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Lemon Drop Pudding Shots

Lemon drop pudding shots are a fun twist on the classic lemon drop shot recipe in the form of a creamy, citrusy dessert. They’re so tasty!

I’ve professed my love for pudding shots quite openly for a long time. They make the perfect, tiny boozy dessert, and everyone always loves them at a party.

This recipe for lemon drop pudding shots is inspired by my favorite shooter back in my college days – the lemon drop shot! All the lemon flavor, in a more sophisticated package.

Lemon Drop Pudding Shots | Recipe from The Sweetest Occasion

After one taste of these babies you’ll probably be making these again and again. They’re a dessert lover’s twist on the classic vodka lemon drop shot.

They’re incredibly delicious but won’t make you feel like you’re in college getting wild on a weeknight. (Be careful though because these will sneak up on you!)

Lemon Drop Pudding Shots | Recipe from The Sweetest Occasion

Lemon Drop Pudding Shot Ingredients

To make these refreshing and delicious lemon drop pudding shots, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Instant lemon pudding – In order for pudding shots to set up properly, you’ll need to make sure to get the instant pudding package versus the cooked pudding package.
  • Whipped topping – This dessert shooter recipe requires whipped topping, such as Cool Whip, not traditional whipped cream.
  • Milk – Be sure to use the measurements in the recipe below, not the measurements called for on the pudding packaging.
  • Vodka – You can use unflavored, citrus or vanilla vodka for these lemon drop shooters.
  • Whipped cream – Before serving, top the shooters with whipped cream or additional whipped topping.
  • Lemon gummy candies – Garnish everything with lemon gummy candies or with candied lemon peel.

Lemon Drop Pudding Shots | Recipe from The Sweetest Occasion

Lemon Drop Pudding Shots | Recipe from The Sweetest Occasion

How to Make Pudding Shots

Making pudding shots is just as easy as making a traditional instant pudding mix, with a few small changes. Be sure to note the amounts of milk and vodka in the recipe below before mixing.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, you’ll add the instant pudding mix, milk and vodka. Do not use the milk specified on the pudding package, instead use the measurements in the recipe below.
  • Set the mixing bowl aside and allow the pudding mixture to set until slightly thickened, generally about five minutes or so.
  • Gently fold in the whipped topping. Do not mix too vigorously or the mixture will get overly runny.
  • Divide the pudding mixture into shot glasses, small jars or the plastic shot glasses with lids commonly used to make Jell-O shots for parties.
  • Place the shooters in the freezer and allow them to chill for at least 30 minutes. When possible I like to leave them even longer, for a few hours or even overnight, for a frozen, creamy consistency.
  • Just before serving, top each pudding shot with whipped cream (or whipped topping) and a slice of lemon gummy candy, or even candied lemon peel. 

Lemon Drop Pudding Shots | Recipe from The Sweetest Occasion

Pudding Shot Recipes

I don’t know what it is about these little things but they are some kind of amazing. I also love the strawberry cheesecake pudding shots that started my pudding shot craze.

My s’mores pudding shots are also pretty amazing. You can also make them without alcohol as a fun family-friendly dessert, too.

Likewise, these tasty butterscotch pudding shots are always a huge hit. The butterscotch spice flavor is incredible, especially topped with ginger snap cookies.

In general, these festive little shooters are always perfect for serving up on a platter after dinner at a summer barbecue or any party or holiday celebration.

Lemon Drop Pudding Shot | Recipe from The Sweetest Occasion

Do You Freeze Pudding Shots?

I suggest that all pudding shots be chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to help them firm up. This gives them the best, creamiest texture.

With these lemon drop shots, I prefer them frozen as they take on a delicious ice cream-like consistency that is really incredible.

Additionally you can make them ahead and store in the freezer to enjoy whenever you like or to prep them in advance for a party.

[Recipe + photography by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

Lemon Drop Pudding Shots

Lemon Drop Pudding Shots

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes


  • (1) 3 oz package of instant lemon pudding
  • (1) 8 oz tub of whipped topping
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 2/3 cup of vodka
  • Lemon gummy candies, to garnish
  • Whipped cream or whipped topping, for serving


    1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the pudding mix, milk and vodka.
    2. Mix until well combined, per the package instructions, subbing out the above milk and vodka for the milk called for on the package.
    3. Allow the pudding mixture to sit until slightly thickened, about five minutes, then gently fold in the whipped topping.
    4. Spoon into small shot glasses or jars and place in the freezer.
    5. Allow pudding shots to chill for 30+ minutes or even overnight.
    6. To serve, top with whipped cream or whipped topping and lemon gummy candies.

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Tina Passalacqua

Sunday 14th of July 2024

Can they be made without the vodka?

Cyd Converse

Monday 15th of July 2024

Hi Tina! Absolutely they could be. At that point I would suggest using the normal pudding instructions to ensure they set properly. I hope this helps!


Friday 21st of July 2023

Will they set if I upped the amount of vodka?

Cyd Converse

Thursday 3rd of August 2023

I haven't tried it with more and I'm afraid they might not, but give it a whirl and report back! I'd love to know how it works for you.


Monday 1st of August 2022

Hi!!! I have Coconut Rum. Would that work instead of Vodka?! Obvious flavor change but would you ever? 🙃

Cyd Converse

Sunday 30th of October 2022

Yes! I think that would be delicious!


Friday 3rd of July 2020

Hi! Is the pudding box the 3 or 6 oz?


Saturday 25th of May 2019

Can you freeze the Iemon drops pudding shot desserts

Cyd Converse

Tuesday 28th of May 2019

You sure can, Di, and they are AMAZING that way!

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