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Lemon Lava Cake (+Video)

This Easy Lemon Lava Cake recipe has a layer of warm pudding on the bottom and moist lemon cake on top. All sprinkled with powdered sugar! 

A JAZZED UP CAKE MIX RECIPE

This Lemon Lava Cake recipe is pretty cool. The pudding layer starts at the top and ends up on the bottom. I never thought I would love warm pudding this much. It transforms the whole taste of the cake. It doesn’t taste like a boxed cake mix at all when it’s all done. If you enjoy my Ultimate Lemon Poke Cake then you are sure to love this one too!

slice, Lemon Lava Cake on a white plate served with powdered sugar

CAN I USE OTHER CAKE MIX AND PUDDING FLAVORS?

This cake could not be any easier or any tastier to make and eat. And the bonus? It can be done with just about any flavor cake mix/pudding combination you can think of. Lemon is my personal favorite but we’ve also made it with chocolate and a chocolate/vanilla combination and both were amazing!

Easy Lemon Lava Cake recipe from The Country Cook

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • lemon cake mix
  • (ingredients listed on back of box; eggs, oil and water)
  • instant lemon pudding
  • sugar
  • cold milk
  • water
  • powdered sugar
lemon cake mix, instant lemon pudding, sugar, cold milk, water, powdered sugar

HOW TO MAKE LEMON LAVA CAKE:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into baking dish.

LEMON CAKE MIX PREPARED BATTER POURED INTO A 9X13 BAKING DISH

In a separate bowl, combine dry pudding mixes with sugar, milk and water.

INSTANT LEMON PUDDING COMBINED WITH MILK, SUGAR AND WATER IN A BOWL

Whisk briskly for 2 minutes until it begins to thicken.

WHISKING LEMON PUDDING MIX TOGETHER IN A BOWL

Spoon pudding mixture over cake mix batter. You could pour it on but I found I got it on there more evenly by spooning it on.

LEMON PUDDING MIXTURE SPREAD OVER LEMON CAKE BATTER

Once it is on there, it is hard to spread out since it kind just ends up sinking into the batter. Oh, I almost forgot. Put a large baking sheet underneath the baking dish before sliding it in the oven. You’ll want that underneath there while baking to catch any bubbling over of the pudding.

LEMON LAVA CAKE BATTER IN A 9X13 GLASS BAKING DISH

Bake for about 55 minutes to one hour. It’s a bit tricky to tell when it is done because the pudding layer in it always stays a bit jiggly. So, what you want to do is take a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. If it only comes out with pudding – you are good. If you still see gooey cake batter on it, then you need to bake it for a bit longer.

FINISHED, warmed lemon pudding cake in a baking dish

Allow it to cool for about 20 minutes. This will allow that pudding layer to thicken up a bit more. Then serve with a bit of sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

Warm Lemon Pudding Cake on a white plate with sliced lemons

CRAVING MORE LEMON RECIPES?

slice, Lemon Lava Cake on a white plate served with powdered sugar

Easy Lemon Lava Cake (+Video)

This Easy Lemon Lava Cake recipe has a layer of warm pudding on the bottom and moist lemon cake on top. All sprinkled with powdered sugar!
4.94 from 48 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 15.25 ounce box lemon cake mix
  • (ingredients listed on back of box; eggs, oil and water)
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) boxes instant lemon pudding
  • cup sugar optional
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
  • Pour prepared cake batter into baking dish.
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry pudding mixes with sugar, milk and water.
  • Whisk briskly for 2 minutes until it begins to thicken.
  • Spoon pudding mixture over cake mix batter. Once it is on there, it is hard to spread out since it kind just ends up sinking into the batter.
  • Put a large baking sheet underneath your baking dish before sliding it in the oven.
  • Bake for about 55 minutes to one hour.
  • It's a bit tricky to tell when it is done because the pudding layer in it always stays a bit jiggly. So, what you want to do is take a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. If it only comes out with pudding – you are good. If you still see gooey cake batter on it, then you need to bake it for a bit longer.
  • When it’s finished baking, allow it to cool for about 20 minutes. This will allow that pudding layer to thicken up a bit more.
  • Then serve with a bit of sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

Video

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 379mg | Sugar: 22g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Originally published: January 2013
Updated & republished: July 2019

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Recipe Rating




68 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have made chocolate and butterscotch. Never thought about lemon! This may definitely be the next one on my to do list! Looks delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    The last 2 times I’ve made this I’ve used Yellow cake mix instead and I might like it a little better that way. Such an awesome winter dessert! My family loves it!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this cake my wife loves lemon but question can I use cool whip with a few drops of lemon extract for a topping of the cake ?

  4. 5 stars
    I did not have lemon instant pudding, I used lemon cooking pudding. I did not prepare it. I just added it to the cake batter and whipped it in. It looked thick so I added the granulated sugar and another cup water. The batter looked right then. I poured it into the cake pan(9X13). And baked it for one hour. It looks great. The taste test is next.
    Wonderful flavor! Turned out fantastic.

  5. Can you make this a day ahead? I want to make it for Thanksgiving, but need to make it the day before. Is it good cold?

  6. Can u use any cake mix like white or yellow with different puddings I have 4 kids trying new things with them.

  7. I love that you include nutritional information, but the serving size is missing. Is that for 1/12 or 1/8 of the cake?

    1. Hi Janet, I always tell folks to use their own trusted nutritional calculators if you need it for diet or health reasons. These are merely estimated based on the calculator that is embedded in this recipe card. This cake serves 12 individual servings.

  8. 5 stars
    I frosted it with whipped lemon frosting and some candies lemon slices for a birthday dinner. Delicious.

  9. How can I make the pudding have a more “tart” lemon flavor? I tried substituting some lemon juice but it was bitter, not tart. Can you help?

  10. 5 stars
    Brandie, I have made this recipe three times and my pudding layer stays on the top. Little “islands” of cake poke through, but nothing like what you show in your photos. Let me say that it tastes TERRIFIC, but I can’t get it to be pretty. I am using Pillsbury’s Gluten Free yellow cake mix, a 17 oz box which may make a difference. I’ve done this with lemon, coconut, and red velvet cake pudding–yum yum every time! Should I just put the pudding on the bottom, do you think?

  11. 5 stars
    Made this for supper tonight and it was a huge hit. Only used half of the sugar and it was just the right level of sweetness for us. A definite keeper. Thank you for the recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    Came out Awesome last week and I just made another one, with white cake mix split in 2 pyrex square glass pans one with banacream and the other with chocolate pudding. Im sure it will be great with this foolproof recipe!

  13. I was beginning to make it and my granddaughter walks in and she wanted choc. so I am doing it , let u know.

  14. 5 stars
    Brandie – this was truly fantastic!! I have now made it with several flavors. Thank you – we love it!!