This recipe for lemon soufflés (or soufflé au citron) makes an easy, inexpensive, but elegant dessert. If you’re looking for a keto lemon dessert that satisfies that craving for tart citrus goodness, this one is sure to fit the bill. This recipe can be enjoyed even by those who live a low-carb, keto, or dairy-free lifestyle.
The recipe for our lemon soufflés
This recipe makes individual soufflés that are cloud of lemon fluff with a bit of pudding-like texture toward the bottom of the dessert.
You won’t believe how easy these little pots of goodness are to whip up. I use a hand mixer and let it do all of the heavy lifting.
Best of all, they only take 4 ingredients, so you probably already have everything in your kitchen you need to make them.
The inspiration for our keto-friendly lemon soufflés
I got the idea to make lemon soufflés when I was looking for good ways to use up eggs. Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I have 23 laying hens which are starting to provide an abundance of fresh eggs.
I was looking through one of my favorite cookbooks, The Fresh Egg Cookbook by Jennifer Trainer Thompson for some inspiration. While all of her recipes are lovely, the one for lemon soufflé caught my eye.
I used this recipe as a base for my recipe, but altered it to be low-carb. I also played with the baking method a bit to simplify the recipe and make it a bit more foolproof.
What is a soufflé?
The soufflé is a hallmark of French cooking. They are clouds of tasty goodness and can be sweet, like this recipe for lemon soufflé and my chocolate soufflés, or savory, like this cheese soufflé from The Hungry Elephant .
Soufflés are created by folding beaten egg whites into a flavorful base made with egg yolks. As the soufflé bakes, the dish rises. In fact, the French word, soufflé, means to blow or inflate.
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What makes a soufflé rise?
The egg whites are responsible for making a soufflé rise. Beating the egg whites creates little pockets of air in the protein. This is what forms the bubbles.
As the soufflé bakes, the air in the bubbles expands and makes the soufflé rise.
How to make a perfect Lemon Soufflés
Making the perfect, keto-friendly lemon soufflé isn’t difficult, but it does require some precision.
Step 1: The preparation.
Soufflés should be served immediately after baking. Part of the success of this recipe will be planning to have them done at the correct time. If the soufflés need to sit around before they are served, even the best soufflé will fall.
Preheat the oven
Before preheating, be sure you have a rack in the lower third of the oven. Then turn on the oven before starting the recipe so it has time to properly warm up. I start with a 400º F oven for these soufflés, then turn it down to 375º F after adding the soufflés.
Prepare the ramekins properly
One of the keys to a great soufflé is properly preparing the ramekins. A properly prepared ramekin helps the soufflé rise to greatness.
I use four 4-ounce ramekins for this recipe. To prepare them for the soufflés, I use a pastry brush to brush the bottom with softened (not melted) butter. After the bottoms are buttered, butter the sides using vertical strokes that go from the bottom of the ramekin to the top.
Next, refrigerate the ramekin for 5 minutes or so, then butter again. I like to think of the upward streaks of butter as being the sides of a ladder that the rungs are attached to.
Now, to add the rungs to the ladder we dust the ramekins with granulated sweetener. To do this, add a small amount of granulated sweetener to each one. Shake the ramekin around to coat the sides and bottom of the ramekin with the sweetener, then dump out the excess. The sweetener provides tooth to the sides of the ramekin to help the soufflé “climb” up the sides of the dish.
Separate the eggs
Room temperature eggs work best for souffles because they make a fluffier meringue.
To make a soufflé, you must first separate the eggs. It’s super-important to do this cleanly. If even the tiniest speck of yolk gets in the white, the whites will not whip correctly.
When separating eggs, I like to put the egg white into a small bowl before adding it to the mixing bowl. That way, if I accidentally get a bit of yolk in the white, I don’t contaminate the other whites.
If you do get some yolk in with the egg white, don’t use that egg for the soufflé. Instead use that egg for something different, such as adding it to your scrambled eggs and get a different egg for the soufflé. You will also need to swap out the small bowl for a clean one as some yolk residue might be in it.
Step 2: Make the lemon base.
Next, you place the yolks in a mixing bowl and beat them using either a hand mixer or a whisk, until the start to thicken. Then, you beat in the sweetener. The final step in preparing the base is to beat in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Step 3: Make the meringue.
To make the meringue, you need a separate, impeccably clean and completely dry bowl for the egg whites. A stainless steel bowl, copper bowl, or even a glass bowl will work. Avoid using a plastic bowl as it can be very difficult to remove old and fats from plastic.
Once the egg whites in the mixing bowl, you can add about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or a pinch of cream of tartar. This is completely optional, but helps stabilize the egg whites so you can get maximum volume.
I like to use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites, but a whisk will work just as well and provide the bonus of an arm workout.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This means that when you pull the beaters (or whisk out of the meringue, a peak forms that holds its shape. Do not over beat the meringue or it will become dry and difficult to work with.
Step 4: Combine the lemon base and the meringue.
This step takes a bit of finesse. It’s important to add about 1/3 of the meringue to the lemon base first and gently stir it into the yolk mixture. This lightens up the mixture so you can fold in the remaining meringue.
Add the second third of the meringue to the lightened mixture and fold it in by sliding a spatula under the yolk mixture then up and over the meringue. Continue until the meringue is incorporated.
Repeat this folding process with the last third of the meringue.
Step 5: Pour in the ramekins and bake
Spoon the soufflé batter into the ramekins, filling them with equal amounts. Wipe off any excess that might have gotten on the lip of the ramekin.
Place the ramekins on a metal baking sheet with an edge. The metal helps transfer the heat into the ramekins and the edge prevents any spills from ending up on the bottom of your oven.
Bake the soufflés until golden and puffed.
How to serve our lemon soufflés
All soufflés should be served immediately. I like to put a napkin on a small plate, then place the ramekin on top. The napkin helps keep the soufflé from sliding around.
These soufflés don’t need any garnish to look amazing, but if you like, you can add a dusting of powdered sweetener on top, and/or place a lemon wedge on the plate beside the ramekin.
Lemon Soufflés (Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly)
This recipe for lemon soufflés (or soufflé au citron) makes an easy, inexpensive, but elegant dessert. Low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free.
- butter (softened--to brush ramekins)
- granulated sweetener (enough to dust ramekins)
- 2 large eggs room temperature, separated
- ¼ cup confectioners (powdered) stevia erythritol blend (Pyure 2x sweetness of sugar) (Do not substitute)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest freshly grated
Preheat oven to 400º Fahrenheit. Using a pastry brush, brush the bottoms and sides of the ramekins with softened butter, stroking the sides from the bottom to the top. Refrigerate 5 minutes, then repeat. Dust with granulated sweetener.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with a mixer or whisk until the color lightens and they start to get fluffy. Add sweetener and beat until fluffy. Slowly beat in the lemon juice and the lemon zest.
In a separate, clean bowl, using a clean whisk or beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Transfer ⅓ of the egg whites to the lemon mixture and gently stir until combined. Gently fold another third of the meringue into the lemon mixture. Repeat with the last third.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared ramekins. Wipe off any excess that may have gotten on the rim. Place the filled ramekins on a baking sheet.
Bake in the lower third of the oven until they rise and the tops brown, about 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately.