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


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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  • …Soooo good. Made this with my daughter. So far you are 2 for 2 for recipes. The directions are easy to follow and I love that the ingredients are readily available. Keep up the great work!

    • Glad you enjoyed! 🙂

    • Lemony Deliciousness!
      Excellent tasting and super easy to make. My family loved it!

  • Hi, Jenn. If I make these in an 8-inch glass baking dish instead of ramekins, do I still need to put the dish in a water bath? Thank you and take care!

    • Yes, I’d still use it. Hope you enjoy!

      • I need to work on beating the egg whites right, but despite my novice skills, we all enjoyed these. Thank you!

      • Its winter season here in Australia and my lemon tree is blossoming with fruits so i was trying to google recipes to use up my lemons. This sure did the lemon justice 🙂 🙂

  • Having kids in the house when they should be in school and working from home I find myself baking every night as a way to de-stress. I made your French apple cake Wednesday night. It was so light, delicious and perfect. It was gone in two hours. I took requests from the peanut gallery last night and the consensus was for a “light and citrusy” dessert. This did not disappoint. I made it in a round cake pan since I could only find two ramekins in the house. Perfect, perfect, perfect! Thanks so much for your awesome site and the fantastic recipes. Chocolate is on the menu tonight. 🙂

  • They look delish, but we are just two, so could I freeze the other 4.

    • Hi Sue, 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.

  • I’ve made this a couple times now and it has turned out to-die-for both times! This time I made a wild blueberry compote to put on top and it was INCREDIBLE! It’s heavenly with or without a topping but if you like lemon with blueberry together you will love this cake with the compote! One thing I especially love about this particular recipe is the tender softness of the cake without it being airy and dry. I doubled the recipe and poured it into one bigger sized dish rather than ramekins and it took the same amount of baking time, which surprised me. It seriously is amazing!

  • Just made this last night! They turned out perfectly. I got a little nervous because I misread how to make them ahead of the time and kept mine in the fridge. But when I heated them up it was the perfect mix of light cake and creamy pudding. I’m not sure if ramekins come in different sizes, but the recipe only made enough for four of my ramekins, they did, however, come out perfectly so I’m not complaining. Will add this to my recipe box!

  • This tasted really good but I didn’t get the lemony custard sauce at the bottom, instead I got the cake/sponge on top but the bottom was like a ‘curdled’ layer. Is this how it should be? Or am I doing something wrong?

    • Hi Emma, It really shouldn’t look curdled. Is there any chance you overbaked them?

  • Very good. Don’t forget the blueberries!

    • — Patricia Smith
    • Reply
  • Fabulous! Easy to make and turns out just as described. Blueberries a great add.

  • This recipe is easy and delicious!! I think I may have overcooked them though. Mine were a darker brown and there wasn’t any gooey yumminess inside. They were still delicious and I would make them again!

  • It came out perfect! I will be making this again and again.

  • Especially love the pudding part of this delicious dessert. Is it possible to modify recipe to make only this pudding? Thanks.

    • Unfortunately not — sorry!

      • I think that mine is all our mostly pudding… I think this happens as I put In on way more Lemon juice and lemon zest than the recipe called for… An inadvertent but yummy accident!

  • Hi Jenn,

    I made these twice now and everyone LOVES them. But both times my batter separated and although it didn’t seem to affect the taste or end texture, I’m wondering what I’m doing incorrectly as your batter looks completely smooth in the photos.

    • Hi Nicole, are you saying that the baked cakes had two separate layers (as that’s normal) or the batter separated as you were making it? Thanks for clarifying!

      • My batter separated. It appeared curdled both times.

        • The batter does appear to curdle just a little bit. (If you enlarge the pictures you can see it more clearly.) Bottom line is I don’t think you did anything wrong. 🙂

  • Lemony and luscious! I made these warm lemon cakes for Sunday night dinner and they were a smash success. My husband put this recipe in the “top five” dessert recipes that I make. The rest of my family can’t wait to try them. You recipe is PERFECT. Thank you, Jenn!!

  • I never post reviews, but if you love lemon custard and easy recipes, this is an unbeatable winner!

  • I am a chef at work, but not a pastry chef. I made these as a dessert for Valentines Day and my wife’s Birthday, both on the 14th. Damn, these are AMAZING! I don’t normally eat dessert, but I ate two of these! Great recipe, and I will make these at work and claim them as mine 😁 Thank you.

  • I am reading all the wonderful reviews and am planning to make for my dinner party this evening.
    Can you please tell me if anyone has made this a few hours ahead of serving and whether the soft custard like bottom is still there after reheating? I intend to reheat slightly in the oven before serving.
    Thank you for your feedback ..

  • Can I make this with egg beaters in place of the yolks, and then use just the egg whites later in the recipe?

    • Hi Audrey, I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I made this recipe for dinner this evening. It was perfect for a cold winter day in Ontario. I have sent the link to my daughter in Australia because I know she will love it, too.

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes that warm us up from inside.

    • — Sue McCullough
    • Reply
  • These warm pudding cakes are absolutely delicious! It may have been mentioned already – if you cover and refrigerate the left-overs, they taste like lemon meringue pie.

  • Feels like I did almost everything possible to mess up this recipe–my egg whites weren’t stiffening, I accidently dropped a bit of yolk in there, splashed water in 2 of the filled ramekins, and I had to take them out of the oven for 15 mins halfway through baking. I was definitely planning on my plan b (ice cream) for dessert.
    But they stilled turned out fantastic! A little less golden than the picture here but light, lemony and with that luciousness at the bottom. Served sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with berries & whipped cream. I devoured mine and my honey complimented three times. We reheated the rest in the morning as directed for a breakfast treat. I’m anxious to make again properly.

    • I tried this today and it was simply delicious. Thank you for this simple recipe. I had a hard time with the egg whites but this was my first time doing it and I’ll have to try again to get them to peak.

  • Could lime be substituted for lemon, which is hard to obtain in Mexico?

    • Hi Dianne, They won’t have quite the same tanginess that lemon has, but it’ll work. I’d love to hear how they turn out with lime! 🙂

  • Fo rthe low amount of flour I think it would work with almond flour, what do you think of that swap? I am thinking ahead for passover. I would love to switch things uo a little bit this year.
    PS: think I wrote this same question in the wrong spot, in case you get it twice!

    • Hi Monica, I haven’t made these with almond flour but a few readers have commented that they have and have gotten a good outcome. Hope you enjoy if you try them!

  • Directions for making these in the Instant Pot? 😍

    • Hi Patti, I don’t have enough experience with it to tell you confidently whether or not/how to convert a recipe to an instant pot version, so you may want to take a peek at these tips. It looks like they could be useful. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • I have been making these lemon pudding cakes with fresh rosemary for years, from an old 1998 recipe from Gourmet magazine.
    They are wonderful, and an impressive dinner party dessert.

    Lately, I have been adding lavender from the garden…….so pretty.
    I love your addition of blueberries Jen.

    Thanks for reminding me of this recipe!

    Stacey Snacks

  • Does this recipe have the same tartness as your Lemon Bar recipe? (which is THE best lemon bar recipe ever.) If not, is there a way to get the same tartness?

    • — patty a uematsu
    • Reply
    • Hi Patty, These are tart but not sure that they’re quite as tart as the lemon bars, but I wouldn’t fiddle with the recipe. (I think you’ll like them though.) 🙂

  • I found the answer to my question. When I go to the recipe itself it states to spray the ramekins although it is not stated in the other section above where you are describing how to make them.

    • Hi Nancy, the ramekins should be sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Hope you enjoy!

    • This may have been asked but can I make before hand and cook a couple hours later? Or alternatively make and cook beforehand and reheat for dinner party? Thanks Lesley p

      • Yes, they can be made a day ahead and reheated. See the bottom of the recipe for Make Ahead instructions. Hope you enjoy!

  • I am sensitive to milk products can I use almond milk with this recipe

    • Hi Pat, I’ve only made these with dairy milk, but I think almond milk should work. Hope you enjoy!

  • This recipe is terrific! It is a very appropriate dessert for almost any meal and I have had nothing but rave reviews from guests! It is easy to serve, pretty, very flavorful and seems “special.” I love your whole cookbook and have never had a disappointment. We used to live in the Maryland suburbs of Washington and Chez Francois was one of our favorite restaurants, both downtown and then Virginia. ( I love my cookbook from there, too! ) After 55 years in different states, we have moved back to my childhood home….Buffalo, NY! Wish I could have one of your grandmother’s coconut cakes. Best wishes for continued success! Judy Reynolds

    • — Judith Reynolds
    • Reply
  • I have made this lemon recipe several times. It is absolutely delicious! I have never been a fan of lemon pie, but this recipe takes lemon to a new level!

    • — Patsy McDonough
    • Reply
  • I am glad you reposted this so that I remembered to write a review. My grandmother used to make this recipe when I was young (she was born in 1899, so you know that I was young a long time ago!). When I saw it in your collection I recognized it immediately and started making it again with your recipe. This is now my go to recipe for company. Everyone loves it (especially here in Spain) because it is a light dessert that is not toooooo sweet. Thanks for refreshing my memories and for a great easy recipe that is a crowd pleaser.

    • — Tamsen Wassell
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. What is your opinion about trying this with gluten free flour?? Thanks!
    I am a huge fan…thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!!

    • — Phyllis G Perry
    • Reply
    • Hi Phyllis, so glad you like the recipes! I haven’t made these with gluten-free flour but several readers have commented that they have with good results. Hope you enjoy!

  • I am diabetic so tweak recipes frequently. I made these using a scant half cup of brown sugar Splenda and putting 3 tablespoons of frozen wild blueberries in the bottom of each ramekin before adding the batter. Baking time didn’t change and they were excellent. I chilled the extras because I don’t like to leave egg rich items at room temperature. I rewarmed them in the microwave for 4 minutes at power 3. My microwave isn’t overly powerful so I think that I would start at 2 minutes and check. They were as good as the fresh out of the oven ones.

    • If I make it in an 8” pan do I still bake it in water? I don’t have any ramekins! Thank you. Making it this weekend.

      • Yes, you should still use the water bath. Enjoy!

  • Absolutely delicious, simple to make but everyone I’ve served them to rave about them. A firm favourite.

  • Delicious..easy to make..the cake was very light and nice creamy lemon sauce..but I only used 1/4
    cup sugar plus 2Tbls…
    I put it all into one dish..

    • — Marlene McMillan
    • Reply
  • Simply put, this is a solid recipe with a lovely outcome. I left out the butter by accident (and I am not sure what the impact would have been), but they were still terrific. I also had 8-ounce ramekins so there was no danger of spillover. It received our highest compliment, “it’s in the rotation”.

  • I had way more batter than I needed for my 6 ramekins. I’m going to try to refrigerate the remaining batter to bake at another time. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

    • Hi Jean, I’m assuming your ramekins must be smaller than mine. Depending on how much batter you have over (if it’s enough to fill a small baking dish), you could put the remaining batter in it and make one larger version. Hope that helps!

  • Quite easy to make and very professional looking. I thought it was extremely lemony… in a good way and had great texture, top and bottom. I had expected rave reviews but unfortunately my guests liked it but didnt rave. It was quite nice but for some reason not a scene stealer as many of my other desserts in the past have been.

  • This was easy to follow and so tasty. My mother in law made this often but I couldn’t master it. Following your clear directions I finally mastered it. My family really enjoyed it. I use your website all the time. Anything I have made to date has made me look good. ☺️ Thanks Jenn for such wonderful recipes. Anne from Canada.

  • I’m not much of a baker, I don’t think I have ever whisked egg whites before! I think I took them too far and I was worried I had ruined it but it turned out great! Impressed with this dessert especially if you love lemon.

    • Wonderful recipe. I substituted sugar with swerve and ate it guilt free. Thank you!

  • So good! Like others, I used just 1/2 C of sugar and might try a bit less next time! Easy to do too! Lemon Pudding Cakes are a family favourite so this will be made often!

    • I cut the recipe to 1/3 for two servings & only 1 precious egg. Worked great & was delish!

  • I have two questions:
    1. Is there anyway to make this ahead and cook or warm up before serving?
    2. How are the ramekins prepared?

    Thanks. Lemon season is coming!

    • Yes, Charlie, these can be made ahead — see the Make-Ahead instructions at the bottom of the recipe. And the ramekins should be coated with non-stick cooking spray. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Super Yummie!! Thank you so much for this lovely recipe. Easy to make and a great result! I have to consider buying your book, your recipes are amazing …. do you sell overseas The Netherlands? Greeting, Lisa

    • Hi Lisa, So glad you enjoyed! I know the book is sold in the UK but, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s available in The Netherlands. So sorry!

  • Hi Jenn –
    I love this dessert … so deliciously light! If I doubled it and baked it in a 9×13 pan, would I still need to put it in a larger dish with water?

    • Glad you like this! Yes, you could double it and bake in a 9 x 13-inch pan. (The bake time may be a touch longer so keep a close eye on it.) You will still need to use a water bath. If you have a large roasting pan, that could work nicely.

  • Hi Jenn
    I just ordered a set of 4 oz ramekins and was wondering what the cooking instructions would be, i.e., how long to cook, etc.? Thank you. I look forward to trying this recipe very soon.

    • Hi Cherie, they will likely take a bit less time in the oven in 4-oz ramekins, but not much, so just keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn 🙂
    Just had to leave a review on your recipe to show some love. I love citrus desserts the balance of tart with sweet goodness is my jam! I especially have a weak spot for lemon flavored desserts. I thought making this recipe that I would goof something up especially with whippig the egg whites thought I wouldnt whip them enough or too much or something but everything came out perfect with the help of your super detailed recipe! Most online recipes are either not detailed enough or just have the wrong balance of ingredients you never know which ones to try… Most of the time I just have to wing it. Just want to give kudos to you and thank you for sharing your recipes on the internet with all us. This was a beyond fantastic dessert I could eat over and over again! I look forward to trying some of your other recipes! Hope you have a fantastic day.

    • So glad you enjoyed these, Ashley — hope you like anything else you try! 🙂

  • Love this recipe, just what I was craving. Although for those not so sugar addicted: I seriously used HALF the sugar (~110g) and they’re perfect. For anyone who likes tangy flavour; so much sugar is not necessary. Part of my favourite recipes now!

  • Hi Jen, I made these little loves and they turned out deeeelicious. I was a little worried because the milk was not room temperature so when I combined it with the room temperature butter and the butter “cubed up”. But not to worry they still turned out so good. My hubby even wanted ice cream to go with them 😋. I just have one question, can I store them in a cake plate or shall I put them in the fridge overnight (between me and hubby they’ll only last overnight). We call this our grownup dessert – we give the kids ice cream 😜.

    • So glad you enjoyed these! They can be stored on your kitchen counter. Just cover them with plastic wrap. If you’d like to eat them warm, before serving, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and place the ramekins on a baking sheet; heat for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through.

  • Wonderful and easy dessert! Loved it

  • Soooo good! These were very quick and easy to make.

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