Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Spoon into these lovely lemon pudding cakes and discover a layer of luscious lemon pudding beneath the cake!

lemon pudding cakes

I rarely indulge in more than a few bites of dessert — keeping your weight in check can be challenging when you cook for a living — but I don’t hold back with these little lemon pudding cakes. They are refreshingly light and practically guilt-free. Moreover, when you spoon into them, you discover a delightful surprise: while baking, the batter magically separates into a fluffy cake on top of a luscious lemon pudding.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can bake the cake in an 8-inch or 2-quart baking dish; the cook time will be about the same.

What you’ll need to make lemon pudding cakes

ingredients

How to make lemon pudding cakes

First, spray six (6-oz) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray then begin making the batter by whisking the egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter, and salt in a large bowl.

lemon-pudding-cake-batter-1

Add the flour and sugar and whisk until smooth.

lemon-pudding-cake-batter-2

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

whipping-egg-whites

When you lift the beaters out, the peaks should curl.

beaten-egg-whites

Whisk a bit of the beaten eggs into the lemon mixture to lighten it. Then add the remaining beaten egg whites to the mixture.

folding-batter

Gently fold with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth.

folding-batter-1

The batter will be light, foamy, and liquidy.

foamy-batter

Place the prepared ramekins into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Ladle the batter evenly into 6-oz (180-ml) ramekins (it will come almost to the top). Using a teapot or pitcher, pour room temperature water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. The water bath (also called a bain marie) regulates the temperature and keeps the cake baking at a gentle temperature so the custard, or pudding, can form.

ready-to-bake

Carefully place the baking pan in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cakes are puffy and lightly golden on top.

baked-puddings

Using tongs, carefully remove the ramekins from the baking dish and let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before serving. (They will sink a bit as they cool; that’s okay.) Dust with Confectioners’ sugar and serve with berries, if desired. Enjoy!

Lemon-Pudding-Cakes

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Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes

Spoon into these lovely lemon pudding cakes and discover a layer of luscious lemon pudding beneath the cake!

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk (low-fat or whole)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, from 2 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Fresh berries and Confectioners' sugar, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle position. Spray six (6-oz) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, and salt. Add the flour and sugar and whisk until smooth.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. (The peaks should curl when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.) Spoon about 1/4 of the egg whites into the lemon mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining egg whites and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold into the lemon mixture until smooth. The batter will be light, foamy, and liquidy.
  4. Place the prepared ramekins into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Ladle the batter evenly into the ramekins (it will come almost to the top). Using a teapot or pitcher, pour room temperature water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cakes are puffy and lightly golden on top. Using tongs, carefully remove the ramekins from the baking dish and let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before serving. (They will sink a bit as they cool; that's okay.) Dust with Confectioners' sugar and serve with berries, if desired.
  5. Make Ahead: The cakes can be made a day ahead of time. Once completely cool, cover the cakes with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Before serving, preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle position. Remove the plastic wrap and place the ramekins on a baking sheet; heat for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (1 cake servings)
  • Calories: 248
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Sugar: 36 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 152 g
  • Cholesterol: 105 g

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I’ve made these once before in ramekins and they were divine. This time I’d like to bake it in a 1 1/2 quart dish as others have mentioned they’ve done. How long would you recommend baking for? Thanks in advance!

    • — Ally on April 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like them! It should take about the same amount of time to bake in a larger dish.

      • — Jenn on April 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • These were super easy to make and tasted soooooo yummy!
    I baked them ahead of time since it was a new recipe and I was serving them to dinner guests. After baking I just let them sit on the counter and just before we sat down to eat dinner I popped them in the oven to warm them up. Just before serving I added the confectioners sugar and blueberries. Oh my goodness, they were so creamy and delightful and everyone raved about the dessert. It actually made 8 instead of 6, but maybe my ramekins are smaller than yours :-). Maybe I’ll try it in a 2 quart sized baking dish so everyone can have as much as they want.

    • — Lisa Hadland on April 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • If I’m going to bake this in an 8 inch pan, do I still need to put the 8 inch pan in another pan of water while it’s baking?

    • — Sarah on April 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, Sarah, I’d still use the water bath. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • Wow! So delicious! I made this GF by simply subbing in Pamela’s baking and pancake mix for the flour. Be careful not to over-beat the egg whites…it goes fast once they start to form soft peaks.

    Another great recipe!
    Thanks, Jen!

    • — Lauren on April 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi. If I make a day ahead, do I refrigerate or store at room temperature?
    Thank you!

    • — Rose on April 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Room temperature. Enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is my new “go to” dessert! I was looking for something that wouldn’t be too heavy to go with a steak dinner with all the trimmings. This dessert is perfect! It’s light and easy to make and my guests absolutely loved it.

    • — Sandy on April 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • My ramekins are 4-oz. I read in the reviews that baking will take “a little less time” than the 6 oz. ramekins 45-50 min. referenced in the recipe – and a reviewer that baked her 6-oz. ramekins for only 35 min. Also read, not to overbake or there won’t be pudding at the bottom. So, my question is, how long should I bake my 4-oz. size ramekins?

    • — Ruth Newman on March 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ruth, I haven’t made these in 4-oz. ramekins so I can’t say for sure, but I would guesstimate that 35 minutes would be appropriate. Feel free to check them at 30 minutes if you’re concerned about overbaking them. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • Another winner from Once Upon a Chef!

    I used Swerve instead of sugar – delicious and diabetic friendly. Loved it with blueberries.

    • — Michelle M. on March 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are the best lemon pudding cakes i’ve ever made! Perfect balance of sweet and tart and pretty easy to make. We topped ours with whipped cream and just loved them. Every recipe i have tried on this blog always becomes my favorite, Jenn is such a great chef and her recipes are the best!

    • — Linda on March 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this! I was so easy to prepare. Plus, they were a nice light and refreshing way to end our meal.

    • — Sarah on March 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • My favorite kind of dessert. I’ve made them a couple of times with great success (and compliments!). I use 6oz ramekins and mine are done in 35 minutes or less. The water for my Bain-Marie was a bit hot this time so that may have sped things up. Glad to know I can adapt these for my sister by creating a sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free version so I will try that soon. A number of reviewers had success with substitutions so I’ll try monkfruit sugar, coconut milk drink, and gf flour.
    For us, I don’t change one single thing in the recipe. Just perfect.

    I was very glad that I could find my canning supplies so I could use the rubbery jar lifter to get the cakes out of the Bain Marie. I also put a small towel in the bottom of the pan so that they don’t slide around on my wobbly oven racks.
    I serve with whipped cream and a berry sauce or compote made with frozen berries.
    Thanks so much!

    • — Bizzybits on March 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Question…first time I made this it came out perfect..I used a 1-1/2 quart dish. The second time I used 8 oz ramekins and followed instructions exactly and there was no lemon curd layer, just cake. I’m thinking maybe I baked it too long…??

    • — Chris on March 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sorry you had a problem with these this time! Yes, it sounds like you baked them a bit too long.

      • — Jenn on March 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn:
    I didn’t have the ramekins so tried it in a 8 – 9 inch dish. It turned out perfect. This is definitely is a keeper. Thank you for such a wonderful refreshing dessert.
    Ann

    • — Ann Bell on March 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • How long did you bake it using the larger dish?

      • — Valerie on March 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn….I have made these several times and they are delicious. I was wondering if you think this recipe would work with limes.
    Thanks,
    Leslie

    • — Leslie on February 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! I like the flavor that lemons provide, but this should work with limes as well. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on February 22, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn… this weekend I tried this recipe with limes and it was fantastic.
        I put whipped cream and a graham cracker garnish on top.

        • — Leslie on February 28, 2021
        • Reply
        • So glad you enjoyed!

          • — Jenn on February 28, 2021
          • Reply
      • I am not much of a baker but this recipe was really easy and turned out amazingly. Found I only had to keep them in the oven for c. 30 mins before they started to brown.

        • — Nic on March 14, 2021
        • Reply
  • Can i use 4 ounce ramekins instead?

    • — Robin on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Robin, They will likely take a little less time in the oven in 4-oz ramekins, but not much, so just keep a close eye on them. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks! The 4 ounce ramekins took about 35 minutes in my oven. I had enough batter to also fill a 6 ounce custard cup. Our two friends were unable to come so I put their two ramekins in the fridge. I will reheat them today, two days later!

        • — Robin on February 13, 2021
        • Reply
        • Glad they came out well- thanks for reporting back!

          • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
          • Reply
        • What is the best way to reheat if I make day before. Thank you!

          • — Leslie on April 3, 2021
          • Reply
          • Hi Leslie, Before serving, preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle position. Remove the plastic wrap and place the ramekins on a baking sheet; heat for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through. Enjoy!

            • — Jenn on April 5, 2021
      • Gave reply below. A winning recipe.

        • — Robin on February 13, 2021
        • Reply
  • Another 5-star recipe from Jenn! I’ve made this multiple in recent months and it certainly brightened up our days. Light and fluffy but still moist inside because who wants dry cake? I did reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup and thought it was fine. (Trying to eat healthy here). The recipe is easy to follow that my 16-year-old son made these for my birthday!

    • — Claire on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these for my mom’s birthday and they were a HUGE success!! I’ve made them a couple times since then, once for a friend who has a gluten allergy so I used gluten free flour and they turned out just as delicious as when I used normal flour 🙂

    • — Lily Toussaint on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is a treasure! One of my favorites as I love lemon. I do use a little less sugar and I use the King Arthur lemon oil too. This is a recipe this is always appreciated and enjoyed!

    • — Michele on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely brilliant. I cannot say enough, this is so delish and the instructions are so easy to follow. I will be making this often.

    • — susan rough on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Perfection!!! I have made them twice in a row for dinner for friends. I used Meyer lemons from my own tree the second time and topped them with candied cranberries and mint for Christmas. I also used the make- ahead instructions the second time and reheated them. This is such an impressive and absolutely delicious dessert.

    • — Jill on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this for a dinner party and they were a hit, even asked me to share the recipe. I didn’t have ramekins so I used ceramic coffee mugs instead and it still turned out just fine! The pudding at the bottom was perfection and the blueberries added a great contrast both in flavor & color.

    • — Kathy on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • These little lemon cakes are scrumptious! Perfect for any company (back when we could entertain…) because you can make it ahead of time and it’s a lovely presentation with the blueberries and the surprise pudding. But easy to prepare at any time. Don’t miss out on this deliciousness!

    • — Colleen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hands down our new favourite lemon dessert. Easy enough to make and the results are outstanding! Love ❤️ your website

    • — Rita Chabot on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of our favorite desserts because we love lemon…..anything! This is a simple but delicious “comfort” dessert with the combination of cake and lemon sauce.
    I love to serve them in individual glass ramekins with blueberries for the color contrast. Thank you, Jen for another great recipe!

    • — Sharon on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have no words to describe how scrumptious this dessert is. One of the BEST lemon desserts!

    • — Deb S. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • After making this recipe for friends, they are all convinced that I am a master baker. Ah! If they ask for this recipe, they get a copy of the page from this website with Jenn getting all the credit. These are relatively easy to make, but there are one or two steps that might present problems. Getting the final batter free from the lumps from the beaten egg whites can be a challenge, but just be patient, and it will happen. The cakes can be served more than a day later. We have stored in fridge, and then brought to room temperature before putting in cold oven, then turning it to 250 for 15 minutes.

    They are the perfect size for a dessert, and can be made the day before for a dinner party. Because there are only 2 of us, we give the other 4 away with people going nuts over it. Enjoy.

    • — Toby Epstein on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • this recipe is simple, straightforward and absolutely delicious! 10 stars! I really appreciate that it makes six servings and that leftovers (if you have any) refrigerate well. I recently made it for a family dinner and everyone loved it! Highly recommend!

    • — Ali Cahill on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Our family loves this cake! Excellent recipe! I have yet to be disappointed in any of your recipes!

    • — Stacey on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this several times. So easy & elegant! It’s the perfect light dessert after a robust dinner. I could make this every night if my diet allowed–it’s that good!

    • — Eileen T on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is just the best little pudding cake and lemon is not a favorite flavor of mine! I’ve shared with neighbors and friends– the cake and also where to find the recipe. I’m not lazy with forwarding the recipe, but when it’s something this good I think the cook should take time to look at the author’s site.
    The only problem—if you give these out, remember who has your ramekins!

    • — Kathie on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are like heaven in a cup! Just the perfect amount to satisfy anyone’s dessert craving! So darn good!

    • — Diane on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These pudding cakes are very light, with a fluffy cake on top and a delightful lemon pudding on the bottom. This recipe is “lemonicious” and I have made them multiple times. All of my family loved them. I will definitely be making these cakes again. I made them the day before and reheated them in the microwave when ready to serve. I placed the custard cups in the pan after I poured the boiling water into the pan. This prevented the boiling water from splashing into the pudding cakes.

    • — Christine Jones on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are amazing! Thank you for posting on Instagram so I could see the recipe. I love how the center is nice and pudding like but the outside is like a cake. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

    • — Michelle Chang on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these for our Thanksgiving dinner and we didn’t stop at eating one.

    • — A. Fogg on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolute fluffy, perfect amount of sweetness and acidity

    • — Marc on January 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. This was exactly what I was looking for. Easy to make, just a few simple ingredients and dinner party worthy.

    • — Janet on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this recipe twice and followed it exactly. My ramekins must be a little smaller than most, as I got 6 full ramekins and 1 larger full dish. Since they were smaller, they only took about 40 minutes to fully cook. They came out perfect!

    • — Jen B on December 31, 2020
    • Reply
  • Like every other recipe of yours these were absolutely delicious! My dad is a picky/critical eater and was practically licking his ramekin clean. I turn to your cookbook and website for all of my cooking needs. Thank you!

    • — Kate on December 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • So good. Made some for a group in mini muffin tins and took them out and sandwiched them. The textures are amazing.

    • — DaveM on December 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • My mother is a phenomenal cook; when she recommends a recipe, I know it will be delicious. She highly recommended this recipe, which is just delicious. Another gem from Jen! Thank you!

    • — Damienne Dunham on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi,
    Love your recipes! Want to try these tonight but plan halving the recipe. Should I use 2 eggs or 1? And does the oven temperature or timing need to be adjusted?

    Thanks!

    • — Azermi on November 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Azermi, I’d use 1-1/2 eggs. To do that, take a second egg, beat it in a measuring cup, discard half of it, and use the remaining half. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is a wonderful dessert! Turned out perfectly. Light, tasty and easy. Husband said it’s a new favorite. Thank you

    • — Joan Brown on November 8, 2020
    • Reply

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