Lemon Custard Bread Pudding with Sauce

Lemon BP (3)

This recipe is adapted from one in a favorite cookbook from the 1970s – Redbook Cookbook (1976), offered as a premium with a subscription to Redbook magazine.  This was originally a custard bread pudding recipe which I adapted by adding lemon extract and by making a favorite sauce with lemon juice and grated lemon peel.  It’s lighter than most bread pudding with a delicious custard.  Heavier bread like Italian, French or sourdough would be the best to use for this.

The pudding is baked in a deep casserole dish which has been placed in a shallow pan of hot water.

Lemon BP (2)


4 cups day-old bread cubes
3 cups milk
¼ cup butter
½ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp lemon extract

Heat oven to 350.  Grease a deep 1-1/2 qt. baking dish.

Place bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.  Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat until little bubbles form at pan edge.  Remove from heat, add butter, sugar.  Stir and pour this mixture over the  bread cubes.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, beat eggs well and add salt and lemon extract.  Slowly stir tje egg mixture into the bread/milk mixture.  Pour into greased dish.  Set dish in a baking pan and add one inch of hot water to pan.  Bake for 55 minutes until set.  Let cool in dish on a rack.

LEMON SAUCE  (1-½ cups)
½ cup granulated sugar
2-¼ Tblsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup cold water
2 Tblsp. butter
½ cup lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water.  Stirring constantly, heat until mixture boils.  Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and lemon peel.  Serve warm over bread pudding.  Makes about 1-½ cups.

Refrigerate leftovers of pudding and sauce.  Bring to room temperature or heat briefly in the microwave to serve.

Lemon BP (1)


Cherry Lemon Scones

Cherry LemSc- botWhen I first started blogging in 2007, I found Sweet Rosie’s blog (http://sweetrosie.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/lovely-scones-for-sharing/) and have followed and loved it ever since.  She has some amazing recipes from Australia and a recent one was a scone that used two ingredients I didn’t have on hand – cream and Schweppe’s Lemonade.  I substituted undiluted evaporated milk plus butter for the cream and 7-Up soft drink (regular) for the Schweppe’s.  This produced the best scones I ever made, so on the next try some lemon peel, lemon extract, and dried cherries were added.  A new favorite was born.

Here is my adapted version:


2-½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp.  baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (plus a small amount for sifting on top of baked scones)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
¼ cup butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup dried cherries
1/2 cup 7-Up soft drink (regular)
½ cup undiluted evaporated milk
1 tsp. lemon extract

Cherry LemSc-1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and lemon peel.  Cut in butter.  Mix in the cherries.

Cherry LemSc- cherries

Stir in with a fork the 7-Up, cream and lemon extract.

Cherry LemSc- mix

Form into a craggy, moist circle about 8 inches wide …

Cherry LemSc- disc

… and place on parchment lined sheet.  With floured knife, cut into 8 wedges.

Cherry LemSc- wedge

Separate wedges to allow some space between each one.

Cherry LemSc- sep
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25  minutes.

Place on rack to cool and sift confectioners’ sugar over the top.

Cherry LemSc- rack

Enjoy while still warm.

Cherry LemSc- top

To reheat scones, place scones on a baking pan in a cold oven.  Turn the oven to 350 degrees F and let warm until it reaches 350.  Immediately, turn off the oven and remove the scones.  This method warms them just the right amount to make them taste freshly-baked.

Lemon Shortbread with Dried Cherries


I had bought some dried cherries for a certain dish and was looking for a way to use up some of the leftovers.  I combined several ideas in this version of lemony-good shortbread with the sharp tang of dried cherries which had been soaked in cherry liqueur.  Brandy would also be fine for soaking the cherries, but I happened to have some cherry liqueur left from another recipe and this gave me the chance to use a some more of it.

It takes a little planning ahead to make the cookies since the cherries are soaked for 4-5 hours and then the dough is refrigerated for 3-4 hours.  The cookies are well worth it.


  • Servings: 28 small cookies
  • Print

  • ½ cup dried Montmorency cherries
  • ½ cup cherry liqueur or brandy
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt


Place dried cherries in a half-pint jar and pour the cherry liqueur or brandy over them.  Cover with a lid and allow to soak for 4-5 hours or overnight.


When ready to use, drain the cherries, reserving the juice for another recipe in the future.


Place the drained cherries on a paper towel.


Using the paper towel, blot the cherries.  Chop the cherries coarsely with a knife.  Set aside.

In the large bowl of a mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar.  Beat in lemon peel and lemon extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture until the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
By hand, stir in the brandied cherries.

Divide dough into two portions, shaping each portion into a 7-½  inch long roll.


Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Unwrap dough and cut each roll crosswise into 14 half- inch slices.  Place the slices on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are golden brown.

Remove shortbread from baking sheets to racks to cool.


Yield:  28 small shortbread cookies.


Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Squares


I was rearranging things in the freezer and was surprised to find a container of blueberries from this past June – the best blueberries I’ve ever tasted.  I needed room in the freezer and I needed a Sunday dessert so I looked on the internet for something different.  This recipe is adapted from one on All Recipes.com.  It is a rather light dessert with the good flavor of the blueberries shining through.


Cake Layer

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ tsp. lemon extract
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Ricotta Layer

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 15 oz. package of ricotta cheese (approximately 1-½ cups)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place sugar, egg and softened butter; beat for one minute.  Add flour, baking powder, salt, milk, lemon extract and lemon peel; beat for one minute at low speed and one minute on medium speed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread evenly. Sprinkle blueberries over the batter.


In a medium bowl, whisk 2 eggs until light and fluffy, add 1/3 cup of sugar and lemon extract  – whisk until smooth.  Add ricotta and whisk until all of the ricotta has been absorbed.

Spoon this mixture over the blueberries and spread evenly to cover all of the berries.


Bake @ 350 degrees F for 55 to 60 minutes until a knife inserted near the center of the pan comes out clean.

Place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

9 servings 


Lemon Summer Squash Cake


I first made this cake in 1996 when I adapted a recipe in a community cookbook, Treasure Chest of Recipes (Merrilville, IN).  I used a recipe for chocolate zucchini cake, but changed the ingredients around to make a lemon cake using the pretty yellow summer squash from my garden.  This makes a very tart, soft and delicious cake.


  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups grated yellow squash
  • 2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup milk

Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and beat until well mixed.  Stir in squash, lemon peel and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients, lemon juice and milk until dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour into well greased 12-cup Bundt pan …
…and bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees F until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes .

Use a knife to loosen around the sides of pan and around tube, then invert cake onto a rack to continue cooling.

While cake is still warm, pour lemon glaze over cake.

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1-½ Tblsp. Lemon juice

In a small bowl, mix sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice together until smooth.

10-12 servings 


Lemon Coconut Bars


I don’t know where I first found this recipe, but I made these delicious bars in 1987 for the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Fair.  They didn’t win a prize but my youngest daughter loves coconut and they are a favorite of hers.



  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾  cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut in small cubes

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and brown sugar.   Add the butter and mix together until mixture is blended.

Pat mixture into buttered 9×9 pan, using water-dampened fingertips to even out the dough.

Bake at 275 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Remove pan to wire rack.



  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup coconut
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

In a large bowl, whisk the egg; add the brown sugar and lemon extract and whisk until smooth.

Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing well.  Add coconut and nuts.

Spread filling mixture on the baked crust.

Bake for approximately 17 minutes at 350 degrees F until top is golden brown.  Remove pan to a wire rack.

While cookies are baking, make the frosting.


  • ½ Tblsp. melted butter
  • ½ tsp. lemon extract
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • About 2 tsp. water

In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and lemon extract.  Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and add water a little at a time to make a thin glaze consistency.
Let the baked cookies cool for about 10 minutes, then drizzle the glaze over the top. Allow to continue to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Cut into 12 bars. 

These bars are moist and chewy with a sharp lemon tang.


Lemon Pecan Dream Cups

Every Friday, I fix lunch for my two daughters.  I leave lunch on the kitchen table for my oldest daughter (who lives with me and works at home) and pack a picnic basket with lunch for my youngest daughter and myself to take to her home.

I make four servings so she can have something extra to squirrel away for later.  Lunch is always simple – a main dish salad or casserole plus a light dessert.  I came up with this dessert today, using what I had on hand and basing it loosely on one of our favorites, The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford.  The crust is so good in this dessert and the lemon filling is light and tangy.  We all loved it.



  • ¼ cup all -purpose flour
  • 2 Tblsp. butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped


  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup frozen topping, thawed
  • 3.4 oz pkg lemon instant pudding (4 servings)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1-½ tsp. lemon juice to enhance flavor (optional)


  • ½ cup frozen topping, thawed (divided)
  • 4 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Have four oven-safe custard cups at hand
To prepare the crust:

Place the flour and butter cubes in a small bowl.

Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips.  Stir in chopped pecans.

Divide this mixture between the four custard cups and press mixture down in the bottoms of the cups.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Place cups on a wire rack to cool.

To make the filling:

Place cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl.

Stir until smooth.  Stir in ½ cup frozen topping until blended.  Spread this mixture on top of cooled crust in custard cups.

In the same medium bowl, place instant pudding mix and milk.

Beat until pudding starts to thicken – about one minute.   Stir in lemon juice.  Spoon the pudding mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture in the cups.

Swirl 2 Tblsp. of  topping on each cup and place one pecan half in the center.

Cover and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.

4 servings 

Two-Ingredient Lemon Cake – 4 Points/Plus

This is my version of a recipe that’s been making the rounds of the cooking blogs.  It’s an easy two-ingredient cake that is only 4 Weight Watchers Points/Plus for a decent size piece.  I used the “super-moist” type with pudding in the mix and got a very good, soft cake that is a real treat for someone who has been dieting all week.


  •  1 (18 ounce) box dry yellow cake mix (Betty Crocker Super-Moist – 18.25 oz.)
  • 12 ounces diet lemon soda (Sierra Mist lemon/lime)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Spray the bottom only of a 13×9 baking dish

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine dry yellow cake mix and diet lemon soda.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to blend, then on medium speed for 2 minutes to thoroughly mix batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan …

…and bake @ 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes until cake is golden brown and tests done when a tester is inserted in the middle.

Allow cake to cool on a wire rack.  Cut into 12 pieces.

Cake may be served plain with the following nutritional count: per serving:  160 calories, 1.5 g fat, 35 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.  Weight Watchers Points/Plus – 4

Cake may be served with 2 Tblsp. light whipped topping:  180 calories, 2.5 g fat, 38 g carb, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.  Weight Watchers Points/Plus – 5

Or cake may be served with one tablespoon of a reduced fat Lemon Cream Cheese Sauce (recipe below):  209 calories, 3.5 g fat, 41.9 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1.2 g protein.  Weight Watchers Points/Plus – 6

Servings:  12 slices of cake


  • 4 oz softened low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 Tblsp. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and lemon juice (a fork works well for this).  Blend in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

About 10 one-tablespoon servings.

So far, I have only tried this cake, but here are some other suggested combinations:

  • Orange cake with diet Mountain Dew
  • Cherry chip cake with diet cream soda
  • Angel or yellow cake with diet orange soda
  • White cake with diet peach soda
  • Spice cake with diet lemon-lime soda
  • White cake with diet ginger ale
  • Chocolate cake with diet cherry soda
  • Devils food cake with diet cola
  • Chocolate cake with diet vanilla cola
  • Devils food cake with diet vanilla cola
  • Chocolate cake with diet root beer
  • Marble cake with diet cream soda
  • Lemon cake with tangerine Diet Rite
  • Chocolate cake with diet Dr. Pepper

Note that the nutritional count might change a bit depending on what kind of cake mix is used.  The count per serving can be found on the side of the box.  Mix and bake cake according to package directions for the type of pan you are using.

Easy and Quick Lemon Mousse

In 1976, I saw a cookbook at a reduced price in a book store and took a chance on it.  I’ve never regretted it.  The book was called The Garden Club Desserts Cookbook and this is the first dessert I made from it….certainly not the last.


  • 14 oz. can of condensed milk (I use non-fat)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) lite frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and lemon juice.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Serve in a pretty dessert dish.  Makes 4 to 6 servings. 

Irish Lemon and Blackberry Sponge Pudding

My oldest daughter made several trips to Ireland and always brought back an Irish cookbook for me.   In May of 1987, she brought home a copy of Irish Country Kitchen and on June 17, I made this wonderful sponge pudding for the first time.  We were living then in rural Blue Jay, Ohio, on the Indiana border, and every day I went to our back yard and picked a big bucket of wild blackberries.  I made several kinds of pie, jam, jelly, preserves and was running out of ideas when I tried this recipe.  It took a little adapting because of conversions and size of baking pans, but became a favorite.

This is a simple, light dessert of blackberries with a light sponge cake on top – just right for a summertime meal.


  • 2 cups fresh blackberries*
  • 2 Tblsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F

Have at hand 4 individual casserole dishes.  Mine measure 4-1/2″ diameter across the top and are 2″ deep.

Have a large pan with sides in which you can bake the 4 casseroles.

Heat water for the pan in which casseroles are baked.

Place about 1/2 cup of blackberries on the bottom of each of four individual ungreased baking dishes and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.  Add the lemon juice and lemon peel, beating to blend.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the flour.  In another container, mix the two egg yolks and milk.

Add the dry ingredients to the lemon mixture alternately with the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Fold into the batter.

Pour the batter over the berries (about 1/2 cup per serving).

Place the puddings in a flat pan with sides holding 1″ of hot water.  Bake the puddings @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown and gentle pressure with a finger tip leaves no impression.

Carefully remove pans from hot water and place on a rack to cool. 

*I can’t say whether frozen blackberries would work in this dish or not.  The original recipe called for fresh and that’s all I’ve ever used.

We like this dessert slightly warm or at room temperature.

We used to love this as our dessert after having a supper of a serving of meat and multiple servings of vegetables fresh from the garden (like new potatoes, peas, tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, leaf lettuce, radishes, etc.).