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!
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.
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.
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?
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Other individual dessert recipes to try:
- Chilled Lemon Soufflés
- Frozen Lemon Velvet Pots de Crème
- Pecan Cookie Cups with White Chocolate Mousse
- Individual Butterscotch Pies
- Butterscotch Pudding Filled Peaches
- Individual Blueberry Cakes
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!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 6 to 8 custard cups or ramekins (see Note).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and melted butter.
- 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.
- With an electric mixer, beat 2 egg whites just until stiff (don’t overbeat). Gently fold into custard until well mixed.
- 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.
- Remove cakes from water bath and place on a wire rack to cool. Bring to room temperature, then cover and chill.
- 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.
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