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. 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.

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?


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.

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.


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


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.


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.

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?


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.


The ingredients amounts here are wrong. 2 tablespoons sugar is not equivalent to 225g sugar.

Gayle Wilson

Excellent. I followed the recipe pretty much as is except added about 7/8 cup sugar. I made it two days in a row for two different small events, once with and once without whip cream. It was a smash on both occasions. I think I'll want to double it, and I wonder if I should use two shallow pans vs. one larger casserole dish.


Cut the sugar to a heaping 3/4 cups based on the suggestions but actually found it too sour! Maybe it depends on your lemons (and if you measure your juice- I didn’t so maybe it was too much). Would make again but with the full amount of sugar.

Ry Ry

I highly recommend adding a tablespoon of poppyseeds to this right at the end when folding in the egg whites. It’s just stupendous.

Jamie S

I had to cook mine 10 mins longer to get the top browned. Bit of an odd consistency but tasted good.


Made exactly as written. Super tart and sweet. Yummo!!


My mom called this lemon snow

Tim in Brooklyn

I grew up on this in the UK in the 1960's and still have my mother's handwritten recipe.Per her: Grease the cooking bowl with butter. The milk should be lukewarm "not straight from the fridge". And most important... do not combine the egg whites into the mixture. Cut them in and leave large blobs... as far as she was concerned, overmixing was death. Otherwise it is foolproof. We always ate it cold and should there be any leftovers, it was agreed that it tasted even better next day. Make TWO.


This is just excellent. I served it with a raspberry coulis and a small dollop of whipped cream, and it was a real hit. Not a spec was left. Mine didn't get the golden crust on top, and I'm not sure if that's because I cooked it in a water bath. But regardless, it was completely worth the effort.

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Baked Lemon Pudding Recipe (2024)


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