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Box mix makes quick work of pudding cake

By Betty Shimabukuro

LAST UPDATED: 2:06 a.m. HST, Apr 13, 2011

If only they were all this easy.

Sue Massey wrote in for a recipe for an old family favorite: "My auntie used to bake a ‘pudding cake.' We never did find the recipe, but sure remember the taste. It seemed to be a yellow cake on top, and a lemon pudding on the bottom. She said she mixed ‘it' all together and it came out that way. Have you heard of anything like this?"

The Lemon Pudding Cake is one of those classics from a past generation — a cake that while it bakes forms a puddinglike sauce in the bottom. I found many recipes for making the cake from scratch, all of them intermediate-level proj­ects that involved beating up a meringue to fold into the batter and then baking in a bain maire, or water bath.

I was about to start separating eggs, but first I checked in with Massey, who added a postscript: Her aunt used a box mix, for a yellow cake, she thought.

Well, that simplified things. I checked in with my buddy Betty — Crocker, that is — and on her website ( found this incredibly easy recipe.

It uses a lemon cake mix, but a yellow mix would work, too. In fact, why not make this with chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding? Or vanilla/vanilla or strawberry/strawberry? Or why not mix and match? Hau­pia would also be worth a try.

But given the season — Easter is coming — a bright yellow lemon cake seems most color-appropriate.

I gave it a try and the proc­ess is somewhat magical. You mix the cake batter, pour it in a pan, then whisk the pudding mix with milk and gently pour it over the cake. In the oven the two substances somehow reverse positions, so you get a cake with a creamy pudding below. Served with ice cream, it's delicious.

Lemon Pudding Cake
Betty Crocker

1 box lemon cake mix
1-1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
3 eggs
2 boxes instant lemon pudding mix (4-serving size each)
2-3/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch cake pan.

Beat cake mix, water, oil, lemon peel and eggs on low speed 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Pour batter into pan.

Combine pudding mix and milk in bowl and whisk about 2 minutes or until smooth and beginning to thicken. Gently pour over batter to within 1/2 inch of edges.

Bake about 50 minutes or until golden brown and edges pull away from sides (center should be set but slightly jiggly). Cool 20 minutes. Center of cake might appear sunken.

Spoon into bowls and top with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Nutritional analysis unvailable.

Can you help?

While we're on the topic of lemon desserts: Leonore Higa hopes to find a recipe for the "ultra delicious" Lemon Cheese Pie once baked daily at the Paramount Grill in Hilo.

"As a college student, I worked at the Palace Theater across the street from the Paramount Grill. It was my biggest thrill to be able to have a lunch made up of a hearty slice of Lemon Cheese Pie. I wonder if there is anyone around who has the recipe for this delicious, lemony-cheesy pie that had a crumble topping."

If anyone has this recipe or knows how to reach the former proprietors of the Paramount Grill, please get in touch.


Write " “By Request,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Email

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