Lightened-Up Lemon Bundt Cake

by Julie on February 23, 2012 · 9 comments

Citrus is abundant in the grocery stores here. I’m a Midwest girl, so can someone tell me if this is the growing season for citrus? It must be. And I think the lighter flavors and scents are perfect for the first couple of months in the new year, when you want everything to be fresh.

When looking for a dessert recipe for a Sunday night family dinner, I came across this Lemon Bundt Cake recipe. It’s from one of my favorite cookbooks, The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

I picked this cookbook up at Costco a few years back and I adore it. The recipes are all things I would actually make  and my family will actually eat. Lots of cooking basics are included too, which I appreciate.

Here are the ingredients needed for this lightened-up version of Lemon Bundt Cake:

  • 3 c. cake flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. grated lemon zest plus 2 T. of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 c. whole milk at room temperature
  • 3 lg. egg yolks
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 3 lg. egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
Glaze ingredients:
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t. fresh lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat inside of Bundt pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. Whisk the flour, 1 1/2 c. of sugar, lemon zest, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, oil, melted butter, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  4. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar using an electric mixer on medium-low until foamy. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip whites until soft and billowy. Gradually whip in the remaining 1/2 c. of sugar and continue to whip until the whites form glossy, stiff peaks. (My peaks were more soft than stiff, because I’m impatient, but the cake still turned out fine.)
  5. Whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake the cake on a lower-middle rack in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick instead into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then flip onto a wire rack and let sit until completely cool.
  8. Whisk the three glaze ingredients together until smooth and drizzle over the cake.

See also: What to Do with Leftover Lemons and Limes

Are you using citrus to cook with this winter?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

WorkSaveLive February 23, 2012 at 6:54 am

I love your site! I really wish I could learn how to take pictures like you. The lighting is great!

This recipe looks delicious by the way!


Julie February 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

Thank you so much. I have a spot in my kitchen that provides pretty good natural light for food photos. So glad you have you as a reader.


The Happy Homeowner February 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

YUM! I’m definitely going to try out this recipe; thanks for sharing!


Julie February 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

Let me know how you like it, HH!


Niki February 24, 2012 at 6:41 am

Looks so yummy, nice pictures too.


Julie February 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

Hi Niki! Thanks.


Jenn February 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

Just hopped over from Money Saving Mom. Yes. Citrus is in season in Arizona, which is a major grower, believe it or not. I grew up in the orange groves, and loved citrus season. I just moved to Ohio, and miss my trees (pink grapefruit, tangelo, 2 orange, lemon, and lime). It kills me to buy it in the store when I know it is sitting on my trees there. The recipe looks great, and I love your easy bathroom remodel. Nice work!


Julie February 24, 2012 at 11:37 am

Jenn, thanks for the information! You’re right…I wouldn’t have thought Arizona to be a major producer of citrus. I recently pinned something on Pinterest about planting citrus tress in the midwest that you can bring indoors during the winter. Wonder if that would work? Your (former) trees sound heavenly. I’m sure it was hard to leave them. Thanks for the comment!


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