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Homemade Lemon Pudding

Homemade Lemon Pudding is so creamy and cool, plus it’s easy to make. You only need five ingredients and it’s flavored with fresh lemon juice. The perfect cold dessert, especially when you serve it with whipped cream, fresh fruit and or grated white chocolate on top!

Pudding in a glass bowl with a dollop of whipped cream.


If you’ve never made homemade pudding, you are going to love this recipe today. It’s so easy and the flavor is so much better than any store-bought pudding. So, go ahead and ditch those boxed pudding mixes and give this lemon pudding recipe a try.


  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated sugar
  • Whole milk (whole)
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh lemon

For this recipe, cornstarch thickens the pudding giving it a thick creamy texture. Be sure to sift the cornstarch to remove any lumps.

The lemon pudding is sweetened with granulated sugar that melts into the pudding mixture as it’s heated.

For the best creamy, rich pudding use whole milk and cream that is at least 30% fat. 

There is no substitute for fresh lemon in this recipe. I use fresh lemon juice and lemon peel so the pudding has a bright citrus flavor. 

The peel releases oils into the pudding mixture as it cooks adding a concentrated lemon flavor. The peel is removed so your pudding is nice and smooth. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel and try not to remove any of the white pith which is very bitter – just peel off the yellow part.

Pudding in 2 glasses one with whipped cream.

How to Make Lemon Pudding

Mix the cornstarch and sugar in a medium saucepan. Add one cup of milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the rest of the milk.

Corn starch, sugar and milk in a pot.

Add the lemon peel and then heat the mixture over low heat. Once it starts to thicken, take the pot off the burner and discard the lemon peel.

The ingredients heated in a pot.

Pour in the cream, vanilla, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Place the pot back on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil it until it thickens.

Pudding thickened in a the pot.

Transfer the pudding to individual serving dishes or large bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top so it is touching the surface of the pudding. This will prevent a skin from forming on top.

Pudding in the glasses with plastic on top.

Cool the pudding to room temperature and then chill it for at least 2-3 hours or even better overnight before serving it.

Serving Tips

I can eat this lemon pudding straight from the fridge just as it is, but you can serve it a few different ways for a special dessert.

  • Serve it with fresh fruit on top like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or sliced peaches.
  • Grate white chocolate over the top.
  • Use it to make a parfait or trifle with layers of cake, preserves, and fruit.
  • Spoon it over a slice of pound cake.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream with some lemon zest on top.
2 glasses with pudding on a grey board.

How long does homemade pudding last?

This lemon pudding without eggs will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. I don’t recommend freezing homemade pudding – the texture will not be the same once it’s thawed and it could separate.

Can you use low-fat milk?

Technically, you can use low-fat milk but your pudding won’t be as rich and creamy. I recommend using full-fat (whole) milk along with heavy cream for the best results.

Treat yourself to this homemade lemon pudding and you won’t regret it. It tastes so creamy and fresh with all that lemon – Enjoy!

Pudding in 2 glasses one with whipped cream.

More Favorite Lemon Recipes

Pudding in 2 glasses one with whipped cream.

Homemade Lemon Pudding

Rosemary Molloy
Homemade Lemon Pudding is easy to make and bursting with fresh citrus flavor. You only need five ingredients to make the best homemade pudding.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 260 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (sifted)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups milk (whole)
  • cup cream (whole, heavy or whipping cream, with at least 30% fat)
  • 1 medium lemons juice* and peel (2 tablespoons lemon juice)

*Be sure to pass the juice through a sieve or strainer to remove any pulp or seeds.


    • In a medium pot mix the corn starch and sugar add a cup of milk and whisk until smooth, then add the remaining cup of milk. Stir in the peel of the lemon (with the least amount of white as possible).
    • Heat on low until it starts to thicken, remove from heat and remove the peel. Add the cream, vanilla and lemon juice. Stir to combine, place again on the heat and bring to a boil until it thickens.
    • Spoon into desired glasses or cups, place a piece of plastic wrap on top, let cool, then refrigerate for 2-3 hours or even better overnight before serving. Top with fresh berries or whipped cream and grated white chocolate. Enjoy!


    For the peel of the lemon it’s best to use a potato peeler that way you won’t get or very little white part. The white will cause the pudding to be bitter.
    This lemon pudding without eggs will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. I don’t recommend freezing homemade pudding – the texture will not be the same once it’s thawed and it could separate.


    Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 0.2mg
    Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


      1. Hi Cathy, I didn’t add vanilla but if you want too, I would say about a teaspoon. Add it with the remaining milk. Let me know how it goes. Take care!

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