Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (VIDEO)
Homemade Lemon Curd tastes like the best part of Lemon Bars – the creamy lemony center. This lemon curd has a wonderfully fresh and vibrant lemon flavor with the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the tanginess.
Making your own Lemon Curd Recipe is easier than you think and it tastes better than store-bought. It also keeps really well. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is to make it from scratch.
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My In-laws live in California and have several lemon trees growing in their backyard. Every year they give us a large box of homegrown lemons and I sure put them to good use. I do everything from freezing the zest to freezing the lemon juice in ice cube trays and then enjoy their lemons all through winter. If you love lemons, check out our post on What to do with Lemons.
Lemon Curd Video Tutorial
Watch Natasha make easy Lemon Curd. All you need is a saucepan, whisk and sieve to strain it through. It requires only 6 ingredients (including salt) and takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish. Just like nearly everything, homemade tastes best.
What is Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd is a spread made out of fresh lemon juice, eggs, sugar, zest, and butter. The eggs in the recipe thicken the mixture, giving it a custard-like consistency. It’s often used as a dessert topping or spread for cakes, cookies, tarts, etc.
Serve this over Sponge Cake, with Strawbery Scones or Crepes. It’s also a tasty filling for Lemon Curd Tartlets. There are so many uses for Lemon Curd.
The key to making great lemon curd is to use fresh lemon juice. Avoid using concentrate or you’ll wish you just bought a jar of the stuff.
- Eggs – use 3 large whole eggs right out of the fridge.
- Sugar – We found that 1/2 cup of granulated sugar cuts the tartness perfectly.
- Salt – a pinch of fine sea salt balances the flavors.
- Lemon – since you’ll need the zest and juice, make sure to zest a lemon before squeezing the juice.
- Butter – use unsalted butter, sliced into pieces for quicker melting.
- Vanilla Extract – we always use real vanilla extract.
How to Make Lemon Curd
- In a medium saucepan – vigorously whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, and lemon zest until frothy.
- Add lemon juice while whisking and stir until combined.
- Set saucepan over low heat – and whisk constantly until mixture is thickened (8-9 minutes). It should coat the back of a spoon without running when you pull your finger across the spoon.
- Strain – pour the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve, stirring over the sieve with a whisk to help it strain through. Discard the solids.
- Add vanilla – stir in vanilla extract until combined.
- Cool and store – once lemon curd is at room temperature cover and store in the refrigerator up to one week.
Pro Tip: Lemon Curd is cooked at 170˚F. You can use an instant-read thermometer to gauge progress. I take it off the stove at around 175-180˚F which is when it starts to lightly bubble.
Meyer lemons are sweeter and less tart than regular lemons so it won’t have the same punch of lemon flavor. Consider using less sugar.
Look for lemons that have a smooth firm skin, vibrant yellow, and unblemished. Avoid pale-colored (overripe) lemons and avoid any green-tinted (underripe) lemons.
This is a hard NO. I mean it, please do yourself a favor and squeeze real lemons.
A double boiler is not necessary for making lemon curd. It’s an extra dish to wash and will take longer to heat up and thicken.
We have tested this with 1/3 cup of sugar and it worked very well. It’s slightly less sweet and the lemon flavor is slightly more pronounced. If you are looking to reduce the sugar, it will still work.
Yes, but use a large saucepan, and keep in mind it will take a little longer to heat through and thicken up.
- To Refrigerate: once cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Freezing: transfer to a freezer-safe container, leaving 1/2″ of headroom at the top and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
- To Reheat: lemon curd should be served cold. There is no need to heat it.
This recipe is so versatile and delicious and it keeps really well. I hope it becomes a new favorite for you. Let me know your favorite ways to enjoy lemon curd in the comments below.
More Lemon Recipes to try
If you need a good recipe for using up lemon juice, add Lemon Curd to your recipe repertoire. Here are some more great lemon desserts to try:
- Lemon Bars
- Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze
- Classic Lemonade
- Canning Lemons
- Lemon Poppyseed Cake
- Strawberry Lemonade
Lemon Curd Recipe
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest, from 1 medium lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, from 3 lemons, strained
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium (2 qt) saucepan, combine eggs, sugar, zest, and a pinch of salt. Whisk vigorously until well combined, frothy, and lightened in color.
Whisk in lemon juice until blended.
Add butter pieces and set the pot over low heat, whisking constantly until the butter is melted and the mixture is thickened (7-9 minutes). The lemon curd will thicken around 160-170˚F. Once you see it start bubbling, let it gently simmer for a few seconds then remove it from the heat at around 175-180˚F on a thermometer. When it's ready, it should coat the back of a spoon without running when you pull your finger across the spoon.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve (if you stir in the sieve with the whisk, it will push the mixture through the sieve faster). Discard the solids left in the sieve.
Stir in vanilla extract. Let the mixture cool to room temperature then store covered in the refrigerator to fully set. Keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
I doubled it and used two lemons and an orange. Came out great! It was surprisingly easy and it made a very full pint. Thanks (:
You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Gill! Aren’t easy recipes the best?
This recipe was very easy to make and the lemon curd turned out delicious! I used it for a cake filling and it was great.
Hi Sonia, good to know that you loved it!
I have not yet used this recipe but I want to try it. Before I do, I wondered if the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs or just 2 egg yolks. I know it says two whole eggs but most curds just use egg yolks. Thanks for your time!
Hi Beth! I used 3 large whole eggs for this. 🙂
This is an easy, tasty curd. My family loves it as a topper on gingerbread cake.
It sounds great! Thank you for your good comments and feedback, Debbie.
Hi, could I use this Lemon Curd as a filling for your ‘Sweet Tart Crust (Pâte Sucrée)’ recipe? What do you think? I need a Lemon Tart so that’s why I’m asking ☺️ Thank you!
Hi Tania! Yes, that filling will be great in this tart crust. You may also enjoy this recipe for lemon tartlets.
Like every single one of your recipes I’ve tried, (and I’ve made a ton!), this one is perfection! So simple and so, so delicious. You are my go to for whatever recipe I’m looking for. Thanks Natasha!!
That’s wonderful, Jessica. Thank you for your nice comments and feedback, we’re so happy that you enjoyed our recipe!
I love this recipe it is so good! I make it just how you make it and it turns out perfect every time. I would like to try it with limes sometime. Have you ever tried that? If so, what are the measurements for lime juice and lime zest?
Hi Connie, I haven’t tried it with lime to advise, but I imagine the measurements would be similar. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.
Hello Natasha, thanks for your amazing recipes. I made this lemon curd and it turned out perfect. I used it as a cake filling. I was wondering if I can substitute lemon juice with orange juice to make orange curd. I appreciate your response.
Thank you 🥰
I honestly haven’t tested that to advise. If you an experiment, we’d love to know how it goes!
Also, what’s with the 5 FREE TIPS TO BECOME A GREAT CHEF! I did it, thinking I would get 5 free tips to become a better chef, but the system then subscribed me, and I can’t find the 5 tips to become a better chef.
Hi Gigi, can you email this to firstname.lastname@example.org and share exactly which emails you received after signing up. You should have gotten a series of 5 emails, each containing a ‘secret’ to be a better cook. I want to make sure the system is working properly and you get those 5 tips!
Ok thank you! By the way I love this lemon curd recipe. It was a huge hit in my house and goes SO WELL with plain bagels 😊
So glad to hear that! 🙂
This was sooooo good! 9/10 would recommend!! It tasted like the lemon drop milkshake at Burgerville. Although it doesn’t have that full lemon flavor I would expect in lemon curd, it was overall pretty good!
Thank you for the feedback, Gigi! Did you make any changes or substitutions?
Yes. I didn’t add lemon zest because I only had bottled lemon juice. It was just as good!
Excellent! The sharpness is lemon variety dependent. I like it sharp, will see what my friends think of it. ignore my question on previous post. i get it now. thanks
I’m glad you found your answer!
Why sieve the sauce? Is it to remove the zest? Do you really have to do this?
It’s to help remove any solids from the curd (the occasional seed, larger pulp, or egg that cooked or scrambled in the process). It’s not necessary but I do recommend it.
I have made this twice now and it’s a very easy recipe and tastes fantastic. I didnt even have to use a thermometer.
Glad you enjoyed this recipe, Sue! 🙂
Can I use this recipe on top of a no bake cheesecake or even mix it? If frozen does rhe lemon curd separate?
Hi Karen! This is excellent on top of cheesecake! No, it does not separate. See my recipe notes for instructions on freezing.
Hi ..i made this and its awaiting in the fridge.
I want to make your sponge cake recipe and layer the lemon curd in between…..do i need to add anything else on the layer.. ?
Hi Catherine. It should be fine to use just the lemon curd.
Just made this and it taste amazing. Thank you for sharing.I’m having visitors for tea that’s what I made it for.
So glad you enjoyed it!
AMAZING! I made this today, I could eat the whole jar by itself! soooo good!
That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Deb!
I just made it today and used Truvia sweet complete granulated because it measures cup for cup.
Tastes like the real deal and easy to make per your recipe.
So it does work! I’m giving half of this to my sister, I know she’ll love it!
Thanks so much for the feedback, Judy. I’m sure many of our readers will find this very helpful! 🙂
You did it again! Another fabulous, no fail, recipe. I made it this morning to mix in home made yogurt and it’s delicious!! I knew if it came from you it would be great and it is. Thank you!
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Linda!
Hi Natasha, can this recipe be used to fill a cake? Love your recipes!! Thanks!
Yes, I think it would make an excellent filler for cake.
Can you can this recipe for future use? My husband loves lemon curd on toast.
Hi Brenda, I have not canned this to advise. We refrigerate it for up to one week.
Can you double the recipe and use it for lemon pie filling?
I have never made lemon curd. .
Hi Michael. I have not tried this in lemon pie. It works wonderfully to fill tartlets.
Yum! I just made this now and OMG it’s sooo good! I’m using all my willpower to not sit down with it and scoff the lot! Thanks for an easy and great recipe! 😄😋
You’re very welcome! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this!! Had something similar at a local breakfast eatery called Syrup Trap. Looking forward to remaking the Liege Belgian Waffles with Pearl Sugar at home with this lemon curd and blueberries 🙂
Yum! Thank you so much for sharing that with me!
Love your recipe but one question is that which is the best time to consume it?
Hi, check out the make-ahead section but it’s great after it’s chilled and up to a week after.
This recipe looks fantastic but is it possible To half this recipe?
Hi Donna, I’m sure that will work. You can click on servings in the recipe to adjust the ingredients.
I will use the lemon curd to fill cannoli shells for our Fathets day dinner ,maybe lighten it up a bit w whipped cream .Love your recipes .
Sounds like a plan, I hope it becomes a hit!
Lovely Natasha, I appreciate your wonderful and easy recipes and your husbands fun production s of you in the kitchen. Very helpful and delicious 💖👍🏼
Hi Dottie, thank you so much for your appreciation. We love it!
Mmmmm! I can tell this is delicious! Thank you Natasha for another recipe that makes life sweeter! Has anyone ever tried monkfruit sweetener instead of granulated sugar? Just curious.
Hi Steven! I’m so happy you loved that! I haven’t tried a sugar substitute to advise on the outcome.
Wondering if this could be made with Splenda or a sugar substitute for diabetics? Any suggestions as to what to use to substitute?
Hi Kay, I haven’t tested that to be able to make that recommendation. You might google search to see if anyone else has had good success making a splenda version of lemon curd to see how it substitutes.
Had a bag full of lemons from
a friend and as I was trying yo figure out what to do with them, I saw your post! Just made a double batch of this recipe! Absolutely AMAZING!!!
I’m going to make mini tarts this weekend and distribute some to neighbors!
Thank you Natasha! I’ve tried so many of your recipes and they always deliver!
I’m so glad you loved this recipe, Radjika! Thank you for sharing that great feedback with me!
Hi Natashas, is this recipe very tart? looking for a sweeter lemon curd any suggestion?
Hi Linda, I didn’t feel it was tart; I believe we found the perfect balance with this recipe.
There’s nothing better! I could eat the whole jar with a spoon.
I completely agree. It’s so satisfying like the filling of lemon bars.
Lemon curd is SO GOOD. Made some this morning to spread on toast – easy and lovely!
HI April, I am so happy to hear that you loved the lemon curd recipe.
I have not made this but I am curious about what constitutes a “serving”?
Many recipes provide nutritional info but fail frequently to identify the serving size. Without this, calories, etc. are pretty meaningless.
Hi Roberta, great question, it makes 1 1/4 cups so the serving is for 1 Tbsp which is typical when you look on the jar of lemon curd. You can calculate nutrition and multiply things based on how much is enjoyed.
Love, love, love this yummy curd! Lemon curd is so versitile and your recipe was super easy to follow and turned out amazing!
Thank you so much for the amazing review. I am so glad to hear that.