Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe (2024)

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This easy-to-make Homemade Lemon Curd recipe is buttery, silky smooth, and sweet yet tart – perfection in a lemon curd!

Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe (1)

Homemade Lemon Curd

When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd! There’s something incredibly satisfying about the velvety texture of homemade lemon curd. It’s buttery, silky, sweet, yet tart—perfection!

As a thank you, my neighbor gifted me a basket of Meyer lemons from her mother’s tree. We’ve been enjoying all sorts of lemon recipes, from savory dishes like this Lemon Ricotta Pasta to no-bake lemon desserts like this lemon cheesecake and this Lemon Ice Box Cake.

I made the first batch of lemon curd a few weeks back, but it was gone way before I could write about it.We pretty much ate that batch straight from the jar. It was that good!

Over the weekend, I made a triple batch to ensure that I had enough for us to “sample” (eat straight from the jar) and still have plenty for all the recipes I have in mind. (It’s a good thing I did because that jar was full before I took these pictures!)

Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe (2)

Why you’ll love This Homemade Lemon Curd

  • Simple: All you need is five ingredients and a few minutes at the stove top.
  • Tastier than store-bought – This Homemade Lemon Curd tastes absolutely delicious. The perfect rich combination of sweet and tart.
  • No Artificial Ingredients: Keep things natural and free from preservatives found in store-bought varieties
  • Versatility at Its Finest: From toast toppers to tart fillers, this Lemon Curd does it all.

Ingredients in Lemon Curd

(Ingredients at a glance, you will find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  • Egg yolks: Egg yolks are what give this lemon curd its bright yellow color and help thicken it up.
  • Lemons: You’ll need the zest and juice to give this curd its flavor. The zest imparts a robust, unrivaled lemon flavor. (There is no real substitute here; fresh is best!)
  • Sugar: Use white sugar to add sweetness and balance the tartness of the lemon.
  • Unsalted butter: Unsalted butter gives the curd a rich, velvety finish; you can also use salted butter if you wish.

How To Make Lemon Curd

1Get the yolks and lemons going. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.

2Cook the mixture. Over medium heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon and cook until the mixture is thick.

3Add the butter. Remove the saucepan from heat, add butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring until consistency is smooth.

4Transfer and cool. Transfer the mixture to a serving container. Refrigerate and let cool for about an hour.

It’s so easy! The hardest part is stirring the lemon curd the entire time it cooks (about 7 minutes).

Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe (3)

Recipe Tips

  • Take the lemons out of the fridge as you begin to prepare this lemon curd so they can come to room temperature. Room-temperature lemons are easier to juice.
  • Make sure to stir constantly so the mixture turns out smooth and silky and it doesn’t burn and stick to the pot.
  • Stick with white sugar, as it is best to use in lemon curd.
  • Use fresh lemon juice to make this lemon curd, not bottled as fresh will have the best flavor.
  • You can strain your curd through a fine-mesh sieve for extra silkiness.
  • Be patient. The curd will thicken as it cools.


Once cool, transfer to an airtight container or mason jar. Leftover lemon curd will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. Just ensure it’s well-sealed to maintain its freshness.

You can also freeze lemon curd for up to 3 months.


  • For a slightly sweeter curd, stir in vanilla extract. Or try almond extract.
  • Forget the lemons altogether and make cranberry curd.

What to use lemon curd for?

  • As a topping for scones, pancakes, waffles, sugar cookies.
  • To hide inside muffins or cupcakes.
  • For a filling for cupcakes, cookies, crepes, pies and tarts.
  • Mix with a little whipped cream for a fabulous fruit dip.
  • I especially like to stir it in my vanilla yogurt and top it with granola and fresh blueberries or raspberries.
  • Make ice cream (or do what I did and mix it into store-bought vanilla ice cream- I had to test it out and make sure it was good before recommending it…)


Is lemon curd the same as lemon pie filling?

They are similar, but the curd is thicker and more intensely flavored.

Can I use any type of lemon to make lemon curd?

Yes, you can use any type of lemon.

Can I use bottled lemon juice or juice from concentrate?

Fresh is best, but in a pinch, you can use bottled for a zest-less version.

Why isn’t my curd thickening?

You may need more cooking time. Continue stirring until the lemon curd coats the back of a spoon and registers about 175 degrees F on a candy thermometer. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Why is my lemon curd lumpy?

High heat is the likely culprit. Always cook slowly over medium heat and whisk constantly. You may have overcooked it or cooked it at too high of a temperature. You can press your curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the lumps.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, absolutely! If you want to have a double batch on hand go ahead and double the recipe.

Can I use lime or orange instead of lemon?

Definitely. You might need less sugar with the orange. Start with 5 tablespoons of sugar and give it a taste while cooking to test the sweetness.

Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe (4)

BTW, do you like my turquoise backdrop? It’s my favorite. (I’ve been using it quite often lately… Must be this dreary winter weather.) Are you curious about how I made it? I have the instructions here: DIY Photo Backdrop

More Lemon Recipes:

  • Lemon Curd and Raspberry Mini Cupcakes
  • No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe
  • The Best Lemon Icebox Cake
  • Lemon Blueberry Bread With Lemon Glaze

Did You Make This Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!


Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe (5)

Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star5 from 1 review

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: stovetop
Print Recipe


This easy-to-make, Homemade Lemon Curd recipe is buttery, silky smooth, sweet yet tart. Perfection in a lemon curd!



  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces


  1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Over medium heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
  3. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, about 7 minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring until consistency is smooth.
  5. Transfer mixture to a serving container. Let cool.
  6. Refrigerate for about an hour or until chilled.



(This recipe makes about 8 oz.)


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 89
  • Fat: 6
  • Carbohydrates: 10
  • Protein: 0

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About the AuthorJamie Sanders is a wife and mom of 2, located in the heart of Texas. She founded Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in 2011 as a place to share creative ideas and family friendly recipes. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart, Woman’s World, HuffPost, TODAY, Pioneer Woman, HGTV, CNET, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Oprah Daily, and Redbook, plus many other publications. To date, she had given away just under a million free pdf sewing patterns.
Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe (2024)


How long does lemon curd last? ›

This homemade lemon curd will last in your fridge for 1-2 weeks, but you can also freeze it! You guys know how I love freezing everything. In the freezer, the lemon curd will last at least a few months and the beautiful part is that it only hardens about as much as ice cream, so you can scoop it out as needed.

How do you thicken lemon curd at home? ›

To make a thicker curd, you can also add another egg yolk to the recipe, or a teaspoon of cornflour mixed into a tablespoon of water and cook until thickened.

Is lemon curd good for you? ›

In any amount of lemon curd, the proportion of unhealthy elements like carbs and fat is going to be extremely higher than good elements like protein. In any serving size of lemon curd, you will only receive a benefit of 2.2 percent of protein while getting almost 27 percent fat and nearly 71 percent carbs.

Why does lemon curd taste eggy? ›

Does lemon curd taste eggy? Although lemon curd uses egg yolks and/or egg whites, the final product shouldn't taste eggy. If it does, it may mean that you've overcooked your eggs. In saying that, traditional lemon curd does have a distinct after taste which doesn't sit well with some.

Does homemade lemon curd go bad? ›

Fresh lemon curd will keep for one to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Why did my lemon curd turn green? ›

If your lemon curd turned green, it likely had a reaction to something metal. Avoid using a copper or aluminum pan as those will react with the lemon juice and cause the discoloration in the lemon curd, and could even cause a slightly metallic aftertaste.

How do you know when lemon curd is done? ›

Don't be tempted to use bottled lemon juice of any kind as it'll be far too acidic and will ruin the flavor. You'll know the curd is ready when it noticeably thickens in consistency and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Keep the heat low, don't turn it up to quicken the process or the eggs will scramble.

Why did my lemon curd curdle? ›

Curdling in lemon curd can occur if the mixture is heated too quickly or if the eggs are cooked at a very high temperature.

Why won t my lemon curd set? ›

Keep whisking over heat and be patient until it thickens. (Remember: The curd will become thicker once it cools.) If you've cooked the curd well beyond the recommended time and it's still thin like water, chances are your measurements were off and you added too much juice—or not enough egg.

What is another name for lemon curd? ›

Lemon curd's texture is smooth and silky, similar to a very smooth, creamy custard, and thick enough to be spread on scones and other foods. In Britain, lemon curd is also known as "lemon cheese," and other fruit curds are known as "[name of fruit] cheese."

Why do they call it lemon curd? ›

'Lemon Curd' is originally English in origin dating back to the early 1800's. The recipe back then was rather literal — lemon acidulating cream to form curds then separated from the whey through a cheesecloth. Long time Cottage Delight fans may remember our Lemon Curd as 'Lemon Cheese'.

Is yogurt and lemon curd the same thing? ›

Curd is made by mixing milk with lemon or Curd, which yields several types of Lactic acid bacteria also known as Lactobacillus. Whereas, Yogurt is made by commercial fermentation of milk by ingesting a particular type of bacteria strain.

Why does my lemon curd taste weird? ›

A metallic aftertaste is usually the consequence of the lemon curd coming into contact with a metal (especially while it's hot). This could be a metal whisk, a metal bowl, a metal (or metal-coated) saucepan, or a metal sieve.

Why does my homemade lemon curd taste metallic? ›

To prevent the curd from acquiring a metallic taste, make absolutely sure that all utensils coming into contact with it--bowls, whisk, saucepan, and strainer--are made of non-reactive stainless steel or glass. Since the tart pan has a removable bottom, it is more easily maneuvered when set on a cookie sheet.

Why didn't my lemon curd get thick? ›

Trouble shooting: Most Lemon Curds are runny because they don't get cooked long enough, to 170 degrees F, to thicken the egg yolks – so cook on! If your curd isn't thickened after 10 minutes, or up to 15 if using a double boiler, then increase the temperature of the stove slightly – and don't stop whisking!

How long does lemon curd last in fridge? ›

Store the curd: Lemon curd will keep in your refrigerator for up to a month according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 1 year. To thaw, transfer your curd from the freezer to the fridge 24 hours before you need it.

How long can curd be stored in fridge? ›

Buy the freshest curds that you can. Eat what you want, but if you can't finish the bag right away or if you intend to keep it for a while put it into the refrigerator. Once refrigerated, you can usually keep the curds about two weeks.

How many days homemade curd can be stored in fridge? ›

It can be stored at low temperatures (less than 5 degrees C) for several weeks. You can usually store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks but it becomes much stronger at the end of that period.

How do you preserve curd for a long time? ›

Curd should be stored at the back of the fridge shelves where the fridge is the coldest, preferably the down last shelf will be the best choice. You should also avoid mixing fresh and used curd. And make sure you use a clean spoon every time you use it. Better use an airtight container to store it.

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