Lemon Pudding Cake with Dad: Webisode #15

Lemon Pudding Cake with Dad from Kelsey Banfield on Vimeo.

What's Going on Today: Morning at the Farmer's Museum to enjoy the Sugaring Off breakfast, the celebration of the maple syrup harvest with lots o' pancakes and fresh local syrup!
Naptime Goals: Bake Lemon Pudding Cake with my Dad, an amazing home cook who wants a lesson in folding egg whites!
Tonight's Menu: Italian Meatloaf with Mom, green salad, Lemon Pudding Cake for dessert.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Grandparents spoil their grandchildren, there is no stopping it so don't bother trying.

While I was home in Cooperstown last weekend my Dad and I did some baking together. He had recently picked up the new Cook's Illustrated Entertaining and discovered a recipe for an old childhood favorite, Lemon Pudding Cake. The only problem was, despite being a great home cook, he didn't understand the instructions on folding egg whites into the batter. I was surprised that he hadn't done this before, but he really is more into making Short Ribs and grilling steak then he is baking, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

In the true spirit of Naptime Chef-ing, the moment my daughter went down for her nap Dad and I set to work on our lesson. As you'll see above, we had a roaring good time and were rewarded with a delicious, silky lemon cake at the end. Obviously, given our family love of all things lemon, we couldn't bear to wait for our first bite. We had our first taste when it was fresh out of the oven, then another slice after dinner when we were joined by my Mom and daughter.

Given the success of this episode I've already put my Dad on the hook for another one, this summer we'll be showing you how we make his famous Bread and Butter pickles. As you can see, he is a doctor and a scientist, so his canning methods are very precise and quite successful. Stay tuned!

Lemon Pudding Cake
adapted from Cook's Illustrated Entertaining, 2010

1 1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

2 t. cornstarch
1 1/4 c. sugar
5 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 T. grated lemon zest
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 c. whole milk
5 eggs, separated, yolks in one bowl with whites in another

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter an 8" square baking pan. Bring several quarts of water to boil for water bath. Mix flour and cornstarch together in a bowl, set aside.

2. Cream the butter, 1 c. sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then, beat in the egg yolks, then flour mixture, mixing until smooth. Slowly mix in the lemon juice, then stir in milk. 

3. Set the custard mixture aside and beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Then, add the remaining 1/4 c. of sugar and beat egg whites to stiff, moist peaks. Gently stir a dollop of the egg whites into the custard. Then, working slowly, fold the remaining egg whites in bit by bit until they are all incorporated, but not over beaten.

4. Pour the batter into the baking pan and fill the hot water bath until it comes halfway up the side of the pan. Bake until pudding cake center is set and springs back when gently touched, about 1 hour. Remove roasting pan from oven and let pan cool for 1 hour before serving.

Naptime Notes:
Naptime Recipe Suggestions: This really is a great cake for entertaining as the magazine suggests. We loved it with whipped cream but it would also be great with ice-cream or fresh berries.
Naptime Stopwatch: The batter takes about 15 minutes to prepare, then the cake bakes for about an hour.
Naptime Reviews: This is a cross between pudding and cake and is absolutely divine. I love the smooth texture and the lemon flavor with subtle vanilla undertones. Needless to say, so did everyone else.


  1. Mmmmmm! Looks really good. Your dad did great during his video debut!!

  2. You know how I feel about lemon recipes ;) This is great and so was your Dad. My husband is a retired doc - they all talk the same way in the kitchen!

  3. I can't wait to try this but I don't see the measurements of the egg whites or egg yolks in the recipe?

  4. Thanks for the tip, the eggs are in there now. My mistake! :)

  5. Looks like a wonderful cake! I love that your dad was baking with you in the video. So sweet :)

  6. This is so endearing, I love your blog!

  7. I love lemon desserts. This looks so comforting and fresh and light. Yum!

  8. looks fabulous...must give it a try.

  9. This looks great! And it does not have too much butter, so I suppose it's relatively healthy :-) Thanks for sharing!

  10. um, how freaking cute are the Banfields?!?! Best webisode yet. love this.

  11. How cute..love the video-great recipe!1


  12. Mmm looks delicious, can't wait to try it out!

  13. Looks perfect to me! Can't wait to make it. http://www.militarymovesyou.com/

  14. This looks delicious! I think I'll forward this to my dad to see if he wants to try it out the next time I visit.

  15. When do you add the cornstarch?

  16. Hi! I just adjusted the instructions - add the cornstarch to the flour, then add the mixture after creaming the butter.

  17. I can't wait to make this! Looks amazing.

  18. Another great recipe for potluck-thanks.

  19. You and your dad are really sweet together! And you are a great teacher! I haven't made this since I was a child, but now I will be.

  20. thanks for posting this! :) I am ALWAYS looking for good lemon recipes & this one is from scratch...my favorite way to bake! :)