Instant Pot Lemon Custard Cups

4.25 from 8 votes

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Instant Pot Lemon Custard Cups are a tangy, light and refreshing treat, perfect for spring and summer! So easy to make in the Instant Pot! 

Instant Pot Lemon Custard being scooped from a white custard dish with a spoon

Instant Pot Lemon Custard Cups

There’s nothing like topping off a delicious family dinner with a luscious dessert. This lemon custard is such a refreshing way to end a meal. It’s light and fragrant oh so divine! I love to bring a tray of these adorable custard cups outside while my family relaxes on the back patio after dinner. The warm spring breeze wafts over us as we watch the kids play on the grass and we linger over bites of luscious lemony custard, often topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Wherever you eat this yummy treat, our family and friends love this recipe, and I know you and yours will too!

Tips for this Lemon Custard Recipe

  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free so even those with dietary restrictions can enjoy a sweet treat after dinner.
  • Custard is generally made with milk or cream and egg yolk. It can be thick like a pie filling or thin like a sauce, and made with many flavors. Lemon is a particular favorite because the zest and freshness of the lemon pair nicely with the richness of the custard base.
  • This lemon custard recipe is super versatile and can be eaten a million different ways. Generally the custard is cooled after cooking in an Instant Pot and served chilled, perhaps with whipped topping. However, you could try it warm or hot. The texture and consistency will be more like a sauce, perfect for drizzling over ice cream or yogurt.
  • Although this classic custard tastes divine with just a bowl and a spoon, you can also try topping it with whipped cream, graham crackers, fresh fruit or meringue. Mix it with oatmeal, yogurt or spread on toast or muffins.
Lemon Custard being scooped from a ramekin with a spoon

Layering in the Instant Pot

Two ramekins filled with lemon custard and covered with tin foil sitting inside an Instant Pot

We love making this recipe in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker! It’s easy and there’s no need to constantly watch and stir over the stove. Be careful, however, when layering your ramekins. Our tried and true method is three ramekins on the bottom and one on top. If you’re doing more, just make sure to build up the stack like a pyramid so they are stable.

Read Next: 27 BEST Instant Pot Recipes

More Lemony Desserts

If you like this recipe, be sure to try some of our other delicious lemon desserts:

How to Make Instant Pot Lemon Custard

Instant Pot Lemon Custard being scooped from a white custard dish with a spoon

Instant Pot Lemon Custard

4.25 from 8 votes
Instant Pot Lemon Custard Cups are a tangy, light and refreshing treat, perfect for spring and summer! So easy to make in the Instant Pot! 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Cooling time 2 hrs
Total Time 28 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooker



  • In a medium-sized saucepot, bring milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon zest and salt to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. 
  • Combine 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the hot lemon custard mixture a little at a time to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This will prevent the eggs from cooking. 
  • Whisk in butter until melted, then add lemon juice. Stir until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour equally into 4 8-ounce oven-safe ramekins, leaving about 1/2″ space at the top. Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil.
  • Place trivet in Instant Pot and add 2 cups water.
  • Carefully place ramekins in the Instant Pot (3 on the bottom forming a triangle and 1 over the top in the center). 
  • Place lid on Instant Pot and set tab to “sealing”. Set to “manual” and set to “high pressure” for 5 minutes. 
  • When the time is up, do a quick release and turn Instant Pot off. Allow ramekins to cool to room temperature and then place in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 417kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 9gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 273mgPotassium: 257mgFiber: 1gSugar: 58gVitamin A: 585IUVitamin C: 7.8mgCalcium: 196mgIron: 0.7mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE anything and everything lemon. This recipe is super easy however, the hardest part is waiting the two hours to cool lol. Thanks for sharing your easy instant pot recipe! I needed an excuse to bring it out again 😀

  2. 5 stars
    My husband is going to love this treat. He adores everything lemon-flavored and I get to try a new recipe in my instant pot. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve just had a fantastic dessert that used a similar custard and I wondered about the recipe… Here it is! Excited to try it now.

    1. We haven’t made this specific recipe without a pressure cooker so I’m not how to direct you otherwise. If you try it in the oven, just be sure to check them often (after 20 minutes or so). Hope this helps!

    2. If you bake these in the oven, I would follow standard egg custard procedure & bake them in a water bath (in a larger deep baking dish with very hot water filled to within 1/2” of the tops of the ramekins). I suggest 350° F for 25 – 30 minutes.

    1. The instructions should be the same for any pressure cooker– not just an IP. Hope this helps!

      1. I don’t have ramekins. If I make this in the ceramic dish that fits inside, would i increase the time?
        I’ve make cheesecake and frittata in the ceramic dish with success.

        1. It really depends on the size of the ceramic dish. What size would you be using? how much can it hold?

  4. 3 stars
    I tried this recipe and although the custard did set up very nicely, it was not smooth. Yours looks very smooth like pudding. Mine turned out a little grainy and I don’t know what I did wrong. Could you help?

    1. Hmmm, I’m not sure what could have happened. I can’t think of why it would be grainy. I will look over the recipe and if I can think of a reason for the graininess I will get back to you!

    2. 2 stars
      Mine tasted like eggs, not much lemon flavor.. was so bummed… first try at a custard, am I just expecting it not to taste like eggs?? Should it?? Lol

      1. It shouldn’t really taste like eggs.. my guess is that it was probably overcooked? You can always add more lemon if you feel like it needs more zesty flavor!

  5. Please, What is the capacity of the Instant Pot used for this recipe??? Something tells me that I’m going to with I’d purchased a larger IP.

  6. Do you remove them from Instant Pot to cool to room temperature? Have not tried the recipe yet as this was a question in my mind, thx

  7. 4 stars
    Made this last night. Turned out great. I’m going to try a little more extract and zest next time though. The lemon flavor was too faint for me

  8. Hi very new to cooking and instant pot but followed directions but took out of fridge and just have lemon flavoured milk help thx

    1. I’m not sure I understand what the issue is here. The custard should be completely set when you take them out of the IP. Was it still liquid when you removed it from the Instant Pot?

      1. Hi left to cool in instant then put in fridge never did set up I did whisk with hand blender and never removed tinfoil until I checked at end thx

  9. Have you tried it with fresh lemon juice? I’m about to have lemons on my tree so would like to use them instead of extract. Any idea how much juice?

    1. Instead of extract I would actually use more lemon zest. Just to give it more of a zing! You could use lemon juice but it might make it too watery. So fun that you have a lemon tree!!!

      1. I know this recipe is from 2018 but it says lemon juice in the recipe not extract. Should it be extract and not lemon juice?