Lemon Posset ~ An Easy & Elegant Dessert


Are you looking for an ultra-easy dessert that’s still elegant and special occasion-worthy? I don’t normally make desserts at the cottage, but last week I stumbled across a recipe for lemon posset. I’d never heard of a posset before, so did some research and learned that a posset is a Medieval English drink of hot milk curdled with wine or ale and usually spiced. Okay, that didn’t appeal to me, but the idea of a lemon posset certainly did since lemon is one of my favourite flavours. I decided to give it a try.

Only three ingredients are required for this recipe: whipping cream, sugar and a lemon. Within 10 minutes I had four helpings ready to set in the refrigerator. It needs about five hours to set, but you can also make it a day ahead.

The Culinary Enthusiast and I both loved the lemon posset and spooned up every last bit! It was rich and creamy, with a delightful lemon tang and an undertone of sweetness. It reminds me of panna cotta, but doesn’t require gelatin to thicken. The serving size was only two ounces, but that was enough for us. This dish would be great as part of a dessert duo or trio, paired with a couple of hazelnut tea cookies or gingersnaps. If lemon and chocolate is your thing, one or two of my elfin chocolate brownies would be great on the side too.


When I get home from the cottage I’m definitely going to make this again, especially as a no-pressure dessert when we have company. Not only is it delicious, but your guests will never guess how easy it is to make!

Lemon Posset

  • 1 cup whipping cream (35% milk fat)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • finely grated zest of about a quarter lemon
  • strained juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon

Bring the cream and sugar to a boil over medium high heat and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. You may need to turn the heat down to prevent the cream mixture from boiling over, but keep it at a low boil. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest and juice of half a lemon. Taste, and add more lemon juice if you prefer. Cool on a rack for about 5 minutes, then pour into 4 serving glasses or small dishes. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or until the next day to set. If you like, garnish with a strip of lemon peel, plain or candied, or a sprinkling of more grated zest.



  1. This sounds like a great dessert, Mar, and you’re right, it is too easy! It’s rich, to be sure, but it would be perfect after a dinner party, when a heavy dessert would prove to be too much. I’m going to definitely try this one — and I may not wait for company. 🙂

    • Thank you, Movita. I would love to enjoy this by the ocean. That’s Lake Huron in the background of my picture. I wonder if I could make a living by traveling around to photograph (and eat) this posset in front of various bodies of water … on the Mediterranean, by the English Channel, the South Sea and of course the Canadian shores of the Atlantic. I think I’m on to something – thanks!

  2. This looks great. If only I could enjoy dairy. But it has me thinking about how I could create a lemon dessert with other ingredients as I too love a good lemon finish to a lovely meal. And the images look great too Marlene.

    • Thank you, Jo-Ann. Lemon is such a fresh and palette cleansing note on which to end a meal. I think a lemon sorbet would be a lovely option for you.

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