This lemon bliss cake is perfectly named. A moist lemony bundt cake with a lemon glaze and icing, one of the best lemon cakes I’ve ever tasted. Packed with flavor and beautifully balanced, it’s also so simple to make.
What is a lemon bliss cake?
The name of a delicious lemon cake adapted from King Arthur flour, this is a moist tangy lemon cake that won their 2017 recipe of the year. And I completely understand why! Lemon bliss cake is a super moist cake with a lemon icing that comes together very easily and feeds a crowd.
What’s so good about this particular lemon cake?
The cake comes together really quickly with no special ingredients at all.
It’s packed with lemon flavor from the lemon zest and juice in the actual cake. Extra lemon flavor comes from the easy lemon glaze that gets brushed onto the warm cake. Finally, a super quick lemon icing tops off the whole thing.
The cake is visually so lovely. It just screams homemade cake made with love. Everyone needs that perfect lemon cake recipe, and this just might be yours! This lemon turmeric loaf cake is another favorite of mine.
This tastes even better the next day, and keeps very well for up to 5 days. It really doesn’t dry out!
Ingredients you need for this lemon cake:
For the cake: butter, sugar, salt, eggs, baking powder, flour, milk, and lemon zest and lemon juice.
Make sure that the butter, eggs, and milk are at room temperature because they’ll mix together much more easily that way without any lumps.
For the lemon glaze: Sugar and lemon juice. This lemon glaze is key to soaking that cake with all the wonderful lemon flavor.
For the lemon icing: The simplest of icings. Just powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, and lemon juice for even more lemon flavor.
Steps to making King Arthur Flour’s lemon cake:
Make the cake:
- Using an electric mixer preferably with a paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter, sugar and salt. You want to cream them on medium speed for a few minutes until the mixture turns pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Mix together the flour and baking powder, and add the flour in three parts to the batter. After the first flour addition add half the milk, then the second batch of flour, all the remaining milk, then the last of the flour. Basically you start with and end with the flour, and mix for a few seconds between each addition.
- Add the lemon zest and lemon juice, mix until combined, then give everything a good stir with a spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Spoon the batter into a well greased bundt cake pan, smooth out the top with a spatula, and bake at 350 F (180C) for around 45-60 minutes. Time will differ based on the pan and the oven, but just make sure a toothpick comes out clean and it’s ready to come out. Invert cake onto cooling rack or serving plate.
Make the glaze:
- Stir together the lemon juice and sugar and warm either in the microwave or briefly on the stove top until just warm enough to dissolve the sugar.
- Brush the glaze onto the hot cake, top and sides. Let it sink in, then brush some more glaze on and continue until all the glaze is used up. This is what will lock in that moisture and tangy lemon flavor.
Make the icing:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Start with 2 tbsp of juice, you want a thick glaze that’s barely pourable. If it’s too thick, add the last tbsp of juice. Spoon it prettily over the top of the completely cooled cake and wait just a few minute to let it set. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks for lemon bliss cake success:
- Make sure the eggs, butter, and milk are at room temperature so they combine really well without any big lumps that could affect the texture of the cake
- Don’t over mix after adding the flour or you risk overdeveloping the gluten which would result in a tough, chewy cake. Barely mix, and even if some flour streaks remain just use a spatula to fold those in.
- Start checking the doneness with a toothpick about 45 minutes in. Each oven and cake pan will bake at a different rate, with darker bundt cake pans usually baking faster. If the top of the cake starts to brown too much and a toothpick still has wet batter, loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil and keep baking until toothpick comes out clean.
How to keep cake from sticking in a bundt pan:
Use a good non stick bundt pan, but still prepare it by doing one of two things:
- Use non stick baking spray to thoroughly spray every crevice. Don’t forget to spray around the center tube! Add a big handful of flour, and swirl the pan around to flour it evenly. Tap out the excess flour over the sink or garbage can.
- OR use melted shortening (this is more effective than butter) instead of non stick spray to grease the pan thoroughly and add flour just like in the step above.
- Prepare the pan right before putting the batter in, as opposed to before starting the recipe. Especially in a hot kitchen, preparing the pan too early could cause the oil to slide down the inside of the pan and settle on the bottom.
What to do if your bundt cake sticks:
Run a table knife around the edge of the cake, and wait 5-10 minutes before inverting it. Tap the pan gently a few times- you can use a wooden pan or your hands to do this. If you feel like the cake isn’t releasing easily, just keep the pan upside down and let gravity do its thing for the next 5 minutes or so, then try to gently lift the pan up.
Worst case, if a few patches of the cake stick, just cover those up with the lemon icing, and you can also add fresh berries. If the whole cake ends up sticking, just turn this delicious cake into a lemon trifle, layered with whipped cream and berries! Take inspiration from this trifle here: Berries and Cream Sara Lee Cake.
- Can I make this gluten- free? While I personally haven’t tried this, King Arthur Flour have used an all purpose gluten free flour measure for measure in the cake to good success. Let me know in the comments below if you do end up trying it!
- Can I turn this into a loaf cake? Yes! Try dividing it in two standard loaf pans, or halving the recipe and baking into one.
- Can I make this into cupcakes? Yes! It will make 20 standard sized cupcakes, so line 20 muffin cavities with liners, use a heaping 1/4 cup of batter for each and bake 23-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Either brush the glaze over the hot cupcakes, or dip each cupcake face down into the bowl of glaze. Ice the cupcakes with the lemon icing once completely cooled.
- How can I add even more lemon flavor? Add 1 tsp of lemon extract in the batter if you like that sort of nostalgic artificial lemon flavor.
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
Lemon Bliss Cake
- Bundt Cake Pan
For the cake:
- 1 cup butter, softened 226 g, 16 tbsp
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400 g
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 cups all purpose flour 360g
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature 230 g
- zest of two lemons
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
For the glaze:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons juiced) 75g
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150 g
For the icing (optional):
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar) 170g
- 2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 30-45 g
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Prepare a 10-12 cup bundt cake pan by thoroughly greasing and lightly flouring.
- In an electric mixer on medium speed beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until combined then fluffy and lightened in color, 2-3 minutes
- Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the side of the bowl, then beat again to combine.
- Whisk the baking powder into the flour, then add the flour to the batter in three parts, alternating with the milk. Start with 1/3 of the flour, then add 1/2 the milk, another 1/3 of the flour, the remainder of the milk, and the last of the flour. Mix until combined and not lumpy but don't over mix even if the batter looks a little curdled.
- Add the lemon zest and lemon juice, and mix again until just combined. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape up the bottom of the bowl and make sure no flour streaks remain. Batter will be thick.
- Spoon the batter into the bundt cake pan and smooth the top out with a rubber spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Start checking at 45 minutes, dark cake pan especially cook through faster.
- While the cake is baking, stir together the lemon juice and sugar. Microwave or heat on a burner until warm but not hot, just warm enough to dissolve the sugar when you stir it.
- When cake is out of the oven, run a knife around the edges of the cake pan, then invert cake onto a cooling rack (or directly onto your serving plate). If it doesn't come out easily, wait 5 minutes then try again, or see the post above for tips on getting cake out of a bundt pan.
- Brush the glaze onto the hot cake, top and sides. Let it sink in, then brush some more glaze on and continue until all the glaze is used up.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, make the icing by mixing together the powdered sugar, pinch of salt, and 2 tbsp of lemon juice. You want a thick glaze that you can spoon onto the cake, but if it's too thick to even pour you can add another tbsp of lemon juice to thin it out a little. Drizzle the glaze all over the cake and enjoy!