Dessert Is a Lemony-Splendored Thing: Lemon Bundt Cake

I recently bought a five-pound bag of lemons after deciding to make a lemon curd mousse cake -- it was more economical to buy the bag instead of individually purchasing the number of lemons I needed. But I only used about half the bag for the mousse cake, so I needed to find another lemon recipe to use up the remainder. The most important criterion was that the recipe had to use a lot of lemons, because otherwise it was going to take me forever to get through the rest of the bag. I found the perfect candidate: a Lemon Bundt Cake from Matt Lewis that was published in the December 2012 issue of Food & Wine.

We subscribe to Food & Wine and I flip through the entire paper version every month, but somehow this recipe escaped my attention. Otherwise I surely would have added the cake to my to-bake list earlier. After all, Matt Lewis is the co-owner of Baked and co-author of the various Baked cookbooks that I love and bake from regularly. I definitely consider him a trusted source for recipes.

The recipe says that it requires ten lemons (to produce 1/3 cup of zest and three ounces of lemon juice), but I only needed six large lemons to get the specified amount of zest. You rub the zest together with granulated sugar until the sugar is wet; add canola oil and cooled melted butter; mix in eggs, egg yolks, dark rum, and lemon extract; and then alternately add in the sifted dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt) and heavy cream. You pour the mixture in to a buttered and floured Bundt pan and bake.

You cool the cake for a half hour before unmolding it, poking holes into it with a skewer, and brushing on a syrup made from sugar, lemon juice, and rum. Then once the cake is completely cool, you top it off with a glaze made from powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract.

The outside crust of my cake was very dark, but the inside was a light contrasting yellow. I love this cake. It had a dense moist texture like pound cake, and a splendid lemon flavor, especially the top portion where the syrup had soaked into the cake and the sharp sting of lemon was particularly intense. The glaze added yet another layer of lemon flavor with a touch of almond as well. I had boiled the lemon-rum syrup for a few extra minutes to try and cook off as much of the alcohol as possible; the rum flavor in the finished cake was faint and I didn't mind it at all.

This cake is fantastically flavorful, moist, and satisfying. It might have the humble looks of a run-of-the-mill Bundt cake, but there is so much more to this cake than meets the eye.

Recipe: "Lemon Bundt Cake" by Matt Lewis, recipe available here at


Louise said…
I have this on my "to-bake" list, but I made an orange bundt cake a couple of days ago to try out my new Heritage pan : ). I think BAKED's Nanaimo Ice Cream Bars in the Oct '13 F&W look far tastier than regular Nanaimo Bars. I meant to ask you if you saw them.
Hi Louise! Yes, I did see the Nanaimo ice cream bars and I've actually made them -- they are better than the traditional version!
Robyn said…
Mmmm this was great, I loved it!
Anonymous said…
I didn't realize this wasn't a new recipe-- always good stuff in Food & Wine! I agree, it looks so humble, but it's so bright and delicious!
Anonymous said…
I loved this cake too!