Easy Lemon Curd

Lemon curd in a glass jar on a gray surface.

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Make homemade lemon curd in minutes with this quick and easy recipe! It's the perfect way to add a burst of citrus flavor to cakes, pastries, waffles, pancakes, and more.


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  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add lemon juice, zest, and salt. Whisk for a minute or two until the mixture is well-combined.

3. Add the butter and whisk until melted. Continue constantly whisking (don't stop whisking or egg yolks will curdle) for 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Keep in mind that the lemon curd will thicken into a pudding-like consistency after it cools.

4. Allow the lemon curd to cool slightly before transferring to an airtight container. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or the freezer for up to one year.



1. If possible, use fresh lemon juice rather than the bottled kind. The bottled variety tends to give lemon curd a bitter taste.

2. The lemon curd can be strained if you want a smoother consistency (i.e. you don't like the texture of the zest or the egg yolks happen to curdle.)

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