can get at the shop.
  • Red Velvet Cake – The cake is rich and chocolatey and it is topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting.
Serving slice of lemon nothing bundt cake.

Nothing Bundt Cakes Lemon Cake Copycat

4.39 from 68 votes
This Nothing Bundt Cakes Lemon Cake Copycat recipe tastes just like the original! A sweet, tart cake with an AMAZING cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15

Video

Equipment

  • Hand Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Bundt Cake Pan

Ingredients

Frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gather your ingredients.
    Ingredients for Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, pudding, sour cream, eggs, oil, lemon juice, and water for 2 minutes. If using white chocolate chips, chop the chips into smaller pieces and add to the cake batter. Pour cake batter into a greased bundt cake pan (nonstick cooking spray works best).
    Batter in a bundt pan for Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes.
    Baked Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake in a bundt pan.
  • Remove the cake from the bundt pan and place it on a serving plate or cake stand. See post above for details on how to easily do this. Wrap the cake well with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight before frosting and serving.
    Unfrosted Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake.

Frosting

  • In a medium bowl or mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Start with 2 cups and then keep adding until the frosting is nice and thick.
    Frosting whipped in a bowl for lemon nothing bundt cake.
  • Place a ziplock bag or piping bag into a cup and fill with frosting.
    Frosting loaded in a piping bag using a cup for lemon nothing bundt cake.
  • Snip the corner of the bag. You want a thick frosting strip, so make sure the hole is big enough to let out the right amount of frosting.
    Cutting the tip of the piping bag for Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake.
  • Frost the cake in thick stripes going from the middle to the outside. Keep cake refrigerated.
    Top view of Lemon Nothing Bundt Cake.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 627kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 6gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 490mgPotassium: 151mgFiber: 1gSugar: 51gVitamin A: 760IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 163mgIron: 1.2mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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Comments

  1. Tried your recipe and I had to write and say thank you. I followed your recipe as written and it came out perfect. I used cooking spray and it came out of the pan cleanly. And it is light and moist and is just as good as the original…..next up is the white chocolate raspberry!!

    1. Thank you for your nice comment! So happy that you liked the cake and that it turned out so well for you. Let us know what you think about the White Chocolate Raspberry!

  2. Great taste, I will make again. But….. I don’t think it is nearly as good as Nothing Bundt cakes.
    The crumb/texture is way off comparatively speaking. Perhaps its the cake mix? I was shocked that even with 4 eggs, oil & sour cream, it was dry comparatively speaking. I ended up making a lemon syrup/glaze (poured over the cake) before frosting it. This helped but as I mentioned, the texture just wasn’t the same.

  3. I knew there was another question- The white chocolate chips. The recipe says they’re optional, what do you really think? Is it better to use them or not?

    1. I like to use them because I never have regretted using chocolate 🙂 But some people like just the pure lemon flavor so it’s totally up to you!

  4. I’m going to make this next week and I have a few questions. If my cake mix has pudding in it already, should I not use the additional box? I was also thinking of using a couple of drops of lemon essential oil instead of the lemon juice. Do you think that would be a mistake since there would be less liquid?

    1. Hi Jessica, yes – still use the pudding even if the cake mix has pudding in it. I think using the essential oil will be fine. I would put the couple of drops of essential oil in a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill the rest of the cup with lemon juice or water. Using lemon juice will make your cake really lemon-y. It will be delicious!

  5. Hi,
    This cake looks amazing. I bought a bee hive cake pan for an upcoming party. It came with a lemon cake recipe but it wasn’t quite right. I was thinking of trying this be but I am wondering if it will hold the shape of the beehive and the little bees that are part of the mold. What are your thoughts?

  6. BEST LEMON CAKE IVE EVER HAD!! I made this for my sister in laws birthday and everyone LOVED it. It is so moist it practically melts in your mouth. I made a cream cheese glaze to go with it. Mm mm good. I will absolutely be making this cake again. And again. And again.

    1. So glad you like this recipe!!! We love it too, it is perfect for Spring (if Spring will ever come this year, am I right??)

  7. I wish there was a “liked it” button. This is a really good cake, but it’s not the same as the Nothing Bundt Cakes one. This recipe has the right texture, but there needs to be more lemon flavor to be a copy cat recipe.

    This recipe tastes best when refrigerated.

    1. I copied this review from my Pinterest one where you could pick “Loved it” or “Not for me” and forgot to edit.

      The cake is really good, just not quite the same for me. I’m toying around with brushing on a lemon flavored simple syrup to see if that fixes it for me.

      1. 5 stars
        I added about 1/2 to a tsp of lemon extract. Perked it up quite a bit. One full recipe will make 2 8″ pan bundt cakes…I made a total of 12 cakes…(6 recipes) all with lemon extract…and received rave reviews from all clients I gave them to.,

      1. Glad I wasn’t the only one! I added lemon juice to fix it for me, but it’s good to know about the lemon flavoring. I’ll give that a try!

  8. I love this cake and have made in numerous times. I spray with Baker’s Joy and it always comes out beautifully. Only thing, it falls to about half the size. What can I do?

        1. This is exactly what happened to my TWO attempts to make this cake. I thought my first fail was something I had done but the second cake did exactly what Susie above says. It comes out of the oven looking great then during the 20 minute cooling in the pan, the cake completely goes flat. It ends up being a rubbery tube about 2 inches tall. SO sad.

          1. Also, I should point out that I used a Betty Crocker mix the first time and a Duncan Hines the second time, with the same bad results. I followed the recipe exactly as written. I know my oven is fine because after the two cake fails, I made (from scratch) chocolate cupcakes and they turned out just fine. I’m so curious as to why this would happen.

          2. 3 stars
            Same thing happened to me! Made the chocolate and it turned out perfect, made the lemon and it looked beautiful when it came out and then fell to half the size, really wanted this cake for an event so I made it again being extra careful with measurements and mixing and it happened again! Crazy 😜

          3. I am so sorry this happened to you! It is hard to know what can cause things like that. There are lots of different culprits – expired ingredients, different altitudes, and oven temperatures can all contribute.

    1. 5 stars
      I did mini last night (I usually do the full size one) and I ended up making a full size. The mini didn’t have that same dense pound cake feel. They seemed to light and airy for me. I lost the rich yummy part of this cake.

      1. I’ve had the same experience with trying to make mini bundt cakes. They lost their yummy dense texture, came out more like regular cake. I wonder if possibly lowering the baking temperature so it cooks slower would help?

      2. Love this recipe. I think using “good” butter Kerry’s Gold, with flouring after, mine came out beautifully. Thanks!!

  9. I made the cake twice. I have been making the chocolate version for about 30 years, since I was a teen, always perfect. When I was introduced to Nothing Bundt Cakes my eyes opened to a new possibility, Ive been hooked ever since.

    I made the lemon version twice. The first time with a cooking spray with flout in it. Almost came out, but the frosting would have covered it. The top was highly carmelized, could this be due to the natural sugars in the lemon juice? The second time I only used a regular cooking spray because that is what I use for the chocolate and the receipt did not say “grease and flour” and only half came out.

    Both were very tasty and I liked the lemon juice addition. Would a lemon extract work or taste tinny? I will go back to the nonstick with flour and try again tomorrow.

    1. I haven’t tried it with lemon extract because I am not a fan of the taste. I have thought about trying this cake with lemon oil as a substitute for the lemon juice. I have found that the bundt pan I use does make a big difference in how the cake comes out of the pan. I’ve tried a couple of newer non-stick pans, but I keep going back to an old bundt pan I’ve had for years. It’s not a non-stick pan, but with the non-stick cooking spray it works like a charm every time. Greasing and flouring the pan should work as well.

      1. See my comment above about using shortening – not cooking spray. Also, you might like lemon emulsion if extract doesn’t work for you.

        1. I have used baking spray with flour in it and then also floured after spraying and it works every time with no messy shortening.

  10. It looks like delicious even though I never tried it yet.????????????and still hoping that I could taste it so I could tell if its delicious or not.????????????

  11. Somehow this cake didn’t turn out for me. The flavor was terrific, but the cake was heavy as a rock. I followed the recipe, so I don’t know what happened. I wonder if the fact that I used a moist cake mix, which probably already had pudding like stuff in it, made the cake just too heavy. Also, I made half of the frosting and had plenty. Frosting recipe was very good–not too sweet.

    1. This is a heavier cake, as bundt cake’s are…but, not as heavy as a rock. The problem is the likely the moist cake mix because the cake is getting extra pudding. It could also be an altitude issue if you live above 3,500 feet. If this is the case, you would need to add 1 Tbsp of flour to the recipe and an additional 1 Tbsp for every 1,500 feet above that. I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor of the cake and the frosting in spite of the heaviness. Thank you for your comment!

  12. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out your method for getting the cake out of the bundt pan. I would love it if you would post a video or at least a couple of pictures showing the method. I understand the part about running the knife around the inside edges between the cake and the pan but the upside down plate portion of the description just doesn’t make any picture for me that will give me the cake on the plate correctly!

    1. LOVE the idea of posting a video… we are putting it on the “to-do” list. We have dozens of videos right now but none of our bundt cakes yet. The most important part is getting the pan greased and floured. Are you talking about the part where you flip the cake on to a plate?

      1. Just wondering….. the recipe didn’t say anything about the flour after greasing, but you mentioned it here. If so, how much flour do you use?

        1. Oh sorry, it must have been in the raspberry bundt cake recipe. I like to grease the pan and lightly flour (shaking out any excess into the sink, hitting the sides of the pan so there is a really light flour coating). I usually use butter to lightly grease but you can use cooking spray and then flour. Does that make sense?

          1. I ONLY use Crisco (shortening) to grease pans if I plan on removing the cake for presentation. Use a piece of waxed paper and really get the shortening in there …every single nook and cranny. Follow it with flour. Don’t even think about cooking spray. I started using shortening when I first made a lamb mold cake (where it is really, really necessary due to the complexity of the mold) and have never looked back.

      2. I agree grease and flour but in your recipe it states you can use non stick spray which by the way doesn’t work at all. Sorry I had to find out the hard way!!

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks Marsha! I just started having trouble getting bundt cakes out of the pan. I was embarrassed that they would come out in chunks on the top. Tried greasing and flouring and other spray products. I remember reading your post and bought Baker’s Joy the last time I went shopping. It worked perfectly. I had to write and thank you.

        Bonnie

    2. I’ve made this cake twice (but without lemon) and it came out great. I always use just butter to grease the pans and it falls right out. Also, if you bake it a little less it comes out even moister. Just check with a toothpick.

      1. Yes, always go by the toothpick test since all ovens bake differently! Thanks Linda! So glad you liked this recipe 🙂

  13. Just made the lemon version for Father’s Day. followed the recipe exactly. Tasted great and was a hit. Any tricks on getting the cake itself a little lighter – seemed heavy? I used a Betty Crocker lemon cake mix. Recommendations on a better cake mix?

    Thanks

  14. I followed this recipe to the tea and was pleased with the out come, we visit Nothing Bundt Cake kinda often and lemon is one of my favorite flavors. Job well done.

  15. I made the chocolate “nothing but bundt” cake, and it was delicious! My daughter-in-law, an artist, frosted it for me though!

    1. So glad you liked it!!! If you can, a pic and tag us on Instagram @favoritefamilyrecipes , we would love to see a picture of her creation!

        1. I am so sorry that this cake didn’t turn out for you, Patricia! A couple of things that can cause cakes to shrink are too much liquid and quick temperature changes. If you add any additional liquid like food coloring or extra lemon juice that can cause the chemistry of the cake to be off. Also, if your kitchen is too cold and the cake comes directly from the hot oven to the cold kitchen, that can cause it to fall as well. Altitude can also affect how recipes turn out in different regions. I hope this helps!

          1. I am so sorry this didn’t work out for you. Did you make any changes to the recipe?

          2. I live in high altitude, little over 6,000 ft. My cake came out fine, here I have to add 1-2 tblsp. of water and 1-2 tblsp. of flour to everything I bake. One more thing, I have found if I use generic brands for any of my baking, I don’t get the same results, I don’t know why. I have to use Jello pudding and Pillsbury or Betty Crocker cake mix. C & H Powdered Sugar, that sort of thing. Any generic oil seems to be fine. Hope any of that helps!

  16. Sounds & looks incredible! Are you using the ‘new size’ cake mix – which is like 15. ‘something’ ounces? I know the frosting is very delicious, but I’ll just drizzle it with a “Lemon Glaze”, in or to keep down the calories.