white chocolate lemon truffles


A few years ago, I spent a couple of weeks working in Davis, California. I loved Davis. I stayed in a bed and breakfast near the university, right near Davis’ cute little downtown. There were all kinds of great restaurants nearby, including Ciocolat, a dessert café. I made a point to stop by there almost every day. And with minimal guilt, because I spent several hours every day walking around UC-Davis’s beautiful arboretum.


Ciocolat seems to specialize in truffles, which aren’t really my thing. I’d much rather eat chocolate once it’s mixed with eggs and butter and some flour and then baked. But I did love their lemon truffles. Smooth, creamy, not too sweet, and intensely lemony, I’ve been wanting to re-create them since, but I haven’t been able to find a recipe that seemed similar.


The only recipes I’ve found for lemon truffles include white chocolate, which I don’t remember the Ciocolat’s lemon truffle having. It recently occurred to me to look at their menu online, where I saw that it did include white chocolate. Perhaps a white chocolate lemon truffle recipe was exactly what I needed then.


The one I tried wasn’t difficult or too time-consuming. The only challenge is working with the white chocolate. I always seem to have problems with it, even when I follow the basic white chocolate rules of using a good brand (Callebaut in this case) and not overheating it. I took the white chocolate off of the heat when it was about half melted and stirred until the rest melted, and it still showed signs of breaking.


It seemed to work out in the end though. The only problem is that they’re not near as lemony as I’d like. The dominant flavor is definitely white chocolate. I’m not sure how to get more lemon flavor in them. Steep the zest in the cream longer? Use more zest? I considered adding more lemon juice, but I’m worried that would affect the texture too much. Substitute butter for some of the white chocolate? I’m thinking there might be some relevant tricks in Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Cream Tart recipe, but I don’t have any specific ideas.


One year ago: Risotto with Peas

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles (adapted from Global Gourmet)

Makes 2-3 dozen

⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
grated zest of 1 lemon
9 ounces best-quality white chocolate, very finely chopped
pinch salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar

1. In a small, heavy, nonaluminum saucepan, combine heavy cream and lemon zest. Heat on medium heat until cream comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover tightly and allow to stand 20 minutes at room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, combine white chocolate, salt, and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. When cream has stood 20 minutes, remove cover. Reheat the cream mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer again. Strain cream through a fine-meshed strainer into the white chocolate mixture. Press down on the lemon zest left in the strainer to extract all of the liquid from it.

3. Melt the chocolate mixture in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring frequently, until just it’s just over half melted. Remove it from the heat and the hot water. Continue stirring until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. (Note: White chocolate, even of excellent quality, can be stubborn about melting. If there are small lumps of white chocolate in your truffle base, transfer the truffle base to a food processor fitted with a steel blade; process at high speed just until smooth.) Stir in lemon juice. Chill at least 4 hours.

4. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, form balls of about 1 inch diameter from the cold truffle base. Roll in granulated sugar until well-coated. Continue until all base is used.

5. Store truffles airtight in refrigerator for up to one week; freeze for longer storage. To serve, remove from refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving time.



  1. They definitely DID work out in the end!!! Magnificent.

  2. These look so good. I wish I had seen these before making up the other 3 types for our gift tins.

  3. They look wonderful! Davis is such a great little town, glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Ooh, those truffle pics are just lovely. Experimenting with chocolate is always difficult, especially when it comes to dealing with additional liquid. Maybe more lemon zest is the key. You could try rubbing the sugar in it till it turns yellow 🙂

  5. Well regardless of the dominatn white chocolate flavor (which choc tends to do that, you’d have to add a LOT more lemon zest), they look and sound absolutely fabulous!! 🙂

  6. joelen says:

    These look wonderful and its refreshing to see a white chocolate truffle amidst so many chocolate truffles this time of year!

  7. I love white chocolate! And it sounds delicious with lemon. Your pictures look lighter than air – beautiful!

  8. These look delightful!

  9. Tracey says:

    I saw these on Tastespotting and instantly clicked to your site. These are lovely! With regards to these not being lemony enough…maybe next time you could try using “lemon emulsion” instead of the lemon juice? You can order it from the King Arthur website. I’ve used it and it’s very good and VERY strong. I’d start with about half the amount (1 teaspoon), taste and then go from there. Thanks for sharing the recipe and beautiful pictures!

  10. These look just beautiful. I mean, really gorgeous. Maybe you could try lemon extract for a little more lemony kick. That’s why I use in my lemon butter cream. Just a thought! Excellent work, though!

  11. Those look absolutely incredible! Thank you for sharing.

  12. elisfoods says:

    These look amazing! I must give them a try! Thanks for sharing!



  13. What a wonderful recipe and beautiful pictures. This is a fantastic post!

  14. ooh, my mom would LOVE these 🙂

  15. The sweet white chocolate and tart lemon would make a great combo!

  16. bakingforthecure says:

    Sounds like a delicious combination, and looks beautiful!

  17. How about coating the truffles with lemon zest sugar? That would up the citrus taste – you could infuse the sugar for about a day beforehand

  18. These look wonderful! For an easy intense lemon flavor, I’d add a teaspoon of lemon oil.

  19. Yum! These look great. Your blog is wonderful… love the photographs and want to make about 90% of everything on here!

  20. Beautiful photographs.
    Both Butlers and Thorntons chocolates that we stock in our shop include a white chocolate lemon truffle – they are always popular! Would be interesting to try this out and compare.

  21. I like how these look like snowballs :)! The combination of lemon and white chocolate sounds tasty.

  22. I just found this post by googling lemon & chocolate recipe. Oddly enough, I live in Davis, CA and pass Cicolat every day on my way to and from work. So, I guess I’ll make the truffles before trying their version.

  23. Ashley says:

    Have you tried using “True Lemon” crystals?
    They are pretty strong, and lack and the bulk and liquid to mess up the recipe. They might be just what you need.

    Alternatively, you can cut up some lemons and put them in a jar of sugar to seep up the goodness. Then use that as your “Lemon Sugar”.

  24. I know I am just a few years late but I came across this looking for lemon and white chocolate truffles. i think what can help you make the truffles more lemony would be a few drops of lemon oil. It was made of all the oil from lemon zest and is crazy powerful. I hope this helps.

  25. I made these truffles to add to my Christmas truffle tins this year, and they turned out wonderfully! I love the fresh lemon flavor and the sugar coating. Thanks!

  26. Michelle says:

    This recipe looks scrumptious! I am going to try it. You can definately get more lemon flavor by using a few drops of a food grade lemon oil such as Lorann or Boyajian. I use the oil for every lemon recipe I make. I also have an orange oil which would make a great orange truffle.

  27. Could you thumb a hollow in the chocolate, add a tart lemon curd, curl the white chocolate too cover and then roll the chocolate?

  28. julie says:

    Problems with white chocolate? I was having an issue for awhile too, but after a few trial and errors, I have it mastered. First off, Ghiradelli White Chocolate melting wafers are the creamiest white chocolate I’ve came across that isn’t outragously expensive. (Ghiradelli makes white chocolate chips too, but the melting wafers are creamier yet!) Second, I add paramount crystals to the melted chocolate to thin it out. Makes your chocolate go a long way and doesn’t over power the truffle. (Crisco works too, I prefer paramount crystals). Second: DON’T BUY A CANDY MELTER!! They suck! I use my crock pot with four mason jars for 4 different colors. ( I actually use my electric fry pan on low with water because it’s not as deep.) I use metal kebab skewers as my stir sticks. It’s fast and clean up is a breeze. Just pull the jars out of the hot water, dry with a towel, and let it harden again before covering with the jar covers and store for next time. (make sure the chocolate cools completely before covering so condensation doesn’t build up and ruin your chocolate). I have never had a white chocolate problem since! I have also used bulk white chocolate bark that they sell in the grocery stores during the holidays and the results are the same, maybe slightly less creamy than Ghiradelli, but still good.

  29. Rebajoe says:

    I like to try about 1/2 tsp of unsweetened lemonade flavored Kool Aid powder mixed in with the rolling sugar (powdered or granulated)…you can adjust it to your taste,,,from mildly lemony to unbearable pucker ups!!! Love your site.


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