Key Lime Pudding Cake is a creamy, sweet dessert that's perfect for summer. A tart refreshing cake batter, flavored with key lime, magically bakes into two separate layers, a light airy sponge cake with a tangy custardy pudding underneath. Made in individual ramekins, it's the ideal serving size for picnics, barbecues and special occasions.
Have I got the perfect dessert for summer! This tropically inspired key lime pudding cake is creamy, sweet, rich and refreshing. But what makes it perfect for a hot day is how light it tastes. It's a combination of a moist and tender sponge cake over a creamy, rich key lime custardy pudding.
Key lime flavor rocks!
And, if you've been following me for a while, you know how much I love anything with key lime flavor. Favorites like Authentic Key Lime Pie, Key Lime Salsa, and even my totally Key West Lime Pina Colada.
Now that my mouth is watering, let's get back to this magical summery dessert. It's always amazing that one easy to make cake batter can separate into two distinctly different layers while baking. It's kind of on the order of a Magic Cake.
The top layer is a light as air spongy cake with a wonderfully tart key lime flavor. Hidden beneath is a creamy, tangy key lime pudding that is cool on the tongue and a perfect foil for the cake. The combination of textures is just amazing!
And yes, it's yellow, the authentic color of anything key lime. Just take a look at the luscious sunshine-y deliciousness inside this pudding cake!
This magical cake has only 8 ingredients and is super easy to make. Don't let that water bath fool you into thinking this dessert is hard to make because it couldn't be simpler.
It takes 15-20 minutes with a mixer and the hardest thing is just waiting for the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Then pour the batter into the sugar-coated ramekins, place in a pan of water, and bake. The oven does all the rest.
And I love that this recipe makes individual servings, perfect for servings at picnics, barbecues, or special occasions. Go ahead, take a bite, and let the sweet, cool flavor take you away.
What is a pudding cake?
A pudding cake, unlike the standard cake, is made by folding whipped egg whites into a thin batter that contains just a little flour. When baked, the batter divides into a sponge cake layer on top and a pudding layer on the bottom.
Why do I have to place the cake in a water bath?
The water bath, which is just a pan of water that rises halfway up the side of the dishes, helps to insulate the pudding layer, creating more of a custard, while helping the cake to rise high from the moist humid environment.
How do I know when my pudding cake is done?
The timing is fairly accurate on these ramekins. When the edges are set and have pulled away from the side and the top has browned, they are done.
Don't care for key limes? Substitute lemon zest and lemon juice and you'll have the perfect bright and tangy dessert.
- Gather the simple ingredients for this cake. Just 6 ingredients - sugar, eggs, buttermilk, limes (juice & zest), flour, and salt. (photo 1)
- Divide eggs and place egg yolks into a mixing bowl, reserving whites in a separate bowl. (photo 2)
- Pour buttermilk in the bowl with egg yolks. (photo 3)
- Add lime juice. (photo 4)
- Sprinkle in zest. (photo 5)
- Stir in flour, sugar, and salt and continue mixing until combined. (photo 6)
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold into egg-lime mixture. (photo 7)
- Fold lightly until the batter is well combined. (photo 8)
- Divide batter evenly between the six ramekins and place in a pan large enough to hold them all. Fill a large pan with water until it reaches ½ way up sides of ramekins. Bake. (photo 9)
When pudding cake is done you will see a golden top and the edges will be set and pull away from the side of the dish. Remove from the pan of water and set on a wire rack to cool.
Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and either dig in or store in the refrigerator. Doesn't it just look like the perfect summer dessert!
Key Lime Bread - is the perfect quick bread for summer. Zesty key limes flavor a moist, tender pound cake-like bread filled with bits of white chocolate and chunks of salty nuts finished with a glaze of rich white chocolate.
Key Lime Smoothie - a healthy breakfast that tastes like key lime pie in a glass.
Key Lime Coolers - are light sugar-coated cookies that are both tart and sweet. Perfect for picnics & after school treats.
Also, try my lime jello dessert with pineapple and marshmallows.
Find lots more easy dessert recipes here on 2CM!
Love quick & easy recipes? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter for all the latest recipe inspiration! Plus join my email list here and receive a free e-book.
Key Lime Pudding Cake
- 2-3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 ⅓ cup sugar + extra for sprinkling
- 4 eggs separated
- 1 ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons lime zest
- ¼ cup key lime juice
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare six 6-oz. individual ramekins by coating sides and bottom with butter then sprinkling with some sugar. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, buttermilk, lime zest and lime juice, mixing well.
- Add flour, sugar and salt and continue mixing until combined.
- In small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Fold beaten egg whites gently into egg-lime mixture.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared ramekins.
- Place all six ramekins in a pan large enough to hold them side by side.
- Fill the pan with water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Place in oven and bake 55-60 minutes.
- Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool on wire rack. When cool, sprinkle top with powdered sugar and store in refrigerator.
Frequently asked questionsWhat is a pudding cake? A pudding cake, unlike the standard cake, is made by folding whipped egg whites into a thin batter which contains just a little flour. When baked, the batter divides into a sponge cake layer on top and a pudding layer on the bottom. Why do I have to place the cake in a water bath? The water bath, which is just a pan of water that rises halfway up the side of the dishes, helps to insulate the pudding layer, creating more of a custard, while helping the cake to rise high from the moist humid environment. How do I know when my pudding cake is done? The timing is fairly accurate on these ramekins. When the edges are set and have pulled away from the side and the top has browned, they are done.
This post has been updated with new photos and easy step-by-step directions. It was first published on September 9th, 2014.