Truth is, I’m a control freak when it comes to what goes into my mouth. That’s the main reason why I bake my own cakes. I don’t do hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Crisco and I are NOT friends. Artificial flavors, BHT, artificial sweeteners, and food dyes are also no-no’s. Yep, I’m one of those people.
However, the dye thing is hard, since sprinkles and frosting usually contain some amount of coloring. I saw some natural, plant-based food coloring at Sur La Table, but it was $22 for three shrimpy bottles. Not gonna happen.
Anyway, that’s why I baked myself a lemon bundt cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. I’m not really a cake person, but I do like pound cakes and quick breads. The fluffier (and prettier) layer cakes just don’t cut it. I’ve been searching for a recipe that yields a cake similar to the delicious one sold at Costco a few years ago. It was super lemony and moist, but the best part was the creamy frosting slathered on top.
Sadly, I’m not convinced this recipe is the one. It had a good lemon flavor and tight crumb, but it could’ve been moister. However, this might’ve been my fault because I used lowfat buttermilk instead of regular. I do have a good excuse though, since none of my local stores sell it! Trader Joe’s and Safeway both don’t carry it. Granted, the Safeway near us is across the street from a retirement community, so its selection is quite unspectacular.
I’m not sayin’ you shouldn’t make this cake. It’s still pretty great- especially with lots of the lemon syrup drizzled in. Try it! Let me know if you have different/better results!
Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- grated zest of 6 lemons
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan.
2) Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3) In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until smooth. Add the lemon zest, and the eggs one at a time. Make sure to mix until well combined on medium speed after adding each egg. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spat as needed.
4) Mix the vanilla extract into the buttermilk. With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and butter. Mix in the last addition by hand to prevent overmixing.
5) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
6) Immediately after you remove the cake from the oven, run a knife around the edge of the bundt pan to loosen the cake. Invert on to a piece of foil or parchment on the counter. Poke holes into the bottom of the cake with a bamboo skewer. Then, brush the cake with half the lemon syrup using a pastry brush. Flip the cake over, poke more holes, and brush with the remaining syrup. Let the cake cool to room temperature.
7) Drizzle the cream cheese icing evenly over the cake. Enjoy!
Stir together the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat. Don’t let it boil!
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
1 recipe cream cheese frosting- pick your favorite!
juice and zest of one lemon
1) Beat the juice and lemon zest into the frosting. Add a bit of milk if it’s too thick.
Adapted from The Fearless Baker by Emily Luchetti and Lisa Weiss