This Lemon Pudding Cake is so simple to make with 6 real food ingredients. A warm lemon cake sits atop a delicate custard like middle in this light lemon pudding cake recipe. It’s an excellent party dish, delicious just out of the oven. But it’s equally flavorful served chilled with whipped cream. We’ve made this lemon cake healthier by using gluten free ingredients and greek yogurt instead of cream. Dairy free and sugar free options!
Wow, it’s been over 10 years. Almost 11 years of living gluten free to be exact. And I remember the exact feeling of when it all began. Overwhelmed. Discouraged. Confused. But also determined to make my health better. So my friends, this gluten free lemon pudding cake (with greek yogurt) is in celebration of the journey. The gluten free journey!
This is no ORDINARY lemon cake. It’s actually the very first gluten free cake recipe I made back in the day. In fact, it was the very first gluten free cake I made to go along with my very first gluten free holiday meal. And I was the one hosting! I was one cooking! I was the one baking! I was the trying to recreate all our favorite family gathering meal gluten free. You know, those go-to family recipes most requested AT EVERY function or or holiday? Ya, those!
And I did it. I pulled it off. Now you know why this lemon pudding cake is kinda close to my heart. Corny? Sure. But true!
So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to keep the celebration going! May in Celiac awareness month and I can’t think of any other way to jump start the gluten free celebration then with this cake! And while we’re at, we’re going to talk about the BASIC TIPS and healthy SWAPS when it comes to making a favorite dish GLUTEN FREE. Sound good?
Let’s begin by talking the WHAT.
What exactly is Lemon Pudding Cake?
If you haven’t heard of pudding cake, don’t be alarmed, it’s sometimes called ” self-saucing lemon cake“. Similar to my impossibly easy impossible pie recipes and soufflé, the batter magically transforms in the oven (aka lemon magic cake). It’s a simple uncomplicated dessert that’s been around a long time. Gotta love those resourceful recipes.
In this recipe, the lemon pudding cake creates an airy layer of cake (similar to that of a souffle) on top, and a creamy pudding like texture in the middle. T Hence the word “pudding.” No pudding is actually involved. It’s already a light dessert, due to the cirtusy flavors, but now we’re going to lighten it up even more. Oh yes!
Now for the HOW.
How to make a Healthier LEMON CAKE –> Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free
You ready for some simple healthy ingredient swaps?
There’s only 6 to 7 ingredients, so it’s pretty simple.
- Melted unsalted butter (earth balance works too)
- 2% or full fat Greek Yogurt (non dairy option too)
- Sweetener of choice – Baking stevia, raw sugar, or coconut sugar sugar are divine
- 3 large eggs
- Just a wee bit of a multi-purpose gluten free flour. Don’t worry, I have a solution to those looking for grain free option. Keep reading. could try this with coconut flour or tapioca flour for a grain free option)
- Optional powdered sugar
To make this lemon pudding cake lighter in texture, we’re going to swap out the called for cream or buttermilk for greek yogurt. I promise, this is life changing! The flavor is still creamy, but not has heavy. Plus we’re adding in some protein, so there’s that. YAY!
To make this lemon pudding cake gluten free, all we have to do is find a 1:1 flour. There’s only 1/4 cup of flour needed, so you can’t really mess it up … much! Haha. This is why I decided to make this cake recipe for my first gluten free gathering. All I needed was 1/4 c flour! So back then (and still today) I used rice flour or Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free all purpose flour. The gluten free swap TOTALLY WORKED. Why? Because you basically just need a starch help the cake set.
Now, I know some of you may be asking about a grain free and dairy free option. Yes, I have too!
To make this lemon pudding cake grain free and/or dairy free
Simple! Replace the greek yogurt with non dairy yogurt and non dairy butter (like earth balance) and then swap out the flour for a grain free starch. Not a grain free flour. Tapioca starch and arrowroot starch would be my go-to choice. I have not tried coconut flour but might be worth a shot. Baking times will vary, so be sure to keep an eye on the prize (aka cake). Capeesh?
To make this lemon pudding cake lower sugar and/or refined sugar free
We’re swapping out the white sugar with raw sugar or coconut palm sugar. I also reduced the amount to 2/3 cup. When I first made this cake, I used 1 1/4 cup brown sugar. OMG so sweet, well for me at least! But you know, it’s cake. Cake is made to be sweet. For me, I prefer lightly sweet and refined sugar free. You can easily adjust the sugars as you like! More or less, this cake is so adaptable!
I can see your head shaking and thinking “okay Lindsay, these swaps are all fine and dandy, but will it affect the taste? ” My one word (maybe 3 word) answer –> NOPE! ALL GOOD!
My last word advice for this celebration cake. If you want a FLUFFY SOUFFLE like lemon pudding cake, separate the eggs and egg yolks, whip the egg whites, the bake in ramekins. Food Network Guru (Tyler Florence) has a great recipe for that. You can see how the cakes rise a bit more while baking too.
Either way you bake it, the cake will have that luscious pudding texture inside. Did I just say pudding and luscious in the same sentence? Haha, yes I did!
Alright my friends, I think it’s time we all get in the kitchen. The WHY. WHY you should make this cake!
Maybe you can bake this cake for someone who has recently be diagnosed with celiac or a food allergy. Let them know you are there for them, then celebrate the journey!Print
A warm lemon cake sits atop a delicate custard like middle in this light lemon pudding cake recipe. It’s an excellent party dish, delicious just out of the oven. We’ve made this lemon cake healthier by using gluten free ingredients and greek yogurt. Dairy free and sugar free option!
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (vegan butter can be substituted)
- 3 lemons
- 1 ½ cups organic Greek Yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 2/3 c -1 cup coconut sugar or raw sugar (baking stevia for sugar free option)
- 3 large eggs – Separated if you prefer a lighter texture.
- ¼ cup gluten free multi purpose flour (ex: Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten free Flour)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Optional lemon zest or 1/4 tsp lemon extract
- powdered sugar substitute (like Swerve) and fresh berries/lemon slices for topping
- Preheat oven to 330F. Grease 1 quart casserole dish or 8 -9 inch cake tin, set aside.
- Using a grater, grate the zest of one lemon into a food processor. Add melted butter and pulse until combined.
- Juice the three lemons into a bowl. Strain into the butter mixture in the food processor.
- Add your remaining ingredients and process on low for 3 minutes or so.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden around the edges and it springs back when touched. Let it cool slightly. Baking times vary depending on oven.
- Best served with fresh sliced lemon and a sprinkle of powdered sugar or sugar free powder substitute on top.
- If you want this self-saucing lemon pudding cake to rise a little more (fluff), separate the eggs and egg yolks, whip the egg whites after they come to room temperature, the mix with batter and bake in smaller ramekins.
- Category: dessert
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: american/english
Keywords: lemon cake, paleo, gluten free, yogurt cake, self-saucing pudding, pudding cake, dairy free, healthy, dessert, sugar free
Cheers to real food, simplicity, and gluten free awareness!
Ever tried self saucing pudding or pudding cake before? I think it’s time you add this to your go-to gluten free dessert list. Just sayin…
p.s this recipe was first inspired by a recipe from love for Mary Engelbreit’s Queen of the Kitchen Cookbook Yep, I’m that old and still love love her!! 🙂