Baked, Baked Occasionally, desserts

baked, occasionally: ultra lemony bundt cake.

ultra lemony bundt cake.

This month was easy peasy, friends, at least in terms of this cake Natalie and I baked for our Baked, Occasionally series. Because lemons. Because bundt. Because more lemons.

Because if you are a food person, it goes without saying that you love lemon baked goods in some form. Some of us prefer lemon in tart form. Still others, a nice lemon cookie. Most of us, however, would eat the life out of a lemon cake shaped like a giant donut if we had the opportunity.

ultra lemony bundt cake.

I am one of those people. So is Natalie.

This was her month to pick our Baked Occasions recipe: we had zero problem settling on our Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby or that Chocolate Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake for past installments, mind you. Granted, the Coconut Sheet Cake was touch and go, but only because I had grand visions of making a meat pie for a hot minute. The struggle, I think, was because almost all the recipes for May were things we’d love to make anytime, in general. After going back and forth on a few, she picked this one, and I didn’t mind one bit. My April was going to be super-busy, and she had just made it easier, because I’ve made this beauty before. Not for the blog, but several times since obtaining the book, for “personal reasons” like…um…Lemon Cake Tuesdays? Or…you know…just reasons. Cake for personal use is sometimes the best cake.

ultra lemony bundt cake.

I knew going in we’d have to change exactly nothing about this. It’s without a doubt the most crazy-lemony, vibrantly-flavored lemon cake ever. Most lemon cakes contain what, maybe a few lemons’ worth of zest and juice, right? This one has 10 lemons of zest inside it; burly zest, too…the kind you strip off and chop. Plus lemon extract, plus if you choose not to use the rum in the recipe, just add lemon juice for even more lemon flavor. Never mind the lemon syrup which gets slathered on the cake post-bake, and I won’t even mention the lemony glaze that adorns its top. It’s lemon overload, in the nicest way possible.

I have a few tips, as I am prone to having tips. This isn’t about improving the cake, but rather about how to get the biggest bang for your cake buck:

  1. Take care in greasing and flouring the Bundt pan, especially if yours is like mine and has sharp curves and edges: the more dramatic the pan, the more chance there is for chunks of cake to be left in there when you turn it out. If it does happen (as it has to me), this cake makes it easy to fix. Simply detach said chunks from inside the pan, place them where they’re supposed to go, and then gently poke a hole or two in it. The lemon syrup will get in there and form a bond, fixing your cake basically good as new.
  2. Zest your lemons using the stripper part of a zester or a paring knife – no flimsy grated zest here, because it’ll take you forever. Pull the zesty part of the lemon off in strips, then chop it finely and add to the batter as directed. If you’re worried about lemon zest chunks, fear not: they basically melt into the cake batter.
  3. Go thick with the glaze. I’ve learned the hard way that the gravity-defying, opaque glaze you see in photos is only achieved by adding your confectioners sugar with a heavy hand. Go slow at the end, but make it slightly thicker than you think you may need and let gravity do it’s thing. If you really want a picturesque cake, glaze, refrigerate for 15 minutes, then add almonds so they don’t slide down the cake with the room temperature glaze.

ultra lemony bundt cake.

I can speak for both of us when I tell you how much we like this cake. When we talked about it, Natalie brought up a good point about the visual: she didn’t realize how brown it got on the outside, and it really does. Take care when baking because it’s supposed to be dark on the outside, but not burnt, obviously. Use your eyes, but cake-testers are going to be your best indication of when the cake is done. Natalie’s cake looks amazing: we used different pan styles, with equally delicious results. Go check out what she has to say about all this ultra-lemony-ness over here: she’s got her own perspective on it and generally when you combine both of our takes together, you get a clear picture of what it would be like to make the cake yourself.

Happy May! May came fast for me, and I’m happy to be here, because May promises to be a month of really digging into work over here in a way that I haven’t been able to in a while, and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve been out-of-town this past week, and it was a wonderful trip composed of equal parts celebration and work, and I’m happy to be home and settled back in. More soon.

ultra lemony bundt cake.

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  • Reply Deborah Ryan May 3, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I am also a huge, huge fan of lemon desserts! I have also made this cake and agree, this recipe is a keeper! Great share!

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Isn’t it wonderful? I know you love your lemon things too, Deb; you’re an expert. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Reply John/Kitchen Riffs May 3, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Become lemons is all you needed to say. I’m a lemon freak — one of my favorite flavors. This looks SO terrific. Thanks!

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Thanks John! I’m also a lemon freak, as are most of the members of my family. It’s an easy way to make everyone happy, that’s for sure.

  • Reply elizabeth May 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

    This looks incredible, and if you haven’t read it yet, I think this will give you a good laugh:

    • Reply Brianne May 4, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Seconded on that! Too funny 😀

      • Reply shannon May 6, 2016 at 8:02 am

        Just read it, ladies: i can’t resist a good Tim M. rant, either, and that was definitely what i needed today. 🙂

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2016 at 8:06 am

      You know, i saw this on my feed the other day, and not even kidding, i laughed right out loud and then thought of you. I know we’re both big fans of posts like this, and i just knew it was going to be good.

      i was thoroughly entertained. 🙂

  • Reply Brianne May 4, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I love a good Bundt cake, but glazing them gives me rage. Your tips! Hooray for pro glazing tips! I made a lemony, glazey date bar recipe for lunch time treats this week, but the next time I glaze something–lemony or not–I’m going in informed!

    Also: I love the phrase “burly zest.” So good!

    • Reply shannon May 6, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Same! I’m frosting/glazing/icing-challenged to begin with, but I live in fear of making a beautiful bundt cake and then completely ruining it with my glaze (and have). Glazing, as it turns out, is just about thickness versus gravity, and you really just have to find the sweet spot (ha ha, sort of). 🙂

      And your date bars sound amazing…perfect glaze or no.

  • Reply Willow | Will Cook For Friends May 6, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Shannon, this bundt is AMAZING. Your photos of it are downright delectable, too. While I love lemon-y desserts, I’ve never met a lemon cake with quite enough citrus oomph for me… but I bet this cake would do it! If only I trusted myself not to eat the entire thing in one sitting… then we’d be golden. 😛

  • Reply Emma May 6, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Looks really good, nicely done! I wouldn’t shy away from rubbing the zest in with my fingers, it’d pretty much be like a high brow spa treatment for me 🙂

  • Reply Dana | Whisks & Words May 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I would take a package in the mail of just the crumbs you have oh-so-beautifully arranged beside the plate… this cake looks THAT good. (And I am mad craving citrus desserts.) Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  • Reply Ashley May 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Give Me Now. Now, now, now, please!
    Love the tips and seriously, 29 lemons!?! But I bet the flavor is mindblowingly awesome…

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