Homemade Lemon Curd

This Homemade Lemon Curd is sweet and tart and so easy to make with just 4 ingredients! So much better than store bought lemon curd, you’re going to want to slather this deliciousness on everything! Spread it on scones, top your favorite pound cake with it, or use it as a filling for cupcakes and cakes! Love all things lemon? Try these lemon favorites: Lemon Blueberry CrepesLemon Pound Cake Muffins, and Lemon Bundt Cake!

hoememade lemon curd in small glass jar with fresh lemon slices and spoon in jar title overlay

Homemade Lemon Curd

A little tart, a little sweet, this homemade lemon curd recipe works as a condiment, a sauce, and as a delicious filling for cupcakes and cakes. Basically, it’s a must make recipe that you’ll want to have on hand year-round.

What Is Lemon Curd?

I’ve never been super fond of the title “Lemon Curd”… I guess it’s the “curd” part that doesn’t quite seem right. But when you take fresh, delicious lemons, some sugar, eggs and a touch of butter the resulting concoction is so delicious, I don’t really care what it’s called! 

Lemon curd is a condiment that can be used as a spread on scones, bread and biscuits, as a topping on cheesecake, poundcake or as a filling for crepes, cakes and cupcakes.

Lemon curd is both sweet and tart with a strong lemon flavor and is extra creamy. It’s a lot like what you would imagine lemon jam, jelly or preserves would taste like. Made with just 4 simple ingredients, this lemon curd recipe is going to quickly become a staple in your home!

 

lemon curd in small jar with lemons on the side on wood board

Lemon Curd Uses

Lemon curd can be bought at the store (near jams and jellies) but it is quite easy to make at home, and the taste of this homemade version just can’t be beat! 

You can make a batch and enjoy it on toast, pancakes, with yogurt, or as part of a delicious dessert.  I’ll be sharing several recipes very soon that include this sweet-tart treat but check out these great ideas:

What’s In Lemon Curd?

There are only 4 ingredients:

  1. lemons – you’ll need both lemon juice and lemon zest for this recipe, usually 2 lemons will suffice
  2. sugar – granulated sugar to balance out the tartness of the lemon
  3. egg yolks – this thickens the curd and gives that amazing bright, bold yellow color
  4. butter – for creaminess and flavor

top down view of homemade lemon curd recipe in small jar on wood cutting board

Let’s Make It!

This recipe is so simple to make and absolutely worth the precious 10 or so minutes that it takes to do so. Let’s get started!

  1. Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). 
  2. Heat, while stirring (almost) constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens. 
  3. The curd is done when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon
  4. Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate until cool. 
  5. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy with toast, waffles, pancakes, scones, yogurt, or in a variety of delicious desserts.

FAQs

How long will this lemon curd last? The curd needs to be stored in the refrigerator, covered. Stored properly, it will last up to 2 weeks.

How do I store it? A glass jar with a lid is the best way to store lemon curd. Small canning jars like these work great.

How do I know when it’s done? The curd has finished cooking it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

  • Dip a spoon into the mixture. Remove the spoon.
  • If the back of the spoon is coated, you’re done!
  • A way to double check is to drag your finger across the back of the spoon and if the line it creates remains clean, the curd is done. If the curd starts to ooze it’s way back into the path of your finger, let the curd cook for another minute before trying again.

More Lemon Favorites

  1. Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
  2. Lemon Blueberry Bread
  3. Raspberry Lemon Muffins
  4. Lemon Cream Puffs with Fresh Fruit
  5. Perfect Lemon Bread
  6. Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

How To Make Lemon Curd

hoememade lemon curd in small glass jar with fresh lemon slices and spoon in jar square

Homemade Lemon Curd

This Homemade Lemon Curd is sweet and tart and so easy to make with just 4 ingredients! So much better than store bought lemon curd, you're going to want to slather this deliciousness on everything! Spread it on scones, top your favorite pound cake with it, or use it as a filling for cupcakes and cakes!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Condiment, Filling
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 53 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice usually requires 1-2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest finely grated
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water).
  • Heat, while stirring (almost) constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens. It is done when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate until cool.
  • Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 53kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 3mgPotassium: 9mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon curd
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

51 comments

  1. I LOVE lemon curd.  Like you, I don’t like the word “curd.”  I think it’s because cottage cheese has curds, and I hate cottage cheese! ;o)  My favorite curd, though, is lime.  I make a coconut cake with lime curd filling and it is the most amazing thing ever.  Same recipe, just use limes instead of lemons!!

     One lesson I’ve learned about making curd: do not double the recipe!!!  It won’t really thicken up enough if you try to make multiple batches at once.  It’s way less frustrating to just make multiple single batches.  

    I have a friend with a grapefruit tree who makes grapefruit curd.  It sounds amazing, but I haven’t tried that one yet!  

    One more thing, I think you forgot another method of using curd:  eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon!  ;oP

  2. do you think I would be able to switch out the lemons for limes to make a lime curd? I am thinking a key lime cake!!!! Thanks!

    • Hi Kayla, I have not experimented with using limes in this recipe. Feel free to experiment, keeping in mind that because of the egg yolks, the end results will still be yellow.

    • You totally can!  You can use pretty much any citrus fruit, but if you use a sweeter fruit (like oranges or mandarins), you’ll want to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.
      You actually can use ANY fruit to make a curd, but I think citrus is the most traditional.

  3. Wow! I just made this to accompany the cake recipe you shared. I have never zested or made a filling before. It’s so easy and DELICIOUS.

    THANK YOU for helping me make my friends birthday amazing while our husbands are deployed!

  4. I can’t seem to find the yield on the recipe. How much does this make? Looks amazing, can’t wait to try!

  5. I love lemon cause it make healty and low fat

  6. Your things look yummy but do you not have a print button on the recipes?

  7. Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it. Love your site.

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