Lemon Surprise Pudding with Cream

Lemon Surprise Pudding with Cream

Lemon self-saucing pudding, also known as lemon surprise pudding, is easy to whip up and can be ready in an hour. Make one simple mixture and as it cooks it separates into a light sponge on top and zesty lemon curd beneath. Be sure to eat the pudding warm, rather than hot from the oven; and serve with plenty of double cream. The contrast in the mouth between coolness and warmth is particularly agreeable. If you’ve never come face to face with a lemon surprise pudding before, rush to make it, so that you can discover the surprise. Oh, okay then, I’ll tempt you with the answer: the light layer of golden sponge on top masks a devastatingly lemony custard!


  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 185g sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 40g self-raising flour
  • 185ml milk
  • 80ml lemon juice
  • Icing sugar, to dust


  1. Heat the oven to 160C.
  2. Grease 6 individual small dishes.
  3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, egg yolks and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
  4. Then stir in the lemon juice. The mixture may start to look like it has separated at this stage, but this is fine.
  5. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold them into the batter.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dishes, place it in a deep roasting tin and fill the tin with enough boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides of the dish.
  7. Gently transfer to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden, firm to the touch and risen.
  8. Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.

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