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Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes

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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
  • ¼ 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 ¼ 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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Comments

  • I love these! Can this recipe be doubled? I want to make them for a luncheon I am planning.

    • — Pam on September 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like them and, yes, I think the recipe could be doubled. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Wonderful! I liked it without the berries. It is so good!

    • — Pam on June 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this delicious recipe. I just made it for my family and it was a hit. I will definitely make it again! The only change I made was using GF baking flour instead of regular flour due to food allergies.

    • — Michelle on May 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Tried this today and it was really good. The texture was perfect : moist and pudding-y at the bottom and cake-y on the top. Just lovely when warm. The only thing I would change is maybe increase the amount of lemon juice (I like it more lemony) or choose lemons that are more acidic. I had Meyer lemons on hand and they tend to be more mellow. But in any case, this recipe is a keeper.

    • — Vaishali on May 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Could I get away with making a half recipe in a loaf pan and if so, how would I adjust the cooking time? Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

    • — Turtle on May 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • I’ve never made this in a loaf pan but a few readers have commented that they have successfully. Honestly, I don’t know what the bake time would be so I’d keep a really close eye on it. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi please can you give me metric measures for milk and sugar as I don’t work in cups here in the UK
    Many Thanks

    • — Lucy Thurner on May 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lucy, The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi, do you think that I can divide thé recipe by 2 to have 3 ramekins ?
    Tanks!

    • — .... on April 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious!!! And so easy to make. Will definitely be added to my favourite dessert list.

    • — Barbara Davidson on April 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this over the weekend and it was absolutely amazing! I only had 4 ramekins so I used an 8 in round baking dish & baked for 45 min; it was outstanding! My husband is already asking me to make it again & well, I will, believe me, I will!

    • — Kathy on April 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • AWESOME! I baked this in an oval 1.8 litre dish for approx 43 minutes. It was perfect, and delicious. I served it with raspberries and sweetened whipped cream. Definitely a keeper.

    • — Kerrie on April 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi there,
    I’d like to put the pudding cakes in (4) 9oz ramekins.
    How much longer should I bake them???
    Thanks! The recipe looks great.
    Anne Martin

    • — Anne Martin on March 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, It’s hard to say as I’ve never tried it, but I’m guessing they’ll need 5 to 10 minutes more.

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made these 3 times in the past few months and they’ve come out perfectly everytime. I have a sweet family with 2 wee ones that live next door so I take them 4 and keep 2 for myself 😁. Truly believe it’s the best dessert I’ve ever made. Thank you!

    • — Susan on March 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can these be frozen after baking?

    • — Susan on March 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, you can make these a day ahead and refrigerate them, but unfortunately, I don’t think they’d freeze well – sorry! If you’d like to make them ahead, scroll down to the bottom of the recipe to see detailed instructions.

      • — Jenn on March 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • I have made these several times and my friends just want MORE! This is so light and deliciously lemon! I am sure I will be making it many more times in the future!

    • — Nancy Norris on March 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • I liked the how light the cake tasted, but mine didn’t have a lot of lemon flavor to them. I was dissapointed by this. Also, it wasn’t very sweet. I put exactly 1 cup of sugar in. :/

    • — jvesper on March 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen
    What is your thought about making this with limes? I have more limes than I know what to do with. Though I do zest and juice/freeze some.
    Thanks

    • — Sandy on February 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandy, I like the zing that lemons provide, but this should work with limes as well. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on February 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi! I love your recipes and this one is no exception! But…is there any chance there is a chocolate version of this?

    • — Lena on February 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like this, Lena! I will add a chocolate version to my list of recipes to potentially develop. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2022
      • Reply
    • Lena- There is another old fashioned recipe sometimes called Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. You mix the batter in the pan, top with brown sugar and pour boiling water on top. It magically bakes to cake on top with hot fudge sauce below. An old classic – I’m sure you can Google it.

      • — Cathy on February 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • Fabulous recipe! But your last suggestion re. covering with food wrap and serving the next day after heating at 350 would not be recommended by the Food Safety folks, because of the egg yolks. Also, I added a smidge of lavender to ours, what a wonderful combination. Thank you!!

    • — Louise on February 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • I was given some lemons and was looking for an alternative to lemon bars, so I decided to give this recipe a try. I couldn’t be happier with the results — healthier and easier to make than lemon bars, but equally tasty and with a very elegant presentation. I accidentally over-whipped the egg whites to stiff peaks, but everything still came out perfect. Good both warm from the oven and chilled the next day.

    • — Sam on February 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Just a little too sweet so will reduce sugar next time. Thanks for the recipe.

    • — P K on January 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • These cakes were over the top delicious. I made these Pudding Cakes for dinner guests, I made only 6 and all of their comments about the dessert were “why did you only make 6?” They wanted more! So glad I have an over abundance supply of fresh lemons. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — Michele Ashley on January 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • I scaled the recipe down to make 2 servings. They are delicious but the cake part was almost too tender. I would have liked a bit more substance to the cake part, if that makes any sense. But to be fair, scaling may have contributed to the texture. All that said, I’ll be making them again. Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Elsie on January 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Do you think your yogurt whipped cream would go with the pudding on top?

    • — Susan on January 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, I’m not sure which whipped cream you’re referring to. Also, are you saying you’d like to top the pudding cakes with the whipped cream? Thanks for clarifying!

      • — Jenn on January 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this a few times and it’s perfect and flavorful every time! Good for everyday or company. Definitely a keeper!

    • — Vicki P on January 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was soooo good. I did make the following changes: substituted milk for almond milk, added more spices (ginger, cardamom, vanilla, and cinnamon). I baked them in 12 oz, small bowls, so I only got 3 servings instead of 6. This recipe is really flexible and forgiving. I could see doing other variations, like changing the lemon juice to other fruit juice/syrup.

    Thanks!! ❤️❤️❤️

    • — CarCar on January 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thes little cake/puddings are heavenly! I didn’t have fresh lemons so I used orange zest and bottled lemon juice. The combo was amazing, will definitely be making them again. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • — Marcie on January 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe. Except it was in a pie form called, lemon sponge pie. Delicious! Brilliant idea to serve in ramekins minus the pie crust.

    • — Dorrie on January 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Could you please tell me what type of ramekins you used for these pudding cakes or where you purchased them? Thank you!

    • — Joanna on January 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanna, The ramekins I use are expensive ones from Pier 1 and they work just fine. Williams Sonoma has nice ones if you don’t mind spending a little bit more. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Have you ever tried to make a gluten free version? Wondering if I can just substitute 1-1 the reg flour for my favorite GF flour ? Thoughts?

    • — Shelly Howe on January 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Shelly, I haven’t made these with gluten-free flour, but several readers have commented that they have with good results. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Happy New Year!

    We have beautiful Meyer lemon 🍋 trees on our property. Will they work as well for flavor?

    • — Carol on January 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Happy new year to you! Yes, Meyer lemons should work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can I use almond milk in place of low or whole milk? Or even 1/2 Heavy cream 1/2 almond milk?

    • — Caryn Boshears on December 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Caryn, either of those should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • Delicious! So simple yet elegant. Taste as though they took twice the time to make. I made in a 1.5 dish and it took the same amount of time.

    • — Brittany on December 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • The recipe worked perfectly every time I tried it. It’s a great hit among lemon lovers here in NZ.

    • — Jeana on December 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi, I would like to try this recipe. Should I eat these little cakes when they’re still hot or are they better cold?
      Thank you for your answer.

      • — .... on April 22, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Mila,

          I think they’re best served warm. 🙂
        • — Jenn on April 23, 2022
        • Reply
  • These were a big hit twice on ladies game nights. Just the right amount of dessert and absolutely delicately delicious! Everyone raved about the light refreshing lemon taste in these beauties, especially with the blueberries on top! I will definitely be making these again! Thank you Jenn!

    • — Nancy L Norris on November 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn:

    Can I butter and sugar the ramekins instead of spraying with oil? If I make them the day before Thanksgiving, would I be able to flip the cakes out onto plates after rewarming in the oven according to your instructions? Thank you very much for all your wonderful recipes.

    • — Cecilia on November 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Cecilia, It’s fine to butter and sugar the ramekins, but they are not meant to flipped out as the bottoms are pudding-like. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn:

        Just want to let you know that everyone was really impressed with this desert. My family usually has very different opinions on deserts (too sweet for one person is too sour for another person), but everyone loved this desert. Thank you so much for always taking the time to answer the questions.

        Sincerely,
        Cecilia

        • — Cecilia on November 25, 2021
        • Reply
  • This recipe is so forgiving. I filled my ramekins but liquid only came up halfway. Reread recipe and saw I had left sugar and flour out. I was sure would not bake correctly since I had already “gently folded” my egg whites in. But it turned out perfect and tasted amazing! So easy if follow directions! Love at first bite.

    • — Bep on November 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Very classy – restaurant quality. Our eggs were small so we added one more, Creamy and delicious and so easy to make!

    • — Rhonda on October 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you so much for recipe. My significant other and I really enjoyed it. It tasted the same as my mother’s recipe from a WW II cookbook! Two questions: One, I had difficulty extracting ramekins from pan with water. Neither of two styles of tongs worked, and I kept getting burned using oven mitts. How do you recommend extracting them? For the last ramekin, I dumped out most of the water in the pan. Second question: I’m going to a meeting tonight and want to take them for the dessert. Any recommendations for travel (fifteen minutes away? Thanks again. It was wonderful!

    • — Lea Blumenfeld on September 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lea, glad to hear you enjoyed these but sorry you had a problem getting them out of the pan! This time, you could try using a spatula and lifting them out by getting the spatula under each ramekin. Because these need to sit for 20 minutes before serving, the timing is perfect for you to make them and then travel to your meeting. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2021
      • Reply
    • I have had good luck wrapping a heavy duty rubber band around the end of my tongs before lifting ramekins out. Hope this helps.

      • — J Bradley on December 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made this last night. Everyone loved it. My friend described it as being “the best parts of a lemon bar, with a warm hug thrown in”.

    • — JP on September 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love these cakes

    • — Bernice Allison on September 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • I took this to a dinner party and it received wonderful compliments. However, I did struggle a little in the preparation. Perhaps it’s because I doubled the recipe, but the batter (prior to folding in the egg whites) looked a little thin, so I added some more flour. As a result, the cakes didn’t have as much pudding. My guess: the recipe is perfect as written, just expect thin batter.

    TIP: I thought my individual ramekins were 6 ounces–they were 8 ounces. I figured that out once I had filled 7 of the 10 ramekins and knew I didn’t have enough batter for three more desserts. What a comedy of errors!

    • — Sandzi on September 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi! I haven’t made these yet but hoping to as the perfect dessert after a seafood boil. We are having a crowd and I don’t have enough ceramic ramekins. Can I use the disposable tin ones? Thank you!

    • — Maggie S. on August 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Maggie, I think disposable tin ramekins should work. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on August 31, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was an easy recipe, and it turned out great. Made it twice: once in ramekins and then in an 8x8x2 baking dish. Both excellent. No leftovers!

    • — Mrs. C. on August 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love it! Easy to make and was delicious. No pictures because they ate it all.

    • — Vickie Ashmore on June 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Amazing!

    • — Sam on June 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • These were such a big hit with our guests (and my husband and me!)-
    Made recipe as written. Baked 45 minutes in middle of oven and they were done perfectly.
    I made in the morning, cooled them and covered with plastic wrap. They were on the counter for the day and I warmed as recommended in the oven. Next time I would probably do 7 min at 350 instead of 10 because they were more hot than warm.
    I served with homemade (lightly sweetened) whipped cream and fresh raspberries.
    Fabulous dessert!!

    • — Sue B on June 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a great desert. I will try it again using oranges instead of lemons . Would it work using a sugar substitute? My wife and sons are diabetic and would enjoy it if it didn’t have as much sugar

    • — Bill on June 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! Regarding sugar substitutes, I wish I could help but I’ve never worked with them so I can’t say how it would impact recipes. (If it helps at all, I have read plenty of comments from readers who have said they’ve replaced some or all of the sugar in a recipe with a substitute like Stevia and have had good results.) Hope that helps at least a bit!

      • — Jenn on June 21, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,

        Can you make this in one pan?
        As I have no little single ones.

        Thanks,

        • — Skye on June 29, 2021
        • Reply
        • Sure, I’d use an 8-inch or 2-qt baking dish. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on June 29, 2021
          • Reply
          • Hi Jen,
            Can you do this in a metal 8×8 2 qt. pan instead of pyrex? Will it brown faster? Thanks!

            • — Carol on August 5, 2021
          • Sure, Carol. I think the cook time should be about the same. Enjoy!

            • — Jenn on August 6, 2021
        • Looking to make this in a baking dish as not enough ramekins, how would I do the water bath if I did it with that?

          • — Lauren davies on August 3, 2021
          • Reply
          • Hi Lauren, You’d just nest the baking dish in a larger baking dish and fill it halfway with water. Hope you enjoy!

            • — Jenn on August 3, 2021
  • Wonderfully delicious! One of our favorites, and so easy to prepare.

    • — Paula on June 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • Had too many lemons today so made this recipe, however I only baked them for 40 minutes, the tops cracked and I didn’t get the separate layers but the flavor is wonderful.
    Perhaps I beat my whites a little too long, will try again. Thank you

    • — cheryl on June 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi,

    Would this dessert be good served cold or room temperature?

    • — Jason on June 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jason, Not sure I’d love them cold, but I think room temperature should be fine. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 8, 2021
      • Reply

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