Homemade Lemon Curd

This lemon curd is super simple to make and has the perfect balance of tart lemon, sweet and buttery. Swirl it in ice cream, use it as a cake or a pie filling, sandwich it between cookies or layer it in a parfait/trifle. 

Why you’ll love this lemon curd

  • It’s very quick and simple to make. 
  • The lemon curd is perfectly sweet, tangy and sharp. 
  • It can be used on top of or as a filling in countless recipes. 

Some of my favorite ways to use lemon curd is to use it as a filling for mini lemon meringue tarts, lemon curd macarons or lemon curd cake, swirl it into brown butter lemon ice cream or on top of lemon poppy seed pie.

It would also be amazing in place of the apricot in my honey cake or spread as the filling in my lemon brown butter cinnamon rolls

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Sugar: I used granulated sugar to make lemon curd and I don’t recommend reducing it or swapping it.
  • Lemon: you’ll need one large lemon or two small ones – we need the juice and zest. 
  • Eggs: make sure to use room temperature, large eggs.
    • Place them in hot water for a few minutes if they’re cold.
  • Butter: I like to use salted butter in lemon curd but it really doesn’t matter, unsalted is fine too, I would just add an extra pinch of salt. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Zest the lemon in a small nonstick or enameled pot (NOT METAL) and add the sugar. Use your fingers to rub them together for a few minutes. Sugar will draw out the oil from the peel of the lemon which will add extra flavor. I strain out the zest and any chunks at the end when it’s done. 

Step 2: Add the lemon juice, eggs and butter to the sugar and zest and place over medium-low heat, whisking continuously. 

Step 3: After about five minutes the lemon curd should begin to thicken, whisk aggressively for another 30-60 seconds. Once it’s thick enough to cover the back of the spoon (see photo below), remove it from the heat.

Step 4: Place a sieve on top of a bowl or a jar and press the lemon curd through it to remove any chunks and the lemon zest (discard). Allow to cool or use as desired. 

What type of pan to use for lemon curd

This is something I’ve learned from experience that I never want anyone else to do lol. Lemons are very acidic and can react with certain metals, drawing that metallic flavor into the lemon curd. It is INCREDIBLY unpleasant. 

Avoid any type of metal pans. I usually use my enameled cast iron saucepan (cheaper at Homegoods) or a nonstick saucepan

If you don’t have one of these, you can make a double boiler (bain marie) using a metal pan and a glass bowl. Just put a cup of water in the metal pan and bring it to a simmer. Then place the glass bowl, with the ingredients inside, on top of the metal saucepan. Proceed with the recipe instructions but it will take longer to cook this way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dairy free?

You can use dairy free butter to make lemon curd.

Can I make this egg-free?

I have not tested an eggless lemon curd but I suppose you could try to replace the eggs with cornstarch and water? I would search for an eggless recipe that’s been tested :).

Can I make this with other fruit?

Yes! I use the same recipe for orange curd and lime curd. I haven’t made it with any other fruits.

How to store lemon curd

Lemon curd can be made in advance if you’re using it in a recipe. It’s probably easiest that way since you’ll likely need it chilled when using it. 

Store it airtight in a jar or a bowl with a lid or cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks. 

Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below. 

If you make this lemon curd recipe, I’d love it if you left a star rating for me. If it’s less than five stars, please let me know why! 🙂

As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

homemade lemon curd in a shallow jar

Lemon Curd

This lemon curd is super simple to make and has the perfect balance of tart, sweet and buttery. Swirl it in ice cream, use it as a cake or a pie filling, sandwich it between cookies or layer it in a parfait/trifle. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 63 kcal


  • 1 small saucepans not metal, use enameled or nonstick
  • 1 bowl or jar
  • 1 sieve
  • 1 grater


Lemon Curd

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest  1 large lemon
  • 1 large egg  room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2oz) freshly-squeezed lemon juice  (1 large or 2 small lemons)
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) salted butter  softened or melted


Lemon Curd

  • Combine the sugar, eggs, lemon juice & zest, butter and salt in a small nonstick or enameled (NOT metal) saucepan over medium-low heat.*
    1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest , 1 large egg , 1 large egg yolk, 1/4 cup (2oz) freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 3 Tbsp (42g) salted butter 
  • Whisk continuously until it thickens, about 5 minutes. The curd should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • While it’s still hot, press the curd through a sieve into another bowl/jar, cover it and allow it to cool completely to room temperature. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.


*If you only have metal pans, use a double boiler with a glass bowl. If you make lemon curd in a metal pan or bowl, the acidic lemon juice can react with the metal and make your curd taste metallic. 


Calories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 35mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 0.04gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 157IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.1mg
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Recipe Rating

  1. Hi, Bernice, I love your blog and have tried lots of your recipes, with great success. I make lemon and citrus curds fairly often, but I’ve always used my stainless steel saucepans, to no ill effect. Were you referring to aluminum or copper pots? I’m trying your lemon curd recipe tonight, and don’t want to be disappointed! Best regards, Natalie B.

    • Hi Natalie, thank you!! I also used my stainless steel pot to make lemon curd with success before but then a few times I used the same pot and it turned out metallic.
      I did some research and stainless steel is supposed to be nonreactive however it seems other people have had a reaction similar to mine as well so I just steer clear.
      If you’ve had success with your ss pot, it may work out fine lol but I started using my enameled cast iron and haven’t had any issues. Lmk how it turns out!