Cold Lemon Soufflé is an impressive and refreshing make ahead dessert. Yes – a soufflé can be made in advance by adding gelatin! That means no last minute whipping and folding before guests arrive.

Table of Contents
  1. Why This Cold Lemon Soufflé Recipe is a Keeper
  2. Lemon Soufflé Recipe Ingredients
  3. How to Make a Cold Lemon Soufflé
  4. How to Serve this Cold Lemon Soufflé Recipe
  5. How to Store Lemon Soufflé
  6. Lemon Soufflé Recipe FAQ
  7. Other Cold Dessert Recipes You Might Like
  8. Pin it now to save for later –
  9. Cold Lemon Soufflé Recipe

Why This Cold Lemon Soufflé Recipe is a Keeper

There’s nothing like a cool, fresh lemon-y dessert to end a spring or summer meal. Various versions of these Chilled Lemon Soufflés have been around for years. Every recipe seems to start with the same method used when preparing zabaglione – an Italian dessert comprised of egg yolks, sugar and wine. In these soufflés, lemon juice replaces the wine.

Lemon Soufflé Recipe Ingredients

You only need 5 ingredients (plus one or two more for garnish) to make this pretty and impressive dessert:

  • Unflavored gelatin (I like Knox brand)
  • Large eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Fresh lemons
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Fresh berries, lemon zest and/or mint leaves, for garnish

How to Make a Cold Lemon Soufflé

While this recipe isn’t complicated to prepare, it is important to follow the directions exactly – especially my tips on how to cool the custard mixture to achieve the right consistency:

  1. Soften gelatin.
    In a small bowl, stir together gelatin and cold water; set aside to soften.
  2. Prepare custard base.
    In top of a double boiler over boiling water, whisk egg yolks until smooth. (Set egg whites aside for use later in this recipe.) Whisk sugar and lemon juice into egg yolks. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken a bit, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add gelatin and lemon zest.
    Stir gelatin mixture into lemon mixture and cook just until dissolved, only around 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in lemon zest.
  4. Cool custard.
    Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Place bowl over a larger bowl of ice water and set aside, stirring or whisking frequently, until mixture has cooled and started to thicken, around 10 to 15 minutes. (Don’t let it set too long, because it will become too stiff to continue.)
  5. Whip eggs whites; combine.
    With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the cooled lemon mixture until blended.
  6. Whip cream; combine.
    In a separate bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Do not over beat. Fold whipped cream into lemon-egg white mixture until well blended.
  7. Spoon to glasses or ramekins; chill.
    Spoon mixture into champagne/wine glasses, pots-de-crème, small ramekins – or a large mold. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  8. Garnish and serve.
    Garnish with fresh berries and/or mint leaves.

Quick Tip

It’s important to cool the cooked egg mixture so that it’s thick enough to combine together with the whipped egg whites and whipped cream. But, you can cool it for too long, and then the gelatin sets too much and it won’t combine. Placing the mixture in a bowl that’s set onto an ice water bath and stirring or whisking it regularly worked the best for me. Frankly, I think the key is frequently stirring the mixture, as it forces you to keep checking the consistency!

champagne coupe glass filled with Chilled Lemon Souffle and topped with fresh blackberries and blueberries

I’ve been tweaking this recipe for the last few years, to get the consistency right. In my experimenting, I’ve found that the key is cooling the cooked egg mixture so that it’s thick enough to combine together with the whipped egg whites and whipped cream. But, you can cool it for too long, and then the gelatin sets too much and it won’t combine. Placing the mixture in a bowl that’s set onto an ice water bath and stirring or whisking it regularly worked the best for me. Frankly, I think the key is frequently stirring the mixture, as it forces you to keep checking the consistency!

How to Serve this Cold Lemon Soufflé Recipe

The beauty of this dessert is that you can simply take out the refrigerator, garnish with fresh berries, lemon zest and/or fresh mint and serve. I like to add ginger cookies or chocolates on the side. You can save even more time and garnish it earlier in the day.

You can also prepare this Lemon Soufflé recipe in one large mold. To serve, unmold on to a plate or platter, scoop out servings into small bowls, garnish and serve.

How to Store Lemon Soufflé

If making within 8 hours of serving, place individual soufflés in the refrigerator – no need to cover. If making the day before, once set lightly cover with plastic wrap.

Lemon Soufflé Recipe FAQ

What makes a soufflé fluffy?

The fluffy, or airiness, in a soufflé comes from the air in the whipped egg whites – and in this recipe also the whipped cream.

Can you make soufflé ahead of time?

This cold soufflé can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead.

Why are soufflés difficult?

In a traditional soufflé that’s baked, sometimes the soufflé doesn’t rise. The problems arise with the eggs whites. First, you need to completely separate the egg whites from the yolks, with none of the yolk in the whites. Sometimes, a bit of the yolk can sneak into the whites; this needs to be removed. Otherwise, the whites won’t whip up properly. Second, make sure you don’t over whip the whites. Over-whipped whites will keep the soufflé from rising.

Other Cold Dessert Recipes You Might Like

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champagne coupe glass filled with Chilled Lemon Souffle and topped with fresh blackberries and blueberries

Cold Lemon Soufflé Recipe

Adding gelatin to these Chilled Lemon Soufflés allows them to be prepared ahead of time, so no last minute whipping and folding to create this refreshing and impressive dessert!

Note this recipe contains raw egg whites in the finished dish. Consuming raw egg may increase the risk of foodborne illness. If you prefer, cook the egg in 140-degree water for 3 minutes before using.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings (depends on size of containers used) 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3 to 4 large lemons)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Fresh berries, lemon zest and/or mint leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together gelatin and cold water; set aside to soften.
  2. In top of a double boiler over boiling water, whisk egg yolks until smooth. (Set egg whites aside for use later in this recipe!) Whisk in sugar and lemon juice. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken a bit, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir gelatin mixture into lemon mixture and cook just until dissolved, only around 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in lemon zest.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Place bowl over a larger bowl of ice water and set aside, stirring or whisking frequently, until mixture has cooled and started to thicken, around 10 to 15 minutes. (Don’t let it set too long, because it will become too stiff to continue.)
  5. With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, but not dry. Fold into the cooled lemon mixture until blended.
  6. In a separate bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Do not over beat. Fold whipped cream into lemon-egg white mixture until well blended.
  7. Spoon mixture into champagne/wine glasses, pots-de-crème, small ramekins – or a large mold. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  8. Garnish with fresh berries and/or mint leaves.

Notes

Make ahead:  Soufflés can be prepared 24 hours in advance, covered and stored in the refrigerator.

  • Author: (By Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Category: dessert, gluten free, easy entertaining, make ahead
Champagne coupe glasses filled with Chilled Lemon Souffles, topped with blackberries and blueberries

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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