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A lemon pudding cake on a plate dolloped with whipped cream.
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Lemon Pudding Cakes (Gluten Free Option)

These individual lemon pudding cakes have a fluffy, cake layer on top and a creamy lemon pudding layer on the bottom. A dollop of whipped cream ties everything together. It's a light but luscious dessert that's perfect for any occasion. You can serve the cakes warm, at room temperature or chilled (they're a fantastic make-ahead dessert!). For gluten free lemon pudding cakes, use a 1-to-1 gluten free flour (see my recommendations below), or you can use regular all-purpose flour if you’re not gluten free. Be sure to check out my other Tips below!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy lemon pudding cake, gluten free lemon pudding cake, lemon pudding cakes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, plus more for ramekins
  • ¾ cup organic cane sugar (or regular sugar), plus more for ramekins
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup gluten-free flour* (see below) or ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Zest from 1 lemon (2 scant teaspoons)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup milk
  • Pinch salt
  • Fresh whipped cream, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C).  Butter and sugar four 8-ounce ramekins.
  • In a stand mixer (or using hand mixers), beat the sugar and butter until the butter is evenly incorporated into the sugar (it should look like damp sand).  Add the egg yolks, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, milk and salt.  Beat until smooth.
  • In a clean bowl (using clean beaters), beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks - they should hold a point when you lift the beaters (don't over-beat the whites, otherwise they could turn grainy and separate).
  • Stir one-third of the egg whites into the lemon batter.  Fold in the remaining whites (the batter will be a bit lumpy and liquidy, but that’s okay).  Using a ladle, divide the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins—try to get the same amount of liquid and egg white in each.
  • Arrange the ramekins in a straight-sided roasting pan or baking dish (a 9-inch square pan works well). Pour in enough warm water to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins, being careful not to spill any water into the ramekins. Carefully slide the dish into the oven, and bake until the cakes are golden in spots on top, about 30 minutes.
  • Transfer the pudding cakes to a cooling rack, and let cool for at least 30 minutes. You can serve the cakes warm, at room temperature or chilled, either right in the ramekins or inverted onto serving plates. To invert the cakes, slide a thin knife around the edge, place a plate on top, then flip it over and give it one or two gentle shakes, or until the cake releases from the ramekin. Dollop the cakes with whipped cream before serving.

Notes

Do Ahead: The cakes can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day before serving.
Tips:
  • If you’re making gluten free lemon pudding cakes, I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour, King Arthur Measure for Measure or Cup 4 Cup flour. If you use another GF flour blend, be sure it contains xanthan gum. 
  • The lemon pudding cakes are baked in individual 8-ounce ramekins. You can also make smaller 6-ounce cakes if you prefer, but keep your eye on them, as the cooking time will be shorter. 
  • You'll need either a stand mixer or hand mixers to make the batter.
  • Be sure to use a clean bowl with clean beaters when you’re whipping the egg whites, as if there’s any fat in the bowl it will prevent the whites from stiffening. They should hold a peak when you lift the beaters. Avoid over-beating which will cause the whites to separate and turn watery (if that happens you’ll need to start over with fresh whites). 
  • If you love lemon desserts, try this Creamy No-Bake Lemon Pie and this Lemon Olive Oil Cake!