Easy Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe

Making your own Lemon Curd is actually quite simple! This easy, homemade recipe is bursting with sweet and tangy citrus flavor and only four ingredients!

Easy, Homemade Lemon Curd: delicious on toast, cheesecake and pie! So easy to make your own too! #lemoncurd www.shugarysweets.com

A couple weeks ago I had to make dozens of vanilla bean cupcakes for a friend. Which left me with 15 egg yolks. I’ve thought about making my own lemon curd in the past, but I thought it sounded like a difficult thing to do.

I mean “LEMON CURD” sounds like something I would never attempt myself. (don’t worry, you don’t need 15 egg yolks for today’s recipe!)

Last year though I made some homemade cheesecake bites and bought a little jar of lemon curd. On a whim. I topped the cheesecake bites with the store bought lemon curd and a raspberry.

I was sold. Lemon curd is amazing. 

Let’s start with the basics.


Easy, Homemade Lemon Curd: delicious on toast, cheesecake and pie! So easy to make your own too! #lemoncurd www.shugarysweets.com

Lemon Curd is a dessert spread made using egg yolks, sugar, lemons, and butter.

While the word “curd” can sound negative, or gross to some…lemon curd, when made correctly, is smooth and creamy.

Bursting with lemon flavor, it’s a delicious preserve that’s perfect when paired with cookies, cakes, tarts, toast, etc. 

How to Make Lemon Curd

STEP 1: In a small pan with a double boiler, heat an inch of water in the pan to boiling. In the double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have a double boiler, find a glass or metal bowl that will fit over the sauce pan.

STEP 2: Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the sugar mixture and continue whisking over the boiling water for about 8-10 minutes. The lemon curd will begin to slightly thicken.

STEP 3: Remove from heat. Add in butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until melted and smooth. 

Once all the butter has been added, pour into a bowl (or glass jar), covered.

STEP 4: Refrigerate lemon curd until thickened and cooled. At LEAST 2 hours or overnight. 

Easy, Homemade Lemon Curd: delicious on toast, cheesecake and pie! So easy to make your own too! #lemoncurd www.shugarysweets.com

How to Store Homemade Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to two weeks. 

You can also freeze lemon curd! Place in an airtight, freezer safe container with at least 1/2 inch of room at the top. Freeze for up to 6 months for best results.

To thaw, refrigerate frozen lemon curd for 24 hours. Stir and enjoy.

Lemon Curd Uses

So now that you’ve made this homemade Lemon Curd recipe, what next? Think of it as a jam or jelly, and that’s how you can use it.

Spread lemon curd on toast, bagels, or English muffins for a tasty citrus treat in the morning!

You could also make easy Lemon Curd Hand Pies by spreading the homemade lemon curd in the center of the pie crust and bake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for a tasty treat.

Add a layer of homemade lemon curd to cheesecake, coconut cake, or a tart!

Stir a spoonful of lemon curd into whipped cream, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or on top of ice cream!

What You’ll Need to Make Lemon Curd Recipe

If you want a quick glance at what’s needed for today’s recipe, look no further. For the printable recipe with measurements, scroll all the way down!

Today’s lemon curd is quite easy. You’ll only need FOUR ingredients. That’s right. 4.

  • Lemons. Start with 4 juicy lemons. You’ll need to zest them, and then juice them. You’ll use 1/3 cup of the lemon juice. 
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter – cut into Tablespoon pieces.
  • Egg Yolks – I use large eggs for today’s recipe.

Making your own Lemon Curd is actually quite simple! This easy, homemade recipe is bursting with sweet and tangy citrus flavor and is absolutely delicious!

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Yield: 1 pint

Easy Homemade Lemon Curd

Easy Homemade Lemon Curd
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Making your own Lemon Curd is actually quite simple! This easy, homemade recipe is bursting with tangy citrus flavor.


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold


  1. In a small sauce pan with a double boiler, heat one inch of water to boiling. In double boiler (or a metal bowl to go over the saucepan of water) whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
  2. Measure out 1/3 cup lemon juice (discard any remaining juice or save for another use) and add juice and zest of 4 lemons to sugar mixture. Continue whisking over heat for about 8-9 minutes. It will begin to thicken slightly.
  3. Remove from heat. Add butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until melted and smooth. Once all butter has been added pour into a bowl, covered, and refrigerated until thickened and cooled. Mine took about 2 hours to chill. Store for up to two weeks in refrigerator. ENJOY.


Alton Brown recipe

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Tbsp

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 61 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 36mg Sodium: 2mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 7g Protein: 1g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Recipe originally published February 18, 2013

Easy Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe bursting with citrus flavor. Perfect on cakes, tarts, and more!

**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

122 comments on “Easy Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe”

  1. I have never made lemon curd, but I love it! I just saw some beautiful meyer lemons at the grocery store! I think I need to make this! 🙂 Have a great day!

  2. I’ve feared making lemon curd, but you make it sound simple… must try!

  3. It sounds pretty easy to make and looks soo good. I am a huge fan of tart dessert flavors!

  4. I LOVE lemon curd and this sounds easy and delicious!

  5. I once made an orange curd out of Cuties and it was darn yummy. Think I need to try this version!

  6. I love lemon curd Aimee, especially on your cheesecake squares!!! 🙂

  7. That curd looks so thick & delicious! I want to make a lemon pie right now! Thanks for sharing!
    Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later!

  8. Homemade lemon curd is truly amazing, isn’t it? I love to make a few batches at a time to keep on hand. It is like magic! 🙂

  9. AIMEE!! This curd looks freaking amazing! I had an idea for a muffin recipe that would utilize lemon curd, but I was worried it would be too hard to make the curd from scratch. Now I can definitely try it out with this recipe 😀 I believe I now owe you a muffin heehee

  10. While homemade lemon curd is really, really good, if I had extra egg yolks, I would be making ice cream!!

  11. I have actually never tried lemon curd but this makes me want to!

  12. Lemon curd is so versatile! Thats why I love it. I’ll have to make this recipe soon like today.

  13. Lemon curd would be my lover if I ever wanted one. For reals. THat stuff is heaven sent.

  14. I have never made lemon curd before but probably will soon, thanks to your post! I would love to stuff a donut with some!

  15. I love homemade lemon curd! It’s the best way to use up egg yolks, and a great filling for vanilla layer cakes.

  16. This is easier than I thought. This recipe will go down in archives. Thanks.

  17. This sounds so stinking good! And easy! Can’t wait to give this a try.

  18. Lemon curd is like sunshine in a jar, love it!

  19. I (we) just love lemon curd especially on our scones! I must give this a shot!

  20. Oh I must try this!! Sounds delicious and thanks for sharing!

  21. This is a jar of heaven. Now you have me tempted to make some with some leftover lemons I have on hand. 🙂

  22. This looks so wonderful- I love all things lemon, and I know I will love this! Thanks for sharing such a great idea with us! I have pinned this! 🙂

  23. Carolynn Scoffield

    I tried twice to save this via ZipList! Twice got the “oops!” message that they couldnt find the recipe in the system! HELP PLEASE! And THANKYOU!

  24. Aimee, this is TOO funny. I just bought lemon curd last night from the store. Now I want to return it and make my own. I love lemon curd so much – and well, everything lemon!

  25. LOVE homemade lemon curd and it is so easy! I’ve never tried Alton’s recipe before but it looks fantastic! Pinning!

  26. Mmm lemon curd! So delicious- well anything lemon is to me! I have only made it once years ago for some tarts but this recipe looks easy and your photos have me drooling! Looks like lemon curd is on the to do list now! 😉

  27. I LOVE making lemon curd! I just eat it straight from the bowl!! Yum!

  28. This sounds great! I’ve thought about trying lemon curd but it seems like the recipes I’ve seen before call for a dozen egg yolks. This seems more do-able! Gotta love Alton!

  29. Christine

    We had lemon curd while we were visiting our daughter in England and it is divine. We spread it on our toast and pancakes and thought we had gone to heaven. Hope this recipe is the same. I will make it and let you know.

  30. This sounds totally doable! I thought it’d be really hard and complicated— looove lemon, looove lemon curd. Pinning this! Excited to try it 🙂

  31. I actually love, love, LOVE lemon curd, and have wanted to try making my own for a long time. You’re giving me the push I need. 🙂 This looks great!

  32. I love lemon curd, and it way easier to make than you would think. I did it for the first time last spring – no turning back!

  33. I usually just buy lemon curd when I need it, but I do make my own lemon meringue pies. I guess next time I need some curd, I better do the home made version since you have me convinced it is way easy! Looks gorgeous!!!

  34. I had to come over after I saw your name on another blog comment. I love lemon curd and have never made it. I am contributing to a teacher’s gift basket which is themed after Downton Abbey and I am going to make this!

    Found a ton of your boards I want to follow out on Pinterest too.

  35. I had to come over when I saw your name listed on a comment.

    I love lemon curd, but have never made it. Seems pretty easy! I have to contribute something for a teacher’s gift basket and the theme is Downton Abbey. I’m thinking this is a perfect idea with a tea loaf. Thank you for sharing.

  36. I absolutely adore lemon curd! You’ve inspired me to make my own. Pinned it!

  37. Daniela

    Just finished making my own lemon curd! It smells and tastes delicious! thanks for the recipe!

  38. Teri

    Has anyone tried making lemon curd with Splenda or another sugar-like product?? If so, what were your substitute measurements? Thx!

  39. Dolly

    This recipe is great and super easy to make! I never considered myself a big time lemon fan but I could eat this stuff by the spoonful! I actually added a little more lemon juice than the recipe calls for (about 1/2 cup) and I think it was perfect and very lemony. I stored the curd in nice little mason jars and also used some of it to make the lemon curd tart that’s on this site. I’ll definitely be making this again and it will be a recipe that I use often. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Cindy

    Last year I found Lemon Curd at Trader Joe’s and we loved it over warmed gingerbread. I never thought about making it myself. Thanks for the recipe!

  41. Alex

    Thank you so much for the recipe! It was easy, as you said, and it was also my first time doing it! Thank you for the blogg on it, it encouraged me to try it!

  42. turned out perfectly! thanks very much x

  43. I have been obsessed with lemon curd for a few months now. I have only found one brand that I like and it ain’t cheap! But the ingredients are exactly this recipe. I’m so excited! I love mixing it with Greek yogurt. So very yummy. I can’t wait to make it for myself.

  44. Jody

    Talk about amazing! I just made a batch and after tasting it I started another batch. I am going to have friends over so I will be making small tarts with the curd. The leftovers my husband and I will be eating!!

  45. I just made this lemon curd and it turned out great! Its quite thick and could be a bit lemonier.

  46. I just made this lemon curd and it turned out great! Its quite thick and could be a bit lemonier but that was totally my fault since i didn’t add all of the lemon zest. GREAT RECIPE!

  47. Laurel

    This tastes so good! I’ve never eaten any flavor curd, and this was my first time making it. I don’t know if it’s gelled up enough. I cooked it over a pot of boiling water for 9 minutes, and the butter melted into it very nicely. But I thought it was supposed to be like a jam consistency, but it’s more like a really thick syrup.
    Like I said, it tastes amazing and I think it’ll be just fine in the mini sugar cookie cups I made. But I wanna make sure I’m doing it right…

    • I definitely should be thicker than syrup, maybe not as thick as jam. I hope it gelled up in the fridge for you! So glad you love it!

      • Laurel

        The only part of the process I couldn’t follow was using a metal bowl, because I only have glass ones. :/
        That’s probably why mine didn’t turn out right no matter what, since metal conducts heat better than glass and I just couldn’t get the mixture cooked properly without the right bowl or a real double boiler.

        Turns out the cookie cups had some serious issues, and the curd stayed the same thinner consistency. I should have just made/bought a pound cake, and served it as a incredible sauce with that and the vanilla whipped cream I made.
        Buuuuut, being the [never]stubborn person I am, I tried slowly warming it up again, and cooking it some more, to no avail.
        I filled the cups right before leaving to go to my in-laws and by the time I got in the car, the cups started leaking. oy. VEY.

        I thought nobody would wanna try them since they were turning into a mess, so my husband so graciously stopped at the store on the way for a lemon dessert to take.
        Long story short, every single cup got eaten! A true testament to how good this recipe really is. 😀
        My mother-in-law tasted the store-bought dessert a couple hours later and said, “Yours is MUCH better”. lol

        • Haha!! I was afraid how this story would end! Glad it was delicious 🙂

          • Laurel

            It is! It’s SO good. If I have a reason to make it again before I get a metal bowl to make it properly, I’m definitely making a poke cake!
            Poke holes into a white cake, pour the warm lemon mixture over the whole thing and let it soak a bit, then chill it in the fridge and top it with homemade whipped cream.
            mmmm….yeowza, I might just make that anyway… 😀

  48. Sarah

    I made it, but it turned out runnier than pictured. Any ideas why?

    • Unfortunately, not being there to see what went wrong, I”m not sure. Did you let it set up in the refrigerator?

      • Anonymous

        It’s okay. It’s 1:48am. I went and checked it half an hour ago, and it set. Lol. Guess I’m just impatient.
        I made a sponge cake, cut it into three layers. On the bottom, I brushed it with orange simple syrup (as I did to all three layers). Then covered it with the lemon curd and piped whipped white chocolate ganache on. Second layer brushed with the syrup, then more curd and fresh whipped chantilly cream. Top was brushed then placed on. In the morning I will cover it all with chantilly cream. 🙂 happy Mother’s Day!

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  50. Hi, I’m in the UK and work with grams not cups. Can you give me the equivalent in grams for the sugar and butter please?

    Regards, Jode x

  51. Al

    I made chocolate cupcakes with lemon curd centers! Yummy!

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  53. kristen

    Do you know if it would be okay to freeze this recipe? Thanks!

  54. Shelley

    Finally made this…..today and OMG better then what is premade that you can buy…in my option thanks for the post

  55. Yvonne

    What’s the difference between lemon curd and lemon pie filling? Is it more tart?

  56. Do you know if it would be okay to freeze this recipe? Thanks!

  57. Joanne

    Do you have to use salt free butter?

  58. Stephanie

    Could you can this? Or does it have to be refrigerated?

  59. Wanda

    I wonder if Lemon Curd could be made with Splenda.

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