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Lemon Bundt Cake on a stand with dessert plates and forks.

Lemon Bundt Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 34 reviews


This lemon bundt cake is a Starbucks lemon loaf copycat. It’s tender, moist and delicious. Assemble the batter in 15 minutes. Bake as a lemon bundt cake, or in 2 loaf pans. Either way, it’s irresistible.


Units Scale


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, but recommended)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream


  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Lemon zest
  • Lime zest


Recommended Pans for this recipe: 1 bundt pan or 2 (1-pound) loaf pans

RECIPE PREP: Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking pan(s) with butter. Make sure all crevices are covered. Dust with granulated sugar. Shake out the excess. 

  1. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set the bowl aside.
  2. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high. Add eggs one at a time. Mix on low for 10 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.
  3. Add flour mixture in two parts. Mix until just combined. Add vanilla extract, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract (if using). Mix on low speed until just combined. With a rubber spatula, scrape down bottom and sides of the bowl. Add sour cream. Mix briefly until just combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared baking pan(s). Tap pan on the counter 3 times. This helps remove pockets of air.
  5. Bake 35 minutes at 350°F. Reduce heat to 325°F. Continue baking 15 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. 

COOL THE CAKE: Put cake pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Set a timer. Ten minutes is the magic number! Don’t let the cake sit in the pan even a minute longer. Run a skinny rubber spatula vertically up and down along the sides of the pan. Invert cake on a wire rack. Cool 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours before icing.


  1. In a small bowl, combine sugar, milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir or whisk until icing reaches desired consistency. To thicken, add more sugar. For thinning, add more milk.
  2. Place cake on a wire rack over a piece of waxed paper. Drizzle icing over the cooled lemon cake.
  3. Transfer cake to a platter or stand. If serving immediately, garnish with lemon and lime zest. If serving later, leave off the zest as it drys out quickly and will lose its color and freshness.


Can I double this recipe? It’s not recommended. There’s always a risk over blending or under mixing. For the best taste and texture, make the cake batter twice.

How long will this cake stay fresh? When wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, the cake will stay fresh 3 to 5 days.

Can I freeze the lemon cake? Yes. And for freezing, it’s best to bake the cake in 2 loaf pans. It’ll be easier to store. Place loaves, or slices with parchment paper in between, inside an airtight container and freeze. For the best taste and texture, defrost and enjoy within 1 week. 

More expert tips: The body of the post contains more expert tips to help you achieve the best results!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American