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

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
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

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

Recipe rating

126 Comments
  1. Danielle R.

    I was wondering if you could freeze this recipe for later use? I absolutely loved it and want to make alot more at once.

  2. Esther James

    Honestly the easiest recipe I’ve come across and the most delicious!!!! The only thing I tweaked was that I strained the curd before wrapping and cooling it but sooooo good!! 5 stars! 🙂

  3. Jan

    I will never buy lemon curd again! This was so easy to make and so delicious. I’m so glad I found your recipe. I can’t wait to put on toast or biscuits. I like how someone mentioned donuts. I may have to bake some 🙂

  4. Mia Martinez

    I’m looking forward to making this recipe however because I have so many lemons, I’d like to make several… what would you say is the shelf life if unopened and what would be the best way to store them, pantry, fridge or freezer?

  5. Lily

    I love this recipe so much!! I prefer desserts with lemon in them to be less sweet so I can taste the tanginess of the lemon more and this one is just perfect! I’ve been using your site (and only your site, I trust that your recipes are always going to be delicious and they never fail!) for over a year now and I love every single one of them! I’m making the rose water cake for an engagement party on Friday and your raspberry almond cake for another event on Saturday! I make one of your cakes every other Friday for a get together with our neighbours and you should see their faces every time they bite into one of your cakes! It makes me feel like a professional baker. 😉 

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes! 

  6. B

    Excellent recipe! Replaced the butter with vegan butter and worked a treat- nice and thick and tangy 👌🏼

  7. Roberta Vella

    Made this lemon curd today – excellent! Easy recipe too. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. Sarah

    I absolutely love this recipe.  Thank you!  It has made my lemon macarons famous.  I’m looking to do a raspberry curd and can’t find one with this wonder consistency (they are all runny).  How would you recommend transforming this for raspberry? Just cut the lemon juice, but leave the zest?

    1. Lindsay

      Hmm, I haven’t made a raspberry curd before. I’d only leave the lemon zest if you want it to have some lemon flavor to it. Otherwise just add some raspberry puree in place of the lemon juice. I would think that’d work alright.

  9. H

    Amazing recipe! Can’t wait to try it!
    However I do have a question: does butter and sugar make the curd thicker or thinner?

  10. MLiss Hinshaw

    I made your lemon curd recipe and it was easy and delicious. I used it in making King Arthur Flour’s Braided Lemon Bread and it came out perfect!

  11. Sarah Carroll

    Homemade lemon curd is one of my favorite sweets to make, and it’s a challenge to resist eating it all with a spoon! 🙂 I began making a lemon cheesecake last summer that calls for lemon curd in the filling and as a topping. I decided to add fresh blueberries to the top as well. It has quickly become one of my favorite cheesecakes. You said it well – homemade lemon curd is “pure heaven.” I plan to try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing! (I just started following you on IG recently and am so incredibly impressed with your beautiful dessert. I want to make them all! 🙂

  12. Kay

    I want to “can” this. If I pour it in pint jars while it’s still hot, and the jars seal properly, do you think this would be ok?

  13. Peggy

    This recipe also works wonderfully as a filling for lemon donuts! Super simple and quick, perfect to make during the first rising stage!

  14. Angie

    I just made this. Yum!  It’s cooling as we speak and is going between cake layers. The only thing I did different was, I used the “Salad In A Jar Microwave Custard” cooking method. Took 3-4 minutes stirring briskly with a whisk every 50-60 seconds until it started to poof up…then every 15-20 seconds or so until thick. Turned out great!  Thanks!

      1. Angie

        The lemon cake with lemon curd turned out so good, that my son and sister-in-law both requested it again for their birthdays. Sister-in-law has always wanted (and got) fruit tartlets, she said no more. Lemon curd cake from now on. Thank you!

  15. Marlos Carson

    I have never used Lemon curd but love lemons. I made this and just love,it. I put it in my Lemon Blueberry Cake. Absolutely Delish. Thanks

  16. Pamela Contreras

    Lemon curd is one of my favorite a bit I never knew how to make it…I just made this recipe ..it was easy as pie which is exactly where I’m putting this wonderful easy and smooth lemon curd…I’ll never go back to store bought again..Thanks so much for sharing this simple tasty recipe

      1. Holly

        I made this today for the first time and it’s so amazing! I had never made curd like this so I didn’t know what to expect, but my goodness is it delicious! And I love the one bowl method, so easy! I’ve been snacking on it just with a spoon all day.

  17. Joanna

    I will be making this lemon curd to put in my homemade greek ytogurt, but have two questions. The receipe states yield as 3/4 cup. I anticipate needing more. Can I just double the recipe without any complications? And, when adding to my yogurt, do you suggest whisking into the yogurt prior to putting it in my yogurt containers, or putting it in the bottom of the containers and mixing just prior to eating?
    I am a lemonhead and look forward to making this recipe!!

  18. Margaret

    Can anyone tell me how long it takes (roughly) to cook the curd? I don’t have a thermometer, and I don’t think I’ll be very good at “eyeballing” since I’ve never made it before. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      It should take about 10 minutes to cook, or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, plus cooling time.

  19. Becki

    jANUARY 6TH 2019 Just whipped up a batch. Lemon curd was on my baking bucket list for years and scared to do it. I just cannot believe how easy this was. Kind of embarrassing really. Amazing and super delish. Cooling now…can’t wait to grab a spoon and dive right in! Thank you! Make it fellow lemonheads, don’t hesitate.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you got to try it! It’d definitely one of those things that seems intimidating, but is actually pretty simple. 🙂

  20. Stephanie Durnin

    Thanks Lindsay Xx really enjoyed, loved it so much!! Couldn’t take my hands off it!!

  21. sue

    Really good. I’m English and we always used this on toast for breakfast. I’m going to have to make more!!

  22. Petals

    Hi Lindsay, thank you for many recipes and your videos.  Could you please let me know how long I can leave a lemon curd filled cake out of the refrigerator.  Thank you

  23. Sherry Talcott

    Love this recipe site! I was wondering if this Lemon Curd can be used in a Lemon Meringue pie, and also as a filling between layers of cakes?? I’ve never had this before and it sounds so yummy! Keep up the great work …… love your recipes!! Sincerely, Sherry

    1. Lindsay

      I would think it could be fine in lemon meringue pie and it definitely can be a filling between cake layers. If you look at the section “How to use lemon curd” underneath the second photo, I link to several recipes where I use it. I hope that helps! Thanks!

      1. Karen

        I grew up eating Birthday Cakes from Bakery that had lemon filling inside between layers, buttercream topping !! So good, this is what I am going to make! Thank you, looks so good & sounds easy!!

  24. Lynne Grabowski

    Delicious!! I have taken this and made lemon mousse, too. For those lemonheads…like me..this recipe is a must!!! BTW…I love all your recipes, and the beautiful pictures to accompany the recipes!!!❤️

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