In my opinion, bundt cakes are highly underrated... I mean, not only are they insanely easy to make, but the many gorgeous pans make your cake look spectacular all on its own -- meaning you can skip the frosting altogether!
For the lemon bundt cake pictured in this post, I used the heritage bundt cake pan I picked up at Walmart for just $21.97, but now I'm eyeing this adorable jubilee bundt cake pan as my next purchase. The only drawback to these more intricate pans is that you have to be even more careful to grease them well, but the tradeoff is worth it for these beautiful designs.
Just about any cake recipe can be adapted to a bundt pan, but if you're searching for a really fabulous recipe to try your pan out, this lemon bundt cake is IT! With its tender crumb, moist texture, and bright, tangy lemon flavor, it's the perfect simple spring cake.
I'll definitely be making it again for Easter dinner! Actually, I'll probably make it again before then, because it's THAT good...
So I know I said that bundt cakes don't really need any adornment -- and I stand by that. But I did go a little elaborate with a drizzle of lemon glaze and a sprinkling of lemon sugar on top of this bundt cake. However, you could easily skip them both and still wow your guests. The real star of the show is the luscious lemon bundt cake, which is infused with a bit of lemon syrup after baking.
Right now I bet you're thinking, "Infused with lemon syrup? Come on, Tara -- that sounds kind of difficult..." But, really, I promise it's a LOT less time intensive than it sounds, and I think you'll adore the results...
How to Make A Triple Lemon Bundt Cake
If you want to make this cake as pictured, you'll want to prepare the lemon syrup while your lemon bundt cake is baking, and then prepare both the lemon glaze and lemon sugar while the cake is cooling.
All together you'll need four fresh lemons (preferably organic) that you've scrubbed clean, since we'll be zesting them. The zest from three of the lemons will go into the cake batter, and the zest from the remaining lemon will be used in the lemon sugar.
How To Make Lemon Syrup
The lemon syrup is basically just a simple syrup, substituting lemon juice for water. Mix together the juice three fresh lemons (about 1/2 cup) with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the syrup has reduced by half. Allow it to cool.
How To Make Lemon Glaze
Fresh lemon juice adds a bit of tang to a simple glaze made with confectioner's sugar. Mix together 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar and one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Slowly add additional lemon juice, about one teaspoon, until the glaze reaches a thick but pourable consistency.
How To Make Lemon Sugar
Mix together the remaining zest of one lemon and about one tablespoon of granulate sugar with a fork. Let it sit for a few minutes to infuse.
As I mentioned, you don't need to do all three (although I highly recommend it!), but if you're pressed for time or just feeling a little lazy, which I totally get, PLEASE just do the lemon syrup. Totally. worth. it.
Tips for Baking A Beautiful Bundt Cake
If you want gorgeous, well-formed bundt cakes that slide right out of the pan, follow these tips for preparing and filling your pan, as well as baking and cooling your cake!
Prepare your pan properly. Taking care to prepare the bundt pan well will ensure that your cake release from the pan easily. Grease with butter or shortening, making sure to get into all of the crevices (a pastry brush will help), and then dust with flour or cocoa powder, depending on the type of bundt cake. Alternately, you can spray the bundt cake pan well with a product like Baker's Joy.
Fill the pan to the proper level and without air bubbles. Mixes and recipes can vary, so fill your bundt cake pan to no more than 3/4 of the way full to avoid overflow. Air pockets in your batter can leave holes in your finished cake. Spooning your batter into the pan will help prevent these from forming. Also, tap the pan gently on your countertop after filling to help release any that may have formed, and then use a spatula to even out the surface of the batter.
Bake your cake just until done. Place the filled bundt pan on a rimmed cookie sheet for baking. This helps to ensure that the pan is sitting level, as well as to catch any excess batter should your cake overflow. I recommend using an oven thermometer to calibrate the actual temperature of your oven versus the temperature you've set it to. Over baking can make it difficult to remove your cake from the pan, so start testing your bundt cake for doneness about 8-10 minutes before the time stated in your recipe with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake. As soon as the toothpick comes out clean, it's time to remove your cake.
Removing your bundt cake from the pan. Remove the bundt cake from the oven to a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool for 15 minutes. After cooling, tap the cake pan on the countertop and shake it gently to help it release. Then place a wire cooling rack on top of the cake pan, and flip the whole thing over. If you prepared your pan well, it should release easily from the pan, and you can now allow your cake to cool thoroughly before glazing.
See, it's really not so hard! I think we should declare bundt cakes the new cupcake... So much less prep and mess, especially when you forgo the glaze or frosting.