Lemon Pudding

5 from 31 votes

This Lemon Pudding dessert is such an easy treat to make with only a few ingredients. It's quick to whip up and has a fresh bright flavor for summer!

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After you make this Lemon Pudding with REAL fresh lemon zest and juice, I can guarantee that you will never buy a box of store-bought lemon pudding again!

Small dish of lemon pudding topped with whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and lemon zest.
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Recipe at a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop
Dietary Info: Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Key Flavor: Lemon
Skill Level: Easy

  • No unnecessary ingredients: I love making my own pudding from scratch at home. With all the junk that goes into an instant or quick-process pudding, it really makes a difference in the taste.
  • Simple to make: Making pudding from scratch is actually so easy and really not that much work. Just heat your lemon pudding on the stovetop for a few mins and pop in the fridge to set and chill.
  • Great for using up lemons: If you have a couple of lemons sitting on your counter and have been trying to figure out what to do with them… make lemon pudding!
  • Make ahead dessert: You can make this stovetop lemon pudding ahead of time, then when it’s time for dessert, just pull it out of the fridge, add a dollop of whipped cream and a garnish if you like, and enjoy.

Ingredients to Make Lemon Pudding

Ingredients for recipe in individual bowls: lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, and salt.
  • Lemons: You’ll use both the zest and the juice. I like to use organic lemons when using the zest.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens your lemon pudding and enhances the lemon flavor.
  • Milk: I like to use whole milk for the creamiest lemon pudding, but 2% fat milk will work, too.
  • Heavy cream: For the richest, creamiest pudding.
  • Egg yolks: Look for high-quality, organic eggs for yolks with the deepest color. The deeper the color of your yolks, the more golden your pudding will be!
  • Cornstarch: To thicken the pudding.
  • Make it a more vibrant yellow: To deepen the yellow color naturally, you can add a pinch of turmeric. A little goes a long way, and a small pinch won’t affect the taste. You can always stir in a couple of drops of yellow food coloring after you’ve removed it from the heat, too.
  • Substitute Meyer lemons: When Meyer lemons are season, they’re a great substitute for the standard lemons in this lemon pudding! Meyer lemons have a slight orange taste and are a little sweeter and not quite as acidic as standard lemons.
  • Top with berries: Blueberries, raspberries, or fresh diced strawberries are amazing with this lemon pudding!
  • Dairy-free lemon pudding: For a lemon pudding without any dairy, substitute full-fat oat milk for the milk and heavy cream.

How to Make Lemon Pudding

Homemade lemon pudding comes together really quickly on the stovetop. Just cook your ingredients together, strain, and chill.

Sugar and lemon zest in a bowl with fingers massaging them together
Step 1: Combine zest and sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Use your fingers to massage the mixture until fragrant and moist.
Flour, milks eggs, juice, and salt added to infused sugar.
Step 2: After the sugar and zest are fully combined, add in the egg yolks, lemon juice, both milks, cornstarch, and salt.
After mixing ingredients together.
Step 3: Use a silicone whisk to combine completely. Then, rest the mixture to infuse the lemon flavor.
Pudding after cooking with some on the back of a spoon to show thickness.
Step 4: Heat the pudding mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook until it begins to thicken.
Pouring cooked pudding through a fine mesh sieve.
Step 5: Place a fine mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl and pour the pudding through it to strain out any solids.
Pudding after straining in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed onto surface before refrigerating.
Step 6: Press a piece of plastic wrap directly touching the surface of the pudding to prevent skin from forming on top. Chill before serving.

Tips for Making the Best Lemon Pudding Dessert

  • Use non-reactive pan and cooking equipment. Avoid cooking acidic foods like this stovetop lemon pudding in reactive cookware like aluminum, copper, iron, or non-stainless steel. The acid in the lemon can cause the metals to release into your pudding and make it taste bitter. Safe pans to use include enameled cast iron, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and Pyrex.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Make sure that the plastic wrap touches the top of the pudding; this will help prevent a film from forming on top of the pudding.
  • Buy extra whipping cream. That way, you’ll have enough to whisk up some whipped cream for topping your pudding.
Homemade lemon pudding topped with whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and lemon zest.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store lemon pudding?

Store leftover lemon pudding in the refrigerator. You’ll want to make sure it’s in airtight jars, or use plastic wrap covering them tightly so it doesn’t develop a film.

How long will lemon pudding last in the fridge?

Lemon pudding will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Why does my lemon pudding have lumps?

Sometimes a few lumps can’t be avoided when making pudding with eggs and/or cornstarch. This is why it’s important to strain the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve, which will remove any lumps for a silky-smooth, lump-free lemon pudding.

My lemon pudding recipe isn’t thickening. What do I do?

If, after simmering over medium heat for 10 minutes, your pudding still hasn’t thickened, you can add more cornstarch. Create a slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water, then drizzle that into your pudding while whisking it. Continue simmering, stirring, until thickened. Also keep in mind that the pudding will thicken more as it chills.

Spoon lifting up a bite of lemon pudding from a small dish to show smooth and creamy texture.

This lemon pudding is a delicious way to get your lemon fix this spring and summer! It’s creamy, sweet, a little tart, and the perfect finish to your meal. Just a short list of ingredients, a few minutes cooking, and some time chilling in the fridge is all you need to make amazing homemade lemon pudding!

More Pudding Recipes

If you try this feel good Lemon Pudding recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

This lemon pudding recipe was originally published as a vegan recipe on April 25, 2019. It has recently been updated to a traditional lemon pudding using eggs and dairy and also includes new photography and step-by-step images to help make the recipe. If you love the vegan version of this lemon pudding I included it at the bottom of the recipe card in the Notes section and the vegan lemon pudding video is still attached to this post!

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Lemon Pudding

This Lemon Pudding dessert is such an easy treat to make with only a few ingredients. It's quick to whip up and has a fresh bright flavor for summer!
5 from 31 votes
Servings 5 servings
Course Dessert
Calories 366
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
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Video

Ingredients
  

  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  • In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine zest and sugar. Use your fingers to massage the together until fragrant and moist. Add remaining ingredients and use a silicone whisk to combine. Let the lemon mixture rest about 5 minutes to infuse the liquid with the lemon.
  • Heat the pudding mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Place a fine mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl and pour the pudding to strain any solids.
  • Press a piece of plastic wrap directly touching the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming on top. Chill completely before serving, about 2-3 hours.

Notes

Storage: Store leftover lemon pudding in the refrigerator. You’ll want to make sure it’s in airtight jars, or use plastic wrap covering them tightly so it doesn’t develop a film. It will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
*The recipe video is for the vegan lemon pudding recipe below and can still be helpful to make other pudding recipes. 

Original Vegan Lemon Pudding Recipe:

¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch
5.6 ounces coconut cream
½ cup coconut milk
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons maple syrup plus more to taste
Pinch turmeric optional for coloring
Coconut whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Add the lemon juice and cornstarch to a small saucepan and whisk to combine and remove any clumps. Add the canned coconut cream, coconut milk, lemon zest and maple syrup and whisk again until well combined.
  2. Turn the heat on medium, add turmeric and bring mixture to a low bubble (not a boil), continuing to whisk, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, let rest for 15 minutes, then whisk once more and transfer to a glass bowl or jar and cover. Refrigerate for a few hours to chill and set. Serve with whipped coconut cream and fresh mint, if desired.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of coconut milk, you can use any other plant-based milk or regular milk.
  • I tested this recipe with cornstarch and arrowroot starch. Feel free to try it with other thickening flours and let me know how the result is!
  • You can replace maple syrup with any other natural sweetener of your choice.
* Please note the nutrition label does not include any toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 366kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 176mg, Sodium: 38mg, Potassium: 160mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 937IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 110mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Dessert

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Comments

  1. Carole Horowitz says:

    I wish that cooks would stop recommending the use plastic wrap. Plastic contains chemicals that can be transferred to your food, especially when it makes contract with hot food, like this pudding. Also, plastic is derived from oil and is bad for the planet. Plastic wrap can’t be recycled or reused. What’s wrong with a little skin on your pudding?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      You can also store the lemon pudding in airtight jars.

    2. Lynn says:

      Yes, I have to agree. Trying to cut down on my plastic as well. Also, another thing which is not good for our bodies is aluminum touching food – OK to use to tent dish afterwards, but not to use in cooking/baking where food comes in direct contact with it.

  2. CJ says:

    Hello I was wondering if you don’t have maple syrup, can you use honey?
    Thanks

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yes, you can replace maple syrup with any other natural sweetener of your choice!

  3. Mary B says:

    Hello!
    Thank you for the recipe! I’m always on the hunt for a good vegan dessert since my son is allergic to eggs. The flavor of this turned out fantastic, but the consistency was…strange at best. It turned out silky smooth but extremely stringy/stretchy…almost like silly putty! I used arrowroot powder. Any ideas what I did wrong?? Did I cook it too long? I would love to try it again but I’m nervous!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      You’re so welcome! This makes me so happy to hear. It’s likely the mixture was cooked too long/ on too high of a heat or too much thickening agent was added.

  4. Valerie says:

    Will almond Milk work?
    Can i use organic sugar..how much?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yes! Instead of coconut milk, you can use any other plant-based milk like almond milk. I have not tried sugar in place of maple syrup in this recipe, but let me know what you think if you do!

  5. Vanesaa says:

    Loves this recipe love the fresh citrus of this recipe perfect for summer new go to!!!🍋😄

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! I love that!

      1. Ciara says:

        This is probably a dum question but could I try this with limes???

        1. Yumna Jawad says:

          It should work, but I haven’t tried it yet!

      2. Vanessa says:

        Hi Yumna I woks wondering if this recipe could also be used with limes???

        1. Yumna Jawad says:

          It should work, but I haven’t tried it yet! Let me know if you give it a go!