Lemon Curd Recipe – Love and Lemons

With its silky smooth texture and sweet/tart lemon flavor, this homemade lemon curd is a delicious treat. Enjoy it on scones, ice cream, and more!

Homemade lemon curd

This homemade lemon curd is so delicious that you’ll want to eat it off a spoon. It’s rich, sweet, and delightfully tart, bursting with bright citrus flavor. Imagine if the top of a lemon bar or the middle of a lemon meringue pie became a smooth and creamy spread. That’s this lemon curd.

As the world’s biggest fan of anything lemon, I’ve always loved lemon curd. But I didn’t try making my own until recently. I thought it would be fussy and hard to get just right, but I was in for a surprise: Lemon curd is super easy to make!

This lemon curd recipe calls for 5 ingredients and comes together in 15 minutes. It’s a fabulous topping for scones, pancakes, ice cream, and more. Once you try it, you’ll always want a jar in your fridge. I certainly do!

What is lemon curd?

Lemon curd is a lemon custard topping or spread. It’s simple to prepare on the stove with basic ingredients like eggs, sugar, and fresh lemon juice. It has a sweet and tart taste and creamy texture.

Lemon curd is commonly used as a filling for desserts like cakes and tarts, but when I make this recipe, I’m more likely to use it as a topping or spread like jam. Find my favorite ways to use it below!

Lemons, whole eggs, sugar, and cubed butter on countertop

How to Make Lemon Curd

This easy lemon curd recipe starts with 5 basic ingredients:

  • Eggs and egg yolks 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Fresh lemon juice and zest
  • Unsalted butter
  • And a pinch of salt

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Whisking eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in saucepan

To make it, first, cook the custard. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and salt in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Place the pan over low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Don’t worry if it’s not really creamy just yet—it will thicken more as it cools.

  • Tip: Stirring constantly over low heat is the secret to a smooth and creamy custard. It helps the eggs cook consistently without clumping. If the stove is too hot, or if you stop stirring, the eggs can scramble.

Whisking lemon curd in saucepan

Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. Stir until it melts and the custard is smooth.

  • Tip: Cut the butter into small pieces so that it quickly melts into the custard.

Then, chill the curd. Transfer it to a glass container or jar, and cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until completely cooled. It will continue to thicken as it cools.


A note on straining

Some people like to press the curd through a fine mesh strainer after cooking. I skip this step because I like the bright flavor of the lemon zest in this recipe. However, if you don’t like the texture of the lemon zest, you can strain it out.

There is one case where I definitely recommend straining the curd. If your eggs cook unevenly and your curd is clumpy, simply pass it through a strainer to remove the solids!

Adding butter to easy lemon curd

How to Use Lemon Curd

I strongly advocate for enjoying lemon curd by the spoonful, but of course, that’s not the only way to use it! Here are a few other delicious options:

How do you like to use this flavorful spread? Let me know in the comments!


Store lemon curd in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. Note that it keeps best in glass—a metal container can give it a metallic taste.

Can you freeze lemon curd?

Yes! This homemade lemon curd freezes perfectly. Sealed in an airtight container or jar, it keeps in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Lemon curd recipe

More Favorite Lemon Recipes

Love all things lemon? We do too! Try one of our other lemony recipes next:

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