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Honey Lemon Custard For One

This elegant, rich and creamy Honey Lemon "Custard" For One requires only a few simple ingredients and is an easy recipe for an egg-free, no-bake dessert also known as a posset.

Honey lemon custard in a small ramekin next to sliced lemons and a small bowl of honey all on a metal tray

This easy honey lemon custard is a scaled down version of a recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine (2012) that I have been making for my family for many years.

This dessert is actually called a posset. Traditionally, custards are made with eggs but this honey lemon custard doesn't call for using any eggs. Our custard is made with simple ingredients like cream, lemon juice, and sugar. We add in a touch of honey, a bit of nutmeg, and vanilla for added flavor.

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It is an almost magical dessert because the custard thickens without the use of tempermental egg yolks, gelatin, flour or cornstarch.

Here's how it works: When acid (lemon juice) is added to cream, it causes the cream to thicken. Simple.

Since my family loves this dessert, I decided to scale down the ingredient amounts and create a single serving version of our favorite honey lemon custard.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This dessert is so easy to make. The custard thickens almost immediately and you might not be able to resist grabbing a spoon and diving right in.
  • Honey lemon custard is smooth, pure in taste, zesty, and beautifully sweet. I would recommend chilling the custard for a few hours or even overnight before digging in.
  • This simple dessert is the perfect size if you're cooking for one. If you like this honey lemon custard, you might also like to try this Lime Posset recipe.

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Heavy cream: Use heavy cream (double cream) or heavy whipping cream in this this recipe. Lower fat milks will not work.
  • Honey and sugar: For sweetness.
  • Ground nutmeg, lemon peel, and vanilla extract: For added flavor.
  • Lemon juice: The acid that causes the cream to thicken.

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. To make a honey lemon custard for one, heat the cream, sugar, nutmeg, and honey in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. After allowing the mixture to simmer for 8-12 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and a touch of vanilla. You will notice that the mixture has thickened slightly and reduced. During this process something magical occurs. The sweetened liquid mysteriously turns into a soft, creamy, delicate custard. What actually happens is that the acid from the lemon juice reacts with the cream and that is how the custard thickens.
A spoonful of honey lemon custard from a ramekin next to lemon slices and a small bowl of honey all on a metal tray

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Lower Fat Cream or Milk?

No, you can't. They don't have enough fat to react with the acid to thicken this dessert.

Can I Reduce The Amount Of Sugar Used?

No. Sugar does more than sweeten this dessert. It also helps to create a lovely silky texture and balances the tart flavor from the lemon.

What Size Dishes Do You Use In This Custard Recipe?

For this honey lemon custard, I use a 1-quart saucepan and an 10-ounce ramekin which measures 4-inches in diameter and is 2-inches tall. If you happen to have smaller ramekins, use those and divide the honey lemon mixture between them.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

Why Didn't My Custard Set?

If you follow the directions in the recipe, your custard (posset) should set up perfectly. If if doesn't, the mixture probably didn't simmer long enough. You will notice as the cream and sugar simmer, the mixture slowly thickens and reduces slightly. After pouring the posset into a dessert dish, refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

RELATED: 20 Single Serving Breakfast Recipes Worth Waking Up For

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this custard recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Expert Tips

  • You can use another type of citrus in this recipe. Orange, grapefruit, or lime would work the same way.
  • You can make this custard ahead of time. In fact, it should be refrigerated for 3 hours to set before eating. The custard will keep well for 2 days in the refrigerator.

If you’ve tried this honey lemon custard or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

Honey Lemon Custard For One | One Dish Kitchen

Honey Lemon Custard For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: custard, honey lemon custard, possset
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 903kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 inch strip lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Heat cream, honey, sugar, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Continue to simmer 8-12 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the heat and add the lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir gently and let steep for 5 minutes.
  • Remove lemon peel from the pan and pour into a ramekin. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours to let set or up to overnight.


Expert Tips
  • You can use another type of citrus in this recipe. Orange, grapefruit, or lime would work the same way.
  • You can make this custard ahead of time. In fact, it should be refrigerated for 3 hours to set before eating. The custard will keep well for 2 days in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 903kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.06g | Protein: 4.95g | Fat: 88.15g | Saturated Fat: 54.88g | Cholesterol: 326.06mg | Sodium: 91.5mg | Potassium: 178.5mg | Sugar: 35.54g | Vitamin A: 3498.6IU | Vitamin C: 1.43mg | Calcium: 154.7mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

46 thoughts on “Honey Lemon Custard For One”

  1. Would lactose free whole milk work in place of the heavy cream or do you need the higher butterfat for the posset to set up right?

  2. 5 stars
    So, I was a bit hasty in leaving my first review. Now it is fully set after a couple more hours. Sorry about that! I tried to find the other review to delete it but I’m not seeing it. ANYWAY, it’s delicious and I will definitely be making it again!

  3. The flavor is great, but I had the same problem as others; it didn’t set (it has thickened a bit but it’s still very runny). I was thinking I might freeze it to make sort of a pseudo-ice cream. Would that work of would it get weird?

    1. Hi Karen,
      I’m so sorry to hear that. So many readers have made this recipe along with our other posset recipes with success and the recipe does work. I’d be happy to see if I can pinpoint what may have gone wrong. Were any substitutions made? Did you use heavy cream?

    2. I’m having the same issue. There were no substitutions but it’s been in the fridge for about 10 hours and still isn’t set.

      1. Hi Melissa,

        After reading your note, I decided to make this dessert again yesterday to try to see what might have gone wrong. The “custard” set up fine for me and I’m not sure why it didn’t for you. The acid from the lemon juice causes the cream to thicken. In fact, in the saucepan, you can begin to see the mixture thicken slightly. After being chilled in the refrigerator, it should thicken even more. You mention that you didn’t make any substitutions, so I’m really puzzled. I’d love to explore this further with you. If you’d like, please email me directly and we can try to figure it out.


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