For the Love of Ramekins

by Caitlin Kelch

Over the weekend I read an article that proclaimed that the trivet was having a moment. I smiled because I’ve been plopping one or two on our dinner table and just serving from the pots and pans I’ve cooked in. Trivets are one of those unsung heroes in the kitchen and there are always a few others depending on who you are and how you cook and serve. I am a ramekin person. I generally pick them up one by one at thrift stores or on sale, and while I do actually use them for their intended purpose, they always come in handy for other things. Think dip, olives — even earrings and keys!

Since winter is upon us and using the oven is another way to stay warm, I thought it would be fun to round up some ramekins and some recipes that put them to use. I’ve been on a custard binge lately and my ramekins have seen a lot of action in the last few weeks. I also use them to pot up some after-school snacks like mac and cheese when I make a big batch on Sundays for my daughter to eat through the week.

Here are some fun facts about my favorite small dish:

ramekin is a small glazed ceramic or glass bowl used for cooking and serving various dishes.

The term comes from the French word ramequin, a cheese- or meat-based dish baked in a small mold. The French term is derived from early modern Flemish rammeken, which translated to “toast” or “roasted minced meat.” The Flemish word rammeken apparently came from ram “battering ram” + -kin “diminutive,” but no one really knows how or why the “battering ram” attribution came to be and how it relates to the term for the dish.

With a normal capacity of 1 to 8 ounces, ramekins are commonly used for preparing and serving individual portions of a variety of dishes, including crème brûlée, French onion soup, molten chocolate cake and many cheese or egg dishes.

My curiosity has gotten the best of me and I’d really love to know 1.) Do you own ramekins? and 2.) How often do you use them for their intended culinary purpose? and 3.) What do you make in them? Could you let me know in the comments? –Caitlin

Image above from features a handmade porcelain ramekin by . You can see the royal blue design in the ramekin in the image below! **Indie Pick

The 10 ramekins shown in the collage below offer a little bit of everything. From bright colors to square and heart shapes, these small but mighty dishes can get the job done in multiple scenarios!

Products in collage above clockwise:

(Set of 2) $14 | $10 | 3. (Set of 2) $30 | 4. (Set of 12) $14 | 5. (Made in France; Set of 2) $20 | 6.   Price varies according to size | 7. $4 *Indie Pick | 8. (Set of 2) $35 | 9. (6 pieces) $16 | 10. (Set of 2) $18 *Indie Pick

This set of is available over at Elsie Green. *Indie Pick

This was made in Portugal and is on sale over at Anthro. $15

And finally, a delicious recipe from ! Meg is a mother of two, freelance artist and writer, and a serial entrepreneur and has graced our site many times. (See her home tour here!) Meg is of Filipino descent and this recipe makes a popular Filipino dessert called puto, which is a small steamed cake. I can testify firsthand that these tiny cakes are fantastic! Pop over here for the full recipe. And don’t forget to share if and how you use ramekins!

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  • I most recently used ramekins to serve mousse au chocolat. I rarely bake with them. They got the most use when my kid was a baby. I made all the baby food from scratch in batches and would freeze portions. The ramekins were great for defrosting/heating the frozen baby food in the microwave. No plastic.
    As for trivets, my mother collected them. She would have declared they never went out of style. Like you, I tend to serve weeknight dinners in the pot–it keeps the food hot. Trivets are essential.

  • I own 7 or 9 of them, and yes, I use them! Prefer to do individual pumpkin pies (without the crust) in them since I’m the only one in the house that likes pumpkin. Also use them for mise en place all the time – it’s just easier to measure everything at one time.

    I plan to do molten cakes in them for Valentine’s Day. Also do mini meatloaf but the muffin pan works better for that; which is ramekins attached together right????

  • I use them for everything! I’ve never bought one though; I’d buy the individual chicken pot pies from Whole Foods (my son went through a chicken pot pie phase) and save the ramekins they came in. I give my kids snacks in them (no need to buy plastic kid’s dishes), sometimes I bake individual apple pies in them, I use them to corral hair bows and ties, we collect acorns and rocks outside and put them in the ramekin, etc. The uses are endless!

  • I LOVE ramekins and we use them all the time at home! We actually just used them a couple of days ago for hummus and some other dips. We are condiment/dip consumers so they are pretty handy. A week before that I used them for apple cobbler. We have some CB2 plain white ones in two sizes and hand me down ones from my mother in law we use more for things like onion soup or chicken pot pie. Long live ramekins!

  • I want ramekins, but I’m looking for a unicorn apparently. My dream ramekins are wide enough for brulee, deep enough for lava cake, and their sides are slanted enough to stack almost wholly inside each other while still being upright enough to read as a ramekin. Oh, and they need to look more modern/earthy than traditional. Help! 😁

  • I suppose the low Weck jars might work, though I worry when you hit them with a brulee torch they might shatter. Anyone able to vouch for them?

  • I have just bought ramekins for making baked eggs. They are gorgeous, rich glazed coppery brown pottery but they tend to topple when stacked. I didn’t think to look for stackable ones.

  • Ramekins are a great all-purpose kitchen dish! I rarely cook in them, but some of my favorite uses are: serving snacks, portioning prepped ingredients for cooking, putting a few out out at parties for used toothpicks & olive pits, and short-term food storage in the fridge. They also make great ice cream bowls since the smaller size lends itself to more responsible snacking

  • I love ramekins in theory but I rarely use the few I own. I just don’t entertain anymore and in the rare instance I make a dip any old small bowl will do.

  • I use ramekins all the time! I have at least 3 sets in different sizes, a few random thrifted ones. They get used for serving yogurt, for dipping sauces, for portioning granola in the morning, or for holding foods separate on my kids’ plates. They are definitely a daily thing here. Ooh! I love making baked eggs in them too!

  • I have an Ben dozen and use them frequently. Custards, pumpkin pie, pate, jams, dips…..the list is endless.

  • I love my ramekins, and have been using them for years and years for individual panacottas, chocolate mousse, bread and butter puddings, pates, mini pies, serving olives and similar nibbles. I also use them in food preparation, such as keeping chopped ginger, garlic, chilies, herbs etc in them until ready for cooking. I wouldn’t be without them. I have some pretty glazed ceramic ones, but also plain white and oven proof glass.

  • I have 8 Anchor Hocking clear ramekins. They stack PERFECTLY! Mostly, we use ours for individual servings of salsa (double dipping allowed) and for frittatas. I find the clean up is much easier than a muffin tin.

  • I love my ramekins! I usually use them to serve different hummuses and salsas and dips–it always looks nicer to have a bunch of ramekins out on the table instead of straight out of the container. Same thing for when I want to have chips/nuts/pretzels as a snack but don’t trust myself eating straight out of the bag–I can put a reasonable amount in a ramekin and then snack at my desk. Feels much classier! They’re also great to make individual chia puddings to keep stocked in the fridge, or to make mousses and creme brulees.

  • I have several ramekins, all second hand. I use them for custard, melting butter, to break eggs into, to store small amounts of leftovers. I use them quite often.

  • Each time you eat from a ramekin it’s like opening a gift. I own a variety of sizes and colors and it seems I can’t stop wanting even more. I make pot pies, mushroom soufflé, au gratins and all kinds of desserts and breakfast dishes. Food prep, storage, appetizers… I don’t know how I’d function in the kitchen without them!

  • I use them mainly for two purposes: 1. Keeping the mess from my salt and pepper grinders contained. They both live inside some classic red Le Creuset ramekins that we got as a wedding registry bonus. 2. Making microwave breakfast sandwiches. We just spray some olive oil into a ramekin, beat an egg, add some S&P, top with cheese and microwave for a couple of minutes. Add to an english muffin and you have a quick, pocketable breakfast.

  • Before we got married, I added a set of 12 Heath Ceramics ramekins to our wedding registry, and my husband’s response was, why are you adding little bowls to our registry. We don’t make pots de creme like ever. Fast forward years and years later, we use our ramekins everyday. To hold baby food, to hold dipping sauces, to hold snacks for kids, for measuring items and preparing food, on our cheeseboard to hold sauces/jams/nuts, and yes, to make pots de creme.

  • I recently replaced my set of ramekins that I lost in a house fire. I found a great deal at Homegoods $4 for a set of 4. I use them to make small, single serving desserts and to place condiments in. I use them at least 2-3 times a month for desserts. I make apple crisp (hubby’s fave) and I’ve tried several variations of his favorite dessert in my ramekins and up next will be chocolate molten cake (for me) and an oatmeal cookie dessert for him.

  • I have about a dozen ramekins that I use MAYBE once a year for mousse or to house candy and such. I always think they’re a thing I should have, but I use them so rarely that I wonder if I should just part with them.

  • I bought my ramekins to make popovers, which I failed at. I most often use them to set up my mise en place when I am cooking. I also use them like little bowls. I find they’re great for a small serving of ice cream, and for holding snacks.

  • I used mine on and off for prep for years, but lately they’ve become a kitchen hero again when I learned you could poach eggs in the microwave (Medium or large ramekin, one to two eggs, cover with water, add salt, splash of vinegar if you want. Quickly pierce yolk(s) with toothpick to prevent explosions. Cover(!) the dish with saucer or plate just in case of any steam bursts–I’ve had one or two whites pop, so this is a worthwhile precaution–Microwave 1-2 mins, depending on egg size and power of microwave. Drain; et voila! Set white and dreamy yolks)

  • I am terrible about remembering to cook with ramekins, but I love using small ones for soy sauce with sushi and to put tea strainers in (for draining or in case I want to re-steep white or green tea leaves).

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