Crazy for Crust

Easy Lemon Butter Cake

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I’ve created heaven: Easy Lemon Butter Cake starts with a cake mix and has the perfect lemon flavor. The warm cake is soaked with a lemon butter sauce!!


Easy Lemon Butter Cake starts with a cake mix and has the perfect lemon flavor. The warm cake is soaked with a lemon butter sauce!!

Jordan had her first day of middle school last week. How my baby got to be a 7th grader, I’ll never know. I wasn’t sad when I dropped her off really, more nervous. Nervous about if she’ll like it, what classes she’ll have, if she’ll have good teachers, if the girls will all get along.

If I’m being 100% honest I’m more worried about the seventh grade girl drama than I am about school. Jordan’ll get by in school; that I’m not worried about. It’s the hormones and craziness of middle school girls I’m worried about. I’ve head some horror stories from veteran parents…and I remember my 7th grade year…it wasn’t awesome.

I have a feeling we’re both going to need lots of comfort food as the months progress and lots of hugs…and patience…something I need to work on when it comes to her emotions. You know what can help me with my emotions? Cake. Lemon Butter Cake – an easy lemon cake soaked with a sweet lemon butter sauce. It’s, quite literally, heaven and is proven to improve any mood.

Lemon Butter Cake starts with a cake mix so it’s an easy recipe soaked with a buttery sweet lemon sauce. This cake is moist for days…if it lasts that long.

Easy Lemon Butter Cake starts with a cake mix and has the perfect lemon flavor. The warm cake is soaked with a lemon butter sauce!!

What is a Butter Cake? Well, it’s a cake with lots of butter in it, for one. (Obviously!) I’ve heard it referenced as a Kentucky Butter Cake also, so maybe it originated in the south? The southerners invented the best foods didn’t they? My love for red velvet cake, pecan pie, and biscuits tells me I was born in the wrong section of the country!

A Butter Cake is an easy pound cake recipe that, while it’s hot, is soaked with a butter sauce. Butter sauce is a boiled concoction of butter, sugar, and vanilla. When you pour it over the hot cake and then let the cake cool it soaks in and the cake stays moist for days – plus it adds SO much flavor. This cake is even better on day 2 but I doubt it’ll last that long.

Easy Lemon Butter Cake is soaked with a lemon butter sugar sauce when it's warm from the oven!

Traditional butter cake recipes I’ve seen are plain old vanilla, or maybe vanilla bourbon. I decided to switch it up a bit and make my easy butter cake recipe into a LEMON Butter Cake. Everything is better flavored lemon, am I right?

To make the cake even easier, I started with a lemon cake mix. I love the extra lemon punch lemon cake mixes give. I know of at least two brands that sell that flavor, so use your favorite. The lemon flavor and tender cake is punched up a notch by adding pudding mix to the cake batter. I always love adding some pudding mix to my bundt cakes – they add so much flavor and keep the cake moist (kind of like they do for pudding cookies).

While the cake is baking, you make the butter sauce by heating butter, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until it boils. It turns into a thick sweet sauce. Once the cake comes out of the oven, poke tons of teeny holes in it with a skewer or toothpick, then carefully pour the sauce over the top. As the cake cools the sauce soaks into the cake making it gooey and delicious.

Did I mention the TRIPLE lemon makes it so super lemony? Guys, I had to re-home this cake ASAP or I would have taken a fork to it I’m not kidding.

Easy Lemon Butter Cake starts with a cake mix and has the perfect lemon flavor. The warm cake is soaked with a lemon butter sauce!!

How to make the perfect Lemon Butter Cake:

  • Be sure to grease and flour your bundt pan really well. That’s the secret to easy release and a pretty cake.
  • If you can’t find lemon pudding mix, you can use vanilla or even cheesecake flavor.
  • Be sure to let it cool completely before removing from the pan so the flavor soaks into every single bite.
  • The cake is sweet enough because of the sauce so it doesn’t need frosting; just a dusting of powdered sugar will do!

3.57 from 103 votes
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Servings: 10 servings

Easy Lemon Butter Cake

Total Time:
1 hr
Easy Lemon Butter Cake starts with a cake mix and has the perfect lemon flavor. The warm cake is soaked with a lemon butter sauce!!



  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter — melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract — optional; it pumps up the butter flavor of the cake
  • 1 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla or lemon pudding mix


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice — from 1-2 lemons
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar — for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray (the kind with flour) or butter and flour it.
  2. Use a hand or a stand mixer to beat the cake mix, butter, eggs, milk, extract, and pudding mix until a thick batter forms. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes but keep it in the pan.
  4. While the cake is baking, make the sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt and cook until it just simmers (bubbles around the edges). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

  5. Poke several holes in the cake using a long skewer and pour the butter sauce over the cake. Cool in pan completely, then remove to serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!

Click here to see my best Cake Mix recipes!

If you like my easy lemon butter cake recipe you’ll love this Salted Caramel Kentucky Butter Cake by Wishes and Dishes or a Gooey Butter Cake by Tidy Mom.

Orange Pound Cake

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake




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  1. The third pic down, the one where the cake is still in the pan, and that pool of liquid that’s reflecting….omg that is heaven right there! Gorgeous pic too!

    The girl drama. Yes the struggle is real!

  2. Cake helps me with my feelings too lol. This looks so good! Good luck to Jordan 🙂

  3. Wow, this cake is so pretty. The dark, rich, yellow screams lemon!

  4. Hi,
    Cake looks delish. Please advise if this recipe is based on the old boxes of cake mixes that had 18.5oz, or the new boxes of mixes that now have 16.5 oz. of cake mix? The box of Lemon Supreme cake mix that I now have has 16.5 oz. Will this work in this recipe? The difference of the 2 oz. less of cake mix has made a big difference in some of my old recipes not being satisfactory. Do you have any suggestions how to remedy this problem?? Thanks in advance for your advice.

  5. Oh I can hardly wait to try this. I’m going to add some Lemoncello to the butter sauce and I will add the butter flavoring. I have a rum cake recipe similar to this that is to die for so this is right up my caloric intake. LOL.

  6. My daughter had a mean girl in her 7th grade class who was 11 years old, aggressive in chasing older boys in the class, and she caused a lot of drama. But in 8th grade she finally turned around her behavior, so things were calm then. I guess it’s a rite of passage, learning to deal with difficult personalities. Jordan will be fine. Love the lemon recipe!

  7. Do you want your daughters or sons to go to food (cake) in a stressful situation!! Much better methods for the 2 of you to use! You and your child could weigh 200 lbs by end of the yr!

    • Really – that’s what you get from this? I bake to release stress, my co-workers and others benefit from the stress relief in more ways than can be counted. To be able to have the company of a loved one is just an added bonus. Just because we love food doesn’t mean overweight.. So, I’m going to save this because I love lemon, baking, and stress relief. Great combo.

    • sar·casm
      the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

  8. For the perfect ‘Southern’ Lemon, you have to use Meyer Lemons!!
    Meyer lemons have that sweet southern flavor that just lets the true
    Lemon flavor come through.
    I keep them on my counter all the time so that I have them for any ‘
    recipe that calls for a true lemon.

  9. hey girl-this looks amazing!

  10. Ohhhh it looks and sounds perfect. A perfect comforting cake, like a warm hug.

  11. I made this cake yesterday and my husband’s friend had a piece then took home another 2 pieces for him and his wife, then ask for the recipe!!!😃

  12. these cakes are marvelous, I have had so many compliments on them, I felt like a bakers chef. thanks for the receipes.


  14. wow, It looks and sounds perfect.Lemon butter cake is my favorite cake, on my birthday i make it.Thanks for the cake recipe.Last Saturday I also make Chicken Keema paratha recipe its looks and taste so delicious and yummy.Sharing a link of Recipe: ( )

  15. made it and it was fabulous, it now my go to for family and friends

  16. I have made twice this month & it’s a huge hit! This is a fail proof cake & everyone will love it! The PAM cake spray worked nicely too (tip: spray pan outside so overspray does not get on everyhing) Thanks for sharing!

  17. I love your site.Please give a recipe for yellow cake or others I dont like to use box mixes or puddings they all have a flavor to them plus preservatives sorry

  18. Can this recipe be used for cupcakes? Would you have to change anything?

  19. Made this cake on Sunday.. It’s the best lemon cake that I ever made this is a sure keeper…

  20. I’m literally drooling from the anticipation of mine in the oven! 😂😄

  21. I’m not much of a baker, but I think I can make this. I don’t have a bundt pan, so do you think this recipe will work in 2 loaf pans?

  22. Adding in a little more sugar does wonders to the sweetness of the cake, my kids really enjoyed it and funnily enough it didn’t make it through the day before being eaten up. By the way, if you’re thinking of making any fried desserts any time soon, here are some great air fryers you might want to use

  23. A most yummy lemon bundt cake ever, followed to a T, but cheated a little and added more lemon juice. Mu husband wanted more the same week!!!

  24. in making the sauce in your lemon butter cake you mention adding the lemon juice but not the zest. is there zest in the sauce? also which do you prefer, the lemon pudding or vanilla? thanks!

  25. Can the lemon pudding mix be substituted for lemon jello?

  26. I am also wondering when the zest goes in? i am making the cake as we speak…

  27. What do I do with the lemon zest of one lemon?!?

  28. Sorry.. probably a silly question, but for the lemon butter cake– do I follow the directions on the pudding mix and make it before adding it to the batter or simply add the powdered pudding to the batter?

    Thanks so much,

  29. I made this for the Memorial Day Weekend and was very disappointed. I could not get it out of my BUNDT pan. I followed directions and have a “old” heavy pan that has never failed me. It tasted good but came out in pieces. I had to stop and buy a dessert and that’s not what I wanted to do.

  30. Wonderful recipe it came out perfect

  31. Easy as cake to make! Scrumpdillyiscious!

  32. Love it slide right out pan perfect….perfect….will make all your recipes!!!!!! Thanks easy….my grandma couldn’t teach me to make Bundt cakes but you did thanks

  33. Scrumptious! Great recipe!I was looking to see if anyone had asked when you got the “dessert” fork?

  34. Absolutely delicious! I just made this for my family and they loved it. Very moist!

  35. This cake had a very pleasing taste and texture. I went wrong by trying to divide the batter into 4 mini Bundt pans and then I had added two more mini pie plates to accommodate the batter. The next time I would use to regular size Bundt pans and divide the batter, and double the amount of sauce. I thought it was just excellent.

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