As a kid, our family had dessert almost every night. My mom made a lot of treats from box mixes, and my all-time favorite was lemon pudding cake. Seems nowadays no one has even heard of this dessert, and I don’t think you can buy the mix anymore. When I saw a homemade version of Baked Lemon Pudding Cake on the web site, it brought back so many great memories.
My instinct told me homemade would be even better than a box mix, and baking was believing! This homemade lemon pudding cake was lighter and more heavenly than I remembered. And no boxed lemon flavor can match freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest. I wish my mom was still around to enjoy it with us. I am sure she’d be impressed.
This dessert takes only 20 minutes to whip together. Begin by separating the eggs into small dishes.
Next whip the egg whites until foamy.
Then add ¼ cup of the sugar and beat until glossy with stiff peaks. Stop and check when you think the peaks are almost stiff. If the whites look like this, they need a little more beating at High speed.
When you can pull the beaters out and you see stiff peaks, they are perfect! Set this bowl aside for later.
Next combine the remaining ¾ cup sugar and the butter.
While this is beating for a couple minutes, zest the lemon and then cut it in half and squeeze out the juice. My one lemon was just short of ¼ cup, so I topped it off with some bottled lemon juice I had in the fridge.
Next add the yolks, lemon juice and zest to the creamed butter and sugar.
Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled like mine did. It all comes out smooth in the end! Go ahead and add the flour and salt.
When this is well mixed, stir in the milk.
The final step is to fold in the egg whites. Use a gentle under-and-around movement with the spatula, taking care to mix thoroughly while keeping the mixture as light and airy as possible. Fold just enough to combine.
Pour this wonderfully light mixture into a 1 ½-quart casserole dish and get ready for the magic to happen!
Boil some water – I used my tea kettle – and place the dish inside a 13 x9 pan. Put the pan and dish into the oven and carefully and quickly (so you don’t lose too much oven heat!) pour the boiling water into the 13x9 pan to about ½ inch depth.
Close the oven and imagine how this light batter is going to create a dessert that is cake on top and pudding on the bottom. After 45 minutes, I could hardly believe my eyes when I pulled out this beautiful dessert …
If you like, sprinkle a dusting of powdered sugar through a small sieve.
When you dip in to serve the dessert, I hope you’ll be as amazed as I always was when seeing this double layer of deliciousness. Spoon up the cake and ladle a little extra pudding on the side.
Serve this warm (after a 10-minute rest), and you might just feel like you’re floating on air as you taste it. We found we enjoyed the leftovers from the fridge the next day as well. Mom sure had the right idea with this dessert. Who knew we could improve on a classic?!
Try this Baked Lemon Pudding Cake and let me know what you think. If you’ve ever had it from a box, I’d love to know how you think it compares!
Check back in a few days when Amanda spices up dinner with an enchilada casserole. Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.