This Microwave Lemon Sponge Pudding is a 10 minute wonder – it’s as tart as it is sweet and a great way to use up a jar of lemon curd. You’d never know it isn’t a traditional steamed sponge pudding either.
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Microwave sponge puddings have become a rather bigger thing in my life since I started publishing various flavours on this site. But they’ve been a regular staple in my kitchen and it’s certainly no hardship.
They’re so simple to whip up, they’re ideal for my ridiculously impulsive eating style. Chances are by the time I’ve written this post, I will have made at least one. (Update – I didn’t get past the ingredients section).
The basic sponge recipe for this cheat’s lemon steamed sponge pudding is exactly the same for all of my puddings. And it is exactly the same recipe as if I was going the traditional route and steaming it. Only the cooking method is different.
The all-in-one sponge batter is based on a Victoria Sponge or Pound Cake recipe. By this I mean that there are equal weights of butter/margarine, sugar and flour. And there are half as many eggs as ounces of the other ingredients. So for this recipe which is based on a 4oz mixture, we use 2 eggs.
- How to Serve Lemon Sponge Pudding
- Ingredients for Quick Lemon Curd Sponge
- Equipment Notes for Microwave Lemon Curd Sponge
- Get Ahead
- Leftover Microwave Lemon Sponge
- Quick Lemon Curd Sponge Pudding Tips
- Keep Up to Date
- Full Step-By-Step Recipe
How to Serve Lemon Sponge Pudding
This is a pudding that needs to be served hot, or at the very least warm. Microwave puddings don’t eat well cold at all, they develop a kind of stodginess that I can’t describe. Don’t worry, this lemon pudding reheats fine but as it takes nearly as long to reheat as it does to cook, please just try and cook it when you are planning on serving it.
I’m convinced that a good sponge pudding needs custard. I usually make Custard Powder Custard, also in the microwave. I mix it up when the pudding is cooking and then heat and thicken it while the udding stands for a few minutes.
You can of course go with the cream or ice cream route if that’s what you prefer. This lemon sponge is quite sharp so something creamy is ideally needed to cut through that tartness.
Ingredients for Quick Lemon Curd Sponge
Most supermarkets have an option in their value range so that can help make this a nice and economical pudding. You can of course use a fancier or brand label option if you prefer.
What I do recommend doing is trying the curd on its own first. If you find it too sour/sharp/tart, you can always stir through a spoon or two of caster sugar until the flavour is more to your liking.
Either way it will be a little tempered by the custard or cream etc your serving it with. I like the sourness but its not everyone’s cup of tea so adjust the curd sweetness to taste.
Despite having published a number of fruit curd recipes, I’ve never actually shared a lemon curd! I mostly use the Nigella Lawson Lemon Curd recipe from her first book How to Eat. But for desserts like this, I’m usually going to use a store bought jar of lemon curd.
You can however make any flavour curd sponge pudding so its a great use for any of my curd recipes which you can find in one easy place here:
All the recipes and all the extra information you could possible need to help you make the most out of my collection of fruit curd recipes.
I’ve used margarine in this recipe rather than butter because I prefer the lighter texture that you get from a margarine or spread. It’s also helpful when making a super quick pudding because it’s useable straight from the fridge.
When I say margarine I’m really talking about some kind of light spread. I’m not into “baking” margarines like Stork – they have an odd taste and I don’t really understand why they’re so popular. Just a regular, cheap spread will do nicely.
If you prefer to use butter, please do. My preference is only slight and I certainly wouldn’t not make a sponge if I only had butter – I’d be unlikely to go and buy some specially. You do need to make sure that the butter is soft before you start or the batter won’t mix properly.
In these modern and enlightened times we live in, I use white caster sugar in my sponges. But for most of my life, granulated was the only sugar on hand and that worked just fine.
You can use an unbleached/golden sugar but please don’t substitute with brown or dark brown sugar as the quantities may be out and the flavours will likely clash with the jam.
If you would rather use plain flour, you will need to add baking powder – you can use this guide from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen to work out how much you need to use.
I’ve also made this recipe many times with white spelt flour and you’d never know the difference.
I mostly use large eggs but if you only have medium, this recipe will work just fine.
I use both the lemon zest and juice from a fresh lemon in the sponge. Firstly, If you don’t have a lemon to hand, you can use bottled lemon juice instead. If you don’t keep a bottle of lemon juice in your fridge, add it to your shopping list, it is forever useful.
If you have a lemon to hand then you either need to make sure that it is unwaxed or scrub the wax off with boiling hot water and a scouring sponge or brush. This applies to any lemon that you are using for zesting.
Make sure that you zest the lemon before cutting it in half to juice it. Doing it the other way round is a feat of skill and endurance that no one has time for!
You can take any curd and make a curd sponge pudding. For the most part I’d likely be inclined to keep the lemony sponge as there aren’t many fruits that lemon doesn’t complement.
Other than changing the curd, you can change out the topping entirely for pretty much any type of jam, marmalade, fruit compote or golden syrup. The options are pretty endless.
I’ve made it easy on you by sharing my specific recipes for a few of my variations.
Try my Other Microwave Sponge Pudding Recipes
Find all of my best Microwave “Steamed” Sponge Pudding recipes in one easy place. From 10 minute everyday sponges to a festive favourite in a fraction of the usual time, the best thing is you’ll never know they weren’t steamed for hours!
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free Microwave Lemon Sponge: To make the recipe gluten free, you will simply need to use a gluten-free flour blend.
If the blend you choose doesn’t contain a raising agent, you will need to add baking powder.
Dairy Free Microwave Lemon Sponge: The only dairy in this recipe is the margarine. Plant based margarine is incredibly easy to come by nowadays so simply sub that for the regular margarine.
Egg Free Microwave Lemon Sponge: If you can use a liquid egg replacer (whole eggs not just egg white), that should be simple swap.
If you cannot get hold of such a product, use 1 tbsp vegetable oil in place of each egg. The texture won’t be quite the same but you’ll end up with a perfectly serviceable egg free pudding.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
This microwave sponge pudding recipe is vegetarian friendly as written.
To make a vegan jam sponge pudding you will need to take on board my suggestions above to make the recipe both dairy and egg free. Not that tricky at all.
Equipment Notes for Microwave Lemon Curd Sponge
This recipe clearly hinges on having a Microwave.
I use the microwave on full power and the times given are for a 700/800w microwave. If you have a more or less powerful microwave, you may need to adjust the cooking times by 30 seconds one way or the other.
Although saying that, providing that you use an oven safe pyrex dish, you could easily cook this in the oven. But it would take about 45 minutes to cook.
I almost always use electrical assistance to make a quick sponge batter. It is much easier to get an all-in-one cake mixture to mix properly this way.
You can mix this by hand using just a spatula or wooden spoon but I would usually mix the butter and sugar together first then add the eggs, lemon juice and zest then mix before folding in the flour. It’s going to take a couple more minutes but this will ensure that everything is properly mixed together and it will cook evenly.
Despite the images in the recipe showing me using a glass pyrex bowl to make this sponge, I do more often than not just use a basic thin plastic mixing bowl. I own several of them in various sizes and use them for nearly everything. But they’re not very clear and are not helpful to show you what I’m doing!
You can really use any microwave safe dish you like. Plastic will not absorb as much heat as pyrex glass or ceramic so the cooking time I’ve given is less as the food itself will cook faster. The pryrex bowl that I have used in the recipe process images is 1 litre in size.
What you should avoid using is melamine or bamboo dishes. They absorb all the heat, get far to hot and leave your food uncooked.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
Please don’t try to get ahead by much!
You can make up the lemon curd and sponge batter a couple of hours in advance at most. It isn’t ideal to let a batter with a raising agent sit for too long (unless it is intentional like with this Ma Lai Gao Steamed Cake) but this recipe is so forgiving, a couple of hours won’t hurt.
You can then throw the bowl in the microwave just before you want to eat.
Leftover Microwave Lemon Sponge
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated again in the microwave. Heat in 30 second bursts because a portion won’t take long at all.
Quick Lemon Curd Sponge Pudding Tips
Hot fruit curd is very very hot so please be extra careful when turning out the pudding. If you’re worried, don’t turn it out and simply serve from the bowl.
This recipe is said to serve 6 in the recipe. This is the kind of portion that you’d serve after a decent roast beef dinner. If you want a heartier portion, this recipe will serve 4 as written.
You can always put a microwave on for another 30 seconds but you can’t rewind time. So if you are not sure about the power of your microwave, err on the side of caution.
Baking is often said to be a science and this puts the fear of god into people. I often eyeball this recipe and its not failed yet so don’t stress over it. Don’t go too crazy either, I will not be taking responsibility if you use 8 eggs and wonder why you have a kitchen explosion and have to re-paint the kitchen ceiling.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Microwave Lemon Sponge Pudding Recipe
- 150 g Lemon Curd
- 1 Lemon
- 120 g Margarine - plus extra for greasing
- 120 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 120 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)
- 2 Eggs
- Grease a microwaveable bowl and measure in 150g Lemon Curd.
- Push it slightly up the sides of the bowl if it is thick enough.
- Zest and juice 1 Lemon. You are aiming for roughly 1 tbsp zest and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Set aside.
- Measure 120g Margarine, 120g Caster Sugar and 120g Self-Raising Flour into a medium sized mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl).
- Crack in 2 Eggs and add the lemon zest and juice.
- Use an electric hand whisk or stand mixer to beat the ingredients together until fully combined.Note – Do not continue mixing past this stage as you could make the sponge tough.Note – Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly mixed in.
- Transfer the sponge batter into the microwaveable bowl on top of the lemon curd layer. Roughly smooth out the top.
- Microwave on full power for 5 minutes if using a glass/pyrex bowl and 4 minutes if using a plastic bowl.
- Once cooked the sponge may look a tiny bit wet on the top but don’t be fooled, the sponge will be fully cooked.
- Use a plastic knife or spatula to loosen the edges of the sponge from the side of the bowl.
- Carefully turn the sponge out onto a serving plate or you can simply use a large spoon to serve straight from the bowl.Note – Be very careful as the jam will be piping hot.
- Serve hot with lashings of custard.