Key Lime Pudding Cake

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.

Row of 3 cake filled ramekins on white platter.
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 Key Lime Pie, Key Lime Salsa and even my totally Key West Key Lime Colada.

Overhead of 3 key lime cake ramekins on white platter with green flowers and lime slices.

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. 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 and 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!

Spoonful showing key lime pudding topped with light 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 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.

Frequently asked questions

What 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.

Variations

Don’t care for key limes? Substitute lemon zest and lemon juice and you’ll have the perfect bright and tangy dessert.

Directions

Key Lime Pudding Cake prep steps.

  1. Gather the simple ingredients for this cake. Just 6 ingredients – sugar, eggs, buttermilk, limes (juice & zest), flour and salt. (photo 1)
  2. Divide eggs and place egg yolks into mixing bowl, reserving whites in separate bowl. (photo 2)
  3. Pour buttermilk in bowl with egg yolks. (photo 3)
  4. Add lime juice. (photo 4)
  5. Sprinkle in zest. (photo 5)
  6. Stir in flour, sugar and salt and continue mixing until combined. (photo 6)

Folding egg whites into batter.

  1. In small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold into egg-lime mixture. (photo 7)
  2. Fold lightly until batter is well combined. (photo 8)

Pouring water into pan for water bath.

  1. Divide batter evenly between the six ramekins and place in a pan large enough to hold them all. Fill large pan with water until it reaches 1/2 way up sides of ramekins. Bake. (photo 9)

Ramekins cooling on wire rack.

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 pan of water and set on wire rack to cool.

Sprinkling powdered sugar on pudding cakes.

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!

More key lime recipes

Key Lime Nut 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.

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.

Recipe

Single pudding cake sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Key Lime Pudding Cake

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.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 322kcal
Author: Linda Warren

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons lime zest
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Don’t have buttermilk? Make your own by adding a little over 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring cup and adding milk up to the 1-1/ 3 cup line. Let sit for 5 minutes and voila – buttermilk!

Frequently asked questions

What 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1mg

This post has been completely updated with new photos and easy step-by-step directions. It was first published on September  9th, 2014.

 

Key Lime Pudding Cake
Pin
Share
Tweet
Yum
Share