For many newer home cooks, soufflés are the ultimate aspirational recipe. That’s because the versatile dish, which can be savory or sweet, hits on so many foundational techniques that it’s an ideal teaching tool. “Plus, it looks intimidating, but it’s easy,” says chef Kathy Gold, owner of In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, NJ. But to make them, of course, you need the right cookware. To rise properly, soufflés need a heavy, straight-sided vessel with a fluted rim.
Uses for these small dishes, also sometimes called ramekins, go far beyond the eggy French classic. “They’re perfect for any time you want to construct a charcuterie board or cheese board,” says Gold. Use them for your olives, nuts, or honey. You’ll also probably need them if you are interested in molten chocolate cakes. And if you like to measure all your ingredients before you start cooking, these are the perfect little dishes for that mise en place action.
Ahead, the best soufflé dishes and ramekins on the market.
Best Overall: Emile Henry 8.5-Ounce Ramekin Set
Comes in multiple colors
Great heat retention
Holds up to high temperatures
No lid or handles
What do buyers say? 89% of 200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
This set of two ramekins will make a special addition to your cookware collection. Made in France from high-fired Burgundy clay, the manufacturing process yields a ramekin that’s remarkably tough even against sharp changes in temperature. The high-gloss glaze is ultra-tough, resisting chips, scratches, and stains, so even though these ramekins are on the pricey side, they are a good bet for everyday use.
Right off, we noticed that these ramekins are heavy. While testing they retained heat rather well. We were able to bake eggs slightly under and leave them on the table to finish cooking while we served coffee. We found that it was easy to make individual portions of souffles because of the depth and the large capacity of these ramekins. The heat transferred well and the souffles cooked through to our desired doneness. Our crème brulee cooked to a creamy perfection, although if you are particular about the caramelized sugar to custard ratio, you may not want to fill it quite so much. As lovers of custard, we rejoiced in digging deep into the dish and scooping out every creamy bit.
These are dishwasher safe and come with a 10-year warranty. We didn’t notice any changes in the gloss. The ramekins stayed chip and scratch free even after using them multiple times.
Price at time of publish: $24 for ($12 / count) in blue flame
Material: Ceramic | Weight: 0.7 Pounds | Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.1 x 2.4 inches | Capacity: 8.5 ounces
Best Budget: Prepworks by Progressive Porcelain Stacking Ramekins
Comes in a set of six
Smaller than some others
Quality and finish varies from ramekin to ramekin
These ramekins are not only the best budget pick, but they’re also among the most classic options out there. The straight, ridged sides and fluted rim are a staple in professional restaurants and catering kitchens for a reason: They get the job done. They come six to a set, and you're sure to find yourself reaching for them in all kinds of situations that show off how versatile this cookware can be.
These ramekins doubled as a serving dish for olives, nuts, mustard, and other condiments. They are also just the right size for mise en place when we prepped to cook. While testing these ramekins, we took them directly from the freezer to the oven to bake souffles. They withstood the temperature change rather well. The souffles baked evenly with a nice rise.
While these ramekins are on the smaller size, we noticed that they are a good size for individual portions of crème brulee and chocolate mousse. The ridges on the outside helped with gripping the ramekins and even though they are smaller, they were easy to grip because of the ridges. Cleaning was easy. We simply loaded them in the dishwasher and set it to wash. We did not notice any changes in the finish and the ramekins felt sturdy. The finish on the ramekins varied a lot and some had minor dents at the base and felt rough. We did not notice any difference in the performance.
Price at time of publish: $19
Material: Ceramic | Weight: 2.54 Pounds | Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.63 inches | Capacity: 5 ounces
Best Design: Delling Geometric 8-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins
Comes in multiple colors and sizes
Holds up to incredibly high heat
Matching dinnerware available
Difficult to grip
The eye-catching pattern on these dishes makes them perfect for going from the oven to the table. Made from thick, ultra-sturdy bone china, these ramekins do well in recipes where even heat is a must. The thickness also helps protect them and make them more durable than average. These are thermostable, which means they go beyond oven safe. The manufacturer says they’re safe up to 1,400 degrees. (Note: Most home ovens top out at 500 or 550 degrees, max.)
The first thing we noticed about these ramekins was the width and the size. Because they are large enough to work for many types of dishes, we used them to serve soups, small, chopped salads, and for dips and snacks. The ramekins are microwave safe but got very hot within a minute. We tested them for a couple of extra minutes, and they got super-hot.
The heat transfer in the oven fared much better. We tested the ramekins by baking souffles, crème brulee and apple crumbles. The souffles were evenly cooked, the crème brulee was just set right, the apples were cooked well, and the topping was crisp. We noticed that because of the shorter height of the ramekins, we had trouble gripping them with mittens on, especially when baking souffles. We used a flat metal spatula to lift them off after baking.
Cleaning them was easy and they stayed sturdy throughout testing.
Price at time of publish: $27 for 8oz in white
Material: Ceramic | Weight: 2.72 pounds | Dimensions: 4.4 x 4.4 x 2 inches | Capacity: 8 ounces
You’ll see silicone soufflé dishes and ramekins out there—Gold doesn’t recommend them. “Soufflés just don’t seem to rise as evenly or high in silicone,” says Gold.
Best Nesting: Judy Jackson Stoneware Oval Nesting Ramekins
Includes a range of sizes
Only one of each size
Do not retain heat
Nesting ramekins are genius—you get a range of sizes for various needs, and they fit snugly together for compact storage. These eye-catching dishes are made by hand in Long Island City, New York. The finish is mostly smooth, but you will find a somewhat rustic edge that shows off the fact that it is a hand-crafted piece with individual character. We tested these ramekins for a variety of things in the kitchen. From whisking eggs in the largest bowl and using it as a container for Buddha bowls to making coddled eggs and souffles in the smallest one and everything in between.
The beautiful colors in these are fun and add an element of charm especially when used for salads, dips and serving snacks. In our tests we found it easier to lift these off from a Bain-Maire with a strong flat metal spatula because the sides of the dishes are smooth. We noticed that these ramekins did not retain heat well and got super-hot in the microwave. We made cheese souffles in the smallest one and the largest one. In both ramekins, the souffles rose evenly with the center cooked to desired doneness. The ramekins are dishwasher safe, and we ran them through the dishwasher multiple times without any chips, but they lost some sheen. They are easy to hand wash.
Material: Stoneware | Weight: 3 pounds 14 ounces | Dimensions: 6 x 2 inches, 5 x 2 inches; 4 x 2 inches, 3 x 2 inches
Best Decorative: The Pioneer Woman Flea Market 4-Inch Ramekin Set
Comes in a set of eight
Microwave- and dishwasher-safe
Matches other dinnerware
Not freezer safe
If you like to use ramekins for serving nuts, fruit, or other small snacks, this set of eight is a great option. The decorative design is a treat to look at, but these ramekins are more than beautiful—they’re made of durable stoneware that makes them extremely practical, too. In addition to serving snacks, condiments, dips and arranging our mise en place, we were able to whip up cheese souffles and mini chicken pot pies. We also tested these to make microwave mug cakes, crème brulee and baked eggs.
We noticed that the microwave mug cakes did not dry out much in these ramekins. They were able to retain moisture and made the mug cakes a real treat. During the oven tests for baked eggs the ramekins baked evenly. We found that the outer edges cooked fast leaving the center a tad undercooked in case of souffles. And waiting for things to cook through in the center slightly dried out the outer edges. The fluted edges helped with placing puff pastry atop the ramekins for chicken pot pies and the pot pies cooked through in the stipulated time.
The ramekins are smooth, and we thought we might have trouble lifting them out of steaming water. The fluted edge atop the ramekins helped us get them out safely. They were easy to load in the dishwasher and throughout testing did not chip or lose their shine.
Price at time of publish: $22
Material: Stoneware | Weight: 5.34 pounds | Dimensions: 9.84 x 7.48 x 5.12 Inches | Capacity: 7 ounces
Best Stacking: Sweese Porcelain Ramekin Set
Durable and chip-resistant
Available in many colors
Lower capacity than advertised
These souffle dishes stack neatly for convenient storage. In our tests, we were able to hold on securely while stacking 3 or 4 dishes together. They did not wobble even when we moved the stacks around to test. We were able to stack all 6, but we had to really pay attention while stacking on the last two. We noticed that while these dishes can hold 8 ounces, they filled up right to the brim. Once filled they were difficult to move without spilling. At 7.5 ounces, they were full and easy to move.
We tested these by making single-serving chicken pot pies, baked eggs, cheese souffle and crème brulee. The size was generous enough for a chicken pot pie and the cheese souffle. It was rather large for the crème brulee even though we didn’t fill the dish to capacity. The dishes cooked through and did not scorch at the edges or leave the middle undercooked. The crème brulee also cooked well and made a rather generous portion. They were easy to lift off when hot because of the ridges.
Washing and storing these was easy as they are dishwasher safe. They are durable and feel sturdy.
Price at time of publish: $20 for 8oz in white
Material: Porcelain | Weight: 8 ounces | Dimensions: 15.39 x 5.08 x 5.08 inches | Capacity: 7.5 ounces
Best Mini: DOWAN 4-Ounce Ramekins
Good size for mini servings
Colors slightly off from advertised
Sometimes only a tiny ramekin will do, especially when it comes to the decadent desserts these little dishes are so ideal for. A portion of rich chocolate mousse can seem a bit scant in a bigger vessel, such as a 6- or 8-ounce ramekin, but in these right-sized dishes, they feel more abundant without bringing on bellyaches from too much dessert.
The Dowan 4-ounce ramekins are true to the capacity. We were able to fill these with 4 ounces of liquid with room to spare. We used these to serve nuts, olives and dips and they worked fabulously for single portions of oeufs en cocotte and crème brulee. They baked evenly and retained heat. The classic style made an elegant presentation on charcuterie board. We noticed that these were a bit smaller for savory soufflé dishes because we wanted something with a bit more capacity, but they worked well for decadent chocolate soufflé. In both sweet and savory soufflé applications, the batter rose evenly and did not dry out.
These ramekins stacked well and since they are small, we used them a lot for of mise en place, especially with herbs and spices. They were easy to clean with no chips or any signs of wear throughout the testing.
Price at time of publish: $15 for 4oz in white
Material: Porcelain | Weight: 2.83 pounds | Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.7 inches | Capacity: 4 ounces
Best for Crème Brulee: DOWAN 6-Ounce Square Ramekins
Fun square shape
Smaller capacity than advertised
The Dowan square ramekins have modern straight lines, square shape, and relatively smaller size. We found these very handy for food prep and for serving individual portions of dips, desserts, and nibbles. The ramekins stack well, so we were able to keep them in the kitchen cupboard to retrieve whenever needed. We particularly liked using these for making crème Brulee as the wider dimension and shorter height allowed for a good, caramelized sugar to custard ratio. We noticed that the ramekins could hold 5 ounces of liquid and not the 6 as the brand mentions. The liquids spilled over after 5.25 ounces.
We liked how versatile these ramekins are. We took them straight from the freezer to the oven and they held out well. The heat distribution is even and everything we baked in these turned out how it was supposed to.
We tested them for their higher temperature range of 500 °F and broiled portions of vegetable and cheese casseroles. One thing to note is that the Ramekins are flat and with straight edges, so they are not easy to grab from a bain-marie. We used a strong metal flat spatula to lift them off instead of tons or mittens. The ramekins are durable, and cleaning was easy. They are dishwasher safe, and they fit easily into any nooks or crannies of the loading racks if we had a particularly large load of dishes to wash.
Price at time of publish: $23
Material: Porcelain | Weight: 2.8 pounds | Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches | Capacity: 5 ounces
If you’re looking for the very best ramekin and are willing to invest, go with the French-made Emile Henry Ramekin set. On a budget? The Prepworks by Progressive Porcelain Stacking Ramekins won’t let you down.
What to Look for in a Ramekin
Though ceramic is generally the most common material, ramekins also come in porcelain, stoneware, glass, and even stainless steel. While any of these materials are fine options for mise en place or serving small snacks or condiments, ceramic and stoneware are generally the best options for versatility, since they hold up to higher heat and are largely more durable.
Some recipes require depth (souffle or mini chicken pot pie, for example), while others require width (crème brûlée , for example). Consider what you’ll most frequently be using the ramekins for before purchasing. If you’re unsure, a 6- or 8-ounce ramekin is a nice, versatile option.
Because many ramekins come in sets, you’ll have multiple small dishes to store. Look for ramekins that stack neatly, so you don’t end up with a precarious tower or a whole shelf clogged with small dishes. Also, consider whether the ramekin of your choice is microwave- and dishwasher-safe to make reheating and cleaning a breeze.
1) What can you use ramekins for?
You can use the humble ramekin for a wide range of things. Use these small, but mighty dishes for prep work to keep your ingredients portioned and close at hand, to serve condiments or small snacks like nuts, or to cook side dishes like individual portions of mac and cheese, main dishes like mini chicken pot pie, or desserts like chocolate lava cake.
2) Are ramekins oven-safe?
The vast majority of ramekins are oven-safe, but you should always check the specific product for information about their heat-resistance.
3) Can you put ramekins in an Instant Pot or air fryer?
If your ramekins are oven-safe, they can go in the Instant Pot or air fryer. Just make sure to compare the temperature threshold on the product you’re using with the temperature required for your recipe.
4) How high should you fill souffle ramekins?
It’s smart to consult your specific recipe, since some souffles rise more than others, but in general, you should fill the ramekin no more than ¾ of the way.
5) What size ramekin should you use for crème brûlée?
Again, this largely varies based on the exact recipe you’re using, but in general, crème brûlée requires a wider, shallower ramekin.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Joy Manning is a food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. She’s the author of Almost Meatless and Stuff Every Cook Should Know. For additional research, she interviewed Chef Kathy Gold, owner of In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, NJ.
This roundup was updated by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of articles in the food space for various publications over the course of the last ten years. Brigitt also attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC and regularly uses ramekins for everything from prepping to serving to cooking.