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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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.

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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

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?

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

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

All you need is a boxed cake mix, I prefer Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix 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.

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.

grabbing a bite with a fork from a slice of moist and fluffy lemon bundt cake

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!

Step 1: 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

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: 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.

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: 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.

Step 7: 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.

I know you will love this Easy Instant Pot Lemon Bundt Cake. Let me know in the comments when you try it!

a large slice of lemon bundt cake on a plate
instant pot lemon cake

Instant Pot Lemon Cake

FLUFFY MOIST LEMON CAKE TOPPED WITH A SWEET LEMONY GLAZE

4.63 from 27 votes
Servings
10 slices
DifficultyEasy
Cooking Method(s)
  • Pressure Cooking
Pressure LevelHigh
Program SettingManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
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.
a close up of a fork cutting into a moist slice of instant pot lemon bundt cake

Essential Equipment

  • instant pot
  • measuring spoons

Ingredients

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

for the Glaze

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

Instructions

  • 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

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

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

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.

instant pot lemon cake

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91 thoughts on “Easy Instant Pot Lemon Cake”

  1. Valerie,

    Since I haven’t received a response to my comment should I assume you do not respond to non-Instant Pot users?

    1. Hi Dianne. It has nothing to do with the fact that you’re a non IP user. It has to do with the fact that I took a couple of weeks off to be with my family and am now catching up on replying to comments. Thanks!

  2. Hi Valerie,

    I don’t have an IP but another leading brand of pressure cooker (its 3 years old) and I’ve never had a problem using IP recipes until I tried this one. I followed the instructions exactly as written, pressure came up cooked for 35 minutes and then a QR. Lifted the 6 cup bundt pan out and placed it on the cooling rack and removed the foil cover. I could tell the cake had risen since the foil was bowed up before I removed it. The cake had sunken into the pan. After the allotted time I removed it from the bundt pan on to a plate. It didn’t look cooked from the outside so I cut into it. It definitely was not cooked through. It had the consistency of play dough.

    I see others are having similar problems. Is it possible that I would need to keep this under pressure for 70 minutes to have it cooked through?

    1. Hi Dianne! I am not sure why your cake did not cook. You will notice similar cooking times for other cakes from other bloggers. It could have not come to pressure, but you said you saw it come to pressure and count down so in your case that wouldn’t be it. The newer IPs are taking a lot longer to cook pot in pot. You don’t have an IP, so that wouldn’t be the case for you either. In my opinion, if with other pots, it will take much longer than 35 min to cook the cake, then it makes it not worth using and it would be best to make it in the oven. I’ve never had an issue making the cake in my DUO, it cooks perfectly in 35 minutes, and discussing it with my blogger friends, they agree it should totally be cooked in 35 mins. What brand pressure cooker do you have? Does it usually cook things in the same amount of time as recipes call for?

      1. Valerie,

        I have the Breville Fast Slow Cooker. I’ve never had any problems with this machine cooking within the stated time for a recipe. My cheesecakes always turn out perfect. Cheesecake is the only thing I have made as a Pot in Pot recipe. Rice turns out perfectly each time as well as all other standard food items.

  3. I hope to make this tomorrow when I go get the cake mix. My question is, I am doing an almond pound cake right now and it calls for 60 mins at HP, 10 mins NR and then cool 10 mins in pan on wire rack. Plus once I covered the top of pan with foil, it said to poke a hole in the open part of the tube. Maybe these instructions would help with your lemon cake as it appears there are alot of underbaked cakes with only 35 mins. Input please.

    1. Hi Tricia! The reason for the underbaked cakes is the newer pots. After discussing it with several bloggers, they are all having the same problem when readers cook pot in pot. With my older 8 qt DUO I have made it many times without a problem. I wouldn’t be able to give you an exact time until I am able to get my hands on one of the newer pots. You can definitely add more time to ensure it’s cooked all the way if you have a newer Instant Pot. Please do keep me posted with how both of your cakes turned out!

  4. My cake did cook in 35 min I have the new instant pot the ultra . However my cake cracked from top several cracks 😩. Any ideas why ?it was my 1st time baking in instant pot

    1. Hi Laura! Not sure why the cake cracked, it could be several reasons. Usually in the oven, it’s because the temperature was too high, so I’m not sure what could’ve happened in the IP. Hope it was still delicious!

  5. My cake looked so nice and came out of the Bundt pan perfectly. And then it just fell apart right before my eyes. It was like pudding on the inside. We’re still going to eat it. I’ll try again and add 25 minutes because I have a new pot. I should have read the comments.

    1. Hi Phyllis! It’s frustrating that the new pots aren’t cooking pot in pot in the same amount of time. Please let me know if it works next time you try it! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I have the IP 3qt Duo Mini which I find perfect for hubby and me. Obviously, I will have to “half” the recipe since I use a 6″ bundt style pan and fill only 3/4 way up. Would the timing be the same…35 min on high pressure and QR? Thanks! BTW my IP is about 2 yrs old.

  7. Mine was nowhere near done either! Going to try to finish up in the oven. Pot was sealed well and came to pressure, but don’t have an extra sealing ring.

    1. Hi Kacey! After having a couple people say their cake wasn’t done, I did some research and I’ve been talking with other bloggers. Apparently, the new Instant Pots take a whole lot longer to cook things that are pot in pot (like this cake). It’s crazy and unfortunate that they can’t keep the pots consistent but this is what seems to be happening to many. One of my blogger friends said she’s having to add an extra 20-25 min to her pot in pot meals, this is versus cooking the same meal in the older pots. That seems like such a long time to cook a cake! I will have to adjust the post and let people know that the newer pots need much more time. Can I ask what model you have? Thanks!

    1. Hi Meg! You should be able to fit the entire batter in a 7-inch pan but someone below said it was a bit too much for their pan. Just make sure not to overfill it to allow the cake to rise. You can make cupcakes with any remaining batter. You would cook it for the same amount of time. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I cooked this for 35 mins on high pressure and it was no where near done.. use the exact same box mix. Added another 20 minutes and it still wasn’t fully cooked. This is using a 6 quart a P and a 6 inch Bundt pan. Don’t know how this could’ve been done in 35 minutes

    1. Hi Sandi! The cake should have definitely been done in 35 minutes. Maybe your pot didn’t come to pressure? Did you add the water? Was your sealing ring on? Was your pot set to sealing? Those are a few things I can think of that are easy to overlook. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hi Sandi! Could you tell me what model you have? After doing some research I’ve found out that the newer pots are taking a lot longer to cook things pot in pot. Thanks!

  9. This is my “go to cake recipe” so far- comes out perfect! Would add that the DH cake mix makes too much batter for a 7″ bundt pan that I have for my 6 qt Duo Evo Plus…..but what I do after this cake is done: the rest of the batter fits perfectly in a small ramekin 4.25″ and do high pressure for 7 min, cancel, natural release 10 min, cool 20 min. Then I have that little cake to give to a neighbor, etc.

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