Never buy lemon curd from the store again! No really, don’t, it’s gross. And making it at home is so easy! This lemon curd is creamy, tart, and perfect for topping your toast. Or topping your spoon. 

The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan

Last night Eric and I were sitting around the dining room table eating ice cream with his family. There was a lull in the conversation, so Aunt Joy poked her 9-year-old son Blake. “Tell us a joke, Blake.” Mumble mumble mumble. “What?”

“They wouldn’t be appropriate for the table.” 9 YEARS OLD MY FRIENDS.

The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan

Speaking of inappropriate jokes, we were at my sister-in-law’s wedding reception last week, and I went over to Nana and Bumpa (Eric’s 85-year-old grandparents) to get them on the dance floor. Uptown Funk was playing. I was singing. The first time I said “Uptown funk don’t give it to you,” Nana gives me this shocked look and says, “Oh!” with her mouth hanging open. “No, no, no, Nana, FUNK, not the other one, you know, funk, like funky music.” It was a lost cause from the start.

The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan

The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan

Have you bought lemon curd at the store? That stuff is like pure corn syrup plus gelatin I think, and I’m not even talking about the cheap brands. The homemade stuff is absolutely incomparable. It is perfectly tart and creamy and gives you that little zing in your mouth that is a must for any citrus dessert.

The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan

It’s a super easy recipe, too. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool down in the fridge, although I certainly wouldn’t say no to a nice hot spoonful of lemon curd. I made several batches to get it just right, but originally I made it to use as a filling for a layer cake. Here are some other ideas:

  • spread it on toast
  • top ice cream
  • Use it as a filling in this Coconut Layer Cake
  • stuffed cupcakes
  • filled donuts
  • top pancakes
  • Throw it in a pie shell and top with whipped cream
  • fruit dip (I love it with bananas, strawberries, in a bowl with blueberries or raspberries)
  • Stir into plain Greek Yogurt and top with granola and/or fruit
  • Fold into whipped cream and top a cake with it
  • Top a bagel or breakfast pastry
  • Top a pavlova
  • Fill crepes
  • Spoon a bunch on top of softened cream cheese and serve with crackers
  • Spread on gingersnaps or these Soft Ginger Cookies
The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan
Oh snap

Good luck with all these suggestions, by the way. When I make lemon curd I hardly ever make it past the spoon.

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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The Best Lemon Curd

4.88 from 8 votes
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chill Time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
Never buy lemon curd from the store again! No really, don't, it's gross. And making it at home is so easy! This lemon curd is creamy, tart, and perfect for topping your toast. Or topping your spoon. 


  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, optional*
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh, 3-4 large lemons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs , + 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 stick, chopped**


  • In a small saucepan, stir together lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Set over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat together 3 eggs and 4 egg yolks. Whisk it very well.
  • When the liquid on the stove is ready, slowly pour some of it into the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly. I usually pour in about half, but you can do more or less. This is called tempering the eggs.
  • Return the pot to the stove and add the rest of the eggs while stirring. If you don't stir you may curdle your eggs.
  • Continue to whisk pretty constantly over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. When you drag your whisk over the top of the mixture, it should leave marks.
  • Pour the curd through a mesh strainer into a new bowl (or the same one, washed). Unless you are an expert curd maker, you will probably have a few solid egg pieces in there, which is totally okay! Just strain them out.
  • Stir the chopped butter into the lemon curd until it's completely melted. This is a good time for a large spoonful of hot lemon curd.
  • Press a square of plastic wrap directly on top of the lemon curd. If you just cover the bowl, you will get a film on your curd.
  • Refrigerate until cold, about 2-4 hours. It will thicken up some as it cools.
  • Transfer to a tupperware. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.


*The lemon zest adds great flavor and will make it more tangy. If texture is more important to you than flavor and you are looking for a super creamy lemon curd, then leave it out.
**I've seen similar recipes that call for up to 8 tablespoons of butter. Go for it! I think it tastes great with 4 tablespoons, but I'm not one to turn down extra butter...


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 155
Keyword: curd, lemon
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan

 You might like these recipes too!

This lemon curd would be amazing on top of these Gingerbread Pancakes:

Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Syrup from The Food Charlatan

Meyer Lemon Tart:

Meyer Lemon Tart from The Food Charlatan

Cinnamon Honey Butter:

Cinnamon Honey Butter from The Food Charlatan


Raspberry Lemon-Glazed Muffins (One of my most viewed recipes!)

Raspberry Lemon Muffins from The Food Charlatan


Coconut Syrup:

Coconut Syrup from The Food Charlatan


Other great recipes from friends:

Lemon Curd Pound Cake from Cookies and Cups
Easy Lemon Tarts from Crazy for Crust
Lemon Curd Stuffed Cupcakes from A Side of Sweet

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  1. Wonderful!  Our daughter brought us limes from her tree.  I combined them with the last of the fresh lemons from our tree.  The juice was exactly enough to double this recipe.  We have a light, luscious, tangy lemon-lime curd.  A lemon lime cheesecake is calling!

    Thanks a ton Karen!  This is such an easy recipe with always excellent results.  If you are fortunate to have your own laying hens the straining is easy too.  Old grocery store eggs leave lots of chunks.  Even with those, it is still an easy, delicious recipe with many tasty opportunities for use.

    1. Hi Karen! I haven’t tried that! I think it would impact flavor. I would try honey over maple. Or maybe try agave, for a more neutral flavor. Lmk how it goes!

  2. 5 stars
    I got spoiled eating lemon curd (and more) overseas. Store bought curd is always chancy, but homemade is always a winner. Thank you for making such a sublime treat available with an easy-to-follow recipe. Lemon curd is always a taste treat, with “something” or as you say by the spoonful. May I also suggest a sublime treat for afternoon tea, breakfast or just to be good-to-yourself: Scones, plain or whatever pleases you, topped by lemon curd, and if you are really lucky, Clotted Cream or Devon Double Cream. Divine :-) Fluffy biscuits will do also as the combination of lemon curd, Clotted/Devon Double makes them a masterpiece. Cream Some grocery stores may carry Clotted Cream/Devon Double Cream, but you can order from Walmart and King Arthur Baking. Pricey, but worth every cream morsel with lemon curd.
    Thank you again and keep baking and cooking.

    1. Clotted cream is one of the most delicious things Mary Lou, I’ve been wanting to try making my own at home for some time now! Thank you for all the tips and ideas!

  3. 5 stars
    Super simple and super yummy. Did I read the part about the zest making it more tangy? No. So mine was a little more tangy than I would have liked, though I loved it in the texture. Next time I will leave it out. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing. It is so good and made me feel like a super accomplished chef!

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