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Lemon Lava Cake

Plus, the ingredients we add in take it to the next level!

You know those times when you can’t really decide what kind of dessert you want? Cake, pudding, custard…it all sounds good! Thankfully, we came up with this dish so you don’t have to choose – you’re welcome! Lemon lava cake is a dessert that feeds a crowd, plus, satiates just about every facet of your sweet tooth, be it the craving for cake or warm lemon pudding; it all comes together in a lave-esque explosion of flavor that we’re absolutely hooked on.

So, let’s dive in. We used box mix yellow cake, that we spruced up a bit, and lemon pudding mix, which we also zhoosh-ed up, and it comes together in a snap. While you can definitely make a yellow cake (or lemon cake) from scratch, or make a lemon pudding on the stovetop, when we want to make this, we usually want it in a hurry, so we cut a couple corners, then add in a couple extra ingredients and find we love the result every time and never really find ourselves wishing we’d done the whole thing from scratch.

In order to take the store-bought cake and pudding mix up a notch, we add lemon extract, vanilla extract and lemon zest. They might not seem like star ingredients on their own, but they add the perfect amount of flavor, so you’ve got a zest-filled lemon pudding and a lemon vanilla cake to soak it all up and round out the dessert. Whether you attempt to serve this as slices (topped with ice cream, duh) or just as a big ol’ scoopful – with lemon lava erupting from it nonetheless – this is a great summer dessert that we could tuck into any time.

Serves 12-16

50 minutes

Rated 4.2 out of 5
Rated by 23 reviewers
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) package white or yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract, optional
  • 2 (3.4 oz.) packages lemon instant pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • vanilla ice cream, powdered sugar, or cool whip, garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Whisk together cake mix with eggs, water, vegetable oil, vanilla and lemon extracts in a large bowl until mixture is just combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon pudding packets, milk, lemon zest and water, stirring until all powder has dissolved and mixture is smooth.
  4. Pour pudding mixture into prepared cake pan, gently spreading into an even layer.
  5. Pour cake batter gently on top of pudding layer, trying not to mix the two.
  6. Optional: place baking dish on top of a baking pan to prevent spillage in oven.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean of crumbs. (Pudding layer is okay on there.)
  8. Remove from oven, then let cool.
  9. Serve with powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Call Me PMC

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