Louise’s Lemon Pudding Cake

Like chocolate pudding cake that forms two layers as it bakes, this lemon version undergoes the same transformation. As a chocolate lover, I thought I’d try lemon pudding cake for a change of pace. Surprisingly, It was so satisfying and delicious that I’d probably choose this lemon pudding cake over the chocolate type. Thanks to Louise for sharing this excellent recipe. I thought I’d have to go through several lemon pudding cakes to find one I’d like best, but this one was it.

lemon pudding cake

Louise found this recipe posted in the comment/review section of an Epicurious recipe, where “Tony from Fresno” had posted his version as an alternative to the one published. Tony’s was one Louise had been making for years, and I can see why.

The cake comes out of the oven looking pretty plain. Not unattractive, just kind of plain.

lemon pudding cake

When you cut into it, things get exciting.

lemon pudding cake

The lemon pudding is creamy and smooth and the cake is very light – almost like a soufflé. Last night I served it hot because I just couldn’t wait, but Louise and her husband prefer to chill it and serve it cold. I tried a bit cold today and it was just as good, possibly better, than when served warm. When chilled, it firms up and tastes like lemon cream pie with cake on top.

Louise's Lemon Pudding Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Part cake, part pudding
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (divided use)
  • Grated zest of two lemons
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice -- can use Meyer, but I used regular and Louise uses regular
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2 %)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch baking dish (I used glass -- I'm not sure what Tony and Loise use). Have ready a roasting pan or pan large enough to hold the 8 inch pan. You will be using a water bath.
  2. Set aside 1/4 cup of the sugar and put 3/4 cup in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and mash it around with the back of a spoon until you have a fragrant, lemony sugar. Add the the salt and the flour and stir until well combined. Add melted butter, lemon juice, and egg yolks. Mix until well blended. Stir in cream and milk. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until fluffy. Gradually add the reserved 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but still moist.
  4. Fold egg white mixture into lemon mixture. Pour batter into the baking dish. Place the baking dish in the larger pan and fill the larger pan with water so that it comes about halfway up the sides (water bath). Bake on center rack for 40-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve hot or cold. Serves 6.
Adapted from Tony from Fresno, CA

lemon pudding cake

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  1. Louise says

    Thanks, Anna. I feel like I just passed a major exam. I use either an 8″ Corning Ware pan, or 6 3/4-cup individual ramekins, which I just serve.

  2. says

    This was an old favorite when I was a child, Anna. My mother used to make it. And when I was a busy young mother, I remember something came in a box that turned out quite well. It’s been years since I thought about it; don’t know if it’s even made in a box mix anymore. But I have more time for cooking now and would love to try Louise’s recipe.
    Lemon is much more a favorite of mine than chocolate!

  3. says

    AHHHH!!!! Memories! My mom used to make the chocolate version, the lemon version ANNNDDD an orange version!
    Usually on a Saturday night. I preferred the citrus ones over the chocolate one. She always used a Pyrex dish as well.
    I’ve been longing for this recently, and noticed in the local supermarket (Hanniford’s, in SE MAss) that Dr.Oetker (?) makes a boxed mix for the lemon and the chocolate versions. I was almost tempted, but it was about $3.50 a box, and I knew if I went thru my old Fannie Farmer’s cookbook, she had a recipe.
    My favorite part of the finished dish is the semi-firm transition between where it’s more solid on top and creamy on the bottom. MMMmmmm! I’m making this!

  4. Cookies4kids says

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, Louise. I am the chocolate freak in the family, but my hubby loves things like this. He will be having a treat for supper tonight thanks to you.

  5. Tina from PA says

    Off to the store for some lemons !I love lemon flavored things . Thank You for sharing a great recipe .I’ll let you know how my hubby likes it ,I know I’ll love it !

  6. Martha in KS says

    For those who aren’t put off by boxed mixes, there is a recipe on the Jiffy Lemon Cake box using the cake & a box of Lemon Icing. It’s pretty sweet, but good & easy to prepare.

  7. says

    Ooohhhhhhh…..I am SO making this. It looks and sounds absolutely heavenly. The only think I don’t have in the house is heavy cream, that’s the only thing stopping me. But soon, soon! Thank you Louise and Anna!

  8. says

    Thanks again for the recipe, Louise! I think I will try it with the ramekins one day. I was wondering what size would be best and you have answered my question.

    Barbara, maybe the recipe Martha mentioned is the one you remember — the one on the Jiffy box.

    Mary, I’ll have to try the orange version one day. However, I will probably move on to more chocolate versions. I’d like to find a chocolate version that is as tasty as Pat’s, but with a texture like this one.

    Kris, a lot of the lemon pudding and chocolate pudding cakes are low fat. This one obviously has more with the butter and bit of cream, but it’s worth it. I’ll still try the CL version, though.

  9. Lilly says

    I’ve always wanted to try this type of cake after seeing this recipe for warm chocolate pudding cake in my Kraft magazine. http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/warm-chocolate-pudding-cake-112458.aspx

    With the Kraft recipe I always imagined mix and matching cake mix and pudding flavors, but never had the courage to try this type of cake. After reading your posts I’m ready. Naturally I’ll start with a recipe you’ve posted since you never disappoint.

  10. Cheri says

    I absolutely love your blog. It’s my go-to website whenever I have an urge for baking [which is quite often ;)]
    I was also wondering, do you think I could replace heavy cream with something else? I just don’t usually buy it and I am a little reluctant to buy a carton and only use two tablespoons.
    Thanks, and keep on posting!

  11. says


    I think you could get away with using milk in place of cream, but your results would be different. A little bit of cream goes a long way, and the 2 tablespoons that are in this recipe add to texture. But you could always try it. I know what you mean about buying a carton and not using it all. However, what you could do is use the 2 tablespoons in the recipe and whip the rest to serve as garnish. The chilled pudding is very good with freshly whipped cream and berries.

    So the more I think about it, the more I lean toward your spending the buck or two on cream, using the 2 tablespoons and whipping the rest. If you don’t want to whip the cream, another thing you could use it in is scones.

  12. Louise says

    Well, a substitute for 1 cup of whipping cream is 3/4 cup of whole milk plus 1/3 cup butter, so you might use that ratio to replace 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. I never keep whole milk in the house, so I’d probably end up using 1 tablespoon of 1% milk and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of butter.

  13. Martha in KS says

    Many times when a recipe calls for cream I use evaporated non-fat milk. It too can be whipped for a frothy whipped cream – it’s an old Weight Watchers trick.

  14. Cheryl says

    I can tell from the pics that this has a different texture than a Lemon Chess Pie but I was amazed at how similar the recipe and mixing method are. I will also have to try this!

  15. says

    I made this last night, and it really is delicious! I used baking soda instead of cream of tartar. I also didn’t read the egg white directions correctly, and I may have beat them too long. I am not a good judge of the whole stiffness thing anyway (in egg whites, ahem), so I’m not sure I did that part exactly right.

    It’s very lemony, which is how a lemon dessert should be. I love lemon!

    I absolutely loved the pudding part of this. My cake part was quite meringue-y, especially when first out of the oven. Cold, it was a bit less so. I liked it best it hot, although I would prefer it a bit more cake-like. But the meringue-yness may have been due to the two things I noted above. Warming it briefly in the microwave the next day was probably my favorite version.

    Yes, I had several servings within less than 24 hours. 🙂 That’s why I don’t make stuff like this very often; I would be in serious trouble if it was around the house all the time!

  16. Linda says

    I have made this two times. I used the zest of three lemons only because I needed about three lemons for he 1/3 cup of lemon juice. I liked the taste. This is a delicious pudding cake and one that I have never had. Thank you, Anna.

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