Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is such an easy thing to make and delicious on just about everything! It’s sweet, tart and so much better when it’s homemade!

Lemon Curd

Easy homemade lemon curd

How to use lemon curd

Lemon curd is a tasty addition to many things. It’s great for dipping shortbread cookies in, adding to yogurt or pancakes, or baking with. I’ve used it in multiple cakes, including a Lemon Cake with Lemon Bavarian Cream and a Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake. It’s great as a filling in these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. And it’s awesome on this Lemon Meringue Cheesecake and Mini Lemon Raspberry Cheesecakes. The possibilities are endless!

And if you’re going to have lemon curd, it should definitely be homemade! It always makes me sad when I hear of someone using store-bought lemon curd. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it just isn’t the same. It doesn’t have nearly the same flavor. If you’ve never made it before, you seriously have to try it. You will never buy it pre-made again.

How to make easy lemon curd

So now that you’re convinced of how you have to make this lemon curd, let’s talk about what goes into making it. It’s only 5 ingredients and two of them come from lemons, so it’s really like 4. Lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and some butter – that’s it!

Naturally the lemon juice and lemon zest give the lemon curd it’s tart, lemony flavor. The sugar adds the sweet element. The egg yolks thicken the mixture and are what really adds that extra pop of flavor, in my opinion. No whole eggs here, just the yolks. They really accentuate the lemon, making this the BEST lemon curd. The butter also adds a little flavor.

lemon curd in sealed jarfavorite lemon curd

All the ingredients are cooked over a double boiler. You could also place a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water if you don’t have a double boiler (which is what I do). The reason for this method of cooking is so that you don’t cook the eggs too quickly and end up with scrambled eggs. That would not be good.

You want to heat the mixture until it’s nice and thickened. You can eyeball it and see that it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, or use a thermometer to see when it reaches 160 degrees. I personally like the thermometer. It helps to make sure that it’s hot enough for the eggs to be safe to eat, but not so hot that it ends up too thick.

The final lemon curd is pure heaven. While I tend to use it in desserts, it’s truly a task to not just eat it all with a spoon. And it’s so easy to make, you can whip it together whenever you feel like a nice lemony treat! Time to go grab a bunch of lemons!

Best lemon curd recipe

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Easy Lemon Curd on spoon
Recipe

Lemon Curd

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time
  • Yield: 3/4 cup
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This lemon curd is such an easy thing to make and delicious on just about everything! It’s sweet, tart and so much better when it’s homemade!


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice (about 12 lemons)
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup (69g) sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp (42g) salted butter

Instructions

1. Combine all the ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees, or coats the back of a spoon.
2. Pour the lemon curd into a heat proof bowl, cover with clear wrap pressed onto the the top of the curd to avoid a film developing, and refrigerate until cold.
3. Serve with your desired treat. Lemon curd is best when well covered and consumed within 1-2 weeks.


Keywords: Lemon curd

Enjoy!

collage of lemon curd

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Recipe rating

126 Comments
  1. Allison G. Lewis

    I never knew lemon curd was so easy!! I use this between the layers of my gluten free coconut cake at Easter (which has become a recent tradition!) and absolutely love it! Thank you!

  2. Claire

    Just WOW… I’ve made this recipe a few times now and it’s amazing. I never actually looked at how much it made as I put it in several little jars for friends, can you tell me what this recipe would yield in a gram jar as I need to make quite a few full size jars for friends and I want to be able to buy the correct amount of ingredients. Thank you so much 😊 

      1. Lindsay

        Where do you live? I know outside of the U.S., cup measurements aren’t common. But here, we have actual measuring cups to measure with, which is what I’m referring to.

  3. Annie Green

    This is amazing curd and one of the best recipes I have experimented with.
    Can you bottle the lemon curd and place jar into a water bath to preserve the curd and therefore keep it unrefrigerated for longer shelf life?

    1. Lindsay

      I can’t say I know much about canning it. I’d think it’d need to be refrigerated. So glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Christine

    OMG this was absolutely delicious with my blueberry scones.  Do you mind if I link this recipe when I post my blueberry scone recipe on my website?  I will ABSOLUTELY give you the credit and post a link to this recipe.  Everyone needs to know how to make your lemon curd!  It is SO TASTY!

  5. Distracted Baker

    Great recipe, thank you. The only issue I have is the cuisine is stated as American, when lemon curd originates from the 19th century in the UK so is very much British! 😉

  6. Mercy Paniyur

    Raspberry curd is really rapsberry jam. Technically you cant make raspberry or berry curds because they have structure and substance when mashed to constitute the bulk of the spread. In other words, you cant mash a whole lemon, only the juice. Which necessitates the addition of eggs to make it a spreadable custard like consistency. Berries do not require eggs since they have enough fiber and structure. In short, there are no such berry curds, only berry jams. Addings eggs. which are essential to curds, is impossible to berries.

    1. Treaoney

      Berry curds are possible, I live in Cornwall UK and we have a small company down here that makes raspberry curd, strawberry curd, rhubarb curd, even marshmallow curd and they are all awesome.

  7. Mercy Paniyur

    Besides the easy recipe, the thing that caught my attention the most was the Scripture on the right. Not many people would put that so boldy. I take it you are a Bible believing born again Christian?

  8. Stacey @simplystaceynicole

    I’m on a lemon kick and have been making anything lemon! One thing I was missing was a delicious lemon curd. But atlas I found it! Easy and amazing! Love sitting and eating it with a spoon! 🙂

  9. Kirsty Smith

    I’ve just made this! I couldn’t resist a little taste before it set. Oh my goodness! Heavenly! And so easy to make! Thank you x

  10. Macy

    Made this to top my pavlova. Awesome recipe, delicious! Tangy, sweet and tart all at the same time. Personally, I prefer lemon desserts to be extra tangy; to tweak it to your liking add a little extra lemon juice and hold a tad of the sugar. Would recommend using this recipe and website to friends and family. Well done 🙂

  11. Sandi

    Loved this recipe!!  Made another once before from a well-known cook and it was way too sweet!  Tossed it. Yours is wonderful. Seems like it would make a great lemon meringue pie. Just wondering if it would need some additional thickener so it would stand up firm. 

  12. Cathy

    I just found this and plan to try in the next couple of days. I noticed that several people asked about canning it. I have done so in the past (Christmas presents) and it was fine. Just do as you would any other jelly/jam. I processed it for about 10 min. I also used 4oz jars for gifting.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you can and it does need to be refrigerated. It should be fine in the fridge for about 2-3 months prior to opening it.

  13. Adrianne Daley

    Lindsay, I just love your recipes. Unfortunately, I have a hard time reading the ingredients due to the positioning of all the adds. They end up rt in the middle of the ingredients list. Is there any way to stop that from happening??

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad to hear you enjoy the recipes but I’m sorry you’re having trouble reading them. Are you using a mobile device or a desktop?

  14. Jacqueline

    Lovely. Lemon curd makes me think of my Momma, so always bring me joy!  Love how simple this recipe is. 

  15. Genie

    Just made this lemon curd! Perfect for cake filling and bursting with flavor! This one’s a keeper! Wish I could share a pic🍋

  16. Kacie

    i substituted orange for the lemon ingredients and it made a delicious orange curd. i then mixed it into a basic mousse recipe. it was amazing. i love your recipes they are all so reliable!!!!

  17. Liana B

    OMG Just made this and it is delicious!  I was looking for a blood orange curd to use 7 egg yolks I had left from a pav (which it is going on) I doubled the recipe plus added a splash of fresh lemon/lime juice as was a bit sweet for me
    My trick is I make this in 1 plastic mixing bowl in the microwave and whisking at shorter periods as it gets hot (slight bubbles near the top – every 15 secs)   

      1. Jo

        I am just about to make this recipe but if I want to put it in jars should I put it in hot like other preserves/jams or should I wait for it to cool?

      2. Lindsay

        If you’re wanting it to keep for longer and seal in the jar, I would add it while it’s hot.

  18. Nadira Doddemeade

    Thanks Lindsay… just whipped this today and it turned out super duper delicious. Well have to get more chooks to hatch eggs and churn the butter. This will be in the fridge but have to hide it away from hubby as he gets into it like magic! Will try more of your recipes and once again thanks for sharing.

  19. Christina

    This was so good and so much easier to make than I thought! I froze it for about two weeks because I needed it for a wedding reception and I didn’t want to take a chance at keeping it in fridge over a week (I think I would have eaten it all). Once thawed and stirred, it was just like I had made it that day. It’s important to put the clear wrap over it to keep it from getting the ‘filmy crust’.

    Definitely going into the keep pile!!!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12