Lemon Curd is sweet, tangy, and packed with sweet tangy flavor.

With just a handful of ingredients, this homemade lemon curd recipe is incredibly easy to make. Simply whisk sugar, eggs, and butter with the juice and zest of fresh lemon.

This delicious spread/filling is surprisingly easy to make from scratch.

jars of Lemon Curd with lemons in the back

When life hands you lemons, make a lemon curd recipe!  Sweet-tart and buttery and full of bright lemon flavor, you’ll want to eat it straight out of the jar!

What is Lemon Curd?

Lemon curd is a pudding-like spread that can be used in place of jam, or in desserts. In addition to fresh lemons, the ingredients for this easy curd recipe are simple and you likely have them on hand: sugar, eggs, and butter. That’s it!

While some recipes strain the curd, I never have found a need to and I don’t mind the little bits of zest.  If you’d like to remove the zest, use a fine mesh strainer.


  • Lemon juice is the main flavor (plus you want the zest) so fresh is best in this recipe. Bottled lemon juice can have a bitter flavor. You can substitute limes to make lime curd.
  • Sugar balances the tart flavor of the lemon.
  • This recipe uses whole eggs including both the egg whites and yolks.
  • Unsalted butter adds both consistency and flavor.

Lemon curd in a pot with a whisk and in a jar

How to Make Lemon Curd

Making this simple recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and takes almost no time at all! Be sure to continuously whisk it over medium-low heat to keep the eggs from scrambling.

  1. Juice and zest lemons.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan and heat until thickened. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Transfer to a bowl or jar, and cool. Store in the refrigerator.

No double boiler is required but ensure that the lemon curd is constantly whisked and heated over medium-low heat.

What to Do with Lemon Curd

It is typically stored in a jar, where it can be easily spooned out and slathered on biscuits or toast. But don’t stop there! Lemon curd filling is the perfect basis for many desserts inspired by lemon meringue pie.

  • Breakfasts: Serve with waffles, crepes, or pancakes.
  • Desserts: Lemon curd pie, use as a filling for cakes, fill tart shells, layer in a parfait or trifle. Use it to make a lemon cheesecake.
  • Other ideas: Spoon over ice cream, serve with other baked goods like scones or biscuits. Top yogurt or mix with yogurt as a fruit dip.

This list goes on. Once you learn how simple it is to make it, you’ll never want to buy canned lemon pie filling ever again!

More Lemon Favorites

Did you enjoy this Lemon Curd Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

jars of Lemon Curd with lemons in the back
5 from 25 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Lemon Curd

This easy lemon curd is made from fresh lemons and perfect in so many summer desserts!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings


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  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • cup unsalted butter


  • Whisk lemon juice, sugar, eggs and zest.
  • Add to a saucepan with butter and cook over medium-low heat whisking continuously until mixture thickens.
  • Pour curd into a bowl and top with plastic wrap allowing the plastic wrap to touch the top of the curd.
  • Cool completely and refrigerate.


Use a zester or the fine side of a box grater to remove the yellow part of the lemon skin. Try to avoid the white part of the lemon skin (the pith) as it is bitter.
No double boiler is required but ensure that the lemon curd is constantly whisked and heated over medium-low heat. 
You'll know the lemon curd is thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon.
Lemons can be substituted with lime, orange, or grapefruit. If using orange or grapefruit, reduce the sugar to cup.
Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week. 
5 from 25 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 271 | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Vitamin C: 12.5mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
jar full of Lemon Curd with writing
Lemon Curd in the jar with a title
jar of Lemon Curd with writing
Lemon Curd in the pot and plated with writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. This is the first time I ever tried to make Lemon Curd. Your recipe was easy and simple to make me brave enough to try and make it. It’s really tasty and delicious. I am making it to use as a topping for mini cheesecakes. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  2. Fantastic recipe, easy and delicious. Soooo much better than store-bought lemon curd. I used it as a base layer in a fruit tart and in a similar type of cookie. It’s also great stirred into yogurt, as someone else recommended–yum! As a note for beginners to this type of cooking: this recipe doesn’t state how long it takes to thicken–stirring takes about 10 min., give or take. You’ll think nothing is happening, and then…food chemistry happens! Just don’t let it sit on the heat to thicken, or it will crust on the bottom, keep stirring! I’ll be coming back to this site for more recipes–many thanks!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Diane. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  3. I am making the lemon curd today. If I make it in significant quantities can it be frozen