Easy recipe for homemade lemon curd! Whip up this classic filling in just a few minutes. The tangy citrus flavor & buttery richness will wow you!

Small jar of homemade lemon curd on a yellow checked cloth.

*This post originally published on April 1, 2016. I thought it was due for an update, so I’ve added a step-by-step picture tutorial and answers to some frequently asked questions. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this lemon curd recipe as much as I do!*

Summer is finally here!

Is it warm and sunshine-y where you are? It is here, and I am LOVING it!

All I want to do is make treats that are bright and refreshing and that I don’t have to turn the oven on for, lol!

I’ve got a nice collection of no-bake dessert recipes here on Baking a Moment. Be sure to check out my easy chocolate mousse recipe, peanut butter fudge, and bananas Foster, just for starters!

But today, it’s all about lemon curd.

This is absolutely one of my favorite recipes ever. I love making it, and I love eating it! It feels kind of special and fancy, but it is dead easy to make.

And the result is so incredibly bright and citrus-y, with a buttery richness that lingers on your tongue, carrying all that tangy, floral lemon flavor with it. It’s truly a special treat, and I think you’ll just love it!

Lemon curd recipe, prepared and spooned into a small rounded jar, with a text overlay above that reads "Easy Homemade Lemon Curd."

WHAT IS LEMON CURD?

Lemon curd is a simple and classic topping, made from eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and butter. It’s got a creamy, satin-y texture, and it can be enjoyed in all sorts of different ways.

WHAT DOES LEMON CURD TASTE LIKE?

The predominant flavor in this lemon curd recipe is LEMON. It is bright and tangy and zippy tasting, with a rich, buttery mouthfeel that is just so scrumptious.

WHAT TO USE IT FOR

Lemon curd can be served at breakfast, brunch, or for dessert.

I especially love it spread over scones and muffins. It adds something so special to a simple breakfast or brunch.

It also works really well as a filling. Try sandwiching it between the layers of this white cake. Or spoon it into a tart crust and top it with whipped cream or fresh berries.

You could also dollop it over slices of bundt cake, like this angel food cake or this velvety pound cake.

And I really love to give little jars of lemon curd as a gift or party favor. It’s so thoughtful to give a homemade gift!

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE LEMON CURD

You are going to love how easy this is to make. It’s basically just a dump and stir situation, with a little bit of heat added to tighten things up.

Start by whisking your eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice together, in a big bowl.

Whisking eggs, sugar, & lemon juice together in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water.

Place the bowl over a little pot of simmering water, and add the butter.

Adding cubed butter to a homemade lemon curd recipe.

You just want to gently cook this mixture, while whisking, until it starts to become thick. This should happen when it gets to be just below a simmer, or if you want to get real specific, at around 170 degrees F.

At first, the butter will still be in little chunks, but it will slowly start to melt. Then, it will seem really runny. But after a little while, you’ll feel it start to thicken to a consistency that’s similar to yogurt, and you’ll see your whisk leaving tracks.

Whisking lemon curd over a double boiler until the whisk leaves tracks and the mixture is thickened.

It’s go time!

Pour the hot lemon curd through a strainer and into a heat-safe bowl to stop the cooking process.

Straining lemon curd into a heat safe bowl.

Then, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill it in the fridge.

Pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the hot lemon curd.

Lemon curd will continue to become thicker as it cools.

CAN IT BE MADE IN THE MICROWAVE?

You can absolutely make this lemon curd recipe in the microwave. I know it seems crazy, but it works!

Just be sure to cook it S-L-O-W-L-Y, so the eggs don’t scramble. I would recommend heating it in 15-second intervals, whisking after each, until you see that whisk leaving tracks. Then just continue on with the recipe from there!

IS LEMON CURD HEALTHY?

Everyone has their own definition of what “healthy” means, but I can tell you that this recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian. However, it is not vegan as it does contain eggs and dairy.

You can find lots more specific information in the nutritional label within the recipe card below.

Overhead image of a jar of lemon curd surrounded by juiced lemons, with a citrus reamer and a yellow checked cloth.

TROUBLESHOOTING: WHY IS MY LEMON CURD RUNNY?

If you’ve been cooking your lemon curd for a long time, and it just won’t thicken up, try turning the heat up on your stove just a little bit.

It basically just needs to reach that magic temperature to become glossy and thick. But you don’t want to rush it too much or else the eggs can scramble. So keep the heat on the low side, and keep whisking, non-stop!

Also, keep in mind that it will continue to become thicker as it cools.

CAN THIS BE MADE AHEAD?

Lemon curd is a great make-ahead treat!

I love packaging it up in little mason jars. If you’d like to buy the tulip-shaped jars I have used in these pics, click here: Mini Tulip Jars.

You could also can it in regular mason jars, and then it can be stored in your cupboard at room temperature. Be sure to use sterilized jars, leave a 1/2-inch headspace, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean towel, and apply the lids. Then submerge them in boiling water for 20 minutes, allow them to cool, and check the seals.

For more info on how to preserve/can, read this post: Strawberry Jam.

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST

If you process the jars as noted above, lemon curd will keep (unopened) at room temperature for 3 to 4 months.

Once opened (or if it hasn’t been canned), lemon curd should be kept in the refrigerator. It will last there for up to 4 weeks.

Small jar of homemade lemon curd with a white ceramic spoon.

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5 from 8 votes
Homemade Lemon Curd
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Easy recipe for homemade lemon curd! Whip up this classic filling in just a few minutes. The tangy citrus flavor & buttery richness will wow you!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Topping
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make lemon curd, lemon curd, lemon curd recipe
Servings: 16 ounces (approx)
Calories: 99 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs (large)
  • 3 egg yolks (large)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Place the eggs, yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and add the butter.
  3. Cook, whisking continuously, until thickened. (The mixture should be about the consistency of yogurt. It will continue to thicken as it cools.)

  4. Place a fine mesh strainer over a heat-safe bowl, and pour the mixture through.
  5. Press waxed paper or plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd (to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Lemon Curd
Amount Per Serving
Calories 99 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 14mg1%
Potassium 23mg1%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 270IU5%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Lemon curd in a glass jar with a text overlay above that reads "Easy Homemade Lemon Curd."

Lemon curd recipe prepared and served in a tulip-shaped jar.

Bright yellow lemon curd in a jar with lemons in the background.

This lemon curd was a cinch to make and the flavor was so bomb! I'll be giving little jars as gifts this Christmas ;)

Happy Friday everyone!  Before I dive into the post I just want to ask a quick favor.  I’ve got a chance to be on the Today Show!

They’re looking for fresh culinary talent and I’ve tossed my hat into the ring.  As you probably already know, I’ve done a bunch of appearances on my local Fox station, and this is my chance to take it to the next level!  Do I have the chops to be on national tv?  I sure hope so!  You can help me get there by voting me up.  Just click here to see my entry page, and right at the top left corner there’s a little speech bubble.  Just click it to cast your vote!  I’m so grateful for it!

TodayFood Screenshot with text

And now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the good stuff.

This lemon curd was a cinch to make and the flavor was so bomb! I'll be giving little jars as gifts this Christmas ;)

Lemon curd, baby.  Am I right?  Is it not like the best thing ever?  I love it so much, I don’t know what’s wrong with me that it’s taken this long to finally post a recipe.

If you’ve never had it before, boy are you in for  a treat.  So lemony, so bright, and zingy.  It’s perfect on scones or biscuits, layered in a trifle or tart, or even just eaten straight from the jar with a spoon.  I may or may not have done that.  A few times.  Ok a lot!

The best thing about this recipe, in my opinion, is the richness.  It’s got the most incredible satiny texture.  The butteriness lingers on your tongue, carrying with it all that floral, citrusy flavor.  It’s to-die-for!  I just can’t get enough of this stuff!

This lemon curd was a cinch to make and the flavor was so bomb! I'll be giving little jars as gifts this Christmas ;)

The second best thing about it is how easy it is to make.  It’s basically a dump and stir situation, with a little bit of heat added to tighten things up.  Just put all the ingredients in a bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water.  Whisk it every now and then, until all the butter melts and it gets hot.  You’ll notice it gets thicker, almost the consistency of yogurt.  It will thicken even more as it cools in the fridge.

You will love having a jar of this around.  Especially at this time of year, when fresh berries are coming into season.  There’s just so many things you can do with it.  I’ll be showing you several over the coming weeks.

And definitely think about gifting a jar or two.  Who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive a delicious homemade treat like this!?

Thanks again for voting, guys!  I owe ya big!

This lemon curd was a cinch to make and the flavor was so bomb! I'll be giving little jars as gifts this Christmas ;)

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This lemon curd was a cinch to make and the flavor was so bomb! I'll be giving little jars as gifts this Christmas ;)