Pudding cakes are kind of a throw-back dessert, but I find them fascinating in a scientific way (and delicious in a my mouth way).
I pulled this recipe for my father-in-law’s bday dessert because lemon is his jam. My favorite by far is this lemon meringue ice cream pie, but that was a little too much work for the allotted Sunday nap time. This isn’t an easy dessert; I’d label it “intermediate”. If you’ve been around the (baking) block before this will be no problem, but I wouldn’t start with this if you’re a newbie.
Pudding cakes are crazy because there is a 100% chance you’ll think you did something wrong when you’re placing them in the oven. For the chocolate version you have to pour hot water over your batter, and this lemon one seems so liquid-y that you’ll feel certain you read the flour amount wrong. But alas – what you end up with is a light-as-air cake on top with caramelized crisp edges and a velvety pudding tucked right underneath. So fun! I’d def serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream as it is indeed lemony. Pops loved his dessert and the fam deemed it def “bloggable”.
Lemon Pudding Cake
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking dish
3/4 c. sugar, plus more for the baking dish
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tsp. lemon zest (from about two lemons)
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
3 eggs, separated
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Powdered sugar, for top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 in. square cake pan and sprinkle with sugar.
2. Cream 3/4 c. sugar and 4 tbsp. butter with electric mixer until light in texture and pale in color – about 4 minutes.
3. Combine buttermilk, sour cream, zest and juice in a mixing bowl.
4. Add egg yolks, one at a time, to butter/sugar mixture, beating in between each on medium low speed. Scrape down the bowl.
5. Add buttermilk mixture alternately with flour, starting and ending with buttermilk mixture. Beat on low speed with each addition. Batter will be very thin – don’t be alarmed.
6. Meanwhile, using whisk attachment on electric mixer (in a separate bowl), beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form.
7. Add egg whites to batter in three additions, folding gently to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan and place in heated oven.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown set when touched with a fingertip (cake should jiggle – remember there is pudding underneath the top layer). Dust with powdered sugar.