side view of lemon posset garnished with fresh mint on a plate


Home » Recipes » Sweets & Treats » RECIPE FOR LEMON POSSET

Looking for a light and refreshing dessert that’s easy to make and perfect for summer? This Recipe for Lemon Posset, served in hollowed-out lemons, is a tangy, creamy delight that’s sure to impress any and all of your guests!

Woah, woah, woah. Holllllld up. WAIT. A. MINUTE!!! Is it already June?! Well, heck. When the —- did that happen?! Between the wind storms and torrential downpours over here on Vancouver Island, I almost forgot that the first official day of summer is just right around the corner.

Ok, I lied. Well, semi-lied, if you will.

lemon possets in halved lemons on a plate

We haaaave had some good days here on the Island. The warmer ones that warrant nothing more than a sun dress or shorts and a t-shirt. You know, the days where all you want to do is be outside. Catching all of the rays that you can get! Whether that means gardening. Or BBQing. Or maybe it means exploring the neighbourhood, going on a hike, or going for a nice long walk.

Well for me, everytime we get one of them warmer, summer-is-almost-here and I-only-want-to-be-outside kinda days, what it means is that I start to crave food that is light, refreshing, juicy, fruity, and vibrant. It means I want me meals that are quick and easy to throw together, don’t require me to slave over a hot stove, and things that are just as good for dining al fresco as it is at the kitchen table. Cause, after all, I’m busy catching ALL OF THE RAYS that I can get, remember?!

Lemon posset seriously checks off all of the boxes for the perfect summer dessert recipe. It’s creamy, tangy, and bursting with refreshing citrus flavour, making it ideal for those hot summer days where you really can’t bother to be inside. Plus, serving it in hollowed-out lemons adds a fun and whimsical touch to any gathering or barbecue. Whether you’re hosting a backyard party or just craving a cool treat, lemon posset is sure to be a hit with everyone!


ingredients for recipe for lemon posset - lemons, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, heavy cream
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Lemons, lemons, lemons! Lemons are definitely star in this perfect Summer dessert recipe. Other than that, all you need is some heavy cream and sugar. Let’s discuss each ingredient and their roles in this recipe for lemon posset in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Lemons: Why, of course! Lemons are central to this dessert recipe, providing both the vessel and the main flavour. The acidity from the lemon juice is crucial for setting the posset, while the zest adds a vibrant citrus aroma and flavour. Choose fresh, large, and firm lemons with a bright yellow colour and smooth skin. PRO TIP: If you can swing it, organic lemons are preferable (since we’re using the zest) to avoid any pesticide residues.

  • Heavy Cream: Forms the rich, velvety base of the posset. Its fat content is essential for the smooth texture and helps the dessert set when combined with the acidity of the lemon juice. Use full-fat heavy cream (at least 33% – also known as whipping cream). Avoid low-fat versions as they may not set properly and can result in a less creamy texture.

  • Sugar: Sweetens the posset and balances the tartness of the lemon. It also helps create a smooth texture by dissolving completely in the heated cream. Regular granulated sugar works best for this recipe for lemon posset. You can adjust the quantity slightly based on your sweetness preference, but keep in mind that too much or too little can affect the setting process.

    To make this dessert Keto friendly, you can use a sugar free sweetener (such as monk fruit or erithrtoyl) instead!

  • Fresh Lemon Juice: The acidity of the lemon juice causes the cream to thicken and set, giving the posset its characteristic texture. It also enhances the lemon flavour in this recipe. PRO TIP: Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice may contain preservatives that can alter the flavour and affect the setting process. Besides, you’ll have plenty of fresh lemon juice available from the hollowed out lemons.

  • Lemon Zest: Adds a concentrated lemon flavour and a pleasant aroma, enhancing the overall citrusy taste of the posset. PRO TIP: Organic lemons are ideal to avoid pesticide residues, especially since the zest is the outermost part of the fruit.
lemon possets garnished with fresh mint


spoon with custard, halved lemons with custard garnished with mint

You can find full instructions for how to make this easy recipe for lemon posset in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh lemons for best results. I like lemons that are large and firm with a smooth, unblemished skin. This makes them easier to handle and more stable as serving vessels.

  • Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled juice can contain preservatives that might affect the setting process and overall flavour. Besides, you’ll have plently of fresh lemon juice from the hollowed out lemons.

  • Use a zester or fine grater for the zest, and ensure to avoid the white pith, which can be bitter. For the juice, roll the lemon on the countertop before cutting to maximize juice extraction.

  • Use a spoon, melon baller, or grapefruit spoon (with serrated edges) to carefully scoop out the flesh and juice. Work gently to avoid puncturing the skin. Start by removing the larger pieces of flesh, then scrape out any remaining pulp to create a smooth, clean interior. EXTRA TIP: Don’t waste the scooped-out lemon flesh. Use it to make fresh lemon juice, lemonade, or incorporate it into other recipes!

  • Choose the right cream. Use full-fat heavy cream (also known as whipping cream). Lower fat creams won’t set properly and will alter the texture. You want a heavy cream that is at least 33% fat.

  • Measure your ingredients accurately, especially the lemon juice and sugar. The right balance is crucial for setting and flavour.

  • Make sure all your utensils and the saucepan are clean to prevent any unwanted flavours or residues from affecting the posset.

  • Dissolve the sugar completely. When heating the cream and sugar, stir constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved. This prevents a grainy texture in the final posset.

  • Gentle simmering – control the heat! Bring the cream and sugar mixture to a gentle simmer, not a rapid boil. Simmering for about 3 minutes is essential to slightly thicken the cream and fully dissolve the sugar. Stir frequently to avoid sticking or scorching the bottom of the pot.

  • After adding the lemon juice and zest, stir the mixture well to ensure even distribution of the citrus flavour and to help the setting process.

  • Hollowed-out lemon shells make for an attractive presentation and are my preferred way of serving this dessert. Make sure they are stable and won’t tip over in the fridge. However, you can always serve lemon posset in ramekins or smalls bowls instead, if you prefer.

  • Cool slightly. After adding the lemon juice and zest to the hot cream, allow the mixture to cool slightly before pouring it into the lemon shells. This helps prevent condensation which can dilute the mixture. However, you don’t want to let it cool too much. The mixture will begin to really thicken which makes it difficult to pour into the hollowed out lemons. Additionally, allow the filled lemon shells to come to room temperature before placing them in the fridge to set.

  • Don’t rush the chilling time. Chill the filled lemon shells for at least 4-6 hours, or overnight, to ensure the posset sets properly. Place them in the coldest part of your refrigerator for best and fastest results. When the lemon posset is fully set, it shouldn’t move or jiggle around.
hand reaching for a halved lemon with custard on a plate with more



To keep cream from curdling when adding lemon juice, it’s important to control the temperature and method of mixing. Begin by heating the cream and sugar mixture gently until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture reaches a gentle boil. Simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Allow the cream mixture to cool slightly before adding the lemon juice. This gradual cooling helps stabilize the cream and prevent curdling.

When ready, add the lemon juice slowly while stirring continuously to ensure it is evenly incorporated. The acidity of the lemon juice will naturally thicken the cream without causing it to curdle if the temperature and mixing process are managed carefully. Additionally, using fresh heavy cream with a high-fat content (at least 33%) can further help in preventing curdling, as higher fat content provides better stability against the acidic lemon juice.


If your lemon posset has split, it may be due to a few factors.

One common reason is overheating the cream mixture, causing the fats in the cream to separate from the liquid. It’s important to heat the cream gently and avoid bringing it to a rapid boil. Additionally, adding the lemon juice to hot cream too quickly can also cause splitting. To prevent this, allow the cream mixture to cool slightly before incorporating the lemon juice gradually while stirring continuously.

Using fresh, high-quality ingredients is also crucial, as older or lower-fat creams may be more prone to splitting. Finally, ensure that the posset is chilled properly after preparation, as rapid temperature changes can also lead to splitting.

If your posset does split, you can try to salvage it by blending it with an immersion blender to re-emulsify the mixture, but prevention through careful heating and mixing is key to achieving a smooth, creamy posset.


If your lemon posset is not thickening, it could be due to several factors.

First, ensure you are using full-fat heavy cream, as lower fat alternatives won’t thicken properly. This means cream that is no less than 33%. The cream and sugar mixture must be brought to a gentle boil and simmered for about 3 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve completely and the cream to thicken slightly. The acidity from fresh lemon juice is crucial for the setting process, so ensure you are using the correct amount—typically 2 tablespoons per cup of cream.

Improper mixing after adding the lemon juice and zest can also affect thickening, so make sure the mixture is well combined. Additionally, allow the posset to cool slightly before placing it in the refrigerator to set for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight. If the posset mixture is too warm when placed in the fridge, it can impact the setting process. Lastly, using high-quality, fresh ingredients will ensure the chemical reaction needed for thickening occurs properly.


Lemon posset can last in the fridge for up to 3 days when stored properly. Ensure that it is covered with plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any odors or flavours from other foods in the refrigerator. The posset will maintain its creamy texture and delightful flavour during this time, making it a convenient make-ahead dessert for gatherings or a treat to enjoy over a few days.

halved lemon shells filled with set custard garnished with fresh mint









side view of lemon posset garnished with fresh mint on a plate


Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Looking for a light and refreshing dessert that’s easy to make and perfect for summer? This Recipe for Lemon Posset, served in hollowed-out lemons, is a tangy, creamy delight that’s sure to impress any and all of your guests!


  • 2 Large Lemons (or 4 smaller ones)
  • 1 cup (240ml) Heavy Whipping Cream (at least 33%)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 1 Lemon


1. Cut the lemons in half. Use a sharp knife to run around the perimeter of the flesh, being cautious not to puncture the shells. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh, Reserve 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Set the hollowed-out lemons aside for serving.
hand with a knife cutting around the edges of a halved lemon
hand with a spoon scooping out the flesh of a halved lemon
hand holding a hollowed out lemon shell

2. In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream and granulated sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Let it simmer gently for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
cream and a pile of sugar in a pot
yellow-ish white liquid in a pot

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Mix well. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally to ensure it is well combined.
lemon zest in a pot with yellowish-white liquid
foamy yellow-ish white liquid in a pot

4. Carefully pour the mixture into the hollowed-out lemon shells. You can use a small funnel or a spoon to make this easier. Let them cool to room temperature.
halved lemons with custard inside

5. Place the filled lemon shells in the refrigerator. Let them chill for at least 4-6 hours, or preferably overnight, to set properly. Serve chilled.
lemon posset garnished with fresh mint on a plate with a spoon full of the custard

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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