Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Ramequin, Ramekin dish.


(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin


English Noun




A type of dish




French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.


Saturday, February 5, 2011


Josef & Vlasta Cap
“Vlasta” incised to base
Glazed mould cast slipware bowl with tab handle similar to “Studio Anna” Harlequin colour with gloss glaze, slight speckling to interior
Good. No cracks, chips or crazing. Slight wear to foot with colour partly rubbed off footring
Production Date
Length (with handle)
Here is something for my Slovakian readers. (Yes, I know they are now two countries) The Cap family were part of the great post-war migration from eastern Europe. They arrived in Melbourne from Czechoslovakia in 1951. Josef, born 23 July 1923; his wife Vlasta, born 15 October 1922 and son Miloslav born 9 July 1949.  Josef had trained and worked as a sculptor and ceramic artist for 5 years before being arrested by the Gestapo and put into a camp.  Josef had a school friend who was accused of being a British spy.  In those days, that was enough.  After they released Josef, he re-established his career between 1944 and 1948, Josef and wife Vlasta applied to come to Australia.  Her maiden name was Kratchovil. (Yes, the Ellis Kratchovil) 

Following the war, Josef fell foul of the new communist regime and had to leave the country. Josef had a heart condition and under normal circumstances would have been rejected, but because he was decribed as an expert ceramic worker, he was accepted.  They  came to Australia in 1951 and started a small pottery at 19a Bank Street South Melbourne, Victoria to capitalize on the desperate post-war shortage of homewares and the upcoming Olympic Games in Melbourne 1956. 

The old building is long gone and the site now is used as a car parking garage.  They named their wares “Vlasta” after Mrs Cap, but that name is based on one of the amazons of Czech mythology. The name Vlasta is a girls name. The origin is Slavic with the meaning(s) depending on Gender/Origin being Slavic- Powerful Princess or Glorious Chief. It is the feminine form of Vladyslav.  Vlasta died in Heidelberg, Victoria in 1972 aged 40.

Josef Cap (1950)
Vlasta Cap (1950)
Miloslav (1950)

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