Lemon is a bright, sunny flavor that always makes me think of spring, even though I incorporate lemon into my desserts all year round. Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake is a zesty bundt cake loaded with lemon flavor that is the perfect way to celebrate any spring occasion – and simply a nice citrus dessert to treat yourself to all year round. It is topped with a light lemon glaze that boosts the citrus flavor in the cake and adds a touch of extra sweetness to every bite!
The cake has a dense, tender crumb that almost melts in your mouth, which is reminiscent of a pound cake even though the ratios in this recipe are not exactly what you would see in a typical pound cake (pound cakes typically have quite a few more eggs in the recipe). It is the type of cake that pairs perfectly with coffee or tea, either as an afternoon snack or as an after-dinner treat.
The lemon flavor comes from both lemon juice and lemon zest, with the lemon zest playing the most important role in boosting that lemon flavor. The zest is the colorful outer rind of the citrus fruit and can be removed with a zester or microplane. The zest is packed with lemon oil, which is where you’ll get a concentrated lemon flavor for any baked good. You’ll need about two medium sized lemons to get enough zest and juice for the recipe.
Sour cream is the other key ingredient in this cake, helping to create that melt-in-your-mouth texture by providing extra richness to the batter. Sour cream has a subtle tang that really compliments all that lemon. If you don’t have sour cream, a plain greek-style yogurt can be used as a substitute. In both cases, a full fat version of the dairy will give you a richer cake, although the recipe will still work with a low fat or nonfat version.
The cake is baked in a bundt pan, which should be greaased and floured before pouring the batter in to ensure that the baked cake slides out once it has cooled. When the cake reaches room temperature, you can drizzle on a little bit of the easy lemon glaze recipe below. The glaze brightens up the whole cake and gives it a nice finished look. I prefer to make the glaze a little bit thicker because I like to see the drips on the side of the cake, however you can thin it out with a bit of additional lemon juice for a glaze that can be poured completely over the whole cake.
Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and lemon zest and cream until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
Stir one third of the flour mixture into the sugar mix, followed by the lemon juice. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Stir in remaining flour and mix until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Allow cake to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cake has cooled, whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth and drizzle over the cake.
Makes 1 cake; serves 12-16