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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’m always mindful of portion sizes when it comes to dessert, especially as someone who cooks for a living, but I don’t hold back with these delectable 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 and a luscious lemon pudding on the bottom. 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


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.


Add the flour and sugar and whisk until smooth.


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


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


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


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


The batter will be light, foamy, and liquidy.


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.


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.


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!


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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


  • 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)


  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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  • So fresh and delicious! Making them again this weekend for company.

    • — Pat S. on July 12, 2023
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  • These are really perfect! The warm creamy pudding with just the right amount of cake is really lovely. I’m using this recipe for my student cooking class!

    • — Paula on June 30, 2023
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  • Just wondering, if made before and reheated, do I need to cover with foil or similar to stop them drying out?? Thank you

    • — Sue on June 30, 2023
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    • Hi Sue, no need to cover them with foil. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 30, 2023
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  • I made this the other night, and it was out of this world. I loved the lightness of the cake and the clean lemon taste. This is the perfect way to end the meal. The best dessert by far. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • — Connie Reggiannini on June 16, 2023
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  • My lemon tree was making a crazy amount of lemons after all the rain we’ve had here in California. I was wonder what to do with all the lemons when I came upon this recipe. These are luscious! Even my friend, who is a gifted baker had to know how I made these. I have made them 3 times now for 3 different gatherings and everyone was wowed. I added an extra teaspoon of lemon zest because I am a super lemon fan. Thanks Jen for another recipe I’ll visit again and again.

    • — Laurie Reilly on June 15, 2023
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  • Made this for a group of friends last night and everyone loved it. I too reduced the sugar by one-third and it was perfect. I baked it in a 8 x 8 pan inside a larger casserole, with the water in the larger pan for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Probably would have been done at 30 minutes.

    One hint: strain the lemon juice for seeds before you put it in the batter. Much harder to fish them out of the batter!

    Thanks for a classic recipe! I will definitely make this again.

    • — Jane on June 11, 2023
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  • I made this last night for the first time-exactly to recipe except I ended up with more lemon zest than 2 teaspoons so I threw it all in! I used two oval ramekins that held 12 Oz each so that was all my batter-cooked for about 45 minutes-they were perfect! A huge hit! I served with either raspberry sorbet or pistachio ice cream. Yum!

    • — Sharonmomof6 on June 11, 2023
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    • If I double the recipe & use 8×13 dish,do I need a water bath too? I don’t have anything bigger to put it in. Will it bake ok on its own ,without the water bath situation?

      • — Rena E Pezzuto on September 9, 2023
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      • Hi Rena, I think it will be okay without the water bath.

        • — Jenn on September 12, 2023
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  • Hi Jenn. I recently saw a similar recipe in the NYT. It said the pudding cake could be served warm or chilled. Given it’s summer, I would like to serve them cold. Do you think that would be good?

    • — Jane Mangelson on June 9, 2023
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    • Hi Jane, technically you could serve them cold, but if anything, I think they’d be better at room temperature. Please LMK what you think if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 9, 2023
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      • Hi Jenn,
        I did a little experiment and served one warm, one room temp, and one chilled. Guests favored the warm one – the way you suggest serving it – but room temp and chilled were still good. I also served them with whipped cream and a few berries. I would definitely do that again, and I think if they are served at room temp or chilled that they definitely need whip cream.

        I also made a batch with gluten free flour. Not good! The texture is grainy and the pudding and cake does not separate into 2 distinct components.

        I will make this again and serve them warm with whip cream and use regular flour,

        • — Jane Mangelson on July 7, 2023
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  • I made it and substituted the sugar w/honey and used a pie pan to bake it in, it probably needed to cook a little longer because the middle was still gooey!! I’m going to try again once I get some ramekins!!

    • — Tamecca on June 4, 2023
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  • Holy Moly, these are the most delicious decadent little desserts I’ve ever tasted!

    • — Patricia Hill on June 3, 2023
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  • Fabulous! Needed six 8-ounce ramekins so increased recipe by half, using 5 eggs and baking for 50 minutes. That worked well. It was enough for 7, so the birthday honoree got the extra the next day. All of us enjoyed this so much. Some found mango ice cream on the side to be a nice flavor complement, I thought it was wholly unnecessary. I’ll be asking for this for my birthday cake.

    • — Jen B on May 29, 2023
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  • Could I double this recipe and use an 8qt dish?

    • — Joanne on May 25, 2023
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    • Hi Joanne, You mentioned using an 8-quart dish – did you mean an 8-inch dish? If so, you wouldn’t be able to fit double the recipe in that, but you could use a 9 x 13-inch dish.

      • — Jenn on May 30, 2023
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  • These cakes are so delicious and surprisingly easy to make. I followed the directions for baking a day in advance and reheating. I was so happy with how they turned out! Will definitely be making these again! Thanks Jen for another amazing recipe and the helpful step by step photos as always.

    • — Chelsea on May 23, 2023
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  • I love this recipe – as did my dinner guests! That separate ‘pudding’ that happens at the bottom of the cake it such a delicious surprise. Wondering…I have a friend that has celiac so has to be GF. Can I make this with a GF substitute and if so, what do you recommend?

    • — Mary on May 11, 2023
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    • So glad everyone enjoyed it! A number of readers have commented that they’ve made these successfully with gluten-free flour.

      • — Jenn on May 12, 2023
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  • Delic!!! If you love desserts with a lemony taste this is a must. It was not only simple to make but delicious. Huge hit. Thank you

    • — Ana on May 6, 2023
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  • Omg this was just perfect and super easy to make! So delicious! I’m going to make it again and again! I only had 4 larger ramekins and they were perfect for the recipe!

    • — Sarah on May 2, 2023
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  • Made these for a dinner party last night, and they were an absolute hit! Light lemony a little cakes from heaven. 😁

    • — Susa on April 30, 2023
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  • How long should I bake using a 2 1/2 quart bowl?

    • — Marilyn on April 23, 2023
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    • Hi Marilyn, I assume you mean a baking dish, not a bowl? If so, the bake time will be shorter but I’m not sure by how much. I’d start checking for doneness at 35 minutes. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2023
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  • Hi Jen,

    How far ahead can you make these before baking them? Could they go in frig for an hour or two and them be baked? Thanks much,

    • — Belinda on April 23, 2023
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    • Hi Belinda, I’d actually make them ahead and bake them and then reheat them right before serving. See the make-ahead instructions at the bottom of the recipe.

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2023
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  • My wife and I had a good friend over for lunch today. We had homemade pizza (one of her favorites). To top the meal off, I fixed you lemon pudding cakes. What a hit, there were delicious and easy to make. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • — Lou Duckworth on April 21, 2023
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  • Hi there! I love these but need to have a gf version. Will they work with a substitute like Pamela’s or XO Baking flour?

    Thank you!

    • — Sharon Boyle on April 20, 2023
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    • Hi Sharon, A number of readers have commented that they’ve made these successfully with gluten-free flour. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • Great recipe, easy to follow and make with ingredients around the house. I did scale back to 2/3 the sugar as our family prefers desserts that are less sweet. Will definitely make again.

    • — Gigi on April 8, 2023
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  • Hi Jenn – What are your thoughts on subbing chickpea flour? I’m planning to make the pudding during Passover. Thanks!

    • — Nanette Pastor-Hanna on April 5, 2023
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    • Hi Nanette, I’ve never worked with chickpea flour so I can’t say how it would impact the recipe — sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2023
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      • Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll let you know how it works. I’m not going to buy a box of matzo meal for just one thing!

        Hag Sameach!

        • — Nanette Pastor-Hanna on April 5, 2023
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  • Overall great recipe and easy to follow the reason for a star less due to it being way too sweet, next time will add less sugar.

    • — Anita on March 26, 2023
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  • Ohmigosh! These were so delightful 🙂 I heard someone talking about a similar thing and searched it up myself because I was about to have guests. These turned out perfectly! I even purchased some pretty ramekins to amp the presentation. I used raspberries as my topper since I had some on hand and I recommend those as well. Thank you so much for this great recipe – it is a definite keeper and will be perfect for spring/summer gatherings.

    • — CLS on March 21, 2023
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  • Truly a perfect little dessert! Surprisingly low-ish in carbs and won’t break my target. I probably could put even less sugar than the recipe, as I read another commenter who cut it in half. I ended up with 5, not 6 so my ramekins were probably bigger than 6oz. We were so excited to try it, I completely forgot the raspberries I meant to top them with. Simple, nothing else needed. Can you create a chocolate version???? The ones out there are not great looking.

    • — Karen L on March 18, 2023
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    • So glad you enjoyed these! I will add a chocolate version to my list of recipes to potentially develop. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 20, 2023
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  • We are having a small dinner party tomorrow and have a Meyer lemon tree so decided to make a new lemon dessert. I didn’t want to risk a fail, so cut the recipe into 1/3 (glad it was an easy one to do this with!) and did a test for me and my husband the other night. Oh my oh my! This was so simple yet fancy looking and delicious! It will definitely be the dessert for tomorrow. My husband has super sweet tooth so thought it could be sweeter, but I liked it just the way it was. We topped with some fresh macerated strawberry slices, and I will do that again tomorrow, along with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

    • — April Ammeter on March 18, 2023
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    • If making ahead and re-heating the cakes, do you need to place the individual cakes in the water bath again? If not necessary, how do you place the individual desserts in the oven? Tray or nothing more than the ramekins?
      Is this dessert really sweet or just right??!! Thank you!

      • — Diana on May 16, 2023
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      • Hi Diana, you don’t need the water bath for reheating the cakes. And, yes, feel free to use a baking sheet to make it easier to move the ramekins in and out of the oven. And I think there’s a nice balance of sweetness and lemon tang in these. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

        • — Jenn on May 17, 2023
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  • My family really loved this recipe. It is great alone or with fresh summer fruits. Yum!

    • — Blanche Nicholson on March 12, 2023
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  • Love it. Easy to follow the recipe.

    • — Shuhua Lu on March 6, 2023
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  • Has anyone tried making with Splenda or Stevia?

    • — todd on March 4, 2023
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  • I have made these set times and they are always a hit. Last time I used freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice and WOW! Even better!

    • — Linda Remick on March 2, 2023
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  • Question: I’m going to try to make these. But I don’t have ramekins. I see you said it’s ok to cook them in an 8″ or 2 quart dish. But do I still need to put the dish in a water bath?

    • — Lar-Dog on February 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yes, I’d still use the water bath. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 22, 2023
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  • Wow this was amazing! Cake on top with a warm pudding surprise below. Used unsweetened almond milk and added a dash of vanilla extract. Thank you!

    • — Ginny on February 19, 2023
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  • AMAZING!!! light and fluffy and so lemony! Highly recommend!

    • — Lennie on February 19, 2023
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  • Absolutely delicious!! Didn’t change a thing and it was perfect!! Thanks Jenn

    • — Lyne H on February 18, 2023
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  • I made a nondairy version with oat milk and earth balance ‘butter’ and it was to die for. This will be on my dessert rotation for sure!

    • — DHiggs on February 3, 2023
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    • My ramekins are not 6ozs. Can I make this in one big pan? I only have 6 ramekins. I also have 4 big ones that I use for pot pies. Wonder if those would work.

      • — Judy on February 11, 2023
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      • Hi Judy, Yes you can make this in a 2-qt baking dish.

        • — Jenn on February 11, 2023
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  • Easy and Fabulous!!!!

    • — R kramer on January 24, 2023
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  • I made these yesterday for a family gathering. Since it was a bigger crowd I doubled the recipe, and I used the tiny small size jam-jars to bake them. What a hit!! I’m glad I had extras, everyone was raving about them, and practically licking the little jars clean. Thanks, great recipe!!

    • — Donna DS on January 23, 2023
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  • This is my second review – I am adding it because, this time, I baked it in my Combi Steam Oven. I have been experimenting with baking in it lately – did the wonderful Vanilla Cake in it and it turned out great so I thought I’d try this, as it avoided using a bain marie (which, since I am still not very strong after breaking my arm, seemed like a disaster waiting to happen). The cakes turned out great! Cooked at 350 with 50% steam but just for 35 minutes. So, if any of you have a steam oven give it a go. Note: once again, I halved the sugar and it was sweet enough for my lemon-loving family.

    • — Cindy on January 22, 2023
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  • It turned out perfectly. Reminds me of my mother and grandmother’s recipe.

    • — SJW on January 17, 2023
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  • A fresh, light, and delicious dessert option.
    Thank-you for sharing this lemony treat.
    I topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yumm.

    • — Teresa on January 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • These were so good! What an impressive dessert and so easy and yummy!

    • — Jenna on December 19, 2022
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  • Oh my gosh! You did it again 👏 amazing absolutely amazing.
    I’m a terrible cook and baker lol I usually can’t even follow recipes. But I can always manage yours! They always turn out so good!!

    • — Kristin Pirone on December 12, 2022
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  • I made it the night before, according to the recipe, then warmed it up for 10 minutes and it was the best dessert I’ve ever made! I added a squirt of whipped cream and a fresh blackberry on tap. All 5 of my guests cook regularly and they asked for the recipe and also agreed that it was awesome! I have a lemon tree so I will make this again and again until everyone I know has tasted it!

    • — Sandy Bell on December 12, 2022
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  • These were great, and quite simple to make. We topped them with passionfruit sauce that my wife made — that worked well too.

    • — Andrew on October 31, 2022
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  • I have a question on size of the ramekin! Since it calls for 6 oz ramekins, how should I adjust the bake time for ramekins that are 4 oz?

    • — Celine on October 13, 2022
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    • Hi Celine, I’d start checking them for doneness at 35 minutes. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on October 14, 2022
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      • Hi Jenn! Thank you for the tip and they turned out great after 45 mins! very delicious

        • — Celine on October 20, 2022
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        • So glad they came out nicely — thanks for reporting back!

          • — Jenn on October 21, 2022
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        • Can you make these like 5 hours ahead of time? I need to get them made and no time to do it later.

          • — Sue Driscoll on March 21, 2023
          • Reply
          • Definitely! See the bottom of the recipe for specific make-ahead instructions.

            • — Jenn on March 22, 2023
      • This post was super helpful. We too have 4oz ramekins and cook time was 35 minutes and it was perfect! Thank you!

        • — Christine Chippindale on July 28, 2023
        • Reply
  • I have to say this is the BEST Lemon Pudding Cake I’ve ever had and I’ve had alot. The recipe is amazingly good and relatively easy. I used two mixers so I had both whipped up at the same time. Delicious!! Like Grandma used to make. Thank you and well done.

    • — Marilyn Wilson on October 10, 2022
    • Reply

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