This homemade lemon curd comes together in 10 minutes and with just 5 ingredients! All you need to do is whisk it all together and you'll have a delicious spread to use in so many ways!
To be totally honest, we sometimes eat it with just a spoon instead of using it for whatever recipe it was intended (like this fluffy and gorgeous Angel Food Cake.
What is Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd is a buttery, sweet dessert topping (or spread) that has a lovely tart lemon flavor. You can make it with 5 ingredients with a whisk and a saucepan on your stove top and use it in so many recipes. If you are a lemon fan, this recipe is just for you!
Originally published June 2019 and updated for content May 2022.
Homemade lemon curd is seriously that good! Since we love angel food cake so much, there is usually a batch of lemon curd here about once or twice a month.
This easy lemon curd comes together in just minutes and is so creamy and full of wonderful tart lemon flavor with just the right amount of sweetness. Homemade lemon curd is so much better than store-bought, which has all these extra ingredients that let it have a long shelf life.
What’s Needed to Make Lemon Curd?
To make this easy lemon curd recipe, all you’ll need is:
How to Make Lemon Curd
Making lemon curd at home is really simple. You won’t ever need to buy lemon curd at the store again! This recipe is fool-proof, takes less than 10 minutes, and makes about 1 1/2 cups lemon curd.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and eggs to a saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until the curd is thick enough to hold marks of the whisk, which could take about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the butter, then continue stirring until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Spoon the homemade lemon curd into a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps before storing it in an air-tight container.
Can You Freeze Lemon Curd?
Yes, this homemade lemon curd can be frozen for up to 6 months. To thaw, place in your fridge overnight.
Can You Make Lemon Curd Dairy-Free?
Yes, you can use vegan butter sticks instead of regular butter. I’ve made homemade lemon curd both ways and enjoy the taste either way!
Tips for Making the Best Lemon Curd
Note that your butter and eggs should be at room temperature, as this makes it so much easier to whisk everything together and create a smooth curd.
For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice and not the pre-bottled kind. Just trust me on this one!
Lastly, to make an ultra thick lemon curd you should replace two of the egg yolks called for in this recipe with one whole egg. (This means you will use 2 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg in total).
What to Do With Lemon Curd
There are so many ways to eat this tart spread! Here are a few ways my family loves using our homemade lemon curd:
- As a spread for scones, waffles, or pancakes
- As a filling in this Lemon Curd Bundt Cake
- As a filling in this Lemon Curd Tart
- Atop slices of Angel Food Cake
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Homemade Lemon Curd
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the colored zest from the lemons, leaving the white pith and add the zest to your sauce pan.
- Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and eggs in a small saucepan on medium heat, whisking constantly.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking the entire time for at least 10 minutes.
- Place the diced butter in a medium bowl.
- Place the pan over medium heat and add in the butter (or vegan butter). Stir until the butter has melted. Keep stirring until the curd is thick enough to coat back of a wooden spoon. Take care not to boil and to whisk very quickly; 5-7 minutes.
- Spoon out the curd over a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Be sure to spoon it out a small portion at a time into the sieve. Place plastic wrap over the surface of the curd let the lemon curd cool slightly.
- If using for a lemon tart, spoon into tart shell. Leave in refrigerator to cool down if you are using for another recipe.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Freezing Instructions: The lemon curd can freeze for to 3-6 months. Simply thaw in the refrigerator.
- Thicker Lemon Curd: For thicker lemon curd, replace 2 of the egg yolks with 1 whole egg. This means you will use 2 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg. Keep the rest of the recipe and instructions the same.
- Lemon Juice: This recipe is not the same with bottled lemon juice. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice only.
- Butter: You can use salted butter instead of unsalted butter and just omit the salt that is in the recipe. We have made this with butter and with vegan butter sticks. Either way, it's delicious. So if you have someone dairy-free, make it with the Earth Balance butter sticks (or your favorite vegan sticks).
- All images and text ©Savoring Italy. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe.