What’s a Ramekin and What Size Do You Need?

Featured image for a blog about what ramekins are

Last updated on August 9th, 2023 at 04:36 pm

Ramekins are small, versatile kitchen vessels that have been delighting both amateur cooks and professional chefs for generations. These unassuming little dishes may appear modest, but their role in the culinary world is far from ordinary. Let’s dive into what ramekins are and the myriad ways they can elevate your cooking game.

What is a Ramekin?

Ramekins are those handsome dishes that are typically used for baking and serving menu items such as soufflés, crème brûlée, puddings and other single-serve delectable. They are traditionally made from porcelain and feature fluted sides.

Photo showing several sizes and shapes of sauce ramekins.

The term ramekin also refers to smaller dishes of the same shape that can be used to serve condiments or sauces. These ramekins can be made from any number of materials, from metal to plastic, as they are not intended for use in the oven.

In addition to baking and serving food items, ramekins also make for attractive household decorations that can be used to hold anything from tea lights to office supplies. Ramekins come in many sizes to help you attain the look you want to achieve.

What Size Ramekin Should You Buy?

So, what size ramekin do you need? Here is a breakdown of the different sizes, and what they are used for.

1-to-2-ounce Ramekins

Small ramekins in the 1-to-2-ounce range are typically used for condiment sides, such as ketchup or mayo. These little dishes are also great for teeny appetizers like mixed olives.

For household decorators, these small ramekins can be used for tea candles, paper clips, or tiny bouquets.

3-to-5-ounce Ramekins

3-to-5-ounce ramekins are still on the small side, though they can be used for items other than condiments. Ramekins of this size are great for mini-desserts or for sample platters.

6-ounce Ramekins

If you are only going to stock up on one size, a 6-ounce ramekin is probably the best all-purpose option. These are great for single serving desserts.

7-to-9-ounce Ramekins

These larger ramekins are great for lunch-sized pot pies and other small portion meals. They can also be used to make custards, molten lava cake and other desserts for two.

These also make great pet food bowls and are typically cheaper than anything you’ll find in a pet store.

Other considerations

Besides calculating the capacity you’ll need, when choosing your ramekins, you should also consider surface area. For dishes such as crème brûlée, in which the burnt surface is often considered the tastiest part, you’ll want a low, wide ramekin with a lot of surface area.

Creme brulee in a shallow ramekin.

Why Should You Use a Ramekin Dish?

Introducing ramekin dishes into your restaurant’s culinary arsenal can bring a host of benefits that enhance both the dining experience and operational efficiency. Here’s why your restaurant should consider using ramekin dishes:

  • Personalized Portions: Ramekins allow you to create individual servings, catering to different tastes and dietary needs with ease.
  • Uniform Cooking: Their small size ensures even cooking, helping dishes to retain their flavors and textures perfectly.
  • Endless Experimentation: Ramekins provide a canvas for culinary creativity, letting you experiment with flavors, textures, and presentation.


Ramekins might be small, but their impact in the kitchen is substantial. From adding an elegant touch to your table to enabling culinary innovations, these unassuming dishes are a must-have for any cooking enthusiast.

The versatility, presentation potential, and operational advantages of ramekins make them a valuable addition to your restaurant’s toolkit. So, the next time you’re whipping up something special, don’t forget to reach for the trusty ramekin – it’s your ticket to individualized culinary excellence.

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