Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemon Curd Recipe

Written by Becky

I fell in love with lemon curd back in 2009 when I first posted this recipe. I couldn’t get over it’s sweet, tart, buttery flavor. Since then I’ve been making it for friends, putting it between layers of ice box cakes, topping ice cream and pancakes with it, and just about spreading it on anything I can find!

Lemon Curd Recipe

Since my discovery of lemon curd it’s become a special recipe to me. My friend Grace requests this every time she visits from Haiti. I even sent her some for her wedding via a friend. I recently made it for a dear friend’s going away party and Josh often makes it for me on special occasions.

Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemon Curd Recipe

Here are some more ideas of ways to use Lemon Curd: spread onto toast, drizzle over a scone, mix into whip cream for a lemony mousse dessert, spoon over some ice cream, use in between layered cake, spread onto crepes or pancakes, mix into yogurt. Lemon curd could have many uses I’m sure so you can use your imagination!

Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemon Curd Recipe

Rich creamy lemon curd recipe, perfect for pancakes, toast, crepes, or ice cream!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • 2-3 lemons, zested
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated


  • Place the butter into a double boiler or heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat and let it melt (the pan should be just warm enough to melt the butter). Once it’s mostly melted turn off the heat.
  • Measure out the sugar into a medium bowl and zest a few lemons into it. Then squeeze about 1/2 cup of lemon juice into the lemon zest/ sugar mixture.
  • Separate the eggs, dropping the yolks into the pot of melted (but not hot) butter and the whites into the sugar mixture.
  • Whisk the yolks and butter together until well combined. Careful not to overcook you don't want to scramble the eggs! Then take the whisk to the sugar mixture until well combined. Pour the sugar mixture into the pot with the butter and whisk it all together.
  • Turn the heat back on to low and use a whisk to constantly stir the mixture, scrapping the bottom and sides of the pan to make sure nothing burns. If you have an instant read thermometer, just get the temp up to 170 degrees and you should be golden. Otherwise, just keep stirring until the curd thickens enough to coat a spatula. Make sure you don’t over cook it!
  • As soon as it’s done, take it off the heat and pour through a mesh strainer*  into a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.


You don't have to strain the lemon curd but if you don't there might be a few pieces of lemon zest throughout. Straining the curd makes it completely smooth.

Here’s my old picture from 2009, just in case you’re curious!

Lemon Curd Recipe

Comments (28)

  1. I love lemon curd, but have always shied away from making it because of the whole “careful of the scrambled eggs” thing. Your method seems so straightforward, though, so maybe I’ll try it.

  2. mmmm… I made this for all the moms in our family for Mother’s Day, they loved it! So yummy! 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. I made this tonight, and it was soooooo good!!! I also used it to make the Lemon Icebox Cake. We’ll see how it turns out tomorrow!!!

  4. I’ve seen it termed as “Lemon Butter” in the UK, it’s generally called curd in Australia too.

    The negative connotations are definitely there, but damn it’s good when made right 🙂

  5. I made this today for my wife for breakfast, and LOVE the flavor. I had never made it before, so followed the directions pretty assiduously. When cooking it, I used a thermometer and cooked it to exactly 170. After cooling, though, it’s still thin and pourable. The lemon curd I am used to is much thicker. If I make it again, I think I’ll cook it a little longer to make it thicken up more. 170 just wasn’t enough to make it as thick as it should be.
    For a first effort, though, it was good, and like I said the flavor was lovely. Will certainly make it again, now that I have a feel for it and know what to expect.

    • I cook it until it is pretty thick. Sometimes it takes a while.. just keep on stirring!! I’ve tried many lemon curd recipes and this is still my favorite . The ones with cornstarch just aren’t the same. Hope you had a lovely breakfast.

  6. I’ve been making Lemon Curd for 10 years for a tea to make money for a non- profit. My recipe is somewhat like yours, except I don’t separate the eggs. I mix them with the butter, zest and sugar until completely combined and fluffy. I then heat and add the juice. The egg never curdles, and I’ve never had to strain it. And I increased the basic recipe by 10. Hope this helps. Susan Lewis

  7. mmmmmmdoubleyummmmm I love lemon curd. I had to laugh at all the things you posted you can use it with. Use it with? If eating it in a bowl is wrong then I don’t want to be right. My favorite thing about having fresh eggs is when we get more than we can use I have an excuse to make lemon curd. My batch of lemon curd usually envolves 12-18 eggs. When I do it…..I do it good LOL

  8. This was fantastic. My mom and I thought it had the perfect blend of tart and sweet. The consistency worked out great as well. Looking forward to using it in our dessert tonight!

    • Liane, so glad you enjoyed it! It’s hard not to eat it before using it for another recipe but I’m sure you’re dessert will be amazing! Happy Easter!

  9. You have a great knack for making this look very easy. I found your recipe, I said to myself, ” Got eggs, got lemons, butter, lets do this”! 30 minutes later I have a beautiful tasting lemon curd in my fridge waiting to make a berry tart tomorrow for Christmas. Thank you:)

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