The Magic of Pudding Cake

Pudding cake. It’s a contradiction in terms. Cakes are light. Spongy. Airy. Cakey. Puddings are soft and smooth. So what is a pudding cake? 

It starts out like a cake– with flour, sugar, butter and milk. But the ingredients are out of proportion. You mix together a little bit of flour, sugar and salt. Then you add the egg yolks, buttermilk or milk and flavorings. Mine was made with lemon juice and the zest of 2 whole lemons. But the magic is in the egg whites. You whip them until they are firm but still wet, then fold them into the batter gently


Until incorporated


Then you bake it like a cake, until it’s brown in top


See those browned spots? That’s the top layer– a spongy cake. And on the bottom is the lemony pudding


Lemon Pudding Cake:

  • 1 c sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 c fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of the lemon
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 c buttermilk

Heat oven to 350 and grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish or baking dish. Also ready a slightly larger baking dish that you will later fill with hot water.

Mix flour, 3/4 c sugar and salt. Add butter, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Stir in buttermilk. In a separate bowl add sugar to egg whites and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, but whites are still wet. Fold whites into batter. Then pour in prepared dish. 

Put dish in slightly larger dish. Fill that dish with hot water so that the water comes up the sides of the casserole dish 2″. I used my sheet cake pan for this purpose. Slide the whole thing into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until top of cake is browned. 

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