Brighten your Mardi Gras season with this rich and moist Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake. It feels like springtime and tastes amazing under a layer of lemon glaze. Every piece is a surprise. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
The actual cake is adapted from King Arthur’s Lemon Bliss Cake recipe of the year. With Susan’s exceptional culinary skills, it was transformed into a spectacular Mardi Gras treat.
Ingredients for Mardi Gras Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake
For the most part, the ingredients for this amazing cake are standard lemon cake ingredients.
- Normal Cake Ingredients – Unsalted butter (not pictured), eggs, sugar, flour, milk, salt and baking powder. Nothing really special here.
- The Flavorings – What sets this cake apart from most are the two types of lemon flavoring – lemon oil for the actual cake and real lemon juice for the lemon syrup used to finish the cake. Rather than lemon oil, I could have used lemon zest.
- The Glaze – What would a lemon cake be without a yummy lemon glaze made with lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar?
- Mardi Gras – The Mardi Gras traditional colors are purple, green and gold. Gel food coloring provided the three colors for the cake. Sprinkles provided the added decorations on top of the lemon glaze.
Making the Cake
To make the cake, I pretty much followed the King Arthur directions.
I started with creaming the sugar and butter (Photo 1). Then, I added the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (Photo 2). Next, I added the salt and baking powder, and beat the mixture to combine.
I alternated the addition of the flour and the milk, beating the batter until it was smooth (Photos 3 and 4). Finally, I added the lemon oil, and beat the mixture until the lemon oil was well combined.
Marbling the Mardi Gras Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake
I knew that I wanted to incorporate the Mardi Gras colors into the cake but didn’t have a clear picture in my mind as to how to do that. Susan not only knew how to do it, but also was masterful at it!
First, I divided the batter into thirds by weight. I had about 48 ounces of batter, so each third was 16 ounces. Yes, I’m a geek when it comes to baking. I weigh everything! Next, I sprayed the Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.
Susan used ice cream scoops to scoop a layer of different colors of the batter into the Bundt pan (Photo 5). Then, she used a butter knife to swirl or marble the colors together (Photo 6). She gave the pan a couple of taps on the counter to make sure that the batter was fully distributed.
Next, she formed a second layer of the batter, making sure that she added the different colors of the batter in the middle of where two colors of the first layer came together (Photo 7). Because she wanted a more subtle swirl, Susan used a toothpick to marble the second layer (Photo 8).
She repeated the process for the third and final layer (Photos 9 and 10).
I popped the cake into a preheated 350° F oven for about 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean.
Finishing the Mardi Gras Lemon Bliss Bundt 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.
I let the cake cool completely before I spooned on the lemon glaze which was confectioners’ sugar mixed with lemon juice (Photo 11). Finally, I sprinkled on some purple, green, and yellow sprinkles (Photo 12).
I thought to myself that if the cake looked as good on the inside as it did on the outside, it’ll be amazing.
I was actually blown away when I cut into the cake and saw the amazing designs that Susan had created. On top of that, the cake tasted incredible. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can substitute the zest from two lemons for the lemon oil.
I purchased the gel food coloring from Hobby Lobby. You could also use paste food coloring. I would, however, avoid using liquid food coloring. The reason is that you need to use too much of the liquid food coloring to achieve the desired color.
I like to use a spray that contains both oil and flour like Bakers’ Joy.
I like to use ice cream scoops that are roughly the same size to add the different colors of the cake batter to the Bundt pan.
You can make the cake ahead of time and store it unglazed and well wrapped at room temperature for several days. You can also freeze the unglazed and well wrapped cake for up to 3 months.
Other Mardi Gras Themed Sweets
Mardi Gras is a wonderful time to showcase some incredible sweets. Take a look at these – all are sure to produce a WOW factor!
- Mardi Gras Macarons – Laizzez les bons temps rouler with these melt in your mouth macarons filled with a light and airy lemon buttercream.
- Mardi Gras Praline Crunch – Praline Crunch is just in time for all of your Mardi Gras celebrations. If you like caramel corn, you’ll absolutely love Mardi Gras Praline Crunch.
- Mardi Gras Cinnamon Roll King Cake – Did you know that you could produce an impressive king cake using cinnamon rolls? Well you can. I’ll show you how!
- Mardi Gras Swirled Lemon Bark – This is fun to make and delicious to munch on.
- Mardi Gras Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting – Inside these delicious cupcakes is a surprise that will delight even your most picky critic!
- Mardi Gras King Cake – The King Cake is a quintessential confection that is decorated in Mardi Gras colors. Purple signifies justice; green denotes faith; and gold or yellow signifies power.
Other Bundt Cake Recipes
If you’re in the mood for a Bundt Cake, you should try one of these other awesome Bundt cakes:
- Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake – I know that Halloween is some time off but remember to brighten your Halloween festivities with this moist Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake. You’d never believe that this amazing cake is made from a store-bought mix. With the Halloween colors of orange, purple, and green, swirled into the cake, every piece is a surprise.
- Easter Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake – Before you know it, Easter will be here. Brighten your Easter season with this rich and moist Easter Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake. It feels like springtime and tastes amazing under a layer of lemon glaze. Every piece is a surprise.
- Lemon Cream Cheese Bundt Cake – Brighten your holiday season with this rich and moist Lemon Cream Cheese Bundt Cake. It feels like springtime, and tastes amazing under a layer of lemon glaze.
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake – Tired of the same old pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? If so, you should definitely try this incredible Pumpkin Bundt Cake. It has the same characteristic flavor of a pumpkin pie but will leave your family and guests saying “WOW”!
- Christmas Surprise Lemon Bundt Cake – I’d be remiss if I didn’t round out the holidays with this impressive cake. This lemony cake feels like springtime and tastes amazing under a layer of lemon glaze.
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Mardi Gras Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake
- 1 cup (8-ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (14-ounces) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups (15-ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (8-ounces) whole milk (See Tip 1)
- ¾ teaspoon lemon oil
- Purple, green and yellow gel food coloring (See Tip 2)
Simple Lemon Syrup
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1-½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Tip 3)
- Purple green, and yellow sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly grease a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan, or spray with nonstick baking spray. (See Tip 4)
- Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and lightened in color.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once all the eggs have been added and beat briefly to re-combine any residue.
- Add salt and baking powder; beat to combine.
- Add the flour to the batter in three parts alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until everything is well combined. Stir in the lemon oil or lemon zest.
- Divide the batter into thirds, roughly 16 ounces each. Color one purple, one green and one yellow with gel food coloring.
- Spoon a layer of purple, green, yellow, purple, green, and yellow batter into bottom of Bundt pan. Carefully swirl with butter knife. Tap pan several times on counter to evenly distribute. (See Tip 5)
- Repeat the first layer but beginning where the purple and green meet on the bottom layer. Swirl with a toothpick. Tap to evenly distribute. Repeat again for the third layer.
- Bake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven, and carefully run a knife between cake and pan all around the edge. Place the pan upside down on a cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. If the cake drops out of the pan onto the rack, remove the pan. If the cake doesn’t drop onto the rack, let it rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift the pan off the cake. If the cake still feels like it’s sticking, give it another 5 minutes upside down, then very gently shake the pan back and forth to loosen and remove it.
Simple Lemon Syrup
- While the cake is baking, make the simple lemon syrup by stirring together the lemon juice and sugar. Microwave for about a minute, or heat over a burner briefly, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
- Brush the lemon syrup all over the hot cake, both top and sides. Let it sink in, then brush on more syrup, continuing until all the lemon syrup is used up.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing and serving.
- Mix the confectioners' sugar and salt, then mix in 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, adding just enough additional juice to create a thick glaze, one that's just barely pourable. Drizzle glaze artfully over the completely cooled cake. Sprinkle with purple, green, and yellow sprinkles.
- Yield: One Bundt cake. (See Tip 6)
Chula’s Expert Tips
- May use lemon zest from 2 medium lemons in place of the lemon oil.
- I purchased the gel food coloring at Hobby Lobby. You could also use paste food coloring. I would avoid, however, using liquid food coloring. You just need to use too much to achieve the desired color.
- I used 2 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to achieve what for me was the perfect consistency of the glaze.
- I like to use a spray that contains both oil and flour like Bakers’ Joy.
- I like to use ice cream scoops to add the different colors of the cake batter to the Bundt pan.
- Store the cake unglazed and well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage. Glaze the cake before serving.