Incredibly moist and so lemony, this easy sour cream lemon cake is a one-bowl wonder and perfect as a treat or simple dessert.
There is no cake I love as much as lemon cake. And this sour cream lemony wonder is the easy lemon cake of my dreams. Not only does it only take one bowl to make the batter (yes please!), the combination of zest and juice means this cake is full of lemony flavor. The simple glaze is punchy and perfectly acidic. The best way to finish off this beauty. Served on its own it makes a fantastic tea-time treat and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, becomes a simple but glorious dessert.
How to make lemon cake
- For the perfect moist crumb, I love using a combination of sour cream and canola oil. This delivers perfect cakes, every time. If you prefer using butter, sub in melted butter in stead of the oil.
- Use lemon zest and juice in the batter for the most lemony end result.
- Because this recipe requires no creaming, simply whisk together all the dry ingredients then stir in the wet ingredients. The batter should be creamy and pourable, perfect for a bundt cake pan.
- To make the glaze, whisk together sifted icing sugar/powdered sugar, a little milk and lemon juice. I like the glaze to be quite acidic so I like adding more lemon juice than milk. Feel free to start with less lemon juice and add more if needed.
Freezing and storing
- To freeze: Allow the baked cake to cool completely then wrap in a layer of plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the frozen cake to thaw completely at room temperature before pouring over the glaze and serving.
- Baked and glazed cake will keep for up to 3 days if kept covered at room temperature. I usually keep mine covered with a glass dome on the kitchen counter.
Easy cake recipes
Lemon dessert recipes
- Mini lemon curd cheesecakes
- Lemon cupcakes
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- The ultimate lemon tart
- Lemon yoghurt cake with white chocolate frosting
Sour cream lemon cake
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 eggs
For the glaze
- 1½ cups icing sugar / powdered sugar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup milk You might not need to add any milk, depending on the consistency of your icing once the lemon juice has been added.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and grease a 25cm/10in bundt cake pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients then whisk into the dry. The batter will be thick and creamy.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the sugar and lemon juice. Whisk in the milk, one tablespoon at a time until the glaze is the consistency you like. Pour over the cooled cake. I set the wire rack over a piece of parchment to catch the glaze that runs off. Allow to set then slice and serve.
The cake came out perfect, however I’m wondering if there is an error in the icing directions. I added the 1/4 cup lemon juice to the powdered sugar and it was very watery and that was before adding any milk. I ended up adding more powdered sugar to firm it up a bit and never did add any milk.
Different brands of powdered sugar absorb liquid differently. I’ve added a note to the recipe but you might not need to add any milk at all.
Made this cake as written, and used another commenters trick to make their own cake flour w/AP and cornstarch. It is amazing. Bright, perfectly lemony with extra tang from the sour cream, nice crumb. A keeper for sure! Thanks for sharing!
I just made this and it tastes beautiful.Such a quick and easy recipe.
Will definitely be making this again. Thank you !
Hi Alida I baked your cake today and it was sensational. All of my family loved it. It’s a pretty easy receipt to follow.
So happy to hear that Rosie!
Made your cake today & just had a tiny piece to taste the results. It’s very heavy & moist & the heaviness isn’t a problem at all. I threw in a small package of lemon pudding mix (1/4 c) & topped with flour. It’s not glazed yet however tastes divine, even though I forgot to add the milk!
I definitely think the addition of lemon pudding would change the texture but I’m glad you like the taste!
My MAN. This cake is perfect, its light, fluffy and deliciously lemony. The amount of sour cream works so perfectly and makes for one of the best lemon cake textures I have ever had. I didn’t have a bundt cake pan so I just poured the batter into loaf pans and that did the trick. Thank you soo much for this recipe!!
Hi Alida! Just made your lovely cake this evening for my family and everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing both the recipe and the inspiration of your photography as well! I was reading the recent comments about folks not having good results and I wonder if they used all purpose flour or cake flour? I did not have cake flour called for in the recipe so used a lovely substitute: two level TB of flour are replaced with two level TB of corn starch in each cup of flour to make an equivalent ‘cake flour’. It worked perfectly and the cake came out moist and beautiful! Hope this may help solve the issues reported! Have a good day!
Thanks so much Chip! Great tips.
I’m sorry you felt the need to remove my comments. The Cake failed and I was looking for guidance.
My batter was not thick and the cake didn’t rise to the top. I followed the recipe to the letter.
Hi Ann. I didn’t delete it, I just hadn’t approved it yet. The batter isn’t a super thick batter and it could be that your pan was bigger than the one I used. How was the texture of the baked cake?
I agree with you. my cake mixture was runny and did not rise at the top. also I cooked it for twice as long. very disappointing
That is so strange, I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you. If your oven was set to the right temperature it is so strange that it didn’t cook.
This cake was so delicious! It was so moist, buttery, and lemony. I will definitely be making this again.
Awesome, I’m so happy to hear that!
I used a vegan sour cream and it came out fantastic!
Yay! Happy to know it worked with vegan sour cream too.
10 Cup size will do it?
That should work perfectly!
Giving 5 stars even though I haven’t made. So addicted to lemon desserts. Which size bundt pan did you use. I have 2 sizes 10 cup & 12 cup.