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Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes feature a layer of lemon pudding underneath a soft, sweet lemon cake. And it’s all made with just one batter!

two Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes in white ramekins with a spoon sticking out of one of them

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

Pudding cakes are a lovely combination of, you guessed it, pudding and cake. And, these Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes do all of that with a nice lemon flavor. When you dig your spoon into them past that sugary, brûlée-like top, you first get a light layer of cake. But keep going and you’ll find a lovely layer of pudding at the bottom.

As you can imagine, this is not the kind of cake you can easily cut into slices and serve. It’s more of a spoonable dessert. I really like to make these in individual-size ramekins to make them simpler to serve. Plus, I’m a bit of a sucker for individual desserts.

If you’re deeply mired in winter weather like we are, I’m sure you’ll welcome the brightness of lemon in a simple dessert.

What You’ll Need

If you’ve got lemons, then you very likely have everything else you need to make these delicious pudding cakes!

  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs – You’ll mix the yolks and whites at different times in the recipe, so separate them when you’re gathering ingredients. Remember that they’ll separate more easily when they’re cold but mix better when closer to room temperature.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Milk
  • Meyer lemons – You’ll need both zest and juice. (Learn more: How to Zest and Juice Lemons) You’ll get 2 to 3 tablespoons of juice per lemon. For more about these lemons in comparison to regular lemons, see the section below.
  • Salt
  • Coarse sugar – This is an optional addition, but it creates a sweet crunchy topping that goes nicely with these little cakes.

Topping Ideas

a Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake in a white ramekin with a spoon sticking out of it

Meyer Lemons Versus Regular Lemons

Meyer lemons are believed to be a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges. They’re smaller and rounder than regular lemons and have a smooth skin. They’re more sweet than tart, giving them a more mellow flavor. You’re most likely to find them in the early months of the year.

Regular lemons are usually Eureka or Lisbon lemons. They are larger and oblong with textured skins. Their flavor leans more toward tart than sweet. They’re generally available year-round.

These cakes feature Meyer lemons, which are milder and sweeter than traditional lemons. They make for a lighter, subtler flavor. You can, of course, use whichever type of lemon you’d like.

How to Make Lemon Pudding Cakes

This recipe is fairly straightforward, although it has a few special steps that are necessary to achieve the layers in the cakes.

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Place six 4-ounce ramekins inside a large baking pan. A 9″ x 13″ x 2″ pan or a roasting pan works well. Most any oven-safe pan that the ramekins fit inside comfortably will work as long as you can fill with water as described below.

Mix most of the ingredients. Whisk together the sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and butter until well-mixed. Whisk in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the lemon mixture to the sugar mixture, whisking until smooth.

Beat the egg whites. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. (When you lift the whisk or beater out of the mixture, there should be a peak that points straight upward.)

Add the egg whites to the lemon mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg whites gently into the lemon mixture. Once mixed, it should be smooth and foamy. Be sure not to over-mix.

Portion and bake. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins. Sprinkle the top of each cake with coarse sugar, if using. Pour hot water into the large baking pan so that it’s about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown.

Cool the cakes. Use tongs or a jar lifter to lift the cakes carefully out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving. (They’ll sink a bit as they cool.)

overhead view of two Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes in white ramekins

Tips for Success

  • Tips for whipping egg whites. Make sure your bowl is clean and completely dry. Eggs separate more easily when they’re cold but mix and whip more easily when they’re warmer. Stop whipping when the mixture forms a stiff peak (one that points straight up when you lift the whisk out).
  • Don’t skip the water bath. It makes the baking environment just right to create the layers of cake and pudding. The water doesn’t need to be extra hot; just hot tap water is fine. Take care placing the pan in and removing from the oven.
  • Want to make this recipe in a single pan? After mixing, transfer the batter to a 2-quart baking dish. Place it inside a larger baking pan and add hot water as described in the recipe. Reduce the baking time to 30 to 35 minutes.

How to Store Lemon Pudding Cakes

These Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes will be best the day they’re made, but you can cover them tightly and refrigerate overnight. Rewarm the puddings for 10 to 15 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes are sweet, tart, and utterly delicious!

overhead view of a Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake with a bite missing

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (236ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup (79ml) Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place six 4-ounce ramekins** inside a large baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the sugar and flour. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and butter until well mixed. Whisk in the milk, zest, and juice.
  4. Add the lemon mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites and salt until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the lemon and sugar mixture.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins. Sprinkle the top of each with coarse sugar.
  7. Pour hot water into the large baking pan so that the water is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  8. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Notes

*Either white sanding sugar or turbinado sugar will work.

**You can also use a 2-quart baking dish instead of the individual ramekins. It will still need to be placed in a large baking pan and filled with water as described with the ramekins. Reduce the baking time to 30 to 35 minutes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Real Simple.

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    37 Comments on “Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes”

  1. A cake you can eat with a spoon is basically like eating undercooked cake batter, and I love raw cake batter 😉

  2. I’m with you, I love individual desserts! These sound great 🙂

  3. I could totally go for one of these little pots right now. OK, two of these little pots.

  4. Making right now! really, I am totally not kidding!

  5. Yum these look great – I’ve been craving lemony cookies, but this might hit the spot! How do you think almond milk would hold up as an alternative to whole milk? I’ve actually never baked with almond milk, but just thought vanilla-flavored could be an interesting compliment.

    • Sarah, I have zero experience baking with almond milk. From what I’ve read, it can be used as a straight substitute for regular milk in baking. There’s a good bit of milk in this recipe, so any difference it makes will be amplified with these cakes versus a recipe with a lesser amount of milk. If you should try it, please let me know how it works.

  6. Perfect recipe on a day when the Midwest is expecting ice & snow! Love lemon desserts.

  7. I am definitely into moving on from chocolate to Meyers! I love the sound of these pudding cakes…the perfect mix of creamy and citrusy!

  8. Anything served in ramekins is just immediately 10x better than if it had been served in a larger vessel. Lemon puddings are one of the best kind of puddings, they’re not overly rich or sweet so it’s easier to eat more of it! 😉

  9. amazing dessert, crispy cake on top, lemony pudding underneath! love the texture and the taste!

  10. I felt the same way this week, definitely needed something non-chocolate! These look delicious.

  11. What a great way to use Meyer lemons!
    Totally sharing this on friday links!
    Good job J!
    xoxo!

  12. Absolutely wonderful! I’d go on raving, but I need to go eat one right now so I’m too busy…..

  13. Do you eat warm, room temp, or chilled?

  14. What do you think about using buttermilk?

    • Hi, Sue. I think you can use buttermilk. The deciding factor for substituting is usually the presence or absence of acidity. The lemon juice is acidic, so that would be the only issue if there is one.

  15. would i be able to make this with regular lemon juice? I have never seen meyer lemons where i live in northern Ontario Canada

  16. Hi I am wanting to make these today and serve tomorrow. Do u think it would be better to refrigerate them raw and bake tomorrow or bake them today and store in fridge till tomorrow? Or does it matter? This would be good to know to if u did not want to eat all six of them at once but over a couple of days.

  17. I love lemon everything and ramekins so this is perfect for me to try soon, I hope.

  18. This recipe is amazing! I just devoured one ramekin fresh from the oven. It turned out perfectly and I followed the recipe (almost) exactly. I juiced one large and one medium meyer lemon and got a teensy bit over 1/3 cup. I zested both and put all of the zest in just for kicks. I think it could be a little tarter still, so I would reduce the sugar next time or do one meyer lemon and one normal lemon.  I was a little worried at the step where you mix the milk with the lemon since I thought citrus curdles dairy products (!) but nothing bad happened. 

    The cake at the top is perfectly light and fluffy and complemented by the rich pudding at the bottom. I would definitely make this again. 

  19. If baking the day before serving, when you reheat do you reheat in a pan with water or just a warm oven and no water in the pan?

  20. I just made that and they come out amazing. Should I refrigerate them or leave them at room temp covered with plastic?   Let me know since I plan to share tomorrow. 

    • Hi, Antonietta! If the cakes are going to be eaten within a day, they’re probably fine tightly covered at room temperature if your kitchen isn’t overly hot or humid. Refrigerating is fine, too, but it will change the texture of the cakes.

  21. As I have 2% milk will this do or should I buy whole milk for recipe?

  22. OMG – these are heavenly!!! Such a delicious desert & awesome recipe Jennifer! I used the zest of a whole lemon (I love lemon) & will definitely make this again within a week as we’re just devouring them!

  23. These are delicious and so easy to make! I used So Delicious brand coconut milk (not the canned type) and put them in 8 oz ramekins. I tested one in the Ninja XL Airfryer using a water bath and baked at 350 for 14 minutes – it was perfect! 

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