Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake with Candied Lemons

At the prompting of a few friends and one sister, we’re watching The Kindness Diaries on Netflix as a family right now. One of our family ‘mottos’ is “Above all, be kind.” so the series dovetails nicely with how we are endeavoring to live out our lives.

For me, showing kindness nearly always translates into food for others, whether it be a meal delivered, dinner around my table or, more recently, hunger relief. Today’s recipe for Meyer lemon bundt cake is exactly the type of cake to bake for a friend and leave it, wrapped in a tea towel, on their front porch.

Equally worthwhile is to invite a friend over to join you for afternoon tea and cake. As long as cake is shared  – between friends or strangers – the world will continue to become a better place. I’m pretty sure I read that on a t-shirt somewhere.

I was going to save this recipe for Easter, but Meyer lemons are available right now and this cake needs to be on your baking list long before April.

There is something so timeless about a classic lemon cake. I’ve dressed this one up with a glaze and a row of candied lemon slices, but rest assured, this bundt needs little adornment. My kids prefer it naked from the pan, preferably still slightly warm. It really is perfect on its own, thanks to rigorous testing on my end.

This cake is puckery lemon through and through. Lemon zest, lemon juice and, in the last version I tested, minced preserved lemon all contribute to a truly tangy cake. Then add a lemon glaze and those translucent candied lemon slices and you have a dessert that properly pays homage to the beloved Meyer lemon.

To me, a memorable cake must have butter, but in this recipe I’ve cut it in half with coconut oil. We still get the flavour of the butter, but the oil makes for an incredibly moist cake. The cake darkens on the edge slightly more than with all-butter but the fine crumb all but makes up for it.

And I bet you are wondering about preserved lemon, so the answer is ‘yes’; this bundt cake is delicious with a teaspoon or so of minced preserved lemon folded into the batter. I add it with the lemon juice and vanilla, and decrease the amount of salt slightly.

You could also play around with different add-ins to the cake batter such as poppy seeds (classic!), finely chopped candied ginger (delicious!) or a pinch of dried lavender (artistic!).

For the garnish, I used the excellent Candied Meyer Lemon recipe from She Wears Many Hats. Amy wrote an excellent tutorial with visuals and her method worked perfectly. I should note that I only made half a recipe – but the candied lemons were so good, I should have made a full recipe and encircled the entire cake with slices.

Another great tutorial? How to properly grease a bundt pan from our friends at Kitchn. I feel like this should be recommended reading. Also? 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Baking a Bundt Cake. This is Adulting 101, friends.

Lemon Cake Love

  • Gluten free? Instead of today’s bundt, try my Meyer Lemon, Cornmeal & Almond Cake, which is simple to make and absolutely delicious.
  • Don’t have a bundt pan? Make this fantastic little Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake in a loaf pan. Then slice and serve with a fruit compote and whipped cream.
  • Need a real showstopper that feeds a crowd? Here’s a Rustic Lemon Layer Cake that is ‘naked’ and filled with an incredible lemon curd.

Obviously I have a thing for lemon cake around here. Gracious! Oh and while we’re on the subject of bundt cakes, bookmark these two recipe from the archives to try soon as well:

And now, onto the recipe – and our seasonal eating round-up for March.

Sour Cream Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake with Candied Lemons
5.0 from 3 reviews
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Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: Serves 10-12
A rich pound cake, with a fine, moist crumb and an intense lemon flavour. The ingredient list is long, but the result is outstanding. A total of 4 juicy Meyer lemons are used.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups raw cane sugar
  • zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, solidified
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon minced preserved lemon (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
for the glaze
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • Candied Meyer Lemons (recipe here)
Instructions
  1. Have all ingredients at room temperature if possible. Preheat an oven to 350F. Generously butter a 10-cup bundt pan and then lightly dust it with flour. Tap out the excess flour over your kitchen sink.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Zest the lemon over a small bowl with the sugar. Rub the zest into sugar with your fingertips.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the coconut oil until smooth. Add the lemon sugar. Beat for 4 minutes on medium high until fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 30 seconds after each one.Scrape down sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add lemon juice, vanilla and preserved lemon (if using) and mix well. Don't worry if it looks curdled.
  6. Remove the paddle and fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula, one cup at a time, alternating with the buttermilk like this: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 cup flour, the remainder of the buttermilk, the remainder of the flour. Use a very light hand, and fold only until the streaks of flour have disappeared.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top. Place on the centre rack in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part comes out clean; about 60-65 minutes.
  8. Cool the bundt for a full 10 minutes in the pan set on a wire rack. Then invert the bundt pan onto the rack, tap gently on the bottom until the cake releases. Cool completely before glazing.
  9. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. It should be quite thick. Place the cake on a stand or serving platter and drizzle the glaze over the top. If the glaze is too thick, add a little more lemon juice, a few drops at a time.
  10. Top cake with candied lemon slices. Serve at room temperature.
Notes
I've tried this cake with sour cream instead of buttermilk and with a combination of plain yogourt and buttermilk. The point is, use what you have on hand. This is what I tend to do, because we must have cake!

This cake is best enjoyed on the same day it is baked, but it will keep, stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Eat Seasonal

We’re hanging on until spring, and until it arrives, here’s a bounty of inspirational recipes featuring March produce from our #EatSeasonal bloggers. And after you’ve cooked your way through this list, find more recipes on our group Pinterest board.

Here’s to eating seasonally, even in March!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. I just searched for The Kindness Diaries on Netflix and no matches came up, so…..????

    • Jennifer, the content on Netflix varies from country to country, that probably explains the absence. Maybe you can stream or download or watch online? Google it. The series is well worth tracking down.

  2. I totally agree! There really is not substitute for good, old-fashioned butter! And I’ve been craving all things lemon lately so this looks like total perfection to me! 🙂

  3. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl- this looks amazing!

  4. Thank you for thinking ahead! I was just going to ask “what if you don’t have a bundt pan” (but *loooove * lemons), and I actually have ricotta in my fridge for once…yes!
    Sarah M

  5. Stunning pictures and an incredible looking cake perfect to welcome the spring season!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Aimee,
    I was just going to ask what to do if gluten free is needed when i spotted your notes. thanks for that. I wish more or your baking recipes gave gluten free options. I have Celiac so can’t have any gluten. I do love your blog posts & it is nice to have a Canadian site to enjoy. It seems so many of the ones I end up on are American. Not that there is anything wrong with the American sites but often if they mention something you can’t get it without going on Amazon. Anyway, I love your site.

  7. Those candied meyer lemon slices are the prettiest things, and folding preserved lemon in the cake sounds amazing. I love citrus desserts and this is one of the prettiest ones I’ve ever seen!

  8. Did you paint the chair especially for photographing this gorgeous bundt cake. My sweet tooth is calling me loudly and my mouth watering right now!

    • Hilarious! No. I am not that ocd. It just worked out that way. Also, we found these chairs on the side of the road out for garbage. 🙂

  9. Sharing cake will definitely make the world a better place! This is just beautiful, my friend. And that chair with the splash of yellow – swoon! And I love those tips on baking bundt cakes and preparing the pans. That thing about the plastic wrap is so clutch. I always get flour everywhere – the plastic wrap will make it so much neater/easier!

    • Thanks! I was just telling Letty in the above comment that we found a pair of these chairs on the side of the road out for garbage.

      Here’s to more bundts and more sharing of cake!

  10. Totally looking up this show and I love that your family motto is about kindness. I’ve been teaching my son about kindness a lot lately… 3 year olds can’t quite grasp this. Well this cake, shared in any fashion, would be the ultimate act of kindness in my book.

  11. I’m all over the meyer lemons right now. I made some coconut lemon bars last week and they were such a hit. This bundt cake is gorgeous and the preserved lemons have me licking my lips!

  12. I really can’t get enough of meyer lemons. I’m all kinds of addicted. And this is just the perfect highlight them….

  13. That is the perfect family motto to have! I LOVE lemon cake! I used to work at a bed and breakfast when I was younger and I would always sneak the lemon cake! I’ve never made it myself though, but I’m betting this one wouldn’t last long in my house! I love how you decorated it too, so pretty!

  14. Used regular lemon zest and juice, but added the optional persevered lemon (homemade with Meyers), followed your well written, detailed and helpful directions. Best tasting and perfectly textured bundt cake! And Large! Thank you very much for sharing. I’ve made dozens upon dozens of lemon poppy seed bundt/pound cake over the years, this one is outstanding in every way.

  15. This is pulling on my Meyer-loving heart strings! What a beauty! I love all the tips you shared on making bundt cakes – so very helpful!

    Oh, and thank you for telling me about The Kindness Diaries — I’m forever reminding the kids to be kind, I think this is a show we can enjoy together!

  16. Any suggestions for a substitute for the coconut oil?

  17. I say only wow after reading this article more ideas.. thank you

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