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Babka Cytrynowa Polish Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe

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Babka cytrynowa cake.
Babka cytrynowa - Polish lemon bundt cake!

This aromatic lemon-flavored bundt cake is a popular Polish Easter dessert. Covered with a sweet lemon glaze or candied peel the Babka Cytrynowa will disappear in minutes!

What Is Babka Cytrynowa?

There are many theories about the origin of the babka. The most popular story is that babka originated in Poland at the end of the 17th century.

One legend also says that Stanisław Leszczyński who was king of Poland in the 17th century loved the cake and said it was like Ali Baba’s turbans. Because he loved Ali Baba, he called the cake babka.

Another version says that Queen Bona Sforza was responsible for the creation of the babka in the 16th century. The queen who was the second wife of King Sigismund I the Old wanted reminders of her home food. Her chefs created the babka as a replica of the Italian panettone but changed its shape.

Babkas are popular among the other Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia.

This babka is different though from the babka that’s popular among the Jewish communities that migrated to the US in the 20th century. That other babka is made in the shape of a challah dough styled bread and more often than not consists of a chocolate and nut filling and a streusel topping.

Our Polish babka on the other hand is a must at every Easter celebration and can be either plain or flavored with different toppings. 

Babka cytrynowa cake.
Babka cytrynowa – Polish lemon bundt cake!

How To Make Polish Lemon Bundt Cake – Babka Cytrynowa

The Polish lemon bundt cake is a fuss-free cake that’s very easy to make.

Start by preheating the oven to 356°F (180°C) and greasing the bundt pan with oil. Zest a lemon and then squeeze it. Next, melt the butter and set it aside.

Beat the sugar with egg whites using either a whisk or a stand mixer. Then add the flour, potato starch, baking powder, and mix. Lastly, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and melted butter, and mix again.

Blending the cake batter with a processor.
Beat the sugar with eggs using a processor

Pour the lemon cake batter into the bundt pan and bake for an hour.

Once the cake has cooled down, cover the lemon babka with icing sugar or a lemon sugar glaze. Cut into slices and serve!

Lemon bundt cake in the oven.
Lemon bundt cake in the oven
babka cytrynowa cake.
Babka cytrynowa cake forms a nice golden crust
Lemon bundt cake topped with a glaze.
Lemon bundt cake topped with a sugar glaze

Tips For Making Polish Lemon Bundt Cake

  • If you don’t want to make a sugar glaze, simply dust with icing sugar. 
  • Adjust the baking time to suit the size of the pan that you use. 
  • You can use the same recipe to make other flavors of babka.
  • Add diced lemon peel, chopped nuts, or Easter sprinkles on top of the lemon glaze. 
  • For a different tangier flavor, add cook some fresh raspberries with sugar and add on top of the lemon glaze. 
  • You can add yellow food color to the lemon glaze if you want it brighter. 
  • Babka also goes well with a side of vanilla ice cream. 

FAQs About Polish Babka Cytrynowa Recipe

What Does Babka Mean?

Babka means grandmother in Polish. It is derived from the Slavic word babka meaning ‘old woman’ or the Yiddish word ‘bubbe. 

How To Prononune Babka?

Babka is pronounced baab-kah or bub-kah.

Why Is It Called Babka?

The lemon bundt cake called babka may be called babka because it looks like the pleated skirts grandmothers would wear a few centuries ago.

What Are The Other Types Of Babka?

There are many types of Polish babka bundt cakes. Some popular ones include:

How To Store Polish Lemon Bundt Cake?

Like any other cake, babka cytrynowa can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. If serving from the refrigerator, it can be served cool. If serving from the freezer, it’s best to reheat in an oven or microwave before serving.

Babka Cytrynowa Polish Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe

Yield: 10

Babka Cytrynowa Polish Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe

A Polish lemon bundt cake with lemon slices on top.

An aromatic lemon-flavored bundt cake popular for Easter, the Polish Babka Cytrynowa is covered with sweet lemon glaze or candied peel.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


Lemon Babka Dough

  • 2 sticks (220g/8oz) of butter
  • 2 cups (240g) of all-purpose flour
  • ⅘ cup (130g) of potato flour/ starch
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup (250g) of sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp of baking powder
  • 1 lemon
  • oil
  • breadcrumbs

Lemon glaze

  • ½ cup of icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 356°F (180°C).
  2. Grease the bundt pan with oil, then sprinkle it with breadcrumbs.
  3. De-wax lemon by pouring hot water over it. Zest it, then juice it.
  4. Melt butter.
  5. Beat sugar with eggs until they change the color to whitish.
  6. Add flour, potato starch, baking powder, and mix.
  7. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and melted butter, and mix again.
  8. Pour the dough into the bundt pan.
  9. Bake for about an hour. Allow to cool.
  10. Cover the cold babka with icing sugar or sugar glaze (cook icing sugar with lemon juice until it changes into a glaze).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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4 Responses

  1. I love the shape of the pan you used – would it be possible to share where it came from please?

    Thank you 🙂

  2. It’s commonly called a kugelhoph “Bundt” (registered trademark) pan but yours is shaped more like a brioche mold with a hole. 🙂

    “We use the term bundt pan and bundt cake generically for a type of cake pan and a type of cake baked in this pan. However, the term BUNDT for a fluted and scalloped ring-shaped tube pan is trademarked by Northland Aluminum, makers of NordicWare.

    According to Wikipedia, the Bundt cake derives in part from a European brioche-like cake called Gugelhupf which was particularly popular among Jewish communities in parts of Germany, Austria, and Poland.[1] In the north of Germany, Gugelhupf is traditionally known as Bundkuchen (German pronunciation: [ˈbʊntkuːxn]), a name formed by joining the two words Kuchen (cake) and Bund.”

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