Baked Lemon Pudding Recipe (2024)

Recipe from JR Ryall

Adapted by David Tanis

Updated Oct. 11, 2023

Baked Lemon Pudding Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Read community notes

My repertoire of sweet lemon recipes is limited, but, as it happened, my friend, the Irish pastry chef JR Ryall, was in town, with his new cookbook “Ballymaloe Desserts,” for which I wrote the foreword. It contains a recipe for a homey hot lemon pudding. It's not a soufflé, but it has a light, airy feel. And, as it bakes, it separates into distinct layers, custardy on the bottom and spongy on top. —David Tanis

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Yield:4 to 6 servings

  • 1tablespoon/15 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1cup plus 2 tablespoons/225 grams granulated sugar
  • 3large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 3tablespoons/30 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2large lemons, grated and juiced (about 2 tablespoons zest and 6 tablespoons juice)
  • 1cup/250 milliliters whole milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Softly whipped cream, for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

408 calories; 8 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 83 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 76 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 57 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Baked Lemon Pudding Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in the middle of the oven.

  2. Step


    Place butter in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually add sugar as you mash the mixture with a wooden spoon until it looks like damp sand.

  3. Step


    Mix egg yolks into sugar mixture, then beat in the flour. Add lemon zest and juice, then whisk in the milk.

  4. Step


    In a separate clean large bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold whites by hand gently into batter.

  5. Step


    Pour mixture into a 5-cup ceramic or glass baking dish (or Pyrex pie plate). Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until mixture is just set and top is golden brown. (Alternatively, bake in individual ramekins or custard cups for about 20 minutes.)

  6. Step


    Serve warm, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, with softly whipped cream alongside.



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Cooking Notes

Sue Eastman

There is also a Turkish Yogurt Cake, made with 2 cups of Greek yogurt, juice and zest of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons of flour, 4 separated eggs, egg whites whipped to soft peaks, no butter, and a half cup of sugar. Bake in a grease pan, 40 minutes. Just delicious.

Hearty Eater

Yes, this is very similar to the Joy of Cooking recipe, which is one of my all-time favorite desserts. I only make gluten free desserts and this turns out very well with either almond flour or a gluten-free flour. The recipe is also forgiving as to lemon-sugar ratios. I usually cut down on sugar in all my baking, by at least a third, so I often use Meyers lemons when they are in season, as they are less acidic. Whipped cream unnecessary, as the pudding has its own sauce.


This is very similar to The Joy of Cooking lemon sponge custard, one of my favorite all time desserts. I think you’d get a better separation of the pudding and cake if this was cooked in a water bath.


The lemon sponge custard was a favorite if my mother and grandmother at least back into the 50s, and it’s mine as well. A water bath helps, I agree. When served custard side up, try drizzling a not-sweet raspberry sauce on top. Lemon and raspberry—aaah.


I halved the sugar and used about a cup of lemon juice. Did the Dorie Greenspan “trick” of rubbing the zest into the sugar, before adding the butter. Baked in a large ceramic soufflé pan, buttered inside, with water bath. Very interesting! Glad I halved the sugar. Brown on top, but barely done in the center. Would make it again.

S. Harchik

Would it be possible to make this with almond meal, matzo meal or matzo cake meal instead of flour? Or does the gluten from the flour contribute to the structure of the pudding?

Faded elegance

Straight out of “Cooking for Two,” a spiral bound wedding gift cookbook in 1966, and one of the best easy desserts known to the young bride I was.


Ave a water bath gently bakes with the water acting as an insulator. Place the dish in which you have your preparation inside a larger dish containing water - a Pyrex baking dish is a good example. The water does not need to come up all the way to the sides of whatever you are baking, halfway is fine.You can either place your dish inside the larger one, pour water, and transport into your oven (carefully!), or place both inside the oven and pour water inside the larger container.


This is extremely sweet. I like the idea and the textures were good but it was just too sweet.


So delicious! I added an extra egg yolk, juice and zest of 4 Meyer lemons, a pinch of salt, and reduced sugar by 1/4 cup. Perfection in 40 minutes.

Carolyn Gilinsky

I make this using ramekins and a water bath. Put 6 six-oz ramekins into a 9 x13" baking dish. Ladle the batter into the ramekins (it will come almost to the top). Pour room temperature water into the pan to reach halfway up the ramekins. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until the cakes are puffy and lightly golden on top. Using tongs, carefully remove the ramekins from the baking dish and let cool. Dust with powdered sugar and add berries.

John Golden

I made this last night and my first question. what is a 5 cup dish? I couldn’t picture it. The suggestion to use a glass pie plate was useful. I googled the cup yield of a 9-inch pie plate and the answer was 4 cups. Hmm. I had several pie dishes—one that was deeper than the rest. This worked well enough and it came out ok. It was tasty. Juice of 2 lemons was also vague. 1/2 cup maybe? 1/4 cup? I juiced a very large lemon and one that was pretty small. It worked. I only zested one lemon


Agree this reminded me immediately of the Joy of Cooking recipe and a water bath would make a difference. That said this was delicious. I didn’t have lemons so I made it with blood oranges but otherwise followed the recipe. Will definitely make this again.


Is there a viable substitute for the flour so it can be gluten free?Thanks


After a rich dinner of boeuf Bourguignon I needed a light and easy to make dessert - this seemed to fit the bill to a T. I made it in individual portions in ramekins ( no water bath) using lemons from my tree and it was the perfect coda to dinner.


I made this, using less sugar, as suggested in a number of comments (about 2/3 cup) and I used I cup of buttermilk instead of (the too much) 250 MLs of regular milk. Fabulous!!


Very, very sweet, and I left out the extra two tablespoons of sugar. I cooked it in a water bath, and it layered up nicely. Others did not find it as cloying as I did. I love lemon, but won't make this again.


My mother made this frequently in the 1970s and we loved it as kids! She called it Lemon Pudding Cake, which describes the texture perfectly. We loved the lemon version better than the chocolate one. It was yummy warm or cold, just plain or with a little bit of whipped cream on top.


This is usually called Lemon Delicious in UK and Australia where it's a classic pudding known to almost anyone that owns an oven and had a mother or granny that cooked. The chocolate version is good but nothing like as good Double the lemons unless you like things very sweet. Excellent cold if you can manage to keep a portion back. Look up Felicity Cloakes best of article on the subject for the Guardian - she calls it perfect self saucing lemon pudding but she is a lemon short in my opinion!

Robert K

Lots of people have egg allergies, including my wife.90% (or more) of the dessert recipes have egg as the basis.It would be lovely if there was the occasional egg-free dessert recipe. Like maybe once or twice a month.

Victoria Abel

Somehow missed the part of the "makes it's own sauce" and I cooked it probably longer than I should have (50 min because it was so liquid in the middle . Still "puddingly" but not saucy. Served it for Easter and it was loved. Thanks for the best foodie website of all.

R Hedden

I have to wonder - would this recipe work for other citrus? Limes? Oranges?

Gail G.

This dessert is as old as the hills. I remember my Australian mother in law making it 30 years ago. She called it “Lemon Delicious”.


In the English fashion the custard made is more liquid. Like a thick sauce to mush in with the the sponge layer. Standard country house weekend pudding. This recipe is Much too sweet. Always cut sugar by at least 1/3.

Voter Frog

For anyone who has never made this, you should make it. IMHO it's delish beyond words, reminds me of my school days in Ireland.

Sarah K.

Can you make this one with just egg whites and no yolks?


Perhaps ask cooking care @ NYT. They have always been very helpful when I have questions on the recipes


Can someone help me with the mixing instructions—I use a wooden spoon for the butter and sugar, mashing by hand, then beat in the flour with an electric mixer, then use a whisk later? Can I just use an electric mixer the whole way through?


Made this for my mother-in-law and wish that (a) I’d read the comments about halving the sugar and infusing the sugar with the lemon zest; and (b) I’d remembered to add the milk!! The pudding actually turned out delicious, but it was more like a baked lemon curd. I’ll make this again using the advice in (a) and probably subbing in oat, almond, or coconut milk, now that I understand the consistency. Whipping the egg whites seems important.

Marcia Strauss

This is something my late mother made all the time! How nice to see it again. She used ramekins for individual servings, and the big baking dish when she made it for the family...


I read a bunch of comments before cooking and these are the tips I used and it turned out fantastic! -reduce sugar. I did 2/3 cup.-increase lemon juice by two tablespoons.-cook in water bath.I’ll be making this again and again for sure.

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Baked Lemon Pudding Recipe (2024)


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