Skip to Content

Lemon Bread Pudding Sauce

Homemade lemon bread pudding sauce is the perfect sweet and tangy dessert sauce. Made with just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes prep, the refreshing lemon sauce brightens up bread pudding, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, cake, cheesecake, and gingerbread.

lemon dessert sauce

Lemon sauce for bread pudding

This lemon bread pudding sauce is a little bit of sunshine in a bottle. Sweet, citrusy, creamy, and tangy, it has everything you could ever want in a lemon dessert sauce!

Made with plenty of fresh lemons, the sauce is rich and has the perfect balance of sweet and tart. And the best part is the recipe comes together quickly with simple ingredients.

Unlike my lemon curd sauce, this sauce is prepared without eggs and cream. Instead, we use a touch of cornstarch and butter to achieve a lovely syrup consistency.

If you are a lemon lover like me, you’ll want to pour this sauce over all of your favorite desserts and breakfast treats, from bread pudding to pancakes to ice cream. It’s just so good!

And for more sweet sauces, try our vanilla bread pudding sauce, hot fudge sauce, and caramel sauce.

lemon bread pudding

Reasons to love lemon bread pudding sauce

  • Quick + easy: A saucepan and about 10 minutes cooking time are all you need to whip up this delicious lemon dessert sauce.
  • Simple ingredients: The recipe calls for 5 simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
  • Versatile: The dessert sauce is perfect for bread pudding, crepes, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, gingerbread, and any dessert that needs some zing.
lemon bread pudding sauce ingredients

Ingredients

You’ll have most of the ingredients on hand, but they are also easy to find at any supermarket. Together, they create the most flavorful lemon sauce. For exact measurements, scroll to the recipe card below.

  • Lemon juice + zest: You need the freshly squeezed juice of approximately 6 lemons and the zest of 2 lemons. To make your life easier, be sure to zest the lemons before squeezing the juice. It’s almost impossible to zest squeezed-out lemons.
  • Sugar: I recommend superfine sugar, but regular white granulated sugar also works fine.
  • Cornstarch thickens the sauce to a luscious, smooth texture. You can also use arrowroot powder.
  • Water helps to adjust the consistency and dilute the strong lemon flavor.
  • Unsalted butter lends the sauce a wonderful richness and creaminess. Adding butter is optional. If you prefer a dairy-free lemon sauce, simply skip it.
how to make lemon dessert sauce

How to make lemon bread pudding sauce

This sweet lemon sauce is such an easy recipe and comes together in just minutes. You can easily make it for all of your dessert needs. Here’s what to do:

#1: Mix

Place the sugar and cornstarch into a medium saucepan. Whisk together until perfectly combined and you no longer see clumps of cornstarch.

#2: Cook

Add the fresh lemon juice, water, butter, and lemon zest. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.

#3: Simmer

Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is thick and the sugar has dissolved. Stir continuously.

#4: Cool

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

lemon sauce for cake

Cooking tips

Prepare the lemons

  • Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must for this sauce because it tastes a hundred times better than bottled lemon juice.
  • Zesting lemons: First, wash your lemons thoroughly. Then position your garter or zester over a plate and run the lemon up and down over the surface to scrape off the yellow skin. Lastly, flip your grater over and clean out the lemon rind on the backside. Stop zesting when you get to the white part of the lemon, the pith, because it tastes bitter.
  • Microwave lemons: Put the lemons in a microwave-friendly bowl and warm for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave. Doing this helps to release juices from the membranes inside the fruit.
  • Juicing lemons: Cut each lemon in half. Use a citrus juicer to extract as much liquid as possible. If working with a lemon reamer, put a bowl underneath to catch the juices.
lemon sauce recipe

Make the best lemon sauce

  • Whisk the sugar and cornstarch first: The secret to a smooth, clump-free texture is to combine the sugar and cornstarch before you do anything else.
  • Adjust the thickness: 1 tablespoon of cornstarch creates a syrupy lemon sauce that is thick yet very pourable. If you prefer slightly thicker lemon sauce, use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • Adjust the tartness: I like to taste the sauce right after cooking. If you find the sauce a little too tart, stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda until dissolved. Baking soda is a base and will neutralize some of the acidity.
lemon sauce for bread pudding

Serving suggestions

This lush lemon bread pudding sauce can be served with so many delicious foods. It adds the perfect citrusy touch to your favorite desserts and treats! I know you’ll love the tangy taste and rich texture. Check out these ideas:

  • Bread pudding: This lemony sauce is the perfect accompaniment for bread pudding. Try it with buttermilk bread pudding, condensed milk bread pudding, or hamburger bun bread pudding.
  • Pancakes + waffles: The sauce will add some zest to your favorite breakfast treats like pancakes, waffles, and French toast.
  • Gingerbread: Complement traditional gingerbread cake with tangy lemon sauce.
  • Cake: Drizzle the sauce over pound cake, angel food cake, coffee cake, or vanilla cake.
  • Mousse: Fold it into sweetened whipped cream for a quick lemon mousse.
  • Ice cream: Lemon sauce makes a fruity topping for ice cream and sundaes.
  • Yogurt: Top off Greek yogurt with a splash of lemon sauce.
  • Fresh fruit: Spoon it over fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.
  • Desserts: It’s a terrific dessert sauce for trifles, puddings, and cheesecake.
bread pudding with lemon sauce

Storage instructions

How to store lemon bread pudding sauce

Use your homemade lemon bread pudding sauce immediately as needed. Then store leftovers in a tightly sealed jar or bottle for up to 2 weeks.

If separation occurs, gently reheat and whisk until everything is combined again.

Can I freeze lemon bread pudding sauce?

Yes! Let the sauce cool completely. Then pour it into a freezer-friendly jar or container, leaving 1 in / 2.5 cm at the top. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw frozen lemon sauce, reheat it in the microwave or over the stove until it’s warm and back to its normal consistency.

lemon sauce for desserts

Lemon Bread Pudding Sauce Recipe

Yield: 1 1/2 cup (6-8 servings)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Homemade lemon bread pudding sauce is the perfect sweet and tangy dessert sauce. Made with just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes prep, the refreshing lemon sauce brightens up bread pudding, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, cake, cheesecake, and gingerbread.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup / 200 g / 7 oz white granulated sugar (or superfine sugar)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (can sub for arrowroot powder)
  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml /6 fl oz fresh lemon juice (from 5 to 6 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml / 4 fl oz water
  • 6 tbsp / 85 g / 3 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest (optional, from 2 lemons)

Instructions

  1. Mix. Place the sugar and cornstarch into a medium saucepan. Whisk together until perfectly combined and you no longer see clumps of cornstarch.
  2. Cook. Add the fresh lemon juice, water, butter, and lemon zest. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Simmer. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is thick and the sugar has dissolved. Stir continuously.
  4. Cool. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve. Drizzle the lemon sauce over bread pudding, pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. Enjoy!
  6. Store. Transfer the dessert sauce into an airtight container, jar, or bottle. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave if desired.

Notes

Cooking Tips

  • Whisk the sugar and cornstarch first: The secret to a smooth, clump-free texture is to combine the sugar and cornstarch before you do anything else.
  • Adjust the thickness: 1 tablespoon of cornstarch creates a syrupy lemon sauce that is thick yet very pourable. If you prefer slightly thicker lemon sauce, use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • Adjust the tartness: I like to taste the sauce right after cooking. If you find the sauce a little too tart, stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda until dissolved. Baking soda is a base and will neutralize some of the acidity.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g
sweet lemon sauce

As Seen On

brand logos
brand logos
brand logos
Skip to Recipe
// First try loading jQuery from Google's CDN // Fall back to a local copy of jQuery if the CDN fails