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Easy Instant Pot Lemon Cake

A Moist and Delicious Instant Pot Cake Full of Lemony Goodness

Lemon lovers, you've found your cake! This super easy Instant Pot Lemon Cake is moist, fluffy, and oh so delicious! Just the perfect amount of lemon flavor for a sweet and delicious treat! This cake is sweet sunshine in a cake pan.

a close up of a fork cutting into a moist slice of instant pot lemon bundt cake
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This post and recipe have been updated and were originally published on July 17th, 2018.

I am so excited to bring you this Instant Pot Lemon Cake recipe. It is incredibly moist and fluffy and you’ll never know you didn’t bake it in the oven. Add my delicious homemade lemon glaze to it and you’ll be in lemon heaven.

Perfect Lemony Goodness

I’ve been wanting to make a cake in the Instant Pot using a boxed cake mix. I knew cakes could be successful in the Instant Pot since my Turtle Lava Cakes are to die for! I love baking, and I really wanted to start using my Instant Pot for a few more “baked goods”.

delicious and creamy homemade lemon glaze being poured over an instant pot lemon bundt cake
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This lemon cake had to be easy and require minimal ingredients. You know I love easy! In my opinion, using a boxed cake mix was a must to keep it as simple as possible. I have come to find out that even large bakeries use boxed cake mix so why not use something that’s already perfected?

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lemon bundt cake in the instant pot
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This cake is absolutely perfect for spring and summer because of its fresh summery flavor. But don’t get me wrong, we enjoy it all year long! The moist and fluffy cake covered in my sweet and tangy lemon glaze is absolute perfection when you’re craving something sweet.

a beautiful instant pot lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze on top and the instant pot and lemons in the background
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What Ingredients Do I Need for Making An Instant Pot Lemon Cake?

My family loves eating this Instant Pot Lemon Cake and I love how easy it is to make. It’s got just the right amount of tangy and sweet. It is moist and fluffy, and you can easily eat the whole cake if you get distracted! True story.

a slice of moist instant pot lemon bundt cake on a white plate with the pressure cooker in the background
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All you need is a boxed cake mix, I prefer this one and it’s the only one I’ve tested this recipe with. It’s easy to find in any supermarket. My boxed cake mix requires a bit of oil, 3 eggs, and some water. For the glaze, you’ll need some powdered sugar, a bit of butter, and 2 large lemons.

Kitchen Prep Tools, Utensils & Appliances

Here is a list of the kitchen prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

Prep Tools & Utensils

These are the items you’ll need to prep and make this recipe:

  • For prepping the cake batter, I used one of these colorful prep bowls, these beautiful measuring spoons, and some measuring cups.
  • This recipe requires lemon juice for making the glaze. I don’t like hand squeezing lemons because 1. it can get messy, 2. after a few lemons my hands start to cramp, and 3. I’m only able to get half of the juice out of the lemon. I always use a lemon squeezer to make sure I can get every drop out of each lemon. Plus, it’s so much easier on my hands.
  • I always make sure to use a good cutting board when cutting lemon because the acid from the lemon juice always ends up staining my countertops. Definitely, want to avoid that.
  • To top off the cake, you can lightly zest a lemon. A good lemon zester is one of those kitchen utensils that you won’t use often but is essential to have around.
  • I set the cake pan on the trivet before lowering it into the pot. Once the cooking time had completed, I used my mini mitts to lift the trivet out of the hot pot.
Appliances & Cookware

I made this cake in my 8-quart Instant Pot using a 6 cup bundt pan. This recipe should work just as well in a 6-quart pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Accessories

Make sure to check out my post on Must-Have Accessories for the Instant Pot. You’ll find a complete list of all the top accessories that can be used with your Instant Pot.

What Pan Do I Need?

To make this Instant Pot Lemon Cake you’ll preferably need a bundt pan. I use a 6 cup pan that is about 8.5 inches across. This fits perfectly in my 8-quart and 6-quart pressure cookers. You can use another cake pan, but a 6-cup bundt pan ensures you get perfect results every time.

a slice of moist and fluffy instant pot lemon bundt cake
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Now it’s your turn to give this Instant Pot Lemon Cake recipe a try!

If you are an Instant Pot beginner I have included a step-by-step below. There are also some tips and tricks in the recipe card at the bottom of this post to help you make this cake even more delicious.

How to Make Lemon Cake in the Instant Pot

This is a super simple recipe that results in a perfectly fluffy and moist lemon cake that’s topped with a wonderful lemony glaze. Just make a boxed lemon cake according to the instructions on the back of the box, use the Instant Pot to cook it perfectly, and then top it with a homemade glaze. Yum!

Gather the Ingredients

For the cake, you will only need a box of your favorite lemon cake mix and just a few ingredients to make the lemon glaze. That’s it! Here’s exactly what I used to make this recipe:

  • Boxed Lemon Cake Mix: I used Duncan Hines Signature Lemon Supreme Cake Mix, to make this recipe and I highly recommend it. This cake mix makes a moist and fluffy lemon cake that comes out perfect every time.
  • Powdered Sugar: The confectioner’s sugar is the base for the glaze. Make sure to pack it tightly when measuring it to help ensure that the glaze turns out thick enough.
  • Lemons: You’ll need 2 large lemons to yield enough lemon juice and lemon zest for this recipe.
  • Salted Butter
lemon supreme box cake mix from duncan hines
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Prepare the Cake Batter

Prepare the lemon cake batter according to the instructions on the back of the cake mix box. For the Duncan Hines Signature Lemon Supreme Cake Mix, I added the cake mix, 1 cup of water, ⅓ cup of vegetable oil, and 3 eggs to a large mixing bowl. I then mixed the ingredients with a hand mixer according to the instructions on the back of the box.

Add The Batter To The Cake Pan

Spray a 6 cup bundt cake pan with cooking oil and then pour the batter into the pan.

Wrap the Cake Pan With Foil and Cook

Tightly wrap the cake pan with aluminum foil before placing it into the Instant Pot. Then add 1 ½ cups of water to the pot and place the cake pan on the trivet and lower into the pot.

I suggest that you always use a separate sealing ring when cooking cakes and desserts in your Instant Pot. You don’t want your sweet treats smelling and tasting like garlic or curry powder. I have a blue ring that I use specifically for my desserts.

Set the Cooking Time

Close the pot and move the pressure release valve to the ‘Sealing’ position. Then set the Instant Pot to cook on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’, High Pressure for 35 minutes.

Release the Pressure and Remove the Cake

Once the cooking time has completed, perform a Quick Pressure Release by immediately moving the pressure release valve to ‘Venting’ to release all the pressure from the pot. Once all the pressure has been released from the pot and the pin has dropped, open the pot and remove the cake. Set the cake pan on a heat resistant surface, remove the foil and allow it to sit for 5 minutes to cool.

Unmold the Cake

Once the cake has cooled for a few minutes, unmold it by placing a large plate over the top of the bundt pan and flipping it onto a large plate. Carefully lift the bundt pan away from the cake and let it sit to cool for another 10 minutes. If you notice that the cake is sitting lopsided, this is a good time to use a long serrated knife to cut away any bulges on the bottom of the cake to allow it to sit flat.

Make the Glaze

For the glaze, add the two cups of tightly packed powdered sugar, five tablespoons of lemon juice, half a tablespoon of melted butter, and a teaspoon of lemon zest to a large measuring cup and mix until the sugar has completely dissolved and a smooth glaze has formed.

Pour the Glaze Over the Cake

Once the cake is cool, slowly pour the glaze over it until it is fully covered.

Serve and Enjoy

This lemon cake is so delicious! My kids told me that it was their favorite. I hope that it becomes one of your family’s favorites too.

a slice of instant pot lemon bundt cake with the lemon cake in the background
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I know you will love this Easy Instant Pot Lemon Bundt Cake. Let me know in the comments when you try it!

Instant Pot Lemon Cake

A Perfectly Moist and Fluffy Lemon Cake Topped With a Sweet Lemony Glaze

Rating
5 from 3 votes
Servings
10 slices
DifficultySuper Easy
Cooking Method(s)
  • Instant Pot
IP Pressure LevelHigh
IP ProgramManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Pressure Release
QPR
Total Time
40 minutes
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
This easy to make lemon cake is absolutely delightful and refreshing. The glaze is so lemony sweet, it's like serving up a sweet slice of sunshine on a plate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Category: Cakes
a close up of a fork cutting into a moist slice of instant pot lemon bundt cake
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Ingredients

  • 1 box lemon cake mix prepared according to box, I prefer Duncan Hines Signature Lemon Supreme Cake Mix

for the Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar tightly packed
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice from 2 large lemons
  • ½ tablespoon salted butter melted
  • zest of one lemon about 1 teaspoon

Directions

  • Prepare Lemon Cake Batter: Make the lemon cake batter according to the instructions on the back of the box of lemon cake mix.
  • Add Batter To Bundt Pan: Spray a 6-cup bundt cake pan with cooking spray and pour the cake batter into the pan. Tightly cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil.
  • Cook for 35-Minutes: Add 1 ½ cups of water to the Instant Pot and lower the cake pan into the pot using the trivet. Close the Instant Pot, adjust the pressure release valve to 'Sealing' and set the pot to cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', 'High Pressure' for 35 minutes.
  • QPR: Once the cooking time has finished, perform a QPR (quick pressure release) by immediately releasing the pressure from the pot. After the pressure has been fully released and the pin has dropped, open the pot. Carefully remove the hot bundt pan from the pot.
  • Let Cake Cool: Set the cake pan on a heat resistant surface and remove the foil from the top of the pan. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the cake onto a large plate and allow it to cool for another 10 minutes.
  • Make Glaze: Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, butter, and lemon zest to a large measuring cup and mix until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Glaze Cake: After the cake has cooled, pour the glaze over the top of the cake to fully cover.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

While every effort is made to correctly calculate these nutritional facts, they should be used as general guidance as they may not be 100% accurate.

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg

Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make this Instant Pot Lemon Cake recipe your own.

Top with extra lemon zest. I don’t usually go this extra step because the cake is super delicious as it is but if I’m having a get-together with friends, I’ll pull out the lemon zester to dress the cake up a bit by topping it with some extra zest.

Replace the glaze with frosting. What’s better than a glaze? Cream cheese frosting!

Serving Suggestions

Here are a few ideas for serving your Instant Pot Lemon Cake.

Add ice cream. This lemon cake goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or raspberry sorbet.

Serve with tea. Lemon cake is a great reason to invite some friends over for an afternoon tea.

  • Valerie Cooper says:

    PLEASE READ!! SINCE THE OLD LEMON CAKE RECIPE GAVE SOME PEOPLE TROUBLE AND IT WAS TOO DEPENDENT ON WHAT CURD THEY USED I COMPLETELY CHANGED IT. PLEASE DISREGARD BOTH THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE COMMENTS UNDER THIS ONE AS THEY ARE FOR THE OLD RECIPE. THE NEW RECIPE IS EASY AND DELICIOUS AND WILL WORK FOR ANYONE!

  • Kelley says:

    Made this today and it fell while cooling – still tastes good – will try again!

  • Chris Ann Pietig says:

    When did you add the baking powder to the recipe? I made this last fall and it wasn’t very tall. So I doubled the recipe and it was better. But don’t remember using baking powder. I want to make tomorrow, trying to decide if I should double again or use baking powder instead. The taste is incredible, thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi! I added the baking powder in an effort to help the people that were having trouble with the cake rising. You probably made it before I edited it. It seemed to help the other people that had the issue. Let me know which way you decide to go! Thanks for stopping by!

  • David says:

    We have a winner!! I LOVE lemon cakes, lemon anything, and this was fantastic! My first time making lemon curd and also first time ‘baking’ in my Instant Pot. That just sounds weird 🙂 I used a 6″ springform pan and it turned out beautifully. Now if I can just regulate my comfort food appetite! 🙂

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi David! I’m so happy to hear this turned out great for you. This cake has proven a bit difficult for some people and it won’t turn out for them. I have a feeling it may have to do with the lemon curd they use, but I haven’t been able to figure it out. I had one lady demand I take the recipe down, but it has never failed for me, so I’m keeping it up and still trying to figure out why it won’t work for some people. And see, then someone like you tries it and loves it! It’s the only recipe on the blog that has given some people trouble so I’m not losing hope I’ll figure it out! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting with your results!

      • David says:

        Oh, I was so proud, I got pics to prove it 🙂 The homemade curd was a little frightening but luckily it turned out great! But…. I have to make another now to use up the remaining cake mix! LOL

  • Jo Lynne Nugent says:

    As I was waiting for my cake to finish in the instant pot I realized that I had forgotten the baking powder. I was ready to throw in the towel, but I decided to wait it out and see what happened. Surprisingly it came out as cute as a button! Next time I will use the baking powder but I was not terribly disappointed in the results: it was about 2 1/2 “ tall and will be the perfect accompaniment to a scoop of vanilla ice cream for Mother’s Day dessert!

    • Hi Jo Lynne! I’m so glad the cake turned out for you! To be honest, I made it tons and tons of time without the baking powder and it was always perfect. So many had trouble with it, I decided to test out the baking powder, so I edited the recipe and it seemed to help those that had trouble. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Enjoy your cake and ice cream!

  • Linda H says:

    I made this the other day and the cake was really flat. It did not rise at all. What may have caused it?

    • Hi Linda! I’m sorry the cake didn’t turn out for you. This particular recipe has proven a bit finicky. Sometimes if the lemon curd used it too acidic, or if the batter is overmixed, the cake won’t rise. I’m trying to find a solution to make sure the cake works for everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Melanie says:

    This recipe is so easy! I just wish you would add nutrition information to this.

    • Hi Melanie! As a matter of fact we are in the process of changing recipe cards and the new ones will include nutrition facts. It’s not a super quick process though but hopefully very soon it’ll be ready. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Cheryl says:

    Hi Valerie,
    I made this little cake today and it came out great. I used (Comstock) Duncan Hines Creme Lemon Pie Filling. I see that some others have had problems with it, but I made it exactly by the recipe with no problems. I did notice that when it first came out of the IP it did not feel solid, but as it cooled it firmed up. Love the icing!

    • Hi Cheryl! I’m so happy to hear it came out great! I love this little cake so much, for the life of me, I don’t know why people have had trouble. Wish everyone could enjoy how yummy it is!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Sharon says:

    My hubby loves all things lemon do I made this today for his Valentine’s gift. It. Was. Great! So easy and sooooo good. Thank you !!

  • Susan says:

    I tried the lemon bundt recipe today, 40 mins cook, 15 npr, wrapped the bundt pan in foil, 2 cups water, trivet and it was an epic fail. The only thing I can figure is possibly the mixing portion did not go well enough or the lemon filling I used wasn’t the right one…lemon creme the label says, but it is pie filling, Duncan Hines… I’ll try it again, maybe different filling and see what happens.

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Susan! This recipe has proven to give some people trouble. I’ve never had trouble with it so it makes me crazy not knowing why it gives people trouble. Did you add the baking powder? What exactly did you end up with?

  • Denise says:

    Hi! I tried making this lemon bundt cake. First of all, I went to 5 stores in search of lemon filling and it was nowhere to be found! I did purchase the pan you suggested. I decided to try the recipe using the lemon cake mix(the one in your recipe ) along with a blueberry filling. I followe’d all the instructions but my cake came out only about an inch and half tall! It’s like a think pancake! It doesn’t taste bad but it’s pretty squishy like a moist bread pudding! What happened?

    • Denise says:

      I made a second try with this cake. Actually found the same lemon filling you used at Mariano’s. I bought new baking powder as well. It turned out much better, at least how it looks, haven’t tasted it yet. Still does not look as tall as yours tho. I did have a question, you said 15 min NPR and remove when pin dropped. My pin still hadn’t dropped after about 40 min so I manually released. Cake seems quite moist so I just turned the pan over right into a plate to cook and then I iced.

      • Valerie Cooper says:

        Hi Denise! Glad it turned out much better. So when a recipe says to NPR for a certain amount of time, that means you let it naturally release up till that amount of time, and at that point, you manually release the rest of the pressure. So in this case, you pressure cook for 40 minutes and then naturally release for 15, and right when it has been 15 minutes, you release the rest of the pressure manually. Hope this helps. Thanks for checking back in and letting me know about your second attempt.

    • Hi Denise! A few questions to try to see what happened. What type of blueberry filling did you use? Did you add the baking powder? It’s definitely a moist cake but it should be be only an inch and a half tall. Some people have had trouble because they overmixed, and a couple because of the fruit filling. I’ll be waiting to hear from you so we can see if we figure it out. Thanks!!

  • Annette says:

    I made two mini cakes at the same time. Mushy. Should I have added more time?

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Annette! Theoretically, you shouldn’t have to add more time, but I couldn’t be sure unless I tried it. Could it be that you overmixed it? That seems to make a huge difference in the cake’s consistency.

  • Dorothy says:

    I made this today using my own homemade lemon curd and it was delicious! I will definitely be making it again. So nice to have just a wee little cake for me and the hubby. Can’t wait to try the coconut and strawberry. How about a chocolate?

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Dorothy!! So happy you loved the cake! It is nice to have a tiny cake and not have a lot of leftovers I end up eating alone! Haha! I am working on the chocolate one! I’ve made it several times with different options of ingredients but I’m not satisfied yet! Thank you so much for stopping by!!

  • Connie says:

    My cake was about 1 1/2” high, tasted like custard. I had to use Duncan Hines Lemon Creme Pie Filing. Not sure if that was it or not. Nothing like your picture. Glad I wasn’t giving it to company.

  • Alana Ansley says:

    I made this cake on Saturday, and my family really enjoyed it! We loved how moist the cake was, and the glaze really added the perfect amount of sweetness. I can’t wait for you to post more flavors!

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      So glad you liked it!! I love the moistness too! I have lots of new flavors coming soon! Thanks for stopping by Alana!

  • Bonnie says:

    I tried to make this and although the taste was great, the texture was more like custard than cake. Where did I go wrong?

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Bonnie! The cake is moist but definitely not like custard. Was your cake mix new? Did you use the same kind of lemon filling I used? (Or similar) Did you measure everything out? What kind of pan did you use? Trying to figure out what could’ve happened. Let me know your thoughts on my questions.

      • Bonnie says:

        My mix had a best by date of 3/23/19. I used Lucky Leaf brand Premium Lemon Filling and Topping. I measured everything, and cooked as directed in a 6 inch Bundt pan. It was flat and custard like but my daughter can’t wait for me to make it again. lol Could I have mixed it too much? I will definitely give it another try. I’m just not sure what to do differently. BTW, altitude is not an issue either. Thanks for any suggestions.

        • Valerie Cooper says:

          After lots of tests, and a few friends making it, I’m thinking it is the overmixing. Did you use a hand mixer or do I by hand like I did mine? Please let me know! Thank you!!

          • Bonnie says:

            No, I mixed by hand and I made a second one where I was very careful not to overmix and the same thing happened. Digging in to the matter I discovered that the filling I was using did not have any fat content where as yours did. I drove to the next town and bought your brand to see if that is the issue. I will make it tomorrow and let you know how it turns out.

          • Valerie Cooper says:

            Hi Bonnie! I will be editing my recipe slightly to make sure the cake works for everyone. I will be adjusting the recipe to say this: mix the egg and the lemon filling first. Mix well by hand. Then just fold in the cup of cake mix and 1/2 tsp baking powder. This should fix the issue some people were having. Let me know how it goes!

          • Bonnie says:

            I made this again using the same filling as you and I got cake this time!!! It still didn’t rise quite as much as I would have liked but the texture was definitely cake and not custard. I will try adding the baking powder next time to see how that works. Thanks for all your help!

          • Valerie Cooper says:

            Yay!! So glad it worked! I edited the recipe and was very clear in the order and way everything should be mixed. It really does make a difference. Thanks so much for hanging in there!!

          • Colleen says:

            Same thing happened to me .
            Made the coconut one and it was great .
            Lemon ended up in the garbage

  • Dove says:

    Hi ! I was so excited for this cake and it came totally underdone . Followed the recipe to the t and the cake never risen . Wha could have gone wrong ?

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Dove! So sorry it didn’t rise for you. I’ve made this cake at least 5 times and it’s been perfect every time. 40 min cooking time plus 15 min natural release should be plenty of time for it to rise. Did you remember to add water to the pot? Did the pot even come to pressure? Was the cake mix brand new? Just a few thoughts.

  • Joanna says:

    Do you have a mini lemon cake recipe made from scratch? We can’t eat mixes b/c of some ingredients.

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