Go Back
+ servings
Individual Baked Lemon Custard with Sponge Cake Tops and whipped cream

Lemon Baked Custard with Sponge Cake Top

These simple to make lemon custard cups with a light, cakey top are refreshing and unique. The custard batter naturally separates during cooking to form a layer of actual lemon custard and a cake. Fresh and light, they are always a welcome treat at the end of a meal!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 custard cups
Calories 208kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter softened (plus extra to butter the ramekins)
  • 2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 teaspoons Lemon Zest
  • 4 large Eggs room temperature, separated
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour (gluten-free or regular)


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 6 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the softened butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Beat in egg yolks.
  • Slowly pour in lemon juice and milk, alternating with the flour; mix to combine. 
  • In a separate upright mixer bowl or using a hand held mixer, beat the 4 egg whites until firm but not dry.
  • Fold the egg whites gently into the lemony batter just until combined. NOTE: it will be slightly lumpy.
  • Evenly spoon gently into the prepared custard cups (do not pour). Place custard cups into a 9-inch by 13-inch (or larger) baking pan. NOTE: they should not be touching each other. Add hot tap water to reach halfway up the side of the custard cups (water bath). TIP: place the baking dish on oven shelf before pouring the hot water in.
  • Cook until the custards are lightly browned on top and a knife comes out clean; approximately 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow custards to remain in the water bath an additional 5 minutes to set. Transfer to a cooling rack. May be served hot or chilled.


Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 5.2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 0.8mg