Easy Lemon Lava Cake

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Lemon Lava Cake is silky and luscious. This boxed cake mix recipe is simple and easy to make!

Made with cake mix and lemon pudding, it comes out of the oven with a self-made lemon sauce. It’s best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

slice of lemon lava cake on a white plate.

When hot, the lemon sauce flows like lava out of this Easy Lemon Lava Cake, thus its’ name. You may have seen chocolate lava or red velvet lava cakes before. I didn’t want to discriminate, so tried the same cooking method using lemon. It worked like a charm.

scooping a serving of lemon pudding dessert from the baking dish.

Lemon Lava Cake

This pudding cake is luscious, with a velvety mouthfeel. There’s no tartness usually associated with lemon desserts. It’s sweet and sensational. It’s sure to satisfy the taste buds of the lemon lover in your life!

dollop of whipped cream on top a slice of lemon lava cake.
plated slice of yellow lava cake made with cake mix and lemon pudding.

Recipe Tips

  1. First, this cake starts with a cake mix. If you have a basic lemon cake recipe, you can use that if you’re opposed to using a box mix. At times, I like a semi-homemade, time-saving cake and I start it with a cake mix.
  2. Next, I use the 15.25-ounce yellow or white cake mix.
  3. This cake uses instant pudding. If you are opposed to using instant pudding mix, I don’t know a substitution for that. If you are unable to find instant pudding in your area, try Amazon. This is the instant pudding I use in lemon flavor.
  4. Serve this cake warm, with homemade whipped cream or a good quality vanilla ice cream.

To make whipped cream, place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a large bowl. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours.

slice of lemon lava cake, close up, topped with whipped cream.
Easy Lemon Lava Cake

Easy Lemon Lava Cake

Easy Lemon Lava Cake is an easy cake to make that begins with a cake mix and instant pudding mix. A great alternative to chocolate, this cake is sure to please that lemon lover in your life.
Author: Paula
5 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


  • 15.25 ounce package yellow or white cake mix
  • eggs, oil, and water amounts called for on back of package (amounts vary by brand that's why I'm not listing them here.)
  • (2) -3.4 ounce packages instant pudding, lemon flavored
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 and 1/4 cup water
  • *optional – confectioners sugar for dusting whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick spray.
  • Prepare cake as directed on back of package.
  • Pour cake batter into prepared pan.
  • Add dry pudding mix, granulated sugar, milk and water in a bowl.
  • Whisk by hand 2 minutes.
  • Evenly pour lemon pudding mix over cake batter. Do not stir.
  • Place cake pan on a larger baking pan with at least a 1-inch edge in case the cake bubbles over.
  • Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until cake is brown on top and wooden pick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool 20 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and/or fresh raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.


Recipe from Paula @CallMePMc.com All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission that includes copying the ingredient list or entire recipe and posting in the comments on Pinterest for Facebook. If you want to share this recipe, please simply link back to this post for the recipe.


Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please take a moment to comment letting me know how you liked it & consider giving it a 5 star rating. I love hearing from you!
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  1. 5 stars
    We love this recipe. Although I did reduce the sugar in the sauce. Very yummy. Thank you

  2. Hi Paula, Do I have this right? For the Lemon Lava Cake, the batter goes into the pan first then the pudding. Does the cake batter rise to the top while baking?

    Also, can I substitute canned lemon pie filling like Lucky Leaf Pie Filling?

  3. 5 stars
    I have been making this exact recipe for for more than 20 years. it’s good, and one of my favorite go-to, quick recipes to serve to guests. Don’t hesitate to try it!

  4. In one recipe it said pudding mix in pan first then cake mix on top is this correct or does cake mix go first then pudding mix I’m confused

  5. 5 stars
    Made it for Easter and it was very easy and delicious. I will definitely make this again.

  6. Great idea for a light dessert recipe. I really think you meant to use 2 small packages of lemon pudding as opposed to the one listed in the recipe, as the amount of liquid is just too much for 1 package and results in too bland of a lemon custard.

  7. Made this cake but omited the sugar used a lemon cake mix . it was delicious . will make other flavors and use this recipe thanks for the post

  8. Going to give this a try shortly, making it in my stack cooker in my microwave. I did a Chocolate one a couple days ago, my hubby and son loved it!

    A question for you, do you feel that Sauce ‘N Cake is the same as a lava cake? I did my chocolate one from scratch.

  9. I made this cake today. It looked beautiful coming out of the oven and I couldn’t wait to sneak a taste. My husband and I both thought the sauce was rather watery. In fact, it gave the cake a soggy taste. I wonder if I add less than 1 1/4c water to the mix if this would improve the sauce?
    I bake quite a lot and make a point of following the directions. Any suggestions?

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Your email address will not be published. Have you tried this recipe? Consider giving it 5 stars!