Lemon Pudding Cake: A classic recipe that’s so easy to make! Bakes up fluffy on top, with a luscious sauce on the bottom. Such bright & tangy lemon flavor!

Lemon pudding cake in a ramekin with a lemon twist on top.

Hey friend! Are you getting lots of baking done these days?

I’m getting tons of messages, comments, and tags from people about how they’re enjoying getting into the kitchen and baking things they don’t normally have the time for. Some from people who are brand new to baking and are discovering a new passion. I love it!

Every cloud has a silver lining, right?

So I know I need to step up my game and keep sharing new recipes for you all to try.

And with the weather getting warm and sunny, I can’t help but think about desserts that are bright and cheerful, like this lemon pudding cake.

Lemon desserts are so perfect for this time of year. They’re light and refreshing, and they just have a mood-lifting quality that can’t help but put smiles on our faces.

I especially love lemon meringue pie, homemade lemonade (particularly in summer!), and lemon crumb muffins with a nice cup of hot tea.

And I’ve been baking lemon pudding cake for years. I love how simple it is to make, and the way that it bakes up fluffy and spongy on top, but as you dig down deep with your spoon you find a soft and silky sauce underneath that’s almost like lemon curd.

This happens all by itself, just like magic!

The flavor is bright and zesty, really citrus-y and tart, with just the right amount of sweetness.

If you’re searching for the perfect way to end your warm-weather meal, then look no further! This easy lemon pudding cake recipe has got your name written all over it.

Lemon pudding cake recipe prepared in individual portions, with a fluffy top layer and a gooey sauce on the bottom.

WHAT IS LEMON PUDDING CAKE?

Lemon pudding cake is a really simple dessert recipe that’s made from scratch in just a few minutes.

It doesn’t actually contain any pudding or pudding mix. It’s called “pudding cake” because as it bakes, it forms a really soft, pudding-like layer on the bottom, with an airy, light cake layer on top.

So as you dig your spoon in, you get a whole mix of textures from spongy to moist to soft, gooey, and saucy.

HOW TO MAKE LEMON PUDDING CAKE FROM SCRATCH

This is mostly just a dump and stir type situation (super-simple!), with the addition of some whipped egg whites to keep it light and airy.

Lemon pudding cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Start by whisking egg yolks, sugar, milk, flour, and salt together until smooth.

Whisking lemon pudding cake batter.

Then zest and juice your lemons, and add that in too to give it that distinctive lemon-y flavor.

Juicing half a lemon with a small ceramic juicer.

Zesting a lemon with a microplane.

Whisking lemon pudding cake batter until smooth.

If you don’t like your lemon desserts really tart, feel free to cut back on the lemon juice a bit.

Next just whip up your egg whites. Get them nice and stiff!

Stiffly whipped egg whites in a large glass mixing bowl.

Then fold a little of the lemon mixture in.

Adding lemon mixture to stiffly whipped egg whites.

Once that’s well combined, add in the rest.

(It’s easier to get everything incorporated if you do it in two additions.)

Folding lemon pudding cake batter gently.

Now just pour the batter into your cake pan (or pans- as you can see here I baked mine in individual portions).

You do not have to grease the pan(s) first.

Pouring lemon pudding cake batter into ramekins.

Place the unbaked cake(s) in a larger baking dish and pour hot water all around, until it comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. This is called a “water bath” or “bain marie,” and it helps the cake to cook more gently and evenly.

Creating a water bath to bake lemon pudding cakes.

You’ll know your cakes are done baking when they are puffy and they spring back when you press them. They should just barely be beginning to turn golden around the edges.

HOW TO SERVE LEMON PUDDING CAKE

This dessert really doesn’t need much in the way of adornment. They’re just lovely with a little dusting of powdered sugar, but a dollop of whipped cream or a twist of fresh lemon does make a pretty garnish.

Dusting lemon pudding cake with powdered sugar.

I love to eat lemon pudding cake warm from the oven. It is one of the most comforting yet light desserts you’ll ever taste!

So I will typically bake them just before serving.

But you can make them ahead!

If that’s what you’re looking to do, ideally I’d say bake them just a hair shy of fully done, then leave them in the oven on the lowest possible setting, to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve them.

Or if you need your oven for other things and don’t want to tie it up, go ahead and take them out, and leave them sit at room temp until 15 or 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve them. (The only downside I’ve noticed is that they may shrink away from the sides of the dish a little as they cool.)

They can then go back in (as low as your oven will go) to reheat.

Best lemon pudding cake recipe, served in ramekins with powdered sugar on top.

CAN THIS BE MADE IN A DIFFERENT SIZE PAN?

This recipe will work for four six-ounce ramekins (like you see here), or in an 8×8 square baking dish.

If you’re making a big one, rather than the individual portions, you may need to adjust the bake time. You’ll know your cake is done when it’s puffy and springy to the touch.

LEMON PUDDING CAKE VARIATIONS

You can get creative with this recipe and make all sorts of pudding cake variations. Here are a few ideas:

  • Meyer lemon pudding cake
  • Grapefruit pudding cake
  • Lime pudding cake
  • Key lime pudding cake
  • Orange pudding cake
  • Blood orange pudding cake

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS

If you have any leftovers, just wrap them tightly and store them in the refrigerator. They’ll last there for about 2 to 5 days.

Simple lemon pudding cake recipe baked in individual portions with a spongy, cakey top and a silky, citrus-y sauce underneath.

A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE CITRUS RECIPES

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Magic lemon pudding cake.

Self-saucing lemon pudding cake.

Homemade lemon pudding cake.

Lemon Pudding Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Lemon Pudding Cake: A classic recipe that's so easy to make! Bakes up fluffy on top, with a luscious sauce on the bottom. Such bright & tangy lemon flavor!

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best lemon pudding cake recipe, lemon pudding cake, lemon pudding cake recipe, simple lemon pudding cake recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 236 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  2. Place the yolks, sugar, milk, flour, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.

  3. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice.

  4. Whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.

  5. Add about 1/3 of the lemon mixture to the whipped egg whites, and fold together until combined.

  6. Fold in the remaining lemon mixture, and transfer the batter to (4) 6-ounce ramekins.*

  7. Place the unbaked cakes in a larger baking dish and pour hot water all around, until it comes about halfway up the sides of the pan.

  8. Bake until puffy and springy to the touch (the cakes should be just barely beginning to turn golden around the edges); about 40 to 45 minutes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*Can also be baked in an 8x8 square baking dish (adjust bake time as needed). 

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Pudding Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 102mg34%
Sodium 193mg8%
Potassium 116mg3%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 196IU4%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.