Lemon Surprise Pudding

Another citrus recipe.
Another lemony yellow recipe.
Another lemon pudding recipe even.

I wrote about a lemon pudding made with Meyer lemons way back in 2013. It was lovely. This one is better.

I remember eating these pudding-cakes for dessert when I was a kid. The mix came in a box and I’m pretty sure all you had to do was pour the packaged stuff into the right sized dish, add boiling water and bake. Magically, this produced a cake with pudding underneath and came in chocolate, butterscotch and lemon flavours. I adored this dessert.

Why is this recipe better than the one I made 4+ years ago? Maybe I’m better at making things (yes, because of experience), or maybe it was the different method used to add the ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar, but it was probably using the lemon zest which made the most difference. It definitely amplified the flavour.

So! Here’s the 2018 version of a ‘magic’ pudding.

Measure the milk.


Weigh the flour.


Weight the butter too.


More weighing. This time it’s white sugar.


Now, the star of this recipe… lemons.


Zest two of the lemons.

Lemon zest.

Juice all of the lemons.

Lemon juice.

Gather four eggs.


Separate them into yolks…

Egg yolks.

…and whites.

Egg whites.

Beat the whites until they hold stiff peaks.

Stiff peaks.

All the preparation is done. Let’s make a pudding.

Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest.

Creamed butter, sugar and lemon zest.

Add the egg yolks (one at a time) and combine.

Egg yolks are in the mix.

Add a spoonful of flour and combine, then add a portion of milk then lemon juice, combining after each addition.

One spoonful of flour.

When there is no more flour or milk or lemon juice to add, fold in the egg whites.

Fold in the egg whites.

Pour the batter into a buttered baking dish, place that dish into a bigger dish and fill that bigger dish with boiling water.

Pour into a 2 litre baking dish.

After 45 minutes in the oven, there is pudding.

Lemon surprise pudding.

Lemon Surprise Pudding.

A serving of lemon surprise pudding.

Here’s the recipe:

Lemon Surprise Pudding

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves Serves 6


3 lemons
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g/6oz vanilla sugar or plain caster sugar
4 medium free-range eggs, separated
75g/3oz plain flour
500ml/17fl oz milk


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

Butter a 2 litre/3½ pint shallow ovenproof dish.

Grate the zest from two of the lemons, then squeeze the juice of all three.

Cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Beat in the egg yolks one by one. Do not panic if the mixture curdles.

Next beat in the flour a spoonful at a time, alternating with slurps of milk and lemon juice.

Once that is all in, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and fold lightly into the lemon batter.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish, then stand the dish in a roasting tin.

Pour enough boiling water around the dish to come about halfway up the sides.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the pudding is golden brown.

Serve hot or warm, with or without cream.


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