How to Make Lemon Curd {& What the Heck to Use It For}

March 25, 2020
Bright, tart, and tasty ... the possibilities with Lemon Curd are seemingly endless.  And fortunately for lemon lovers, making it is not hard at all.  Follow these steps for how to make Lemon Curd to whip up your own tasty homemade batch.  It's actually pretty easy.  Then, check out the bottom of this post for ideas on what the heck to use it for!

Homemade Lemon Curd Image

Ah, tart and tasty Lemon Curd.  If you're like me you probably have a few questions about Lemon Curd.  Like perhaps:

Why is it called curd?  (Curd certainly isn't the most attractive sounding word.)

Is Lemon Curd hard to make?

And, what the heck do you use lemon curd for anyway??

The key is to simply cook Lemon Curd slowly and gently to create the perfect smooth and creamy texture.

While I'm certainly not qualified to explain why it's called curd, I certainly can  show how to make it and share what the heck to use Lemon Curd for.  And, no ... it's indeed not hard to make at all.  

The key is to simply cook Lemon Curd slowly and gently to create the perfect smooth and creamy texture.  And then from there, use it to create all kinds of lemony sweet treats.  From cake filling to cheesecake topping, lemon tarts to ice cream mix-in, and even lemony cocktails ... the ways to enjoy Lemon Curd are pretty endless. 

How to Make Lemon Curd

Step 1:  Squeeze Fresh Lemons

Measuring Cup of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice Image

Fresh lemon juice is a must for the brightest and best-flavored Lemon Curd.

Start by squeezing fresh lemons to yield the needed juice.

To get the most out of each lemon, pop it whole in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds and then roll it on the counter top a few times with the palm of your hand before squeezing.  This method will give you a whole lot more juice than just straight-up squeezing a lemon fresh out of the refrigerator.

Step 2:  Whisk Together Ingredients

Whisking Ingredients to Make Lemon Curd Image

Off the heat, whisk together sugar, some cornstarch, and a touch of salt in a saucepan.

Then whisk in the freshly-squeezed lemon juice.  Next, add in the eggs ... one at a time ... whisking each one in thoroughly before adding the next.

Step 3:  Cook the Lemon Curd

How to Make Lemon Curd Image

Cook the mixture over medium heat.  Whisk the curd constantly while it cooks to make sure the eggs cook slowly, gently, and free of lumps.

This is super important to bring the temperature of the mixture up slowly, whisking the entire time. -- Too fast a temperature rise or bits of egg sitting on the bottom of the pan will lead to lumps of cooked egg in the curd.

When the curd is ready, the mixture will thicken and turn from dark bright yellow to pale yellow.

Making Lemon Curd
Making Lemon Curd

Step 4:  Finish with Butter & Zest

Finishing Homemade Lemon Curd with Butter and Lemon Zest Image

Remove the lemon curd from the heat.  Stir in a couple tablespoons butter and some fresh lemon zest, stirring until the butter is melted.

Step 5:  Chill

Jar of Homemade Lemon Curd Image

Chill at least four hours or overnight.  The Lemon Curd will continue to thicken as it cools.

That's it!  See, making Lemon Curd isn't hard at all, is it?

And as I said at the start of the post, the possibilities with Lemon Curd are pretty much endless.  Scroll down a bit below the Lemon Curd recipe to enjoy 15 possibilities to get you started.

My only remaining Lemon Curd question? ... Which of the tasty lemon curd possibilities to make next!

Homemade Lemon Curd in Phyllo Dough Tart Shells Image
Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

homemade lemon curd, lemon curd recipe, how to make lemon curd
Yield: about 1 cup curd

How to Make Lemon Curd

Bright, tart, and tasty ... the possibilities with Lemon Curd are seemingly endless. And fortunately for lemon lovers, making homemade Lemon Curd is not hard at all!
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 8 Mtotal time: 18 M


  • 1 c. + 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. fresh lemon juice (approximately 5 lemons)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind


How to make homemade Lemon Curd

  1. Off any heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk.  Stir in lemon juice and eggs. 
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  3. Reduce heat; simmer 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. 
  4. Remove from heat. Add butter and lemon rind; stir gently until butter melts. Spoon mixture into a bowl; cool.
  5. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight. Lemon curd will thicken as it cools.
Created using The Recipes Generator

What to Do With Lemon Curd

Let's take a look at some of the wonderful things you can do with Lemon Curd.  Other than ... for the die-hard lemon lover ... eat it straight from a spoon, that is!  Lemon Curd does amazing things as a filling, topping, mix-in, or even as a base for a beautifully tasty cocktail.

1. Fillings - Fill tarts, edible bowls, cookies, cakes, and cupcakes with Lemon Curd for a zippy punch of lemon goodness.

Lemon Curd Tartlets | from The Kitchen is My Playground

Easter Cups with Lemon Curd & Cream | from Noshing with the Nolands

Lemon Meringue Whoopie Pies | from Lemons for Lulu

Coconut Lemon Curd Poke Cake | from Diary of a Recipe Collector

Meyer Lemon Macarons | from 52 Kitchen Adventures

2. Toppings - For a little touch of lemon zing, top waffles, muffins, scones, cheesecake, a slice of pound cake, gingerbread, or even ice cream with a dollop or drizzle of Lemon Curd.

Gingerbread Waffles | from The Kitchen is My Playground

Lovely Lemon Cheesecake | from Lovefoodies

Classic English Scones | from Lovefoodies

3. Stir-In for Lemon Dessert Creations - Stir Lemon Curd into no-bake and baked creations to make and endless array of luscious lemon desserts.  Here are a few delicious ideas to get you started!

Limoncello Lemon Ice Cream | from The Kitchen is My Playground

Easy 3-Ingredient Lemon Mousse Recipe | from The Kitchen is My Playground

Lemon Crumble Bars | from House of Yumm

Lemon Cloud Tart with Salted Caramel Sauce | from Life Currents

Lemony Strawberry Shortcake | from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

4. Cocktails - Whip up a beautifully delicious cocktail with Lemon Curd as the base.


  1. I LOVE lemon curd! Thank you so much for including my Lemon Meringue Pie cocktail too :) There's so many great desserts to choose from here.

    1. We have never tried canning; we keep it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

  2. Awesome post! I would love to invite you to my new link party The Beautifully Creative Inspired. The party launched on Friday and will continue every Fridays at 9AM eastern time on 5 BLOGS! It runs until Wednesday night :D Hope you can party with us!

  3. Thanks for this post. I never knew what I was to do with lemon curd but have been curious since I see it at the grocery store. Will be trying a few recipes

  4. In the top instructions you say add in egg yolks but the ingredients just calls for 3 eggs. Do we just use the yolks?

    1. Jill, it is the entire egg. We have updated the instructions to reflect its the entire egg is used. Thank you for notifying us.

  5. You make this sound so easy and look so scrumptious. Thanks for consolidating so many ideas of how to use!

  6. How long can you keep lemon curd

  7. Do you think I could can this so I can make this ahead of time?

  8. Thank you for this recipe .. I used it with fresh lemons from my aunts garden and you made me look like a rock star .. thank you

  9. Hello. I'm thinking of making this for a group of ladies (with scones). How much lemon curd does this recipe make? Thank you :)

  10. with all the lemons my tree gave me this season I've given so many away and still had tons, I just made this curd, OMG it's awesome, I still have juice left over, I'm wondering if this curd freezes well, if so how long? thank you for sharing this recipe and all the links to the others.

  11. Hi. Can I substitute the sugar with erythritol and how much? Thank you.

    1. We have never worked with erythritol so we are not sure how it would turn out. If you try it please let us and the other readers know how it turns out.

  12. I followed your recipe and it turned out wonderful ..

  13. Hi is the capital T in the ingreadients list a teaspoon or a tablespoon Thank you

  14. I made a big plain pound cake & I bake for a womens Bible study every week so I made the plain pound cake for those that like it plain & will add a little lemon curd on the top for those that like it .I have made it before this way & the ladies loved the lemon curd & the chef at the place we have the Bible study at did too !

    1. Thank you for sharing how you used the lemon curd, it sounds delicious. We love to hear when our readers enjoy the recipes we post.

  15. How long does it keep before it goes bad?

  16. Could I replace the lemon juice with juice from squished berries?

    1. Hi, our recipe was not tested using juice from squished berries, so, unfortunately, I can’t vouch for the results. Please stop by and let us know how the recipe turns out if you use juice from squished berries.


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