This Homemade Lemon Curd is the most amazing lemon curd you will ever try! It’s silky smooth, tangy and sweet, and comes together with just 5 ingredients and 20 minutes! Serve this easy lemon curd with English Pancakes, Angel Food Cake, folded into Greek Yogurt Whipped Cream, stuffed in my Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies, or as the cake filling in my Lemon Bar Cake!  

I have tons of delicious desserts for you lemon lovers! Lemon Crinkle Cookies, Lemon Raspberry Cake, Easy Lemon Bars Recipe, and Lemon Poppy Seed Scones are some of my most amazing lemon recipes! Which will you try first? After this best lemon curd recipe, of course! 

A homemade Lemon Curd Recipe in a glass cup on a light gray background with a full lemon and two lemon halves in the background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Smooth, creamy and luscious lemon curd. This easy lemon curd is incredibly smooth! The egg, sugar and lemon mixture is whisked to smooth and slowly cooked to create a smooth and thick texture. 
  • Bold lemon flavor. This is the very best homemade lemon curd because it uses fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for a punchy and bold lemon flavor! 
  • Easy one pot lemon curd. This delicious lemon curd recipe doesn’t use the double boiler method. You can use just one pot! Just be sure to follow my steps and tips to get the perfect lemon curd! 
  • Perfect for pairing with other sweets! Serve this homemade lemon curd recipe on scones, breakfast buns, in crepes, with ice cream, as a filling for cake, cookies, or cupcakes, or on top of pancakes with fruit and cream! 

Ingredient Notes

Homemade lemon curd ingredients portioned into glass bowls, on a gray background: sugar, lemons, salt, egg yolks, and butter.
  • Granulated Sugar: Lemons are tart! So the sugar will not only help thicken the lemon curd, but it will balance out the tartness of the lemons so the curd is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy! 
  • Lemon Juice & Lemon Zest: Be sure to use fresh lemons! You need fresh lemons to get the zest, so you’ll need real lemons anyway!
  • Large Egg Yolks: You can use medium egg yolks as well, but preferably not extra large. The eggs will form the base of the custard texture of the lemon curd. You don’t use the whole eggs or the egg whites since this is a custard. 
  • Unsalted Butter: I would use unsalted butter. There isn’t much added salt in this recipe (you can add a pinch of salt, but not necessary), so you can’t take away any salt to make up for using salted butter. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the lemon sugar mixture. Add the sugar, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt to a medium sized bowl. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar. 
  2. Whisk the egg yolks. To a medium pot, add the egg yolks. Whisk until smooth and uniform. Add the lemon sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
A photo collage of four photos showing the making of the most amazing Lemon Curd Recipe; egg yolks in a pot, lemon sugar being poured into pot, mixing the yolk and sugar mixture.
  1. Slowly stream in the lemon juice. While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in the lemon juice. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly as it cooks. The mixture will start to thicken. When it starts to bubble and coats the back of a spoon without running off when you slide your finger across the spoon, it’s done.
  2. Remove and add butter. Remove the lemon curd from the stove and stir in the cold butter, mixing until fully melted and uniform. 
Four photos showing how to make lemon curd: lemon juice poured into a black pot, a whisk stirring the curd mixture, a wooden spoon with yellow lemon curd on it, and butter pieces in the lemon curd.
  1. Pour through sieve. Pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. You’ll want to stir the lemon curd to push it through the sieve to get as much of the curd out as possible.
  2. Enjoy! Serve warm or serve chilled. Use on top of cakes, cookies, scones, or other breakfast and dessert foods! 
Two photos side by side: left photo shows lemon curd being poured through a fine mesh sieve, right photo is yellow lemon curd in a glass bowl on a white background.

Recipe Tips

Rubbing the sugar and the lemon zest together will extract the oils and produce a richer lemon flavor.

This recipe makes roughly 10-11 oz of the most amazing lemon curd!

Be sure to slowly cook the eggs — while whisking constantly — or the eggs can scramble!

The curd is ready when it’s noticeably thicker and coats the back of a spoon.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

When chilling or storing the lemon curd, place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl or container and press the plastic wrap down so it touches the curd and covers it completely. Then cover with an airtight lid. This will prevent the top of the curd from solidifying — which will affect the silky smooth texture and can form lumps.

To freeze, follow the storing instructions and then store in the fridge for up to 3 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight.

Lemon curd fully sets when stored in the fridge. 

Recipe FAQs

What is lemon curd made of?

Lemon curd is made of sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks, and butter! Think of it as a delicious lemon version of jam! 

What do you eat lemon curd with?

Lemon curd is a delicious spread or filling for Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Ice Cream, Pies & Tarts, and for a wide array of breakfast foods like Pancakes and Waffles

How long does lemon curd last?

Lemon curd will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days. 

Is lemon curd safe to eat?

Yes it is! The eggs are put through a cooking process that means there are no raw eggs in the lemon curd! 

Why is my lemon curd lumpy?

Be sure to constantly whisk the egg mixture while cooking on the stove or the eggs slightly scrambled. Cook over low heat so the eggs are cooked slowly. Pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh strainer. Store the curd with a piece of plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming. If you do all of these, you should have a smooth texture! 

Overhead photo of yellow lemon curd in a glass cup on a light gray background, with a brown spoon scooping up a portion of the lemon curd.

More Lemon Desserts

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Homemade Lemon Curd in a glass cup on a light gray background with a lemon half in the background.
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Lemon Curd Recipe

This silky smooth lemon curd goes beautifully with crepes, flaky pastries, folded into whipped cream, on breakfast buns, pancakes, or yogurt. So many options for this delicious and easy zesty lemon treat!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 10 ounces

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest - from about 2 lemons
  • pinch salt
  • 6 large egg yolks - you can use medium egg yolks as well, but preferably not extra large
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter - cold and cubed

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sized bowl add the sugar, lemon zest, and pinch of salt. Rub the zest and sugar between your fingers to really extract the oils. 
  • Add the egg yolks to a medium sized pot. Using a wire whisk mix until smooth. Add the lemon sugar and whisk until well combined. Gradually pour in the lemon juice, whisking while doing so. Place the pot over low heat and stir constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture thickens, just starts to bubble and coats the back of a spoon without running when you slide your finger across the spoon. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cold butter, mixing until melted. 
  • Pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh sieve. This ensures it’ll be silky smooth without any bits of zest or lumps! Discard any solids left in the fine mesh sieve. 
  • Transfer the curd to an airtight container or bowl. Place plastic wrap over the bowl, making sure the plastic touches the curd, this prevents a skin from forming on the curd. Lemon curd will thicken as it cools. 

Notes

  • Makes roughly 10-11 oz of lemon curd.
  • Store in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Lemon curd fully sets when stored in the fridge.
  • The curd is ready when it’s noticeably thicker and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Make sure to whisk the curd constantly otherwise the eggs can scramble.
     
     

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 21g (7%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 12g (18%)Saturated Fat: 7g (35%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 135mg (45%)Sodium: 7mgPotassium: 29mg (1%)Fiber: 0.2g (1%)Sugar: 20g (22%)Vitamin A: 432IU (9%)Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)Calcium: 18mg (2%)Iron: 0.3mg (2%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
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