Lemon Syllabub

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Using only 5 ingredients, this easy lemon syllabub recipe basically tastes like decadent lemon-flavored whipping cream. It’s the ultimate creamy and indulgent dessert.

Spoonful of lemon syllabub.

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 this classic British recipe and understood full well what all the hubbub 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 with a mousse or custard-like texture.

Most recipes online are pretty complicated and I have a firm belief that food and life are really simple, so here is my quick and easy lemon syllabub recipe. All you need is sugar, lemon, apple juice, vanilla, and heavy whipping cream. Once we zest and juice our lemon, all we have to do is mix the ingredients together until we get a thick and creamy dessert. It truly is that simple and the dessert is ready in under 15 minutes. You can serve it immediately or let it chill so the flavors marry. Either way, it’s best served on the day.

Now I’ve told y’all how this lemon syllabub recipe is basically going to knock your socks off, it’s time to get mixing!

Labeled ingredients for lemon syllabub recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon
  • Apple juice
  • Heavy (whipping) cream
  • Vanilla extract

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Lemon Syllabub 

Lemon zest on plate.

The first step is to zest and juice the lemon.

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

The key is that you don’t want to push down too much when zesting the lemon. You really only want to get the thin yellow peel off without delving into the bitter white part. If you do get too deep and hit white though, it’ll be fine. 

Juicing lemon.

To juice the lemon, just cut it in half and squeeze it as best you can into a bowl or use a juicer.

Fresh juice in bowl.

Here’s our fresh lemon juice!

 The juice from one lemon is perfect.

Add ingredients to mixing bowl.

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 in a most dainty fashion whilst babying the whole mixture.

In my syllabub recipe, this is the part where you dump every single ingredient into a big old mixing bowl.

Beat ingredients together.

Beat them like they called your mama ugly. Or until thick and slightly stiff 😉.

Thick syllabub on mixer attachment.

It should look as thick and creamy as this.

Make sure you keep an eye on it as it can overwhip quickly and you don’t want that! 

Lemon syllabub in glass.

Cover and chill until ready to serve.

I recommend chilling for at least 30 minutes.

Lemon syllabub in glass.

Garnish with fresh berries and a lemon slice if desired.

Today, I’m using these fresh strawberries but I also love to add raspberries on top!

Spoonful of lemon syllabub.

BRB, I have some syllabub to devour!


Best if served on the same day. However, you can store it covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. I don’t recommend freezing it as it will change the dessert’s texture.

Recipe Notes

  • Most syllabub recipes call for white wine, but I use apple juice instead. If you enjoy the taste of wine, feel free to substitute.
  • Other alcoholic options you can use as a substitute include sherry, dessert wine, brandy, cider, prosecco, limoncello, or your favorite liqueur.
  • Now, you can use lemon juice from a bottle. But you won’t end up with as much flavor without the zest. If you use bottled lemon juice (which I don’t really recommend, but it will work) add about an extra 1/4 cup.
  • For additional flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (or to taste).
  • Another common garnish is fresh mint leaves.
  • Want to change things up? Swap the lemon for lime juice and zest or orange juice and zest.

Recipe FAQs

What is syllabub?

Syllabub is a dessert originating from 17th-century Britain. Its core ingredients are cream, sugar, and lemon. It’s typically made by curdling the cream with an acid like wine or cider. Today, we’re using lemon and apple juice for curdling and flavor.

What is the difference between a syllabub and a posset?

Syllabub and posset are very similar desserts. However, syllabub is typically thicker than posset and served cold.

What is lemon posset made of?

A posset is basically made from the same ingredients: cream, lemon, and sugar. However, it dates back even further than syllabub to 14th-century Britain when it was typically served warm. 

Can you make vegan lemon syllabub?

Yes, you can use cashew cream or coconut cream instead.

Does syllabub contain alcohol?

Traditionally, syllabub is made with a combination of dairy and alcohol. However, today we’re using apple juice as a substitute.

What do you serve with lemon syllabub?

This dessert is perfect as is, but you can also serve it with the crunchy cookie of your choice. I recommend almond thins, biscotti, Amaretti biscuits, ginger cookies, or shortbread.

Check out these other lovely lemon treats:

Lemon Chess Pie: A Southern Family Tradition

Lemon Cherry Cheesecake

Glazed Lemon Cookie Recipe

Impossible Lemon Pie

Easy Lemon Bar Recipe (With Video Tutorial)

Lemon Icebox Cake

Lemon syllabub in glass.

Lemon Syllabub

Using only 5 ingredients, this easy lemon syllabub recipe basically tastes like decadent lemon-flavored whipping cream. It's the ultimate creamy and indulgent dessert.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream, lemon
Servings: 4
Calories: 222kcal


  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Zest and juice the lemon.
    1 lemon
  • Place all ingredients (including lemon juice and zest) in a large mixing bowl.
    1.5 cups heavy cream, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons apple juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 lemon
  • Beat with an electric mixer (stopping to scrape down the sides) and stir from the bottom once, until it's thick and slightly stiff.
  • Chill until ready to serve, but serve it on the same day.


Calories: 222kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow – it empties today of its strength.”

~Unknown. Submitted by Ashanti Hoskins.

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Christy,

    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”.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

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