Lemon Pudding Cake

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

It’s a little bit pudding and a little bit cake, all in one recipe. I was first awed by this lemon pudding-cake when I went to a pastry conference at the CIA and met the pastry chef from Craft, Karen Demasco. She served this dessert; made up of a layer of tangy lemon curd baked on top of a sweet delicate cake. They were clearly baked as one, but the two layers were so distinct in appearance and taste. I fell in love. When Karen wrote a book last year I was so excited to see this recipe in it! I have made it with lime juice, grapefruit and even passionfruit juices.

You can use six to eight ramekins for this batch, depending on how tall you want your cake to stand.

Watch me make these in my Instagram highlight video!

Lemon Pudding-Cake

from The Craft of Baking:

Soft butter for ramekins

1 cup (240ml) buttermilk (fat free or low fat)

1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice (Meyer lemon, lime or grapefruit juices are also great) (or a combination of the three)

4 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (42g) all-purpose flour (spoon and sweep into the measuring cup)

3/4 cup sugar (160g), plus 1 tablespoon for whipping whites (12g) – (plus more for ramekins or large dish)

pinch salt

Zest of 2 lemons (Meyer lemons or 2 limes or 1 grapefruit)

To prepare the lemon pudding-cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Prepare six to eight 6-Ounce Ramekin (or one 8 cup soufflé dish) by coating them well with the soft butter and then sugar. Set the ramekins in a roasting pan that has a kitchen towel laid out on the bottom. The towel allows a bit more insulation for the puddings when baked. Set the roasting pan aside.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

In a bowl mix together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar and salt. Rub the zest into the flour mixture. Set aside.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Whisk together the buttermilk, lemon juice and egg yolks. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites with 1 tablespoon sugar until just soft peaks. Be sure not to over beat or they will be grainy and not incorporate into the batter well.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk/lemon mixture. Whisk until well incorporated.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Add the egg whites 1/3 at a time and fold them in with a rubber spatula.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Ladle the batter into the prepared ramekins. Fill the roasting pan with hot water up to the middle of the ramekins.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Tent with foil. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Bake for another 20 minutes (50 minutes for the large dish) until the cakes rise up above the ramekins, are golden in color and spring back when you touch the tops and a tester comes out with moist crumb, but not wet. 

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Let them cool to room temperature (the large version needs to sit until the bottom is room temperature or it will not come out cleanly). The pudding-cakes can be served warm, room temperature or even chilled. They can be made ahead and stored in the ramekins until serving time. If you serve them chilled the pudding will be a bit denser, but still lovely.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Run a sharp paring knife around the edge.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Invert onto the plate.

Meyer Lemon Pudding-Cake | photo by Zoë François

Lemon Pudding Cake

4.45 from 9 votes
Course: cake
Cuisine: Dessert
Author: Stephani from The ZoeBakes Team

Ingredients

  • Soft butter for ramekins
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk (fat free or low fat)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice (Meyer lemon, lime or grapefruit juices are also great) (or a combination of the three)
  • 4 large eggs separated
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (42g) all-purpose flour (spoon and sweep into the measuring cup)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (160g), plus 1 tablespoon for whipping whites (12g) - (plus more for ramekins or large dish)
  • pinch salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons Meyer lemons or 2 limes or 1 grapefruit

Instructions

  • To prepare the lemon pudding-cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare six to eight 6-Ounce Ramekin (or one 8 cup soufflé dish) by coating them well with the soft butter and then sugar. Set the ramekins in a roasting pan that has a kitchen towel laid out on the bottom. The towel allows a bit more insulation for the puddings when baked. Set the roasting pan aside.
  • In a bowl mix together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar and salt. Rub the zest into the flour mixture. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, lemon juice and egg yolks. Set aside.
  • Beat the egg whites with 1 tablespoon sugar until just soft peaks. Be sure not to over beat or they will be grainy and not incorporate into the batter well.
  • Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk/lemon mixture. Whisk until well incorporated.
  • Add the egg whites 1/3 at a time and fold them in with a rubber spatula.
  • Ladle the batter into the prepared ramekins. Fill the roasting pan with hot water up to the middle of the ramekins. Tent with foil. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil.
  • Bake for another 20 minutes (50 minutes for the large dish) until the cakes rise up above the ramekins, are golden in color and spring back when you touch the tops and a tester comes out with moist crumb, but not wet.
  • Let them cool to room temperature (the large version needs to sit until the bottom is room temperature or it will not come out cleanly). The pudding-cakes can be served warm, room temperature or even chilled. They can be made ahead and stored in the ramekins until serving time. If you serve them chilled the pudding will be a bit denser, but still lovely.
  • Run a sharp paring knife around the edge. Invert onto the plate.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

72 thoughts to “Lemon Pudding Cake”

  1. Just a few minutes before I saw this post, I had commented to my husband I needed to get lemons to make a lemon cake. Then- I saw this! Since I have lots of grapefruits, thinking of trying them first.
    Now I know what’s on the agenda for tomorrow!

  2. My mom made our family a lemon pudding cake just one time more than 20 years ago and I’ve been wanting to try one again ever since. I love the individual portions of this recipe – I think I’ll flag it for Easter. 🙂

  3. How can I resist to this amazing swewtness! I do really want to make it and eat it but, please help me Zoe, I have always the same problem: I don’t have cups, so I need grams. May I give a suggestion to you? When you’ll have time you may post a generical conversion between cups and grams for flour, sugar,butter, oil, ecc, so every recipe is ok. I know that looking around on internet I find the conversions but there are some very strong differences between sites and your recipes are too fantastic to make mistakes. What do you think about my suggestion?
    Thank you and congratulations: your blog is my favourite, the first I click on when I come home at the evening. Kisses. Anna

    1. Hi Anna,

      I think your suggestion is brilliant, in fact, my husband is working on a conversion app for me right now! I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

      Thank you, Zoë

  4. I am new to your site…one word…yummy!! Can’t wait to try some recipes. I make a lot of jams and jellies and I’m always looking for nice jars, can you tell me where to buy the ones in your picture of the 3 jars? Many thanks.

  5. Lemon pudding cake is one of my family’s favourite desserts but I have never made it in individual ramekins. My recipe calls for ordinary milk but as a fan of buttermilk I am definitely going to give your recipe a try. Thank you so much for the lovely post!

  6. Ramekins come in so many different sizes. Since I don’t want to overcook the cakes, what size/dimension did you use? Thanks.

  7. Congratulations for making it to the best of the blogs. Who could resist these sweet and tangy goodness that’s half cake, half pudding all rolled into one delightful recipe? Yummy!

  8. I’ll have the cherry, please.
    Looks like cherry preserves rather than jam. I know, picky, picky, picky. “-)
    The recipe sounds awesome, Zoë. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    -B

    And for Barbara Robson re jars, do some online searching. This place was the first one that came up: http://www.sks-bottle.com/CanningJars.html and there’s a link that I can see for which I must take them to task. (Concisely, don’t try to can homemade pesto. Please.) I’ve talked to the people at http://www.freundcontainer.com about jars, too.

    Barbara, where are you located? In the Twin Cities area, The Container Store has some jars with plastisol-lined lids; my food co-op carries or can get the Bormioli Quattro Stagioni jars. Be aware that anything other than the basic and standard Kerr or Ball jars are quite expensive and hard to find—and expensive to ship if ordering online. It might be worth a trip to Zabar’s in New York, though, to see what they have. 🙂 (Stick with me, Kiddo; I’ve got a million good ideas.)

  9. Zoe and Bubbles,

    Thanks so much for the information. I live in Nova Scotia (east coast of Canada), chances of finding the jars locally are pretty slim! I have emailed Wecks to see if they ship to Canada. We usually visit friends in Maine a few times a year so I could order some to be delivered there. I’ll do some more looking online too. Thanks again!

  10. Barbara, you might check to see if Bernardin (the Canadian version of the Ball and Kerr jars; I believe Bernardin jars are also made by Jarden) has any interesting jars. Check on http://www.freshpreserving.com; I think there’s a link to the Canada site. Also, check closer to home for jar manufacturers. Good luck in the hunt!

  11. Hi lady,
    These look fabulous! Make them and I’ll pair them with SOMETHING for dinner! Deal? 😉

    I got all of the jars from Weck directly. They weren’t cheap, but I bought quite a few different sizes at once – and haven’t regretted it since. I love them, and love filling them – especially when I know I can get them back and fill them again! AND, I love seeing what YOU do with them! 😉 xo J

  12. Thank you Zoe! I’ll be making these for Shabat dinner next week with friends (no need for Kosher, our shabat dinners are just an excuse to get together).

    Hope to meet you at Tilia soon,

    Alex

  13. Probably a silly question (maybe I missed the information?) but do you serve these warm? Can you serve them chilled? Can you store them in the dishes until serving? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try this one!

  14. Hi Zoe

    I have to agree to the first comment totally…after trying over 12 different kinds of carrot cakes (or maybe more) I still think yours is simply the BEST in flavor!

    So looking forward to making these lemon pudding cakes for a lemon crazy friend, thanks.

  15. Delightful dessert, Zoe! You always inspire me to improve and expand my baking skills! I’m loving all things citrus right now while they are so fresh and in season!

  16. I don’t have any ramekins, do you think cupcake tins would work? What would you modify to make a cake? And I too work in grams, a conversion would be lovely! Love your recipes!

    1. Hi Janet,

      I have made this type of pudding cake in oven proof coffee cups and they turn out great. I do think that you could bake it as a big cake, but you’d probably have to increase the baking time.

      I will work on converting the recipes to metric, may take me a bit!

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. This seems like my ideal dessert! I LOVE citrus desserts, and the idea of two desserts in one makes it even better. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Just made this as a whole cake. I’m waiting for it to set to see how it turned out but it didn’t seem to rise much. Do you have a link to somewhere on your site about whipping and folding egg whites? For some reason I can accomplish it by hand, but with an electric mixer they seem to go from liquid to bubbly soft-peak (with unincorporated, liquid white, hiding underneath) without any uniform, soft peak stage. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Zoe,

      Did they rise up at all or just stay the same height? They rise up and then pretty quickly deflate, like a soufflé.

      When whipping egg whites it is always helpful to have them at room temperature. This allows the proteins to stretch more and they can trap more air. You also want to beat them on medium-high speed (not high) and then turn the mixer down to just medium at the end. This reduces the size of the air bubbles in the eggs and makes the foam more sturdy.

      Soft peaks are when you pick up the beater and the egg foam flops over, but doesn’t just drool down the beater. If you are having a tough time getting to that stage without going too far, you may want to do the last little of beating by hand, that way you can check constantly. If you go too far, the eggs don’t have any stretch left in them and do when they get in the oven they will not expand and rise nicely.

      I will try to find a picture of this or better yet, do a video, to show what I mean. Until then, I hope this helps.

      Another thing to check is the accuracy of your oven. An inexpensive oven thermometer is so helpful in knowing the true temperature.

      Thanks, Zoë

  19. Hello,

    Zoe, what a divine-looking cake! And I love lemon! 🙂 Thank you for posting this!

    Just one small notice for your Canadian readers who are interested: Weck canning jars *are* available in Canada – I sell them! For more information, please visit http://www.WeckCanada.ca or email me at [email protected].

    I hope this is permitted. We now return to our regularly-scheduled drooling. 🙂

    Thank you.

  20. Zoe,

    These look awesome. I want to try them for Easter and would liek to serve them warm, but need oven space for the main course. How can I best reheat them if I make them in the morning?

    Thanks, Betsy

    1. Hi Betsy,

      You can just warm them in the oven minutes before serving, that way everything else is out of the oven.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  21. I have to tell you, this was the best dessert recipe I’ve tried so far this year! I made these for Easter and they were just incredible. We enjoyed them chilled the next day as well. I can’t wait to have a dinner party soon so I can bring these out again – thanks for the terrific recipe!

    1. Wow Kathy,

      That is fantastic! I’m so thrilled that you made them and loved them so much! 🙂

      Thanks for coming back to share! Zoë

  22. Dear Zoe do you know what size cake pan I could use to make the lemon cake bigger. I don’t have ramekins. We use to be able to buy the mix years ago, but they seem to have discontinued them.

  23. Oh no! I love these and just pulled out the recipe to make them for guest tonight and I don’t have buttermilk! Would these work with “homemade” buttermilk(milk mixed with vinegar)?

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      I bet you will have just about the same results using the homemade version. Let me know how it goes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. Hi Zoe

    Just made the lemon pudding-cake, absolutely adorable and tasty. I made homemade buttermilk and they turned out just fine.

  25. Thank you so much for this recipe! Just made this last night and it was moist and incredibly delicious with the perfect lemon taste.

    I did get the pudding layer but did not get it to come out looking like yours in that it was not perfectly round and also did not set as well as yours. How can I improve that for next time? Thanks so much!

  26. I was thinking of making this in a bundt pan instead of individual cups. Do you think it would fare well as such and would I need to make any adjustments to baking or prep?

    1. Hi Caitlin,

      I think these may be a bit too delicate to bake in one large pan, especially if your bundt pan is fluted at all. You’d be better off with a cake like my grapefruit pound cake that is soaked. You could do that with lemon if you prefer. Not the same light, pudding texture, but it will come out of the pan successfully.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Mimi,

      These were 6 ounces. You can make them just about any size, but they all have to be the same, so they bake evenly.

      Thanks, Zoë

  27. I totally want to make these! I have a huge bag of passionfruit. When you made it with passionfruit, did you use the same amount as lemon juice? Did you use the same amount of sugar? Thank you! Can’t wait to make this

  28. This was so delicious and easy! My “pudding” layer was nowhere near as thick as yours ☹️ What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Kari,

      Very interesting. It could be the shape of the container you baked, but if they were similar to mine, it could be the way they were mixed. What kind of flour did you use?

      Thanks, Zoë

  29. I made these last night and they turned out beautifully – your Instagram highlight video helped immensely. Next time I think I will cut back on the sugar a bit and serve with whipped cream 🙂

  30. I love this, and can’t wait to try them. Where are the ramikins from? I like the sleek look of them. Thanks!

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