Warm Lemon Pudding Cake

Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes

This Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes has a lovely, lemon pudding at the bottom and a light as air cake topping. Make in individual servings or as one large pudding.

This recipe recently caught my eye and as I am a sucker for anything lemon, so I was anxious to try it. It was a bonus that I found some Meyer lemons at the store this week. That said, if it’s not Meyer lemon season, regular lemons will do just fine.

Preparing this recipe involves a couple of steps. First you make the lemony pudding base, using egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and a bit of flour, for thickening. Then separately, you whip up the egg whites with a bit of sugar. Both of these parts are then gently folded together. As it bakes, the creamy lemon pudding cooks on the bottom while the egg whites float to the top and cook up into a soft meringue-like “cake”. I should point out that it really isn’t cake, as we typically think of it. It’s very light. Souffle-like. I’ve offered some tips on both these things below in the Cook’s Notes!

If you’re looking for a dessert that is light and not too sweet, this is a perfect choice. It would be great for finishing a special meal as the flavour is fresh, but it’s light enough to be enjoyed on top of a big meal. This pudding kept well in the fridge, without suffering much at all, if you need to make it ahead a bit. Just cover with plastic wrap once cooled, refrigerate and re-warm slightly before serving.

Note: The cups that I baked my puddings in are marked as oven-safe. I wouldn’t suggest using cups that don’t clearly indicate they will be safe in the oven, as bad things could happen to them and I’d feel terrible about that.

Warm Lemon Pudding Cake

Cook’s Notes for Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes




If Meyer lemons aren’t in season or available to you, regular lemons are just fine. You may wish to use a bit less lemon juice if using regular lemons. About 1/2 cup is probably about right.

Separate your eggs carefully. Even the smallest amount of yolks in your whites will cause your egg whites not to whip up well.

If using the same bowl for both the cake and egg whites, be sure to wash well in between. Egg whites will not whip up well if there is any grease or oil in the bowl.

Recipes always just say “whip the egg whites and fold in”, with the assumption that it’s a breeze and everyone knows exactly how to do that. Since it took me some time to really understand and master the process, I thought a little instruction might be handy. So here’s a quick primer …

How to Whip Egg Whites: Always start with a squeaky clean and completely dry bowl. Any bit of water or grease in the bowl will interfere with the egg whites whipping well. Starting with fresh, room temperature egg whites is best. If using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment. Start mixing the egg whites on LOW speed until they are very foamy (like a bubble bath!). Increase the mixer speed to MEDIUM speed and continue mixing until soft peaks form. To test for soft peaks, you would stop the mixer. Dip the whisk or beaters in the egg whites then lift out and turn upside down with the peak at the top. Soft peaks will form, but then start to droop. The soft peak stage is typically when sugar is added to the egg whites. Add sugar slowly, with the mixer on low. For stiff peaks, continue mixing on medium speed a little longer, testing regularly. When you lift the beater and turn upside down, the peak will form and stay upright, without drooping. You know you have stiff peaks if you could hold the bowl of whipped egg whites over your head and stay clean :)

How to Fold in Egg Whites: Once you have your perfect egg whites, be sure you don’t stir out all the wonderful lightness you just whipped in. “Folding” involves using a rubber spatula to carefully incorporate the egg whites with the batter. Since the batter is much heavier than the whites, you need to do this slowly and lightly. Once you’ve spooned the whites over the batter, use a rubber spatula using the following technique: Using the edge of the spatula like a blade, slice through the mixture from 12 o’clock position to 6 o’clock position. When you get to 6 o’clock, twist the spatula blade clockwise, then use it to lift some of the batter at the bottom over the egg whites. Rotate the bowl slightly and repeat this motion. Keep doing this until the whites are combined with the batter.

Warm Lemon Pudding Cake

Warm Lemon Pudding Cake

Warm Lemon Pudding Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 253 kcal
Author: Jennifer
A delicious, fresh and light lemon dessert, with a creamy, warm lemon pudding on the bottom and a light souffle-like "cake" topping. A perfect meal-ender. For a lighter lemon taste, try Meyer Lemons in this one!
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature (28g)
  • 1 cup white sugar, DIVIDED (225g)
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (25g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk (250ml)
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp icing/confectioners sugar, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F with rack in centre of the oven and lightly butter one 1.5 quart baking dish or 4-6 individual, small ramekins. Have ready a high-sided roasting pan and place the prepared dish (or dishein to the roasting pan. Bring 8-10 cups of water to a simmer (will be added to the roasting pan to bake the puddings). Separate your eggs and have ready.
  2. Set aside 2 Tbsp. of the white sugar. Add the rest of the sugar to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat (with stand mixer or electric mixeuntil mixture is grainy but light. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and mix in. Add the flour and salt and mix. Add the milk and lemon juice and mix until combined. Set aside, or if using your stand mixer, remove to a large bowl and wash your mixer bowl really well (you'll be whipping the egg whites in it next, so be sure it is squeaky clean!).
  3. In another bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat your egg whites until they're frothy and beginning to form soft peaks. Sprinkle in the reserved 2 Tbsp. of white sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form.
  4. Spoon the whipped egg whites on top of the egg yolk mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites in to the egg yolk mixture by pulling a bit of the batter up and over the egg whites. Continue working gently until the mixture is uniform in color and texture. Do not over mix, but be sure there aren't any large chunks of egg whites.
  5. Pour or ladle your batter in to the prepared dish or dishes, set in the roasting pan. Carefully pour simmering water in to the roasting pan so it comes about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Carefully transfer the roasting pan with the water and ramekins in to the preheated 350° oven. Pudding(will bake anywhere from 30 minutes (for small, individual servingto 45 minutes (for one large pudding). Baking times will vary though, so do watch closely. You want the top to be firm and golden, but not browned.
  6. Remove the pudding from the oven and transfer baking dish or dishes to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before dusting with icing/confectioners sugar. Serve warm and enjoy!
 
Adapted from How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook
 

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102 Comments

  • Jennifer, I’m a sucker for anything lemon as well….sometimes I’ll even take it over chocolate! I’m definitely marking this recipe as one to make soon :)

    • Thanks so much, Renee. Believe it or not, I found these cups at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It’s a treasure trove of goodies!

    • Thanks Barbara. I think you could make this gf and dairy free, as it’s the eggs that are the critical part in this recipe. You could consider cornstarch (corn flour) for the pudding part, as well. The main role of the flour is as a thickener of the pudding, so any gf flour option that thickens well should work.

  • Beautiful photo! Thinking of giving this a try — Do you think these could be made an hour ahead, then popped into the oven so they would be warm at dessert time?

    • Thanks Pam and absolutely, you could do them an hour ahead and re-warm. They don’t have to be hot – just warm, so just a few minutes in the oven should do it if they are at room temp already. (I refrigerated my leftovers and re-warmed in the microwave a day+ later and they were just fine.

  • Oh awesome! The texture of these is killing me. Is it sort of like that Magic Custard Cake that went around the internets this summer? That was pretty good, but this looks even more inviting :) Great photos, as usual!

    • Thanks Sophie. I made the Magic Custard Cake a while back (couldn’t resist :). It was delicious, but this is a different kind of delicious. My first thought when I ate it the topping was that it’s like the meringue on a lemon meringue pie, only with a bit more texture (not so airy … and warm).

  • Hi Jennifer,

    What is the brand of the little teacups? I know you said that you bought them at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, but I was wondering if I may be able to locate them elsewhere. I’ve been on the hunt for ramekins, but these are just so much cuter!

    Thanks

    • Hi Teresa, Sorry for the delay. I was away for the weekend, so couldn’t check the cups to see the brand until tonight. They are marked “Gibson Everyday” Microwave and Oven Safe(gibsonusa.com). Since the Habitat reStore is really just a thrift store, they could be long out of production. If you can’t find these exact ones, I’d look for similar cups that indicate oven safe (not all that common, but there are some out there)

  • Thank you so much, Jennifer. We so appreciate your wonderful review and your photography is incredible! You make our food look even more appealing. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

    • Thank you, Laura. I am thoroughly enjoying your cookbook and everything I’ve made has been wonderful. Looking forward to the next one :)

    • I think they could be, Jana. I have baked in mason jars, so that part shouldn’t be an issue. As for baking time, if they are the little 4oz. ones, time would be a little less. If 8oz. or so, about the same as my tea cups (which took 15 minutes). Make sure to only fill about 3/4 full, as they do rise as they cook. Let me know how it works out!

      • Oops, that would be 30 minutes-ish for the 8oz. size (was thinking of my chocolate puddings). Again, a bit less for a smaller jar.

    • Hi Elianna. I have to be honest and say I have no idea. My gut tells me it probably would work ok, but not sure how soy milk reacts having never used it myself. Maybe someone else might come along and weigh in.

  • To make this recipe gluten free, what is the best replacement for 1/4 cup all purpose flour. I am guessing corn starch….or……gluten free flour?? Can you advise

    • Hi Mary, I’m sorry, but I have no advice for you. I have zero experience making gluten-free substitutions. I’d only be guessing and truthfully, your guess is sure to be better than mine :)

  • I’ve made this twice now and I think this is delicious. The only problem is that I can’t seem to make the right consistency of the pudding on the bottom. In my last attempt it turned into something like a simple syrup and I can’t understand why. This is my first attempt to try to make a dish like this so I was wondering, do you have any tips on how to avoid this?

    • Hi Shaun, If you pudding isn’t thick on the bottom, I’d look to the mixing of the butter and egg yolks. Not sure what you’re using to mix, but I’d try mixing longer. Be sure to do the butter/sugar for 2-3 minutes, at least, and then beat well after each egg addition. See if that helps.

  • Sounds amazing! Can I store the already prepared batter in the fridge for a few hours before I bake it? I want to serve it at a dinner party but want to be able to prepare it ahead of time?

    • Hi Rula, I’ve never done it, so I’d hate to advise you that it would work, especially for a dinner party. You can definitely bake them ahead and refrigerate, then re-warm (covered with foil) in the oven or microwave, though.

  • Hello!

    I noticed your baking “tin” seems to be a cup? Is that correct? IS it possible to bake this in a porcelain mug??:)

    • Hi Zahra, Yes, I did bake mine in cups BUT, they are specifically labeled as “Oven Proof”. I don’t believe regular porcelain mugs would be safe in the oven.

  • Hi
    I’m wondering whether to use plain flour or self raising flour in this recipe. Pls can you help? They look delicious and I’d like to try them for a party on Friday.
    X

  • Hi Jenifer,
    my oven’s cooking time is incredibly short when the fan mode is selected. Should I select the fan mode or reduce the heat ? thanking you in advance for the answer.

  • This recipe is an old family favorite that my mom copied from a local tv show when I was maybe 10 or 11 ( I am 67 now) . I have made it many times over the last 47 years but not in ramekins – either in a shallow casserole or a souffle dish. This is very close to my recipe except mine calls for 4 eggs. My husband and daughter nicknamed it “The Lemon Thing” and it is a favorite with them as well as my daughter’s friends. After reading this recipe, I am interested in trying it in ramekins. I usually get it all together and pop it in the oven before we sit down to dinner so it is just right when it is dessert time. It is good cold too.
    Some things I have learned along the way : (1) be sure your egg whites are at room temp before you whip them (kitchen rule: Whipping Cream = COLD Meringue = room temp) (2) I usually put the salt in the egg whites and add a little cream of tarter because it stabilizes the meringue and makes really good peaks. (3) I have actually made the batter in the food processor or blender then folded it into the meringue It still works. (4) if you make it in a 2 quart Pyrex casserole the cake topping is a bit denser and thinner. If you use a deep dish like the one I use which is a 3 quart souffle dish you get a souffle, with the light as a cloud sponge topping and the luscious creamy sauce under it. It is like two totally different desserts. (5) I prefer to make meringue with a hand electric mixer. that is just my preference which frees up the stand mixer for the batter.

    • Hi Maureen, Sorry, I recently converted some recipes to a new system and that ingredient disappeared. I have added/fixed it now. Thanks for the heads up!!

  • I’m going to make these for Christmas dessert and I can’t wait – my husband LOVES lemon desserts. I am totally in love with your cup dishes – where did you find oven save coffee cups?

    • Hi Sandi, Believe it or not, I found them at a “thrift” store. They are clearly stamped “oven-safe” on the bottom, so I snapped them up. If you have a second-hand type store around, scout out there. It was quite common in a previous generation to make oven-safe dishes, so check the bottom of cups and hopefully you can find some! Good luck and enjoy the pudding cake :)

  • Thanks for this lovely recipe. I tried this evening and the puddings turned out beautifully. Too many limes in the garden this year, I managed to use over ripen limes to substitute lemons and the taste and texture were fantastic good. Well done!!!

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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