Sweet, tangy and pillowy light, my grandmother Nama’s pretty little Lemon Pudding Cakes are a refreshing way to end any meal. They’re made with just one easy batter that magically forms into two layers when baked – moist lemon cake on top with creamy lemon pudding below, resulting in a dazzling amount of luscious lemony taste. The secret to the batter forming into two layers is in how it’s baked!

Small glass dishes holding baked Lemon Pudding Cups, showing garnish of blueberries

My maternal grandmother Nama was a true Southern woman – elegant, smart, friendly, always a smile on her face. And, of course, she was a fabulous cook and hostess. Fortunately, my mom kept many of Nama’s recipes and passed them down to me, my brother and many of my cousins. One of my favorites has always been Nama’s easy, 8 ingredient recipe for delicate Lemon Pudding Cakes. Full of cool lemony flavor, it’s been a crowd pleaser for years.

Overhead view of small glass dishes filled with baked Lemon Pudding Cups
What is Lemon Pudding Cake?

These light and luscious little cakes are actually two desserts in one – lemon pudding and lemon cake, combined in layers. Calling for only eight readily available ingredients, it’s surprisingly easy to prepare as you only need to make one batter. And, no need for frosting – they are pretty enough without it! Just sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top and garnish with a few fresh blueberries or raspberries, and you have a casually elegant and impressive dessert.

Small glass dishes holding Lemon Pudding Cups, showing alternate garnish of raspberries

So, how do you make Lemon Pudding Cakes?

Simply whisk together egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and melted butter. Then whisk in sugar, flour and salt alternating with whole milk. Fold in whipped egg whites, pour the batter into individual ramekins and place them in a large baking dish that’s filled with hot water (a ”water bath”) to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. The water bath allows the pudding to form on the bottom while the top bakes into a fluffy, moist cake. It’s like magic! Once they’re baked, cool to room temperature, cover and chill for up to 24 hours, which allows the flavors to blend. Garnish and serve. How easy is that?

Individual Lemon Pudding Cup with a spoon showing a few of the inside

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Overhead view of small glass dishes filled with baked Lemon Pudding Cups

Lemon Pudding Cakes Recipe

  • Author: From “A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®” by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Chill Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
  • Category: easy desserts, make ahead
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sweet, tangy and pillowy light, my grandmother Nama’s recipe for these little Lemon Pudding Cakes are a refreshing way to end any meal. They’re made with just one easy batter that magically forms into two layers when baked – fluffy, moist lemon cake on top with creamy lemon pudding below, resulting in a dazzling amount of luscious lemony taste. The secret to the batter forming into two layers is in how it’s baked!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Fresh berries (or Strawberry Topping), for serving
  • Powdered (confectioners) sugar, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 6 to 8 custard cups or ramekins (see Note).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and melted butter.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Whisk half the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then whisk in half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Don’t overmix.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat 2 egg whites just until stiff (don’t overbeat). Gently fold into custard until well mixed.
  5. Divide custard mixture equally among prepared ramekins (they will be almost full). Place in a large baking dish or roasting pan big enough to hold them without touching. Pour hot tap water into baking dish to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until puffy and lightly golden brown on top.
  6. Remove cakes from water bath and place on a wire rack to cool. Bring to room temperature, then cover and chill.
  7. Around 30 to 45 minutes before serving, remove cakes from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Serve with fresh blueberries, raspberries or Strawberry Topping. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Notes

High altitude adjustment: Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, not stiff peaks.

Note on lemon juice and zest: Three lemons should provide the needed zest and juice.

Note on number of ramekins: The number of ramekins needed (and therefore the total number of servings) depends on their size. If you are using 4 ounce ramekins, then you will need 8. We think that 6 ounce ramekins make the best serving size.

Make ahead: Custard cups can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Keywords: lemon, cake, mini cakes

Lee Clayton Roper

Welcome!

I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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