Simple Lemon Syllabub


Simple Lemon Syllabub - as seen on Downton Abbey :)

Syllabub is a dessert that has been around for centuries. I first heard of it in a Tamera Alexander novel (which coincidentally features one of my recipes in the back!) and since it was the beloved favorite of one of the lead characters, my interest as a cook was piqued. I immediately made a version of it and understood full well what all the hub bub was about! Since then, I’ve heard this recipe pop up in all sorts of places, and Mama said they even had it on Downton Abbey a few weeks back.

You know how you always want a little more whipped cream because it is so good? Well, this dessert is basically glorified whipped cream! If you love lemon meringue pie like me, you’ll especially love this because it kinda ends up tasting like lemon meringue pie flavored whipped cream. It’s just delightfully decadent.

But most recipes online are pretty complicated and I have a firm believe that food and life are really simple, we just insist on complicating them. One of the things I like to do is simplify – so here is my recipe :)

Simple Lemon Syllabub

You’ll need: Sugar, a Lemon, Apple Juice and Heavy (whipping) Cream.

*Most recipes call for white wine, but I use apple juice instead. If you enjoy the taste of wine, feel free to substitute.

Simple Lemon Syllabub

Before starting, zest and juice lemon.

You can zest it with a microplane, zester, or even a cheese grater if you are careful.

Simple Lemon Syllabub

Just don’t push down too much when zesting it, you really want to get the thin yellow peel off without delving into the bitter white part. You can see from this picture that I’m just barely taking the outside skin off, not digging so deep as to hit white.

Note: If you do get too deep and hit white, it’ll be fine. Just keep on going and pretend you didn’t.

Simple Lemon Syllabub

To juice it, just cut it in half and squeeze it as best you can into a bowl.

 The juice of one lemon is fine.

You can do lemon juice from a bottle but you won’t end up with as much flavor without the zest. If you use bottle lemon juice (which I don’t really recommend, but it will work) add about 1/4 of a cup of it.

Simple Lemon Syllabub

This is the part where a lot of recipes have you placing the cream in a bowl and whipping that a little, then gradually adding sugar, then gradually adding juices, etc in a most dainty fashion whilst babying the whole mixture.

In MY recipe, this is the part where you dump every single ingredient into a big old mixing bowl and beat it like it called your mama ugly. Or until thick and slightly stiff :)

Simple Lemon Syllabub

Like this.

Simple Lemon Syllabub - as seen on Downton Abbey :)

Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh berries, if desired. Best if served the same day.

To get my Lemon Meringue Pie recipe, please click here.

To get my Lemon Bar recipe, please click here.

To get my Lemon Blossom Cookie recipe, please click here.

Lemon Syllabub
  • 1+ ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • Juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Zest and juice lemon. Place all ingredients (including lemon juice and zest) in large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer, stopping to scrape down sides and stir from the bottom once, until thick and slightly stiff.
  2. Chill until ready to serve - serve same day.

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  1. Kim in Minnesota says

    Christy, I am excited to try this! I just brought back a souvenir mix for syllabub from a trip to Williamsburg – but I’m sure your recipe will be better! (Plus, I won’t have to try to find the mix again.) Tell your Mama I also noticed when syllabub was served on Downton Abbey :) Thanks for the recipe.

    • says

      Thank you Kim!! Oh wow, souvenir mix? That sounds so cool! We have been wanting to go to Williamsburg. We did get to go to DC four years ago and had the best time there! American History is fascinating so I’m gonna move this up a little higher on our to do list :)
      I’ll tell Mama and you be sure and have a wonderful evening! It was good chatting with ya!

  2. Reta says

    I always wondered what syllabub consisted of, but was too lazy to look it up! 😉 Thanks for enlightenment and making it easy! It looks like something even I could make, and also looks lemony delicious!

  3. JoAnn walsh says

    Looks yummy, definitely have to try this one. Can you use splenda? Oh, and you have to try and get to Williamsburg, it’s our favorite place. You will all love it.
    As always, thank you for sharing your time and talent with us. The wonder twins and Stephen send kisses.

  4. Glenda says

    It looks like a delicious dessert. I will try it Super Bowl weekend.

    WOW $600.00! It is to bad the way Facebook is doing business.

    I am so happy I am on your newsletter mailing list.

    I look forward to reading your newletter each week.

  5. Barb Willson says

    Maybe to trick Facebook you could set up separate accounts then just split your readers (have us resubscribe) then send out your page separately. You could copy & paste then send on.

  6. Glen in Florence, Al says

    Hi Christy, my wife gave me your Southern Plate cookbook for Christmas. I think it was a hint for me to get out in the kitchen and rattle those pots and pans….which I love to do. Thanks for your emails which are great recipes and also inspirational. Love your “from the heart” writings. I grew up in the South as the son of a coal miner (and am proud of it) so I can identify with your feelings when someone messes’ with your bacon grease. Can I still send a SASE and get a signed page to put in my cookbook? So proud and so happy for you and your family.

  7. Phyllis says

    I have the same Hazel Atlas Big Top Peanut Butter dessert dishes along with the iced tea glasses! They were my dear sweet Mama’s who went to Heaven in 1992. I enjoy your posts and weekly newsletter so much.

  8. Andrea says

    To make it even simpler, my grandma (Grandma Jenny of “Grandma Jenny’s Chocolate Chip Cookies”) used to make plain old lemon pudding from a box mix and then stir in a bunch of Cool-Whip. I’ve always loved that, and I imagine it’s probably along the same lines as this dessert!

  9. Susan the farm quilter says

    Oh, this looks good and hubby can have it if I make it with Splenda! I do want to tell you…I gave your new cookbook to six of the ladies in my husband’s family for Christmas this year. I wasn’t there as I decided to spend Christmas with my father in a different state. I was told that all the ladies were huddled in a corner going through their new cookbook together and everyone was so very excited to get home and try out your recipes!! It was the hit gift of Christmas this year!!

  10. MARSHA G says

    To those of you who need to subscribe to the newsletter please do you will not be sorry! I always get so excited when I see an email from Christy in my inbox. They are SIMPLY THE BEST!!!!! I love the recipes but she always lifts me up when I am down with her inspirational letters. I wish we got one everyday. Thank you Christy for the apple juice substitute. I too do not like wine. Well the truth of the matter is I have never tasted it just no desire to taste something that smells so bad. Your substitutes for wine is one of the reasons I am such a huge fan of your recipe. Here I sit eating a frozen gogurt but salivating over this “LEMON SYLLABUB” The thought of the smooth, creamy, lemony, goodness slowly dissolving in my mouth makes me drool. it’s late will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. All you fans that were on Facebook you really need to subscribe it is really great and something to look forward to each and every time.

  11. MARSHA G says

    Oh Christy I forgot to ask you a question I usually use powdered sugar when making whipped cream as it dissolves easier. How do you think it would work since this cream has the lemon juice in it and lemon can curdle milk? I didn’t know if the granulated sugar just worked better with the lemon juice

  12. Debbie says

    My mother used to make a version of this when I was small. I always thought she made it like meringue with egg whites, but I was a kid and what did I know? Anyways, it was always my favorite and like you I love lemon meringue pie. Thanks for this recipe. I will try it ASAP. Thank you again, you’re the BEST!

  13. Pat says

    Thanks for this delicious looking recipe….want to make it soon. Do you mind sharing the kind of mixer you use? I am in the market for a new one. It’s definitely time since the mixer I currently use is about 35 yrs. old! Thanks.

  14. sue breland says

    I am going to try this recipe today but my comment is….. I couldn’t help notice the desert dish you had it in.. When I was a child I remember you could buy peanut butter in these dishes with a pop off lid. I have six or eight of them. When I see one It automatically brings a vision of the peanut butter in them.

  15. Kasey says

    I’ve been intrigued by syllabub also! It was actually something I was considering making for Christmas dessert, but all the recipes I saw included alcohol, so I just figured that was just how it was made. I never thought of substituting something else. (I just went with Traditional English Trifle instead)
    But now I can try this one! YAY!
    Do you have any suggestions for some other flavors in addition to trying the lemon?

  16. Jan Kalonick says


    I can remember being stationed in Holland and when we took the Hover Craft over to London, several times, we always made sure that we had Lemon Syllabub. Was and still is my favorite “Pudding”.

  17. Kim in Minnesota says

    Christy, maybe you could schedule a book signing in Williamsburg? They have a Barnes & Noble right at the edge of the historic district (and it doubles as the bookstore for the College of William & Mary!). Definitely recommend keeping Williamsburg on your wish list. I went with three girlfriends just in time to see the Christmas decorations and what they call the Grand Illumination – a set of synchronized fireworks to open the holiday season. Either way – family trip or girls’ trip – it is a fun and educational city.

  18. Grace E. says

    Hi Christy,

    I have never heard of Syllabub but now that I know what it is, my family and I will really enjoy it. We love whipped topping and eat it right from the container, spoonful after fluffy spoonful. Having a lemon flavor will make it all the better! Thanks for this recipe!

  19. Rose says

    Haven’t read all the comments so don’t know if this was mentioned or not but wrap your minds and then your taste buds around this thought. Make your favorite lemon meringue pie (the one made with corn starch not condensed milk) and chill thoroughly. Now, instead of frosting with meringue,serve with generous dollops of syllabub! There would be a “lily gilded”! Love ya Christy!

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