Forget store-bought lemon curd and whip up a batch of the best homemade lemon curd! It's super quick to make and adds an intense tart lemon flavor to anything your heart desires. 

Looking for an easy lemon curd recipe?

This fresh lemon curd is bursting with zingy flavor, perfect for lemon lovers. Eat it on its own with a spoon, or use it in your favorite lemon desserts. 

When the weather starts to get warmer, we start whipping out the lemon desserts. Whether it's a lemon cheesecake coffee cake or a lemon drop cake. You name it, we've got it. One of our favorite easy lemon desserts is this creamy lemon curd. It's tart and has a pudding-like consistency that is so dreamy we can't put the spoon down. The moral of the story is that when life gives you lemons, make lemon curd. 

What Is Curd?

Curd is a type of cream made of eggs, sugar, butter, fruit juice, and cream. It has a jelly-like consistency similar to pudding. This curd is lemon-flavored and made with fresh lemon juice for the most intense lemon flavor. Perfect for spreading on scones, pound cake, or as pie or cake filling, like this North Carolina lemon pie. You could even plop it on top of French toast or buttermilk waffles. We even use it in our limoncello gelato!

What you'll love about this recipe:

  • VIBRANT - The fresh lemon juice produces a bright flavor, perfect for summer.
  • EASY - This curd recipe is super easy to make. Even the most novice home cooks can whip this bad boy up.

What You Need to Make Lemon Curd

  • Fresh lemon juice: Gives the curd its iconic lemon flavor. Make sure to use fresh lemons for best results. 
  • Egg + egg yolk
  • White sugar: Provides a hint of sweetness. 
  • Unsalted butter: Adds a velvety texture. 
  • Heavy cream: Creates a creamy consistency. 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Salt

How to Make Lemon Curd

  • First, in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the lemon juice until it's hot but not boiling.
  • Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolk. Gradually add the sugar while whisking.
  • Now, while constantly whisking, slowly pour the hot lemon juice into the eggs. After that, return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. 
  • This should take about 3 minutes or until the lemon mixture reaches 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. It should also be thick enough to cling to the spoon.
  • Then, promptly remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the small pieces of cold butter until it's fully incorporated. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt, and give it a good stir. Finally, strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. 
  • Remember to cover the curd directly with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until you need it.

Expert Recipe Tip

  • When straining the lemon curd, make sure it's non-reactive, like a glass bowl, so the lemon curd doesn't get a metallic flavor.

How to Store Lemon Curd

Store lemon curd in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 10 days. 

With a few simple ingredients, you can make the best lemon curd you'll ever have. It's the perfect combination of tangy lemon flavor and a creamy texture. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 


Lemon Curd

from Baking Illustrated 


  • ⅓ cup juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbs cold unsalted butter cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 tbs heavy cream
  • ¼ teas vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


In a small non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice until hot but not boiling.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and yolk; gradually whisk in the sugar.

Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot lemon juice into the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture registers 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to cling to the spoon, about 3 minutes.

Immediately remove the pan  from the heat and stir in the cold butter until incorporated; stir in the cream, vanilla, and salt, then pour the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a small non-reactive bowl. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap (that's right, put the plastic wrap on the surface of the curd); refrigerate until needed.


Recipe FAQs

Nope. The key to making this recipe without a double boiler is to slowly mix the hot lemon juice into the eggs so it doesn't cook them. 


  1. Anita at Hungry Couple says:

    I love, love, love lemon curd. Making my own is on my culinary to-do list.

  2. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    Where'd you get your colander? I have an ivory one similar to that but it needs replacing. Super cheapo one that's cracking wah. Love that jar too. Ahhh prop envy.

  3. I've only made lemon curd once, and it definitely didn't turn out as beautiful as yours! Maybe I'll give it another shot with this recipe =)

  4. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious says:

    Real lemon curd is mountains above any other preserve or store bought stuff in my opinion. There's so much you can do with it! I zoned out this a.m in the kitchen and almost missed a doc appt, :/

  5. Mi Vida en un Dulce says:

    Lemon curd may be one of my favorites, it's so creamy and so fresh...!!!

  6. Steph@stephsbitebybite says:

    Let me get my spoon!

  7. Vicki @ WITK says:

    I always look forward to the time I spend in the kitchen over the weekends. Time just flies by as I find more and more things I want to cook! ALthough I've never made curd, wonder how many lemons I have in the fridge...

  8. Ooooo pucker, pucker! I destress in the kitchen a lot! Big stress, little stress ... it's a nice place to be, even just poring over the recipe books.
    I'd eat this straight up!

  9. OMG. You will have to let me know when you make this!!!! You know I have a lemon problem. I don't have any other bad habits - just lemon.
    Stress relief - the batting cages. Smack some baseballs or play some air hockey!! Riding horses is the best as long as it is not too hot!!

  10. Belinda @zomppa says:

    You always know how to make me HUNGRY!!

  11. i just bought lemons last weekend. i guess we both know what i will be making with them 😉

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