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Lemon Pudding Cake

Lemon Pudding Cake. An ultimate lemon comfort food dessert that combines a bright, flavourful lemon cake baked on top of a tart, tangy, but not too sweet lemon sauce.

Close up overhead shot of Lemon Pudding Cake

Lemon Pudding Cake. Like grandma used to make.

This lemon pudding cake recipe comes as the result of quite a bit of trial and error. However, this recipe is a successful attempt to replicate one of my childhood favourites.

Back then we would have used a packaged mix for this, which I loved at the time. But nowadays, I never use package mixes for anything.

Close up of uncut fully baked Lemon Pudding Cake

Lemon Pudding Cake.

I’ve spent years avoiding preservatives and artificial flavours. To be honest, nothing comes close to the natural bright, tangy taste of real lemon.

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Minced lemon zest.

Lemon Pudding Cake. Getting the recipe right.

I tried several recipes for lemon pudding cake where the lemon and sugar mixture are sprinkled on top of the batter and then boiling water gets poured over the top. I did however find that method got mixed results.

One serving of Lemon Pudding Cake in a white bowl

Lemon pudding Cake with a not too sweet sauce.

Sometimes the sauce was too thick, sometimes lumpy. Sometimes the appearance of the top of the pudding was not the best and the cake was too rubbery and not cake-like.

I decided that the best way to approach this was to treat the two elements separately and bake it in the same manner as you would a cobbler. This worked very well indeed and with a minimal amount of extra effort to prepare the sauce separately.

Lemon cut in half on a wooden board

Lemon desserts are some of our family’s most favurite.

Spouse and I, who are both avid lemon lovers knew we had to share this pudding as soon as we took the first bite… otherwise we would have been tempted to eat the whole thing!

We shared it with a couple of friends, including our lemon loving friend Barb who called immediately after it was delivered. She was in full lemon swoon. 

Overhead photo of fully baked Lemon Pudding Cake

Fresh from the oven.

Lemon pudding cake with one serving removed to show lemon sauce at the bottom

A delicious self-saucing dessert.

Any leftovers are easily reheated in the microwave the next day… if there are any leftovers, because everyone will want a second helping of this delectable dessert!

Originally published Oct 2016.

Like this Lemon Pudding Cake Recipe?

You’ll find plenty of other delicious ideas like this in our Cakes and Pies Category and even more in our Desserts Category.

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Close up overhead shot of Lemon Pudding Cake
Yield: 12 servings

Lemon Pudding Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Lemon Pudding Cake - an ultimate lemon comfort food dessert that combines a bright, flavourful lemon cake baked on top of a tart, tangy, but not too sweet lemon sauce.

Ingredients

For the Lemon Sauce

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • juice of 2 large lemons. Remove the zest from both lemons before juicing them. Half the zest will go the sauce and half will go in the cake.
  • zest of one large lemon, very finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp butter, not margarine

For the Lemon Cake

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of one large lemon, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions

To prepare the lemon sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, salt and cornstarch.
  2. While still off the heat, whisk in the egg yolks.
  3. Add the lemon juice, zest and water and place over medium low heat.
  4. Bring this mixture to a boil stirring constantly. I find that a silicone spatula best for this because you can continuously scrape the entire bottom of the pan, making sure that the sauce thickens evenly and doesn't stick or burn.
  5. Once it is boiling continue to boil for one minute, then take it off the heat and stir in the butter, a tablespoon at a time until smooth.
  6. Pour into an ungreased 8 cup casserole dish or a pan of similar size that is about 4 inches deep.
  7. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter

To prepare the lemon cake batter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and beat well.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest
  5. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  6. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. In general, I add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the milk in 2 additions.
  7. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons, closely together, all over the surface of the lemon sauce.
  8. Once all the batter is in the dish you can gently smooth out the surface of the batter with the back of a tablespoon.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minute or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centre comes put clean.
  10. Let the pudding sit for about 15minutes to cool down slightly and let the sauce thicken a little.
  11. Serve in cereal sized bowls or dessert dishes.

Notes

People ask me what I mean by finely minced lemon zest. My method is to use the fine side of a box grater placed on a cutting board to remove all of the zest from the lemon while avoiding as much of the bitter white part of the peel as possible. I then take a chefs knife and continue to to chop the finely grated zest into small bits. Using this method, I rarely ever strain a lemon curd or sauce through a sieve after it is cooked. The zest left in a sauce or lemon curd intensifies the lemon flavour greatly without really interrupting the smooth consistency.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

g

Amount Per Serving Calories 336Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 90mgSodium 213mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 2gSugar 35gProtein 4g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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BERNADETTE

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

COULD LEMON PIE FILLING BE USED FOR THIS RECIPE INSTEAD OF MAKING LEMON PUDDING FROM SCRATCH?

Helen

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

This sounds delicious. I’ve never had a problem with my over 50 year old recipe where you fold the egg whites into the batter and it creates its own sauce when baked, however, I want to try this recipe. I think it will have a more intense lemon flavour. I use a micro plane zester. Never have needed to strain my sauces.

Audrey Sparkes

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

Do you have an apple cake recipe like this one?

Lori

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

We did not get many desserts growing up- BUT this lemon pudding cake was on a regular Sunday night rotation in our house. I have not made it in years (My mom's original recipe) I will take her recipe out and compare to your's, pretty sure they will be the same. Thanks for the "Sunday night' dessert reminder. I'm going to put this back in to my rotation.

Janet and Richard Cornwall

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

My husband's favourite dessert from childhood. I have his mother's recipe which calls for a lump of flour...the size of an egg! Other vague measurements so it too is a hit and miss but tradionally I make it for him for Valentine's and invariably we get a chuckle. I'm going to give yours a go.....looks much more promising.

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