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 Kathy Gold, chef and owner of In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, New Jersey. 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.
Our home tester put 8 popular ramekins to the test. She not only tested them by making soufflés, crème brûlées, and baked eggs, but also checked that the capacity is what the manufacturer states and how they held up to stacking. Then she assessed each set on its design, capacity, durability, and value.
Ahead, the best soufflé dishes and ramekins on the market.
Emile Henry 8.5-Ounce Ramekin Set
Comes in multiple colors
Great heat retention during testing
Holds up to high temperatures
No lid or handles
This set of two ramekins will make a special addition to your cookware collection. Made in France from high-fired Burgundian 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, so we were able to bake or coddle 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 soufflés due the depth and the large capacity. The heat transferred well and the soufflés cooked through to desired doneness. Our crème brûlée 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. As we tested, we didn’t notice any changes in the gloss, and the set stayed chip-free and scratch-free.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: Ceramic | Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.4 inches | Capacity: 8.5 ounces
"The heat retention in these ramekins allows for even cooking and the food stays warm on the table."
Prepworks by Progressive Porcelain Stacking Ramekins
Ridges help with gripping when hot
No thermal shock during testing
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 soufflés. They withstood the temperature change rather well. The soufflés 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 brûlée and chocolate mousse, and the ridges on the outside helped with gripping. 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 afterward. The finish on the ramekins did vary a lot and some had minor dents at the base and felt rough, but it didn't affect their performance at all!
Price at time of publish: $19
Material: Ceramic | Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.63 inches | Capacity: 5 ounces
"They are super affordable and carry over their usefulness in many areas of kitchen tasks."
Delling Geometric 8-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins
Comes in multiple colors and sizes
Can handle 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. Since 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 soufflés, crème brûlée and apple crumble. The soufflés were evenly cooked, the crème brûlée 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 soufflés. To get around that, we used a flat metal spatula to lift them off after baking. Afterward, cleaning them was easy and they stayed sturdy throughout testing.
Price at time of publish: $27
Material: Ceramic | 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.
The Pioneer Woman Flea Market 4-Inch Ramekin Set
Comes in a set of eight
Microwave-safe 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 soufflés and mini chicken pot pies. We also tested these to make microwave mug cakes, crème brûlée, and baked eggs.
Of those, 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, everything baked evenly. We found that the outer edges of the soufflés cooked fast leaving the center a tad undercooked, but 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 they cooked through in the stipulated time.
The ramekins are smooth, and we thought we might have trouble lifting them out of steaming water, but the fluted edge 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 | Dimensions: 4 x 6 inches | Capacity: 7 ounces
"Although they are not the best dish to make a soufflé in, they are versatile and handle a lot of small batch baking."
Sweese Porcelain Ramekin Set
Durable and chip-resistant
Available in many colors
Lower capacity than advertised
If you need to be able to stack your ramekins when storing, we recommend this Sweese set. In our tests, they were able to securely stack four dishes together, though all six took a little some attention and care. They did not wobble even when we moved the stacks around. These hold 8 ounces filled up right to the brim, but they were difficult to move without spilling, so it's best to cap the capacity at 7.5 ounces.
We tested these by making single-serving chicken pot pies, baked eggs, cheese soufflé and crème brûlée. The size was generous enough for a chicken pot pie and the cheese soufflé, but it was rather large for the crème brûlée, since it 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 brûlée also cooked well and made a rather generous portion regardless. Through all of the tests, the side ridges made these easy to lift off when hot, an added bonus.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: Porcelain | Dimensions: 4 x 2.1 inches | Capacity: 7.5 ounces
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-ounce ramekin, but in these right-sized dishes, they feel more abundant without bringing on bellyaches from too much dessert.
If you're looking for a smaller than regular ramekin, the Dowan 4-ounce ramekins are true to the capacity 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 brûlée. Everything baked evenly and they retained heat, while the classic style made an elegant presentation on the charcuterie board. We noticed that these were a bit smaller for savory soufflé dishes—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
Material: Porcelain | Dimensions: 3.7 x 1.7 inches | Capacity: 4 ounces
"We found ourselves using these for more than baking. They were always out for prepping and for mise en place."
Best for Crème Brûlée
DOWAN 6-Ounce Square Ramekins
Square shape optimizes the caramelized sugar surface
Smaller capacity than advertised
The modern straight lines, square shape, and relatively smaller size of the Dowan square ramekins made these very handy for food prep and serving individual portions of dips, desserts, and nibbles. But we particularly liked using these for making crème brûlée as the wider dimension and shorter height allowed for an amazing caramelized sugar to custard ratio.
We also 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 their higher temperature range of 500 degrees and even successfully broiled portions of vegetable and cheese casseroles. One downside here was that the flatness and straight edges made them hard to grab from a bain-marie, so we used a strong metal flat spatula to lift them up.
The ramekins stack well for keeping in the kitchen cupboard to retrieve whenever needed. We did notice that the ramekins could only hold 5 ounces of liquid and not the 6 as the brand mentions.
Price at time of publish: $23
Material: Porcelain | Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.3 inches | Capacity: 5 ounces
"The square shape is fun and different from usual crème brûlée dishes. They stack easily and take very limited space."
If you’re looking for the very best ramekin and are willing to invest, go with the French-made Emile Henry Ramekin set. Looking for a modern aesthetic with your cookware? Try the Delling Geometric 8-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins.
How We Tested
We sent our top ramekin picks to our home tester to be evaluated side-by-side. Over the course of a few weeks, the ramekins were used in a variety of ways, including for mini soufflés and pot pies, for crème brûlée, for baked eggs, for microwaves cakes, to hold dips and olives, and for general cooking tasks. Each set of dishes was rated on its design, capacity, durability, and overall value. Our tester gave additional insights into each set's strengths and weaknesses and what they are best suited for in your kitchen.
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 (soufflé 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-ounce or 8-ounce ramekin is a nice, versatile option.
Since 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-safe and dishwasher-safe to make reheating and cleaning a breeze.
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 macaroni and cheese, main dishes like mini chicken pot pie, or desserts like chocolate lava cake.
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.
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.
How high should you fill soufflé ramekins?
It’s smart to consult your specific recipe, since some soufflés rise more than others, but in general, you should fill the ramekin no more than three-fourths of the way. If you go higher, you risk overflow during your bake.
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. This allows for the maximum caramelized sugar topping, the funnest part of the dish.
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, New Jersey.
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.
Renu Dhar is a culinary instructor, personal chef, food writer, and product tester. She has tested dozens of products for The Spruce Eats and she personally tested every item on this list.