Homemade Lemon Pudding Recipe with Fresh Lemons

Homemade pudding is always a much loved dessert recipe in my house.  I often make pudding from scratch to avoid artificial ingredients.  It is seriously easy and takes only a few minutes, other than time to chill.  This homemade lemon pudding recipe uses fresh lemons and whole milk.  Simple ingredients make this homemade pudding quick, easy, and delicious!

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collage of homemade lemon pudding in jars with text overlay 'lemon pudding recipe'

Tips for Making Homemade Pudding

Lemon pudding recipes can seem simple, but you really have to pay attention. You will have to stir constantly, so don’t walk away! Prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time.  That means separate your eggs, juice and zest your lemons, and pour and measure ingredients.

Once you turn on the heat, do not leave it unattended!  A few things you might need before you get started making lemon pudding from scratch:

fresh lemons in a basket

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Choosing the Best Lemons

You could certainly try making this pudding recipe with a bottle of lemon juice but I really don’t recommend it.  It really gets a boost of flavor from lemon zest.  If you don’t have fresh lemons, you could add natural lemon oil or lemon extract for additional flavor.

Like this homemade lemon pudding?  Here are more lemon recipes to try:

To choose the best lemons , look for ones without blemishes.  You want firm lemons that feel heavy for their size and have no green areas, which indicates that they are over ripe.

Avoid very pale lemons since those are probably old and will contain less juice.  The best lemons for this homemade pudding have smooth, thick skin to provide lots of lemon zest.

Homemade Lemon Pudding From Scratch with fresh lemons in the background

How to Make Homemade Lemon Pudding From Scratch:

I highly recommend using whole milk or even half and half for this lemon pudding.  Yes, it is higher in fat, however, homemade pudding tastes SO much better with full fat milk products.

Top your homemade pudding with some real whipped cream and enjoy a little bite of heaven after your next meal!  It is so much better than boxed pudding mix!

Looking for more classic dessert recipes made from scratch?  Check out my pound cake recipe!  Or use this lemon pudding in my lemon and raspberry parfait recipe.

homemade lemon pudding in a glass jar with fresh lemons behind it

In a large saucepan, combine your sugar and corn starch.  Give it a little stir with a fork or whisk to combine it slightly.  Then, pour in cold milk (whole!) and beaten egg yolks.  Toss in the salt and lemon zest and you are ready to start cooking!

pot of pudding cooking and wooden spoon showing thickness of contents

In addition to watching this constantly, you want to STIR constantly to avoid lumps.  Be patient!  Making lemon pudding from scratch is an art!  Cook over medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon easily.  Check out Lynn’s Cooking Adventures for tips on how to NOT make lumpy lemon puddings!

pudding in a white bowl

Remove the pudding from the burner.  Add in fresh lemon juice and butter.  Then, stir until it is well mixed and smooth.  If your homemade pudding is lumpy (which does happen unfortunately), push it through a fine wire strainer.  Chill for a few hours and enjoy with some homemade whipped cream!

Yield: 4 servings

Homemade Lemon Pudding Recipe with Fresh Lemons

homemade lemon pudding in a glass jar with fresh lemons behind it

This homemade lemon pudding recipe uses fresh lemons and whole milk.  Simple ingredients allow you to make lemon pudding from scratch quickly and easily.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 large lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a large sauce pan, combine sugar and corn starch. Whisk lightly to mix.
  2. Pour in milk and add beaten egg yolks.
  3. Add salt and lemon zest.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of the wooden spoon easily.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Pour in lemon juice and add butter.
  7. Stir until well mixed and butter is melted.
  8. Push through wire strainer if desired to remove lumps
  9. Chill your lemon pudding at least 2 hours and serve!


Homemade lemon pudding from scratch will last about a week in the refrigerator, however, I doubt it will last that long!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 216mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 46gProtein: 10g

Nutrition information not always accurate

32 thoughts on “Homemade Lemon Pudding Recipe with Fresh Lemons”

  1. This pudding is amazing! Thanks for posting the recipe. It was a big hit with my family. Wish I could share a photo!

  2. It doesn’t seem like your nutritional information can be right. 1200 calories in a single serving and more than 40 grams of fat. Surely not! How many servings does this recipe make.

    • Nutritional info plugins are notoriously glitchy so no, the info is not accurate. I have tried adjusting the settings for the recipe, although i still cannot guarantee they are correct. You will get at least 4 servings, probably 6 depending on who you are feeding. Serving size, however, for this recipe is also not considered exact.

  3. If you look right after the recipe instructions, it says 396 calories per serving, but when I calculated it roughly from the amount of sugar and butter and eggs, I got roughly 300 calories per serving, if you calculate it as 4 servings per recipe.It would be even lower if you used a non sugar sweetener like monkfruit. It tastes like sugar but has no calories, where as sugar hass 577 calories for 3/4 cup.

    • If you look at the bottom of the recipe, it does state that nutritional information is not always accurate. It is calculated with a plugin and I am not a dietitian. But, it is delicious, regardless of calorie count.

  4. Thank you so much for the recipe. I am making it right now. Is the lemon zest amount correct? It seems like a lot. My family do not like texture in their pudding. Can you taste and feel the lemon zests? Thank you again!

    • yes, you will have a bit of texture from the lemon zest. You can omit it and use lemon extract or flavor oil, although I am not sure how that will taste.

  5. Greetings & good morning from NH.
    I make this almost every week,we love it.
    And you clearly state you can push the pudding through a strainer,if you don’t like texture. We love the lemon bits.
    Is it me or do some folks not understand a recipe.
    Adding or adjusting flavors are not your problem. It is great as is.
    I don’t know about artificial sweeteners,but in my mind they are gross. I say follow the recipe as written,and don’t blame/question anyone for it not turning out if you adjust & substitute ingredients.

  6. Hello again from NH,
    I just signed up for your newsletter & read your daughter goes to UNH! You are my second blogger with NH ties.
    Check out I Through the looking glass’. I also follow ‘Two peas and their pod’ lots of beautiful pix(she lives in SLC,UT) & great recipes.

    • It’s actually my husband and I who went to UNH 🙂 but thanks for the heads up about the other bloggers.. I will check them out!

  7. I LOVE this lemon pudding!
    I made some lemon brownies and used the pudding and whipped cream to make a trifle…I could eat it every day….I don’t, but I could! 🤣
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Not sure what happened but my milk curdled when I added the lemon juice so I had to throw everything out. I had only just started heating the milk and it was barely warm. Too bad, I was looking forward to the pudding. I’d try again if I knew how to prevent it from curdling

    • The lemon juice should be added after the pudding is already thickened and removed from the heat. Then, stir well as you add it. Hope that helps!

  9. I would like to make 40 of these. Is there any special adjustments to the ingredient serving sizes so I can make all at once?

  10. Hello! What a great recipe; so easy to follow! I am dairy free and just made this recipe using a can of full fat coconut milk, topped up with Silk-Next Milk to make the 2.5 cups and used vegan butter. It is to die for! I will top it with some toasted shredded coconut and dairy free whipped cream!

  11. I’m on a big pudding kick right now, and just bought a bag of lemons – OMG this recipe was the perfect solution. I followed the recipe exactly as written; so easy and came out great. I added a dollop of home made whipped cream and a few blueberries. So so good – thanks for the straightforward recipe!


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