It is most definitely that citrus time of year and what better way to celebrate it, than with an uber-lemon-y lemon bundt cake. The cake is extremely moist, as it is not only oil-based, but is brushed with a lemon syrup before glazing, as well – and the lemon flavor is strong and vibrant due to the lemon juice in the cake, the syrup, and the glaze. Bundt cakes are wonderful not only visually, but because they feed a crowd and the holidays tend to be crowd-filled. They are also sturdy and travel well, either in the back of your car on your drive to the in-laws, or via the mail – they get better with age, as the flavors deepen over time. Do still splurge for expedited shipping, but the cake can last a few days in transit, no problem. And I can’t imagine a sunnier or more desirable edible gift than a bright yellow homemade cake.
To take a peek at the original blog post for my lemon bundt cake, and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here.
Yield: 12 slices
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon zest, lightly packed
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 yolks
- 1 cup crème fraiche (you can substitute sour cream or even whole-milk plain yogurt)
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
For the lemon syrup:
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the lemon glaze:
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice, or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon crème fraiche (or sour cream or yogurt)
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Dust it generously with all-purpose flour, knocking out any excess.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and the zest and using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until fully incorporated. Add the oil and extracts and whisk until incorporated. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, whisking to combine between each addition. Add the juice and whisk to incorporate; and then the crème fraiche – don’t be afraid to whisk relatively vigorously throughout all of this.
Add the dry ingredients all at once, and using a rubber spatula, very gently incorporate the dry into the wet. Stop mixing when you can still see a streak or two of flour.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. While the cake bakes, make the syrup.
To make the syrup: Combine the juice and sugar in a small saucepan and over medium heat, gently warm the mixture until the sugar melts. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Start checking on the cake after 45 minutes or so (just in case your oven is running hot) and remove the cake when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a moist crumb or two. Let it cool in the pan about 10 minutes or so, and then invert the cake onto a cooling rack (the bottom is now the top). Make holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer or tooth pick and brush the cake with the lemon syrup. Let cool to room temperature before glazing
To make the glaze: Place the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl along with the lemon juice and the crème fraiche. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Add additional lemon juice, if necessary, in order to make a thick but pourable glaze. Transfer to a large measuring cup with a spout.
Place the cake (still on its cooling rack) over a cookie sheet with sides and pour the glaze over the cake while holding the measuring cup a bit higher above the cake than you might think otherwise. This height allows you more control as you dribble the glaze and makes for prettier dribbles, to boot. Let cool until the glaze is set. The cake will keep tightly wrapped in plastic wrap on the counter for a few days – and is even better on day two.