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Buttermilk is the secret to keeping this bundt a super moist and lemon-fresh cake; add a drizzle of lemon sugar glaze for extra tartness!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you might have noticed that I talk about John.e quite often.  Well, that’s because I do!  You see, Dear Reader, he’s the whole reason this blog started in the first place.  He’s such a great catch – really!  I’m not just saying that because he might read this, but because it’s true.  (Besides, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not one to sugar coat how I actually feel.)

When we started sharing a home together, and I started to explore the world of vegetarian cooking, he was very supportive as I began to find my way around the kitchen without the aid of meat to flavour things like pasta, soups, stews, etc.  And, he very patiently taught me all about meat alternatives such as tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, etc.  But, through it all, every single time (I’m not kidding!) I’d place a meal or a dessert in front of him, he would taste it, smack his lips a few times, and say, “It needs lemon!”

I’m not exagerating the truth at all! I totally got it if I were presenting him with a baked good. Take my Lemon Coconut Macaroons, for instance. He thought they needed more lemon. To this day, I’m not sure if he was joking or not! They were perfectly lemony for my taste.

That time that I made these Lemon and Lime Cookie Crisps I knew he was joking. He said, “It needs lemon!” and I lost my cool, Dear Reader. “Needs lemon?” I asked. “Are you (insert adjectives of your choice here) kidding me? There’s (more adjectives) lemon and lime in this cookie!! There’s no (again, more adjectives – well, actually, just the one adjective) way to please you!” It went something like that. I can’t remember. It’s pretty much a blur.

The only recipe that I can remember not hearing those infamous three words – “It needs lemon!” – from him after his first bite, was my Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. My mouth is just watering now thinking about that cake.

If you’re a lemon lover, like my dear John.e, you’ll love, love, love this cake!  It’s super moist and perfectly lemony with just the right amount of sweet to offset that puckering, eye-squinting, cheek-sucking sensation which some of us suffer from due to excess amounts of lemon flavour.  Not John.e though; he loves his lemon!  So this cake is for him!  And you, Dear Reader, if lemon is your thing!

Oh, I have to talk a bit about the buttermilk. Yes, buttermilk. You see, Dear Reader, the buttermilk in this bundt cake helps to achieve several things, not to mention, it helps to increase that tartness that people like John.e tend to want more and more of!

Buttermilk brings a pleasant tang to cakes, breads, biscuits and other baked favourites while adding very little fat. Like yogurt and sour cream, this acidic ingredient also helps tenderize gluten, giving baked goods a softer texture and more volume. It also helps to increase the height of baked goods by helping with the rise.

There’s just one thing that I don’t like about buttermilk. Here in Canada, I very rarely see it in smaller containers. I only ever see it sold in one liter volumes. That’s quite a bit of buttermilk and the only time I need that much is when I making fried chicken. This recipe calls for one cup of buttermilk, so I have about two or three cups of it still in the fridge. My challenge is to use it up before it spoils. Any ideas?

If you want, you can make your own buttermilk at home (which is what I should have done!) To make buttermilk, you simply add one tablespoon of white vinegar to one cup of regular whole milk and let it sit for a good ten minutes. The acid in the vinegar will slightly coagulate the milk making it perfectly tangy for your own Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake!

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3.31 from 26 votes

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Buttermilk is the secret to keeping this bundt a super moist and lemon-fresh cake; add a drizzle of lemon sugar glaze for extra tartness!
Course Dessert
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 slices
Calories 287kcal
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen


For the Cake:

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

For the Icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a bundt pan by lightly spraying the interior with cooking spray and lightly sprinkling flour over the entire surface. Be sparing with the flour.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Using a handheld mixer, mix all ingredients together.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time to the lemon juice mixture and beat well after each.
  • Next, add the buttermilk and beat into the batter.  Just beat to incorporate; do not beat long enough to add volume or frothiness to the batter.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Beat until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  • Bake the bundt for 45 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a wooden toothpick into the centre of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for another 2-3 minutes and check again.
  • Allow the cake to rest in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to completely cool.  The cake should remain inverted.
  • When completely cooled, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Drizzle over the inverted (bottom) surface of the cake.  The icing will harden up in about 10 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!


Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 113mg | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. This looks like JUST the thing to bring to work for a co-worker's birthday. She's also a lemon lover, and would LOVE this!! (I made her lemon "brownies" last year - they're on my blog, john.e would probably love those!!) I'm so making this asap.
  2. John.e and my mother have a similar love of lemon haha. Actually, so do I... I think a lemon flavored dish it should have extra pucker, so this cake would probably be a hit! Great recipe! :)
  3. I reckon me and John would get on just fine, I don't usually order or make desserts but a good sounding lemon dessert will always get me thinking... Maybe! This looks fabulous, the texture is great and superb pictures too!
  4. Thank you, john.e for all that you do behind the scenes, supporting and inspiring! All for our benefit! ;) The icing on this looks perfect!! On my menu for our next brunch!!
  5. Ways to use extra buttermilk: salad dressing biscuits & scones buttermilk bread 🍞 (bread machine) pancakes 🥞 & waffles These are just off the top of my head.😜
  6. I am not big on cakes, but as I was reading this post and the recipe I could almost taste the moist sweet and lemony cake. This will be on my dessert table real soon!
  7. Was wondering if I should do anything different with your recipe for higher altitudes? This recipe looks delicious and my partner loves lemon! Thinking of serving it with a blueberry compote.
    1. I don't think so, Celia. Just test the cake with a toothpick and take it out of the oven when the toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Hello. I love a strong lemony flavor! Do you think that it would hurt if I put a little more lemon juice in this cake? If so, about how much would you say? I don't want to mess up the recipe!! Or should I just leave well enough alone!
    1. I think the lemon flavour is already prevalent, but you can add maybe 1-2 tablespoons more without throwing off the recipe too much.
  9. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! You had me at buttermilk and lemon—two of my favourite ingredients! I’m in Canada too (West Coast) and I can actually buy buttermilk in 500ml as well as 2 litre containers! I never bother with the smaller one because I use it in so many things and it lasts past the best before date. I use buttermilk in biscuits, pancakes, muffins, and so on, most of the time just substituting it for milk in a recipe. I hope that helps!

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