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Overhead shot of a gluten free lemon pudding cake topped with whipped cream.
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Lemon Pudding Cakes (Gluten-Free)

These light but luscious gluten free lemon pudding cakes have a secret. They might look modest on the outside, but as you dive your spoon through the fluffy, cake-like layer on top, you encounter a molten, golden core in the form of a sassy lemon pudding on bottom. A dollop of whipped cream dresses things up and ties everything together. While the prep and cooking time for the individual cakes is under an hour, the cakes do need to be chilled for at least 60 minutes to allow them to set up. This is a perfect do-ahead dessert for holidays or parties!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy lemon pudding cake, gluten free lemon pudding cake, lemon pudding cake recipe
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for ramekins
  • ¾ cup (160g) organic cane sugar (or regular sugar), plus more for ramekins
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup (37g) gluten-free flour (such as Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour or Cup 4 Cup), or all-purpose flour
  • Zest from 1 lemon (2 scant teaspoons)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Pinch salt
  • Fresh whipped cream, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and sugar 4 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 a 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 10 minutes. Refrigerate the cakes, uncovered, until set, 1 hour longer.
    Do Ahead: The cakes can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before serving. Cover the cakes with plastic wrap after an hour.
  • Serve the lemon pudding cakes with a large dollop of fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!

Notes

Tips:
  • You can use regular all-purpose flour in these cakes, or you can use a gluten-free flour blend such as Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour or Cup 4 Cup.
  • You'll need a stand mixer or hand beaters for this recipe.
  • Be sure to use clean beaters when beating the egg whites (otherwise they might not set up). The whites should hold a peak when you lift the beaters. Avoid over-beating, which will cause the whites to separate and turn watery.