I am trying to perfect a nice lemon bundt cake recipe that uses lemon juice and zest for flavor. I have achieved the flavor profile I want, but the cake does not rise much and comes out a little too dense. I figured it was the acidity of the 5 lemons I juiced into the batter. Is there a way I can keep that much acidity in the batter and still have a good rise on my bake?

Thanks in advance.


I completely forgot to post the recipe, sorry about that. I am going for a moist and dense cake texture with a vibrant lemon flavor that slaps your mouth. I am a beginner baker though...

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour.
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt.
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar.
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine.
  • 4 eggs (4 yokes .
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 pkg lemon pudding mix (ideally i would like it to be a completely from scratch cake but 1 step at a time.)
  • 5 lemons ( juicing and zesting all the lemons)
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    You need to give us the full recipe. Particularly we need to know what raising agents you use. You may need to use bicarbonate of soda instead of baking powder, for example. – Chris H Dec 10 '16 at 14:59
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    That is a ton of lemon.... The recipe I use is significantly less and has great flavor. Why so much? – Catija Dec 10 '16 at 17:37
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    not directly related to the collapsing, but on getting more lemon flavor into a cake, see cooking.stackexchange.com/q/28047/67 ; cooking.stackexchange.com/q/20701/67 and cooking.stackexchange.com/q/56726/67 – Joe Dec 10 '16 at 18:10
  • @joe I am pretty happy with my flavors, its got a nice lemon punch but my cake is only like 2 inches high and is not cakey enough. It is very wet after the bake which is my issue. I think my rise is off – TheCodeNovice Dec 12 '16 at 15:40
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    @TheCodeNovice : yes, but your rise is off because of how you're increasing the lemon flavor. If you can't solve the rising problems with the existing recipe, then you should step back and use a cake that does rise, but use answers from those other questions to get it back to the desired lemon flavor. – Joe Dec 12 '16 at 18:39

I think your fat-to-flour ratio for that kind of flour might be too high. Cake flour can't handle a lot of fat. As another answer suggested, try a higher protein flour--start with all-purpose (AP) flour and, if that isn't enough, use bread flour but remember to barely stir it together or you will make a mess. I would mix everything together except the flour first, then carefully stir it in.


Does the batter type used rely on gluten development? Acids and enzymes from very concentrated fruit juices can weaken gluten - if it would be strong enough to tenderize meat (denature protein), it is not unlikely to break down or influence (even already developed) gluten (which is a protein).

Using a "stronger" flour than normally recommended for cakes, or adding extra gluten, or adding an additional binder could help.

  • so I should go for a bread flour? I added my recipe to my post if that helps? – TheCodeNovice Dec 12 '16 at 15:38
  • I can only suggest leads for experimentation here... – rackandboneman Dec 12 '16 at 16:03
  • -1, since gluten is strongest at pHs of around 3.5 and something high (10?), and ascorbic acid is one of the ways to make much stronger gluten in bread. I doubt that the problem comes from the gluten at all, but if it does, it is not made weaker through the lemon juice. – rumtscho May 21 '19 at 9:08
  • 3.5 sounds like a very optimistic pH for some juices :) – rackandboneman May 21 '19 at 11:12

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