Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

by formerchef on February 7, 2011

Post image for Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

Sometimes recipes come from the strangest, most unexpected places. They can come from a flash of creativity connected to absolutely nothing, they can be inspired by eating something amazing or even by a location, they can be passed down from generation to generation or given like a secret gift from friend to friend. The recipe for this lemon pudding cake came to me from of all places, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Only in our digital age would it have found its way to me as it did.

In the Fall of 2009 I sent out a tweet, asking for lemon dessert recipes. Robyn Eckhardt, a professional travel/food writer who also writes one of my favorite blogs Eating Asia replied, asking if I’d ever made Lemon Pudding Cake. I said no and she emailed me a scanned page from an cookbook called Classic Home Desserts, one I can only presume made its way from the US with her when she moved to Asia. In no time like the present could I have received a copy of a recipe from an print book so quickly from the other side of the world. I’ve said it before; I love technology!

December of that year was a difficult one; a family illness caused us to scale our Christmas dinner way back, but I still cooked, mostly as a way to relieve my stress. I made this lemon pudding cake for dessert on Christmas Eve and could not believe how fantastic it was.

Fast forward to this month and my Meyer lemon tree is once again full of lemons. I got some lovely porcelain ramekins as a gift this year and when planning to make desserts for the Soup Swap Party, I thought I’d try to make these as individual little cakes instead of in one large pan as I had before. My computer had crashed this past December (wow, is that month always so rough?) and even though I lost all my emails, I found the scanned printed copy in my file folder of recipes. My version is pretty much faithful to the original though I have doubled it and made a couple of tweaks.

When the cakes cook, they separate into two layers; the bottom has a soft texture, almost like lemon curd and the top is like a fluffy souffle. They are really good warm out of the oven, but also hold up ok if they need to be made in advance. The cake shrinks a little when chilled and looks better when still warm or at room temperature. Unlike a souffle, the top does not fall or sink much after coming out of the oven. If serving for a dinner party, I would recommend making it a few hours in advance and not refrigerating.

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes
Printable Recipe in PDF

1 Tbsp butter for buttering the baking dish
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups milk
2.5 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter the baking dish or ramekins. You will need a roasting pan large enough to put the baking dish or ramekins inside and then be able to add some water. Have everything ready to go.
  3. Separate the eggs and put the whites in a bowl large enough to whip them. In a medium sized bowl combine the yolks with the milk, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the wet mixture (yolks, zest and juice) to the dry mixture and stir until blended.
  5. Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites (in their separate bowl) until soft peaks form.
  6. Fold the whipped egg whites, about 2 cups at a time, into the bowl with the lemon batter until it is all combined. Be careful not to over mix so it goes flat.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans. For the 6 oz ramekins, I filled them up until about 1/2″ from the top.
  8. Set the baking dish or ramekins inside the larger roasting pan and add hot water until it reaches about half way up the sides of the baking dish.
  9. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until set. The top will puff up and become golden but the bottom will still be very soft.
  10. Remove from the oven and from the roasting pan and set the baking dish on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Best served warm or room temperature.

This recipe made 11 of the 6 oz ramekins, but it can also be made in a 9’x13″ baking dish, or cut it in half and use an 8″x8″ baking dish. The portions in the ramekins are perfect for individual desserts, but probably were too big for the party I had when there were lots of other dessert choices too. Next time, I may try them in even smaller containers.


1 Nicole February 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I love the idea of these pudding cakes, but I have made several recipes now and the top cake portion always turns out terribly dry and rather tasteless. The pudding part is always good and flavorful. I was wondering how you would rate the cake part of this recipe? It looks really good.

2 formerchef February 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I thought the top part was pretty good. It has a nice lighter lemony flavor and texture than the bottom part and I like the contrast.

3 Nicole February 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Thanks for the input. I’ll give them a try.

4 Janet Rudolph February 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Can’t wait to try this. Your directions and photos are perfect, so I’ll find my way…and weight 🙂 Love lemon!

5 Charles G Thompson February 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm

These look so good. I’m a big fan of lemony desserts, and I love that they’re individual servings. Will have to add Meyer lemons to my shopping list.

6 Chef Gwen February 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

wow. gorgeous photos. can almost taste it.

7 Ryan @ Ryan's Baking Blog February 8, 2011 at 1:03 am

I really love lemon desserts and this looks like a perfect combination of soft and light with creamy lemon goodness.

Love the photos as well!

8 Lcuy February 8, 2011 at 1:15 am

Perfect timing. I have about 6 cups of Meyer lemon juice in the freezer!
The cake looks so much more festive in the ramekins!

9 Myra February 8, 2011 at 6:35 am

I love lemon desserts, especially ones that looks so easy to make. I’ll have to try this with the kids.

10 Angrboda February 8, 2011 at 9:45 am

This looks very similar to a dessert my (english) boyfriend loves. His was called Lemon Surprise, but it was the same thing with something firm on top and the runny sauce at the bottom. I think I’ll save this one for a few months and surprise him on his birthday. (He’s a lemon fiend! You should have seen his face when I served him the lemon curd tart for dessert at New Year’s and he didn’t know what it was until he tasted it. I wished I’d had my camera ready. Nearly fell out of his chair. 😀 )

11 Meagan February 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I made a recipe like this and it is delicious, but do these types of cakes/desserts need to be refrigerated?

12 formerchef February 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Yes, I wouldn’t leave them out for more than a couple of hours if you are going to make them in advance.

13 Jenn @LeftoverQueen February 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Oh wow, those look incredible yummy!

14 Angela@spinachtiger February 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I would love these, and I must make them soon. I’ve seen meyer lemons at the store and I love this kind of dessert. Sorry you’ve had a rough year. Hope it gets better soon.

15 Caitlin March 4, 2011 at 6:57 am

These look delicious and I’m getting ready to make them this weekend.

Do you reccommend whole milk or will 1% or 2% work just as well?

Thanks so much 🙂

16 formerchef March 4, 2011 at 7:02 am

I used 1% (beacuse that’s all I buy) and it worked just fine!

17 Caitlin March 4, 2011 at 7:26 am

Thank you so much for the prompt response!!

18 Kara January 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

They are in the oven right now! I used 2 8×8 pans because all of my ramekins mysteriously disappeared. A review of how it turned out will be up on hopefully later today. Thanks for the great recipe!

19 Nancy March 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Hi, since I don’t have ramekins can I use a mini muffin pan to do this? If not that how else can I make this recipe without using ramekins?

20 formerchef March 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

If you use mini muffin pans do watch the cooking time. They could easily get over cooked. I’ve also made this in a 9×13″ baking dish and just scooped it out to serve.

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