This pudding is quintessentially Australian, and runs a close race with Pavlova and lamington as the nations favourite dessert. It is sometimes called lemon surprise because beneath the light, spongy topping lies a runny tangy lemon custard.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (37 votes)


  • 60 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 100 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 310 ml (1¼ cups) milk
  • 125 ml (½ cup) lemon juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 1 litre-capacity ovenproof dish.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and zest until pale and fluffy. Add yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour, milk and juice, folding until combined.

Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer, then fold into egg yolk mixture in 2 batches. Pour mixture into the prepared dish and place in a deep roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the dish. Bake pudding for 30 minutes or until golden and serve immediately.


Photography Derek Swalwell