Sweet Endings — A Memory of Lemon Pudding

This is one of my childhood favourites. My mom would often make this dessert with its creamy, warm lemon curd on the bottom and light cake topping. It’s not too sweet, with that tartness of the lemons I love. Mom’s recipe included measurements such as “butter the size of an egg.” I have assigned more precise measurements for this beloved pudding cake. 


Warm Lemon Pudding Cake

Serves 4–6


2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

1 cup white sugar, divided, with 2 Tbsp reserved

3 large eggs, separated

1 Tbsp lemon zest

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

1 cup milk

⅔ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)

2 Tbsp icing/confectioner’s sugar, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in centre of the oven. Have a large, high-sided roasting pan ready. 

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish or 4-6 individual ramekins. 

Before starting, separate eggs and reserve whites. Divide the white sugar, reserving 2 Tbsp. You will need these ingredients to make the meringue. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, add in the remaining sugar. Add the butter and beat (with stand mixer or electric mixer) until mixture is grainy but light. 

Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon zest and mix. Add the flour and salt and mix. Add the milk and lemon juice and mix until combined. 

Set aside. (If using your stand mixer, transfer mixture to another large bowl and wash your mixer bowl really well—you’ll be whipping the egg whites in it next, so it has to be squeaky clean.)

To make the meringue, beat egg whites in the clean bowl of the stand mixer, or another bowl, until frothy and beginning to form soft peaks. Sprinkle in the reserved 2 Tbsp of white sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form.

Bring 8-10 cups of water to a simmer (this will be added to the roasting pan to bake the puddings).

Spoon the meringue mixture on top of the egg yolk and flour mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture by pulling a bit of the batter up and over the meringue. 

Continue gently folding in the meringue until the mixture is uniform in colour and texture and there aren’t any large chunks of meringue. Do not over mix.

Pour or ladle your batter into the prepared dish or dishes. 

Place the prepared dish (or dishes) into the roasting pan. Carefully pour simmering water into the roasting pan around the dish(s) so it comes about halfway up the sides of the dish. Carefully put the roasting pan into the preheated 350°F oven.

Pudding(s) will take anywhere from 30 minutes (for individual servings) to 45 minutes (for one large pudding) to bake. You want the top to be firm and golden, but not too browned. (Baking times can vary, so watch closely.)

Remove the pudding from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. 

Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then dust lightly with icing/confectioner’s sugar. Serve warm and enjoy!

Image: Jacqueline Downey

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