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The BEST light and fluffy Lemon Pudding Cake recipe.
Calling all lemon lovers!
We’re so excited to be sharing this recipe for incredibly light, fluffy, pillowy soft and intensely flavored lemon pudding cake!
When you dig a spoon into this pudding you’ll find two distinct layers. The top layer is a soft, light lemon cake similar to soufflé.
On the bottom you’ll find a rich, velvety layer of lemon pudding that’s not too thick and not too thin. This textural combo is dessert perfection!
Overview of ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- A little bit of cornstarch to help thicken the pudding without covering up the bright lemon flavor.
- Lemon zest from 4 regular size lemons. Only zest the outer yellow rind, no white pith.
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter at room temperature
- Fresh lemon juice from 4 juicy lemons
- Five large eggs, yolks and whites separated
- whole milk at room temperature
- Boiling water for the hot water bath (bain marie)
- Powdered sugar, fresh blueberries, blackberries or strawberries and thin lemon slices for garnish
How to make lemon pudding cake:
This recipe is broken down into a few simple steps. It’s easy, straightforward and practically fool-proof.
1. Prep the equipment and pans:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line the bottom of a roasting pan with a folded kitchen towel. Grease 6 (8-ounce) ramekins or one 8-inch square baking pan. Arrange the greased pan(s) on the towel and set aside.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Once boiling, set aside and keep warm.
2. Prepare the lemon sugar:
In a small food processor combine the zest with two tablespoons of sugar. Process until the zest is broken down into tiny pieces and the sugar turns bright yellow.
If you don’t have a small food processor place the zest and sugar in a small bowl and smash together using the back of a spoon until combined.
This step is essential for getting the best lemon flavor. We use this method is almost all our lemon desserts like Lemon Cheesecake, Lemon Ricotta Cake, Lemon Cookies, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake and more.
3. Prepare the cake batter:
Whisk together the flour and cornstarch; set aside.
In a large bowl combine the lemon sugar, 1/3 of the remaining granulated sugar and the butter. Reserve the remaining sugar for beating with the egg whites.
Using an electric mixer beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed and blend again.
Add the flour mixture and blend just until incorporated. Slowly add the milk and lemon juice mixing just until blended.
4. Prepare the (meringue) whipped egg whites:
In a clean bowl with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until soft, foamy peaks form. Slowly add all remaining granulated sugar.
Continue beating until the egg whites are firm and glossy; about 2 minutes.
Whisk one-third of the beaten egg whites into the egg batter until incorporated. Next gently fold in half of the remaining egg whites with a rubber spatula until blended.
And finally, carefully and gently fold in the remaining egg whites taking care not to deflate the mixture.
5. Bake in a hot water bath
Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins.
Carefully place the pan on the oven rack then pour boiling water into the outer pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake until the surface of the pudding is light golden brown and the edges are set. The center should jiggle slightly when shaken.
Remove the pudding(s) to a wire rack. Cool for about an hour before serving.
Bake in single serving ramekins or all in one pan
For this post we made our pudding cakes in six (8-ounce) ramekins. You can also use eight (6-ounce) ramekins or any assortment of oven-proof serving bowls you have on hand.
Finally, for the same great results, bake this cake in a 8-inch square baking dish.
How to serve Lemon Pudding Cake
Lemon pudding cakes can be served warm, room temperature or cold. If chilled bring to room temperature for an hour or two before serving for the best flavor.
Dust the tops with powdered sugar and serve with tart fruits like blackberries, blueberries or strawberries. You can also add a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream on top.
Light and fluffy with a texture similar to soufflés
These cakes puff up a little like soufflés, but don’t deflate or sink too much as they cool.
It’s almost hard to describe but the cake layer is similar to a chiffon cake, only softer. It’s the lightest custardy cake I’ve ever eaten, but not at all eggy.
If you want to try your hand at a great soufflé recipe, try our rich Chocolate Soufflés with Bailey’s Creme Anglaise drizzled over the top, or this light as air Lemon Soufflé.
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Lemon Pudding Cake
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (30g)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (7g)
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest about 4 lemons
- 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons (222g + 30g)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup lemon juice (4oz)
- 5 large eggs separated
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk room temperature (10oz)
- boiling water for the hot water bath
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a folded kitchen towel on the bottom of a roasting pan. Grease six (8-ounce) ramekins or one 8-inch square baking dish with vegetable cooking spray or butter. Arrange the prepared ramekins on the towel; set aside.
- Place a kettle of water on to boil. Once boiling, set aside and keep warm.
- Combine the flour and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.
- In a small food processor combine the zest with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Process until the zest is broken down into tiny pieces and the sugar turns bright yellow. If you don’t have a small processor pour the sugar and zest in a small bowl and smash with the back of a spoon until combined and the lemon oil is released.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the lemon sugar, 1/3 cup of the remaining granulated sugar and the butter. Using an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and blend again.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture mixing just until blended. Slowly add the milk and lemon juice mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and blend again for 15 seconds. The batter will be runny.
- In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft foamy peaks form, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running on medium-low, add the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the egg whites are firm and glossy, about 2 minutes.
- Whisk one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter until incorporated. Gently fold in half the remaining egg whites with a rubber spatula. Finally, carefully and gently fold in the remaining egg whites taking care not to deflate the mixture.
- Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish(s). Carefully place the pan on the oven rack and pour boiling water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins or baking dish. Bake until the surface of the puddings are light golden brown and the edges are set. The center should jiggle slightly when shaken, about 30 minutes for ramekins and 55-60 minutes for one large pudding.
- Remove the cakes from the water bath and transfer to a wire rack and cool for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serve with fresh fruit.
- six (8-ounce) ramekins
- eight (6-ounce) ramekins (cut the baking time to 20-25 minutes)
- 8-inch square baking dish
Lemon Pudding Cake Recipe
These lemon pudding cakes have intense lemon flavor in a light, pillowy soft cake set over a rich and velvety pudding on the bottom.
This cake can be served warm, room temperature or cold and is perfect simply dusted with confectioners sugar. Bake in ramekins for individual desserts or in one large pudding. It’s all good!
With flavor similar to that you’ll find in our easy Lemon Posset and these Tangy Lemon Bars, your lemon-loving family will request this dessert again and again!
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