Impress Your Loved Ones With This Easy Lemon Pudding Cake

Cooking dessert for a loved one is romantic, but having a mental breakdown in the kitchen is anything but. To show your affection without causing stress, try this deceptively simple lemon pudding cake from the Institute of Culinary Education.
This lemon pudding cake is a real treat.
This lemon pudding cake is a real treat. / The Institute of Culinary Education

Nothing says “I love you” like flour, butter, and sugar. If you’re looking to express your affection through food, a well-made baked good is hard to beat. Just be careful about what you choose to make, because an overly complicated recipe may leave you feeling more frustrated than romantic at the end of your meal. For a dessert that’s as easy as it is impressive, try this lemon pudding cake from the Institute of Culinary Education

This single-serving cake is made from simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry at home, like eggs, lemon, butter, and milk. If you and your sweetheart are in the mood for something a little different, you can swap the lemon with another fruit. “You can change up the flavoring by using, say, blood orange juice,” ICE chef Carrie Smith tells Mental Floss. “It can really suit different flavors if you wanted to—even a fruit puree, like a raspberry sauce or a raspberry puree if you wanted to do red for Valentine’s Day.”

To prepare the cakes, whisk milk, egg yolks, melted butter, sugar, flour, and lemon juice and zest together in a bowl. Vigorously whip the reserved egg whites until medium stiff peaks form and fold them into the batter. This will give your cakes a light, airy consistency.

Next, pour the batter into greased ramekins, and place the vessels in a pan filled with water. Bake them in a 350°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh berries of your choice. The pudding can be eaten slightly warm, or you can make it ahead and chill it in the fridge before serving.

”You can eat them warm or cold,“ Smith says. ”They don’t have to be served warm, because if you have extras and you keep them in fridge the flavor just kind of develops as it sits for like a day or two.”

The Institute of Culinary Education is one of the largest culinary schools on Earth, with campuses in Los Angeles and New York City. Career training programs are available in the culinary arts, pastry and baking arts, and hospitality and hotel management. You can view the full course curricula today onICE’s website.

Lemon Pudding Cake

Makes 8 cakes

4 eggs, separated
Zest from 2 lemons
3⁄4 cup lemon juice
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted; plus more for greasing ramekins

Good pinch salt

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar

1 pint washed blueberries
Powdered sugar, as needed for dusting

  1. Grease 6-8 ramekins with butter.
  2. Mix the milk, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, melted butter, sugar, and flour in a bowl.
  3. Whip the egg whites to medium stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
  4. Divide the batter into the prepared ramekins.
  5. Place the ramekins in a pan filled with water.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 30–45 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes and serve slightly warm, dusted with powdered sugar and fresh berries.

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