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ISO Lemon Lava Cake Recipe

  • z

Similar to chocolate lava or molten cake; but lemon flavored instead of chocolate. Does anyone have a good recipe? TIA

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  1. I am not sure the idea holds although there may be variations out there. The chocolate version usually either has a ball of ganache or more commonly flourless i.e. high chocolate/fat unbaked cake batter. Underbaking wouldn't give you the same intensity of flavor with lemon.

    I think the better solution may be to look for an old fashioned lemon pudding cake or bake a cake that has a filling like lemon curd.

    8 Replies
    1. re: JudiAU

      The reason I call it what I did; was the restaurant chain, Sweet Tomatos, featured lemon lava cake for their dessert this month. It truly was like a chocolate molten cake; except intensely lemon flavored. It definitely wasn't lemon curd; but perhaps it was more akin to a lemon pudding cake. It was served warm, had a cake like exterior, with a gooey very tart lemon center. I can't recall ever eating a lemon pudding cake; so I can't rule it out as being what I had the other night; but whatever it was, it sure was delicious and I"d like to replicate it at home. Upon your suggestion, I'll look up some lemon pudding cake recipes and see if they fill the bill.

      1. re: zook

        I love the "Lemon Pudding Cake" recipe (Apr 2003) on epicurious, which has an intense lemony flavor. (It gets mixed reviews on that site, but from what I can tell, the failures are most likely due to mediocre lemons or inadvertent overbaking.) The top is more like a sponge cake, though, and there's no cake layer beneath the pudding--i.e., the cake floats on top of the pudding layer, it doesn't surround it like a lava cake.

          1. re: Marge

            Thank you all. This sounds close; but not quite. I will try this recipe.

        1. re: zook

          OMG I just tried had the hot lemon lava cake at Souplantation (same as Sweet Tomatoes) last night and it is soooo good! I was online searching for the recipe and came across your post from last year. Were you ever able to duplicate the recipe? I would love for you to share if you have. Did you try the recipes posted here?

          1. re: virgolisa

            Hey Virgolisa,

            I recently went to lunch with my Daughters at our local Sweet Tomatoes and they had the Lemon Lava Cake and fell in love with this desert.. I have been trying to find the recipe as well, have you had any luck finding this recipe. My oldest of the two I took to lunch is pregnanct and MUST HAVE MORE OF THIS CAKE! lol.. She would like it at her Baby Shower...


            1. re: missyt

              Its almost April and time for lemon month at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes!!!

          2. re: zook

            My mom and I went there last night, man, that was the best dessert ever...I ate two servings myself, and I usually dont overdo it like that,,,was so delicious

        2. This sounds totally delicious...can you let us know if you find a recipe that fits your description?

          1 Reply
          1. re: pigtowner

            It was and I will. I emailed the company; but they won't part with the recipe; however, they said I can find all the ingredients posted the next time I go back there. Hopefully, I'll get back there before the month is over (they rotate the featured recipes each month so it will be gone by May) and then maybe some of the great bakers on this board can help recreate it. So far, nothing I've found on the web matches what I had.

          2. Well, here’s a recipe for a molten chocolate cake with a Truffle Center. I know, not what you’re looking for. But it gives an interesting technique. It would have to be adapted using a lemon cake and some sort of lemon ganache as JudiAU mentioned earlier.


            1. Did it look like this?? You can order them from Omaha Steaks...

              Or, you could try this:

              Lemon Lava Cake:

              1 cup yogurt
              1/2 cup butter
              1 cup caster sugar
              2 eggs, lightly beaten
              3 tablespoons lemon juice
              1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
              1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
              1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

              Lemon Syrup
              1/3 cup sugar
              1/2 cup water
              3 tablespoons lemon juice
              1 lemon, rind of, cut into strips

              8 servings

              Pre-heat oven to 180C degrees (375F degrees).

              Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy.
              Add eggs and beat well.
              In a separate bowl, stir together yoghurt, lemon juice, rind, sifted flour and bicarb.
              Add to egg mixture and mix until well combined.
              Spoon mixture into a greased 23 cm cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested with a skewer or fork.


              Place sugar, water, lemon juice and rind into a saucepan.
              Cook, stirring over a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
              Allow syrup to simmer for 4 minutes, then immediately pour syrup over cake while it is hot and still in the tin.
              Allow cake to stand for 5 minutes and serve with a dollop of whip cream or ice cream.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Emme

                I think it would have looked like those pictured if they were made individually instead of in an industrial sized pan. The yogurt and lemon syrup in your recipe sound much closer to the mark than the lemon pudding cake recipe above. I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                1. re: zook

                  You might also order a few to help you decipher whether the recipe is accurate. I'm sure they're freezer friendly too! Good luck!

              2. I remembered this thread when I was sent a recipe for upside-down lemon pudding cake today from ATK. Looks like it might be vaguely similar, but at the very least looks super yummy.

                2 large eggs , separated, at room temperature
                2 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
                2/3 cup sugar
                2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
                2 tablespoons lemon zest
                1/8 teaspoon salt
                1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
                1 cup milk

                1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish or six 6-ounce ramekins.

                2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to medium and add the egg yolks, mixing until incorporated. Add the flour, lemon zest, and salt and beat until combined. Add the lemon juice and milk and beat until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared dish or ramekins. Place the dishes in a large baking pan and add enough boiling water to the pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the dish or ramekins.

                3. Bake until the top is golden and the center springs back when gently pressed, 35 to 45 minutes for a large baking dish and 25 to 35 minutes for the individual ramekins. Transfer the dishes to a rack to cool completely, at least 1 1/2 hours. (The pudding cakes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.) To serve, run a paring knife around the edges of the dish and invert onto a plate.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pigtowner

                  Thank you for keeping my request in mind. This board never ceases to amaze me. I will try this recipe the next time I need a lemon fix!

                  1. re: pigtowner

                    Made this tonight, using a 9 1/2" by 13" pyrex dish. I was a bit worried when "folding" in the egg whites, because by the time I was done doing everything else the egg whites were sort of a light chunk, so it didn't really fold more like chunk up into smaller.. chunks? :) Maybe that's the idea though, as the part that floats to the top has a different consistency than the soft layer beneath.

                    It was good, very lemony, I just had some after cooldown though so I guess it will be a bit different tomorrow after being refridgerated. It was a very thin layer on the bottom of the pan, so maybe I used a pan that was much too big. I'll try with ramekins next time and make them deeper. Thanks for the recipe, 4 years later. :)

                  2. I get an email newsletter from ATK and they have a recipe for Lemon Pudding cake in the one I received today. I imagine you can find it on the Cooks Ilustrated site without signing up. If not, I'll post it for you.

                    OOps! Didn't read the entire thread and just saw it posted above.

                    1. if you are looking for a ganache centre... this recipe might help? just do it with white chocolate instead of bittersweet.


                      1. yes, discovered lemon lava cake at sweet tomatoes too
                        today was last day, amazed to find no receipes online
                        manager said to flood corperate with emails so perhaps they will have that
                        desert more often, desert is to die for cheers

                        5 Replies
                          1. re: gmanazores

                            Recently my daughter and I ate at Soup Plantation (same as Sweet Tomatoes) and had carrot & cream cheese lava cake. It is absolutely the best dessert I have eaten in a long, long time. We moaned as we ate it I am embarrassed to say. I found this website while searching for a recipe. I also wrote to the company but did not get a reply. Our local Orange County newspaper has a columnist who obtains recipes on request if possible. I've written and asked her if she can help. I'm thinking I might use the lemon lava cake recipe for basics and try to make at least something close to the carrot/cream cheese cake. If I succeed I will post it here. I am determined to have this cake at home!

                            1. re: auntiesamm

                              can you describe this a little bit more? was it like carrot cake with a cheese cream frosting gooey center? was the center baked with it, or could it have been inserted after the baking process? just trying to wrap my mind around a carrot/cream cheese lava cake...

                              1. re: Emme

                                It is hard to do it justice with a description. It was served piping hot; the cream cheese icing was all melted and gooey. Could not tell if some of it was baked in. Maybe we should call it mystery cake. I tried to duplicate it making a scratch carrot cake 9x13, poked holes in the top like we do for "Better than Sex" cake. Let the icing soak into the holes and top. My cake was more coarse than the Soup Plantation cake. It tasted fabulous but not quite right. I had thought of layering cream cheese sweetened in the middle but was afraid I might really ruin the cake. One of the secrets is eating it while it is still really warm, like almost hot! Oh, those wonderful flavors ........Yummy! I am going to try again with a little bit different recipe. Do you think it would be okay to warm the icing before putting it on the cake? I'm determined to make this cake - meantime, I just might have to go back to SP so I can try it again.

                                1. re: auntiesamm

                                  I wonder if you could do a carrot cake/cheese cake idea and serve it hot out of the oven. That cake sounds amazing, though.

                          2. King Arthur sells a Lemon Magic Cake Mix:


                            Of course it is backordered right now. But the link will show a picture, so you can see if it is anything like you are looking for.

                            I have a box that I should try, just haven't done it yet, but maybe it will become my Birthday cake this year.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hummingbird

                              I just had Sweet Tomaoes' Lemon Lava Cake yesterday. One thing I was struck by (other than that it is absolutely to-die-for delicious!) was that the "cake" part of the recipe had a distinct flavor of corn meal. This might help you in recreating the recipe.

                            2. I have only seen an ad for Souplantation's Hot Lemon lava cake and I was intrigued. So I started looking for recipe. I believe this one could be it: (courtesy of the community at tasteofhome.com)
                              Lemon Pudding Cakes
                              posted by princessRN

                              Softened butter for the ramekins
                              2 ounces (1/4 cup) un-salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
                              1 cup granulated sugar
                              3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
                              11/8 ounces (1/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
                              1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon table salt
                              11/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
                              1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, at room temperature
                              1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
                              Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)

                              Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

                              Butter eight 6-ounce ceramic oven-proof ramekins or Pyrex custard cups and arrange them in a baking dish or roasting pan (a 10x15-inch or two 8x8-inch Pyrex dishes work well).

                              In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter with 2/3 cup of the sugar and the egg yolks until smooth and light, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt and pour in just enough milk to whisk the flour smoothly into the egg yolk mixture. Then whisk in the remaining milk and the lemon juice until smooth. The mixture will be very fluid.

                              Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer (a hand-held or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) on medium speed until the whites begin to foam, 30 to 60 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat just until the whites hold soft peaks when the beater is pulled away, another 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium. With the mixer running, very slowly sprinkle in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar; this should take about a minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Beat on high speed until the whites hold medium-firm peaks when the beater is pulled away, about another 30 seconds.
                              Scrape one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, sprinkle the lemon zest on top, and whisk until combined. Gently incorporate the remaining whites into the batter, using the whisk in a folding/stirring motion. The batter will still be thin.

                              Portion the mixture evenly among the ramekins; the cakes don’t rise much, so you can fill the ramekins to within 1/8 inch of the top. Pull out the oven rack and put the baking dish full of ramekins on the rack. Pour warm water into the dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the tops of the cakes are light golden and slightly puffed, and when touched with a finger, they should feel spongy and spring back a bit but hold a shallow indentation, 25 to 30 minutes. Using tongs, carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before serving, with whipped cream if you like.

                              Enjoy - Ihope this is IT! :-D

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Flyingroo

                                I tried this recipe last night and this feels like a stupid question now that I'm remembering this is on a "lemon LAVA cake" site but is the top supposed to puff up and the bottom still be liquidy? Can someone let me know if it works out perfectly what the texture is supposed to be? lol Thanks

                                1. re: wlukin

                                  yes, that is what a pudding cake odes. i envision a lava cake differently. but I love lemon puddingcake.

                              2. This is my new favorite dessert. I make it in coffee mugs, and have changed to three portions. I would take it out when the top is just starting to brown, not when it is well browned. Last time I threw frozen cherries on the bottom and it was great. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...

                                1. don't know if you are still on your quest...but i think this might hit the spot.


                                  * 2 oz. butter, unsalted
                                  * 4 oz. white chocolate chips
                                  * 1/4 cup. fresh squeezed lemon juice
                                  * 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds reserved, or 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
                                  * 1 ½ oz. sugar
                                  * 2 eggs + 1 egg yolks
                                  * 1 ½ oz. flour, all-purpose
                                  * Simmered Blueberry Syrup (recipe below
                                  ) * Powdered sugar for dusting
                                  * * * * * Simmered Blueberry Syrup * * * *
                                  * ½ pound fresh blueberries
                                  * ½ cup sugar
                                  * ½ cup water


                                  1. In a microwave on high and in a large plastic container, melt the butter for 1 minute; do this in 20-second stages, as you want the butter to melt evenly and not to separate.
                                  2. Add the white chocolate chips and microwave for another 40 seconds, remove and stir until chocolate and butter are completely melted (this mixture should be thick, yet smooth in consistency – it may need more or less cooking time depending on your microwave). Let this chocolate and butter mixture rest and set-up for at least 3-4 minutes. If it separates or looks broken, discard and start again.
                                  3. In a stand mixer whip eggs, egg yolks, vanilla seeds and sugar on high speed for 8 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Add the chocolate mixture and add the flour, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whip on high until the mixture reaches a thick, mousse-like consistency – about 4-6 minutes more – this is now your cake mixture and it can rest like this for up to two days.
                                  4. Butter or grease 12, 4oz. brioche molds (if your not planning to invert the cake you can use 6 oz ramekins, or coffee cups if you don't have molds) pour cake mixture into the brioche molds. Place on a baking tray and bake in a 400 oven for about 7-8 minutes until the cakes are golden and puffy (the cakes will be runny in the center).
                                  5. Remove immediately from the oven, flip over on a plate, sauce with simmered summer blueberries and sprinkle with a little bit of powdered sugar. Serve warm.

                                  Simmered Summer Blueberries

                                  1. In a large saucepan over moderate heat combine the blueberries, sugar and water.
                                  2. Reduce this mixture by half or until syrupy and honey-like.
                                  3. Reserve and keep warm.

                                  1. Have you tried converting a chocolate mug cake recipe? I saw where a mom had to accommodate a child who could not eat chocolate, so she simply replaced the cocoa with another tablespoon of flour. But the extracts could change, as could maybe some of the milk be replaced with lemon juice? Possibly? Any experienced cake bakers see a problem with this? It would be easy to try though..because you could do it in such a small amount! Google "Mug cake" and you will find that they are almost all chocolate. I dont do that much chocolate, so I might be working on this tomorrow if I have time! I will repost my findings if I get a winner!!

                                      1. re: icecone

                                        The one we were talking about had the middle sort of like a lemon custard, lemon curd , and it was obtained exactly the way the chocolate lava cakes are obtained, so baked and the middle remaining of a diffferent texture, not adding another ingredient in order to obtain that wonderful fluid...

                                        1. re: Flyingroo

                                          I don't understand your comment. For this recipe, you mix everything together, put the batter in cups, and bake them. When you cut into one, the cake is on the outside and the lemon custard is in the center. At least, that's what the pictures show.

                                          1. re: yayadave

                                            The one that we were talking about was supposed to have NO chocolate in it, neither dark nor white - the trick was to obtain the same results without using the properties of chocolate... or so we thought.

                                            Here is the recipe as later published on signonsandiego, apparently directly from Souplantation, because that's what started all the craze... I wish I could attach a photo too, would be worth a thousand words, right?


                                            "The compliments will flow with Lemon Lava Cake
                                            By Caroline Dipping, UNION-TRIBUNE

                                            Originally published June 22, 2010 at 8:02 p.m., updated June 23, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.

                                            Do you have the recipe for Souplantation’s Lemon Lava Cake?

                                            — Rita Murray, Irvine

                                            Always generous with their recipes, Souplantation was happy to share the formula for this gooey bit of sunshine. Enjoy.

                                            Hot Lemon Lava Cake
                                            12 to 16 servings

                                            LEMON FILLING

                                            2 (3.4-ounce) boxes Jell-O brand instant lemon pudding mix

                                            4 cups whole milk

                                            LEMON CAKE BATTER

                                            11 tablespoons butter

                                            3/4 cup white sugar

                                            2 cups all-purpose flour

                                            1 tablespoon baking powder

                                            1/2 teaspoon salt

                                            1 cup whole milk

                                            1/2 cup eggs

                                            2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

                                            1 tablespoon lemon extract

                                            LEMON GLAZE

                                            1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

                                            3 tablespoons butter

                                            3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

                                            Powdered sugar, for dusting

                                            For the filling: Combine ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Allow time to set up per package directions.

                                            For the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to mixer. Mix until combined. Whisk together the milk, eggs, lemon zest and lemon extract. Add to mixer and mix until thoroughly combined.

                                            For the glaze: In another bowl, combine all ingredients with an electric mixer and mix until smooth.

                                            Cake assembly and baking: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

                                            Pour lemon filling in pan and spread to cover bottom. Gently fold cake batter into the filling, leaving some pockets of filling and batter. Bake for about 30 minutes or until cake is baked and set.

                                            While cake is hot, spread on the lemon glaze. Sift on a light coating of powdered sugar and serve.

                                            (From Souplantation)"

                                            1. re: Flyingroo

                                              So, their lava cake is more like a pudding-filled cake?

                                              Hope someone tries both versions: with white chocolate and with lemon pudding.

                                              1. re: icecone

                                                And this recipe is made in a 9x13 pan not individual ramekins. Single serving lava cakes are usually the preferred method. How does a lava cake made in a 9x13 pan work out?

                                        2. re: icecone

                                          Icecone...This looks and sounds deelicious :) Will post the results soon.

                                        3. Has anyone made this in ramekins and succeeded in getting the molten "lava" center?

                                          Like this: http://www.omahasteaks.com/servlet/br...

                                          1. I'm wondering if you ever found the Lemon Lava Cake recipe...I think I have an excellent recipe, if you would like it..., I would be happy to email it to you...Just let me know..

                                            1. Lemon Volcano (or Lava) cake recipe
                                              Cream mixture:
                                              1 stick butter, softened
                                              1 1/2 pkg cream cheese, softened
                                              2 cups sugar
                                              Beat together, set aside.

                                              1 Lemon cake mix, prepare as directed on the package.
                                              Pour cake batter into a greased 13 x 9x 2 cake pan. Evenly space dollops of cream mixture on top. Bake as directed (40-45 minutes)


                                              4 T melted butter
                                              1/2 cup milk
                                              1/2 t lemon extract (sometimes I just use some lemon zest)
                                              1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
                                              Melt butter in a sucepan, add milk and heat. Whish powdered sugar and lemon into mixture.Cool before spreading on, or drizzling over the cake.

                                              I usually add lemon zest to the cream mixture, the cake batter, and the glaze for more lemon flavor

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. I was trying to find a version of Souplantation's lemon lava cake, and google brought up this old thread. I made the version that is supposedly from Souplantation that was mentioned in this thread (I'll post the link again). I'd say it came out really close and is very good!

                                                The only issues I'd note about the recipe is that under the lemon glaze section it should say melted butter, under the cake batter section 1/2 cup eggs is basically 2 large eggs, and lastly the cake wasn't even close to being done after 30 minutes as I had to cook it for 45 minutes until it set.