Lemon Pudding Cake
Easy and fast to make, this amazing lemon pudding cake is delicious! While baking, a creamy, lemony pudding layer forms with a luscious, light cake on top!
While pudding cakes are notoriously unphotogenic, trust me when I say that a) this picture is worlds better than the old one and b) a dish of heavenly pudding and cake doesn’t have to look good to taste incredible.
This lemon pudding cake makes for a perfect spring or summer dessert. While baking, the pudding cake separates into two layers – light and cakey on top and silky and custardy on bottom.
The technique relies on baking the cake in a water bath and whisking egg whites into soft peaks and then gently folding them into the batter – if you have the patience to handle that, you will love this cake.
What it lacks in presentation is definitely made up in taste.
The cake tastes wonderful warm or chilled and our favorite way to eat it is with a little dollop of whipped cream on top to help cut the sweet tartness of the tender lemon cake and silky, creamy pudding.
Lemon Pudding Cake
- ¼ cup (36 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 ¼ cups (265 g) sugar
- 5 tablespoons (70 g) butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons grated zest and 1/2 cup juice from 3 large lemons
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 ¼ cups milk, room temperature
- 2 quarts boiling water, or enough boiling water to come up halfway on the sides of the baking pan
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
- Whisk the flour and cornstarch in a bowl. With the electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 1/2 cup sugar, butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in yolks, one at a time, until incorporated. Reduce the speed to medium-low. Add flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Slowly add milk and lemon juice, mixing until just combined.
- Using a clean bowl and the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add remaining sugar until whites are firm and glossy, about 1 minute. Whisk one-third of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in remaining whites, one scoop at a time, until well combined.
- Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting pan and arrange prepared baking dish on the towel. Spoon batter into the prepared dish. Carefully place the pan on the oven rack and pour boiling water into the pan until water reaches halfway up sides of baking dish.
- Bake until the surface is golden brown and edges are set (center should still be slightly wiggly), about 60 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool about 45 minutes. Serve.
Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Country
64 Comments on “Lemon Pudding Cake”
Just curious, what happens when you skip the water bath? Thanks
It will bake like a normal cake (without the pudding layer).
A question as I haven’t made it yet. Has anyone tried unfolding this from ramekins.?
A question as I haven’t made it yet. Has anyone tried unfolding this from ramekins.?
I just made this, and it is fantastic!! Thank you so much for the recipe. This is now on my list of “company desserts.” I know my friends and family are going to love this.
Could you post the cinnamon raisin pudding cake recipe if you have it? Thanks.
If I only have one bowl for my Kitchen Aid mixer, do I just do the first part, then stop, put the contents in a different bowl, clean the dirty bowl and then whip the egg whites with the whisk attachment. Also, would it be possible to make the the night or early morning before I wanted to serve it? Thanks so much for any ideas/thoughts.
Hello Diane. Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. Yes, what you suggested would definitely work while you are preparing the cake and this would definitely work to make the day before and refrigerate. I have done that before with great success.
Hi Diane – what Emily said is what I would have said, too. 🙂
Two suggestions about tools: I mix everything up in my blender except the egg whites – Easy Peasy. Also, I have a hand mixer which I only use for egg whites and whipping cream. Pick up a cheap hand mixer and only use it for these two things.
My stand mixer is a duplicate of one I had which died when it was about 25 years old. So I have two sets of bowls and beaters.
I’m trying to find a dessert recipe that I can serve at an upcoming meal I am hosting. I need to have a dairy free dessert and if possible, also a low fat one. 1. Do you think the milk could be replaced with soy milk or almond milk? 2. Can you recommend something from your website that would fit these criteria?
Tanya – You can check out the dairy free category and see if any of the desserts would work for the meal you are hosting. The Incredible Chocolate Pudding might be a good choice for you. It is made with almond milk and it is fabulous. Good luck!
This reminds me of something my great-aunt used to make called lemon fluff. Can’t wait to try this. I love lemon everything.
Looks lovely! The printer icon link appears to be broken?
Kristin – Thanks for your note. Unfortunately if you are using Internet Explorer, the print function isn’t working right now. I am working to get it fixed but in the meantime, I’m encouraging those who are having issues to switch to a different browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Internet Explorer has issues with many website functions and one of those other browsers will be much better (not just for the print function). If you don’t want to switch browsers, know that I am working on it but am not sure when there will be a fix available. I’m sorry for any inconvenience!
There is a reason it is called Internet Exploder LOL
Oh no, it looks like some of the post got cut off during the editing process?
Hi Boe – thanks! I cut off the last few words but put them back on now. 🙂
I have made it with lime and it is quite good.
Ooooo, this looks delicious! Do you think it would work with another kind of citrus, maybe lime or orange? Oooo, or tangerine?!
Jen – It’s worth a try…I have only ever tried it with lemon. Good luck!
My husbands Grandma makes something almost identical, only in pie form with a pie crust 🙂
Do you think this recipe could be doubled in a 9×13 dish? If so, how much longer would you guess that it needs to bake?
Jason – yes, I think it could work doubled. It seems odd, but sometimes with cakes baked in larger baking pans, the cooking time actually shortens or remains the same. You definitely don’t want to overbake it or else the pudding will be nonexistent so I’d suggest checking it 2-3 minutes less than the baking time in the recipe. Good luck!
I made your slow cooker chocolate cake wich was soo good..i will make this next time I decide to cheat on my diet lol..carrot is my most favorite of cakes though.can you find a way to make a carrot pudding cake..all of your recipes are so gooood if anyone can help me with this it’s you
Luv2cook – hmmm, a carrot cake pudding cake. Interesting idea!
i’m from yorkshire, england (but now live in utah). this is one of my father’s favorite desserts. we call it ‘lemon snow’ at home. i’m excited to see how it compares.
I hope you like it, Helen! Let me know what you think.
Loralee – hmmm…the foodie in me is saying don’t do it! But I’m all about substitutions so you could definitely try it. The lemon flavor won’t be nearly as strong (especially if it is bottled juice) but in my world, everything is worth a try. Good luck!
Do you think could I cheat and make this cake with just lemon juice, and no zest?
I grew up with this dessert; it was a favorite in our house. My mom got the recipe from a TV chef! This version is the closest I have found to the one she made. My sisters and I have continued making it and now we are in the third generation since my daughter (and I presume my nieces) loves it.
My husband, daughter and her friends refer to it as “The Lemon Thing”; I once tempted one of her friends to come for dinner with it. In fact, I have one in the oven right now.
My daughter asks me to make it when we visit and I have to make it in my 3 quart souffle pan, not in a large flat Pyrex.
Here is a tip: If you bake it in a casserole style Pyrex dish, it will have a denser cake topping. If you bake it in a deep dish (such as a souffle dish) it becomes a souffle! Fluffier cake top. Betcha did not know making a souffle was so easy!!!
Whatever you use, it has to have a 2 quart capacity.
There is a chocolate version too. I have never made it since we just can[t seem to get past “The Lemon THing”
My mom always made it with just the juice of the lemons and no zest because she did not like lemon zest. It works just fine
I don’t think yours lacks in presentation at all! It looks wonderful!
Yummy! I love Cook’s Country. I learn so much when I watch that show.
With the cake and pudding layers that looks so good!
question—I really want to make this today for a family dinner, but I just wanted to know if you keep the towel in the roasting pan when you pour the water around the cake pan?
JoAnn – glad you liked this and that it wasn’t too sickeningly sweet with double the sugar! Thanks for letting me know.
Mmm, I have a feeling I’d be licking the plate after eating this one!
I wondered how that cake would turn out. Its on my list of recipes from Cooks Country to try. Your picture looks great!
That looks great! Lemon is wonderdul when used as an ingredient for dessert!
Nan – thanks for letting me know you liked this! I am on my way to check out your blog post about it…
Cammee – you are so funny, of COURSE I would love your recipe for your Cinnamon Raisin Pudding Cake. By no means am I a goddess of cooking…I absolutely love it when people send me recipes! If you don’t mind, email it to melwg @ hotmail . com
OMG the way this pudding separates into 2 layers is just like a lemon sponge pie!! I would love this!
This cake is amazing! I give it a 10. I tried it and posted about it on my blog.http://hobblecreekkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/07/too-much-fun.html
I love lemon and I love pudding style cakes also… not that I cook or eat too many of them!!
Thanks for sharing.
I saw from my phone the other day that you mentioned moving, but I was hoping it wasn’t far. Good luck with your move!
I love pudding cakes! I have a yummy Cinnamon Raisin Pudding Cake that I make in the winter. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send you the recipe. (Ok I feel really weird saying that to the Goddess of cooking blogs!)
I love Cinnamon and Raisin and Pudding along with cake. I’d take that recipe, please.
it sounds magical!! i’m not crazy about lemon desserts, but how could i resist something so neat and unique? very cool.
It sounds like a perfect dessert at this time of year! I think it looks delicious!
Mmmm. Now this is my idea of the PERFECT dessert. Bookmarked!
Leslie – yes, you do keep the towel in the roasting pan. It helps the cake pan not slide around. Hope that helps!
I seriously had no idea that you were the kitchen cafe lady until Tori mentioned it to me. I have seen and heard people talk about your blog a TON! I’m hoping tomorrow holds out for us. I just looked at the forecast and….not so good.
This looks nummy! By the way, did I mention I love the little changes you made to this blog. Looks really clean and organized….my kind of blog!
This looks very good – I love the texture of pudding cakes!
Great picture! Looks yum-licious!
What a great, refreshing dessert for the summer temps!! Yummy!!
Brittany – refreshing is a good way to describe this. I’m glad you and your friends liked it – thanks for letting me know.
Any lemon dessert and Im in. Looks fantastic!! Figtreeapps
I love pudding cake, but have never made it before – yours looks fabulous!
This looks absolutely DELICIOUS. I love lemon desserts and the way you describe this one(sweet and cakey on top and silky and custardy on bottom) has my mouth watering!!!!
I love everything lemon!
Thanks for posting such a wonderful treat!
Made this last night for dessert…and not being able to follow directions very well, I accidentally added about twice as much sugar as the recipe called for. It was still SO good.
I made this last night for a group of my friends after a dinner party, and everyone loved it. Both rich in flavor and a refreshing treat. Thanks!