When I have a couple of lemons lying around my kitchen and want to make a quick dessert, I often opt for lemon pudding cake. Pudding cakes are cakes that create their own sauce while they bake. The sauce (a.k.a. the pudding) forms underneath a layer of fluffy cake while the dish is in the oven. Although the recipe calls for beating egg whites to stiff peaks, this pudding cake is very easy to make and uses ingredients that you probably always have in your pantry. And that means that any time you have lemons on hand, you are ready to make your own batch.
These Little Lemon Pudding Cakes are single-serving lemon pudding cakes that are baked in small ramekins, rather than in a large baking dish. Pudding cakes can be made in all shapes and sizes, but I happen to be a big fan of individual pudding cakes. A single serving cake means that everyone gets just the right amount of sauce with their cake. They’re also easier to serve, since you don’t have to scoop out (sometimes less-than-attractive) spoonfuls from a larger dish. Whether you go with a large dish or small ones, this cake needs to be baked in a water bath to help the pudding layer form during baking.
The pudding cakes have a nice sweet-tart lemon flavor, with a pudding that is almost like homemade lemon curd beneath a layer of airy sponge cake. The key to a great lemon flavor is to use fresh lemon juice, so don’t be tempted to take shortcuts with this recipe. I will warn you right now that these are addictive if you are a lemon-lover, and they might turn you into one if you’re not already. And once you’ve made it once, I can pretty much guarantee that it’ll become a favorite and you’ll find yourself putting it into regular rotation.
Individual Lemon Pudding Cakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2/3 cup milk (any kind)
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter six 6-ounce ramekins and arrange them in a large 9×13-inch pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add in egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk and whisk thoroughly until batter is smooth and well-combined.
n a medium bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently whisk or fold egg whites into lemon mixture, until no streaks of egg white remain visible. Divide pudding mixture into prepared ramekins and place in the roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and fill it with water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow puddings to cool for 10 minutes in the water bath, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Serve slightly warm.