Lemon posset is an ultra silky smooth dessert that pairs the richness of the cream with the brightness of the lemon! Best of all, there are just three ingredients in this incredibly simple but decadent dessert.

Looking for a dessert that’s easy to make ahead and tastes like you spent all day? Lemon posset is the perfect choice!

In this post, you’ll find all the tips you need to make this quick and unique recipe.

Lemon posset in a small dish, with raspberries on top and a spoon next to it

If you’ve never tried lemon posset, you’ve certainly been missing out! This traditional British dessert is similar to Italian panna cotta, but the cream is set with acid from citrus, rather than from gelatin.

I love that this recipe can be easily made ahead of time for guests (you can let it set in the fridge overnight). And even though there are only three main ingredients, it seems fancy, special, and like you spent a long time putting it together.

I’m certain that once you try it, you’ll fall in love with this lemon posset recipe! It’s great for dinner parties, Mother’s Day, baby showers, Valentine’s day, or anytime you want to make a normal day feel more special!

If you love bright and fresh desserts you also might like this gluten-free key lime pie or gluten-free lemon cake. This gluten-free no-bake cheesecake is also a luscious creamy treat!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Simple ingredients
  • Easy to make
  • Great made ahead dessert
  • Rich, creamy, and bright
  • Unique dessert

Ingredients You’ll Need

There are just a few basic ingredients needed to make delicious, creamy possets.

Ingredients for lemon posset on a counter top
  • Cream: Be sure to use heavy whipping cream for a rich, cream flavor that sets up properly in the fridge. There’s no substitute!
  • Sugar: White sugar (caster sugar) sweetens the posset recipe and balances the acidity lemons.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon citrus juice adds brightness and also is key to helping the posset set up. Meyer lemons offer the sweetest flavor!
  • Lemon zest: Lemon zest adds a stronger lemon flavor to the dessert.
  • Berries: Fresh berries like raspberries or blueberries are the ideal topping to modern possets.

How to Lemon Posset

Preparation

Have a 2-cup glass measuring cup ready as you prepare this simple dessert. You want to reduce the cream/lemon mixture to exactly 2 cups for the best consistency. The best way to do this is pour the mixture into the measuring cup once or twice during boiling to monitor the amount. Then, set out 6 small ramekins or dessert cups to pour the custard into. 

Make the Posset

Lemon posset ingredients in a small sauce pan
  • Combine the heavy cream, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium or small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat.
  • Simmer the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar for 8-12 minutes. Do not leave the mixture unattended as it can boil over! Simmer until the mixture is reduced to 2 cups (start checking the amount around 8 minutes of simmering.)
Lemon posset ingredients in a Pyrex measuring cup
  • Pour the mixture into the 2-cup glass measuring cup and stir in the lemon juice. Let the mixture cool for about 20 minutes to room temperature.
Straining the lemon posset ingredients into a bowl
  • Strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Divide the cream evenly among the 6 individual ramekins or dessert cups.
Lemon posset in three individual ramekins on a counter top
  • Refrigerate the custards (uncovered) for at least 3 hours. Then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. 
  • Serve topped with fresh berries. Enjoy!

Storage/Make Ahead Instructions

  • Lemon posset can be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to two days.
  • You can easily make the possets a day ahead, and then store them in the fridge overnight.
Lemon posset in a small dish with a bite taken out of it, with raspberries on top and a spoon next to it

FAQs

What is lemon posset made of?

Lemon posset is a very simple British dessert made of heavy whipping cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and white sugar. If desired, you can top your lemon posset with fresh berries.

What is the difference between posset and panna cotta?

Posset is not baked and relies on citrus acid to set up the dessert, while panna cotta is baked and uses gelatin to thicken the cream.

How do you say the word posset?

In British English, the word posset is pronounced “paws-sit.”

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • It’s VERY important to measure and make sure the cream mixture has reduced to two cups. Otherwise, the dessert will not set properly.
  • I like topping lemon posset with raspberries, but you could also use blueberries, strawberries, other fresh fruit, or simply add a bit more sugar and lemon zest.
  • Only heavy whipping cream (double cream) will work for this easy lemon posset. If you use anything else, the posset will be runny.
  • If you want to mix it up, you could also try this recipe with lime zest and lime juice for lime posset, or use oranges for orange posset.
An overhead shot of lemon posset in a small dish, with raspberries on top and a spoon next to it

I hope you love this easy recipe as much as we do! If you try this lemon posset, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

Lemon posset in a small dish, with raspberries on top and a spoon next to it
5 from 4 votes

Perfect Lemon Posset

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings 6 ramekins
Lemon posset is an ultra silky smooth dessert that pairs the richness of the cream with the brightness of the lemon! Best of all, there are just three ingredients in this incredibly simple but decadent dessert.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar 134 grams
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons juice the juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries or blueberries

Instructions 

PREPARATION:

  • Have a 2-cup glass measuring cup ready as you prepare this posset. You want to reduce the cream/lemon mixture to exactly 2 cups for the best consistency. The best way to do this is pour the mixture into the measuring cup once or twice during boiling to monitor the amount. Set out 6 small ramekins or dessert cups to pour the custard into.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Combine the cream, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar for 8-12 minutes. Do not leave the mixture unattended as it can boil over! Simmer until the mixture is reduced to 2 cups (start checking the amount around 8 minutes of simmering.)
  • Pour the mixture into the 2-cup glass measuring cup and stir in the lemon juice. Let the mixture cool for about 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Divide the cream evenly among the 6 individual ramekins or dessert cups.
  • Refrigerate the custards (uncovered) for at least 3 hours. Then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Serve topped with fresh berries. Enjoy!

Notes

RECIPE NOTES
  • It’s VERY important to measure and make sure the cream mixture has reduced to two cups. Otherwise, the dessert will not set properly.
  • I like topping lemon posset with raspberries, but you could also use blueberries, strawberries, other fresh fruit, or simply add a bit more sugar and lemon zest.
  • Only heavy whipping cream (double cream) will work for this easy lemon posset. If you use anything else, the posset will be runny.
  • If you want to mix it up, you could also try this recipe with lime zest and lime juice for lime posset, or use oranges for orange posset.

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 1166IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was a little nervous to try this recipe because the boiling down part seemed fancier than what I am used to. It ended up being really easy and the result was delicious! Fiancé asked if we can add this one to our list to make again.

  2. 5 stars
    So simple and so delicious. I have a ton of lemons and this a great and tasty way to go thru a couple.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! It’s one of my favorite ways to use up lemons too 🙂

  3. Do you have a dairy free option for this?
    Do you think coconut cream would give a similar result? I love all things lemon especially with any berry.

    1. I would need to test this with coconut cream! I’m not sure how it would turn out – my guess is it wouldn’t have the same texture!

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