Brighten your holiday season with this rich and moist Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake. It may be cold outside, but the lemony cake feels like springtime, and tastes amazing under a layer of lemon glaze. Every piece is a surprise!
This year, my brother had a huge crop of Meyer Lemons – more than he could possibly use. I decided to use some of his lemons to make this amazing bundt cake. It is Susan’s favorite lemon pound cake, and one that I’ve been making for years. I jazzed it up with bright swirls of Christmas colors in every piece. I’ve never been disappointed by it, nor will you!
Ingredients For Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake
I used the following ingredients for this delicious cake: Unsalted butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, salt, eggs, cake flour, red and green gel food coloring, and candy decorations with red and green sprinkles.
Making The Batter
First, I creamed the butter until it was light and fluffy. This took about 5 minutes. Then, I added the cream cheese, and continued beating the mixture for another 2 minutes or so. Next, I added the sugar, and continued beating the mixture until it was light and fluffy. This took another 3 minutes. I added the lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat the mixture until everything was well incorporated.
After that, I added the eggs, 2 at a time, and continued beating the mixture until the eggs were well combined.
Finally, I added the cake flour, and beat the mixture on low just until the flour started to be incorporated. At that point, I switched to a silicon spatula, and carefully continued folding the flour into the batter.
Coloring the Batter for the Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake
For the Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake, I wanted to make swirls of red, green and regular colored batter. So now comes the nerd in me! Before starting the cake batter, I weighed the bowl. Once the batter was made, I weighed the bowl again. I subtracted the weight of the bowl from the with the batter in the bowl to determine that I had approximately 63 ounces of batter. When I divided the 63 ounces by 3, the result was 21 ounces of batter for each of the three colors!
Therefore, I divided the batter into three separate bowls, each with 21 ounces of batter. I colored the batter in one of the bowls with 10 to 12 drops of red gel food coloring and the batter in another of the bowls with 10 to 12 drops of green gel food coloring. I left the third bowl uncolored.
Creating Colored Swirls in Batter
Before adding the batter to the pan, I sprayed the bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray.
Then, I used ice cream scoops to scoop a layer red, green, uncolored, red, green, and uncolored batter into the bundt pan. Next, I used a butter knife to swirl or marble the colors together. I gave the pan a couple of taps on the counter to make sure that the batter was fully distributed. For the second layer, I added the three colors of the batter, making sure that they were added where two colors of the first layer came together. Then, I used a butter knife to swirl the second layer. I repeated the process for the third and final layer.
Next, I popped the cake into a preheated 350° F oven for 1 hour. After an hour, the cake was golden brown and had started to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Finishing the Cake
After I took the cake out of the oven, I inverted it onto a wire cooking rack that I had set over a rimmed baking sheet. It came right out of the pan. While the cake was still hot, I brushed it all over with a simple lemon syrup that I made by heating together lemon juice and sugar. Once the cake had cooled completely, I drizzled on a lemon glaze made with confectioners’ sugar and fresh lemon juice.
I finished the Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake with some candied stockings and red and green sprinkles. I thought to myself that if the cake looked as good on the inside as it did on the outside, it’ll be amazing.
When the moment of truth arrived, I was actually blown away when I cut into the Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake and saw the amazing designs and color combinations. Every piece was truly a surprise. On top of that, the cake tasted incredible. Merry Christmas! Yum!
Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake
- 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces, 340 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature (See Tip 1)
- 3 cups (21 ounces, 879 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces, 57 ml) fresh lemon juice (See Tip 2)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 3 cups (15 ounces, 425 grams) cake flour
- Red and Green gel food coloring
- Christmas candy decorations, red and green sprinkles, etc. (See Tip 3)
Simple Lemon Syrup
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces, 57 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (8 ounces, 227 grams) confectioners' sugar
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray 10-inch Bundt pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
- Using electric mixer, cream butter in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt; beat until well combined. Add eggs, 2 at a time; beat until combined. Add flour; beat on low just until flour starts to be incorporated. Continue folding in flour with silicon spatula just until all flour is incorporated.
- Divide the batter into thirds, roughly 21 ounces each. Color one red and one greento desired color with gel food coloring.
- Spoon a layer of red, green, uncolored, red, green, and uncolored batter into bottom of bundt pan. Carefully swirl with butter knife. Tap pan several times on counter to evenly distribute. Repeat the first layer, but beginning where the red and green meet on the bottom layer. Swirl with a butter knife. Tap to evenly distribute. Repeat again for the third and fourt layer.
- Bake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and invert onto a wire rack set in foil lied baking sheet
Simple Lemon Syrup
- Combine sugar and lemon juice in small bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds to a minute, until sugar has dissolved. Brush syrup over hot cake. Allow to cool completely.
- Mix confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over cake, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Let stand until glaze sets, about 30 minutes.
- Decorate with candy Christmas decorations and red and green sprinkles, or as desired.
- Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
Chula's Expert Tips
- I used full fat cream cheese, but you could also use reduced fat cream cheese.
- I used a total of 3 lemons for the combination of the lemon juice for the cake, lemon juice for the lemon syrup and lemon juice for the glaze.
- I used candy stockings, and red and green sugar sprinkles. You could use whatever decorations you want.