This tangy-sweet and tantalizing honey lemon curd promises a burst of citrusy flavor with a subtle hint of earthy sweetness from the honey, perfect for filling cakes or pastries, spreading on toast or scones, or simply enjoying by the spoonful.

A jar of honey lemon curd on a small silver plate with spoon.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Just 4 ingredients – Egg yolks, butter, lemon and honey are all you need to make this simple yet astonishing and delicious lemon curd.
  • One-pot recipe – This easy honey lemon curd is made in one pot. Afterwards, you simply strain the mixture and transfer it into a sealable container for storage.
  • So many ways to enjoy! – Lemon curd is incredibly versatile and this recipe highlights its flexibility. Whether you spread it on toast, use it as a filling for cakes and pastries, or incorporate it into savory dishes like salad dressings or marinades, the possibilities are endless. Its smooth texture and vibrant flavor make it a welcome addition to a wide range of culinary creations, from breakfast to dessert.
A jar of honey lemon curd with a spoonful resting on the jar.

Ingredients you’ll need and why:

  • Honey – The primary sweetener, imparting its distinct flavor profile to the curd. It provides natural sweetness while also adding depth and complexity with its floral and fruity notes.
  • Lemon zest – This key ingredient provides the main flavor profile of the lemon curd. The oil from the zest is where the concentrated lemon flavor and essence comes from.
  • Egg yolks – They serve as a thickening agent and emulsifier in the curd. They contain proteins and fats that help bind the ingredients together and create a smooth, creamy texture. When heated gently, the proteins in the egg yolks coagulate, thickening the mixture and giving the curd its custard-like consistency.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Its acidity balances the sweetness of the honey and adds brightness to the curd. Using fresh lemon juice ensures a vibrant taste and aroma, unlike bottled or concentrated lemon juice.
  • Butter – Contributes richness, creaminess, and a luxurious mouthfeel to the curd. It melts into the mixture, adding smoothness, and also helps thicken the curd as it cools.
image of ingredients needed to make honey lemon curd: egg yolks, butter, lemons, and honey

How to make honey lemon curd:

(The full written and printable recipe is further below.)

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken and bubble around the edges. Continue whisking and sweeping every inch of the pan (to prevent scorching the curd) until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter until it is completely melted.
  4. Pour the hot curd into a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Press the mixture through using a spatula and scrape any curd clinging to the underside of the strainer into the bowl. Transfer the curd to a sealable container or bowl and store in the fridge until ready to use.
process shots of how to make honey lemon curd

Expert tips:

  • Zest carefully – When zesting the lemons, be careful to only remove the outer colored part of the peel, avoiding the bitter white pith underneath. A microplane grater works well for achieving finely grated zest without including any pith.
  • Keep an eye on the heat – Maintain low to medium heat throughout the cooking process to prevent the eggs from curdling. Stir the mixture constantly and be vigilant, as overheating can result in a grainy texture or even scrambled eggs.

Variations:

  • Lime Honey Curd – Substitute the lemon zest and juice for lime zest and juice for a tangy twist.
  • Ginger Infused – Add some grated fresh ginger along with the lemon zest for a spicy kick.
  • Lavender – Add a sprinkle of dried culinary lavender into the mixture before cooking, for a floral note.
  • Vanilla Bean – Split half a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the curd mixture while cooking.
  • Coconut Lemon Curd – Replace the butter with coconut oil for a tropical twist.

How to serve:

Honey Lemon Curd is incredibly versatile and capable of enhancing a wide range of dishes with its sweet-tart flavor and creamy texture. From breakfast to dessert, it can be spread, layered, filled, drizzled, or paired to add a delightful touch of citrusy goodness. Some of my favorite ways to use honey lemon curd include spreading it on toast or scones, using it to fill pastries such as croissants or cupcakes, drizzling it over pancakes or cheesecake, pairing it with fresh fruit, or serving it alongside buttery shortbread cookies.

Lemon curd tarts on a white board with the jar and spoonful beside it.

FAQ:

Why did my lemon curd turn out grainy?

Grainy lemon curd can result from overheating the mixture or cooking it too quickly. To avoid this, ensure you’re using low to medium heat and constantly stirring during the cooking process. Additionally, straining the curd after cooking can help remove any grainy textures caused by overcooked eggs or lemon zest.

Is it normal for lemon curd to thicken as it cools?

Yes, it is normal for lemon curd to thicken as it cools. The mixture will continue to set as it chills in the refrigerator, resulting in a thicker consistency.

How long does homemade lemon curd last?

Homemade lemon curd can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It’s important to keep it refrigerated to maintain its freshness and prevent spoilage.

What should I do with the leftover egg whites?

There are many uses for leftover egg whites. You can make an egg white omelette, add it to soups or even cocktails for a silky texture. Here are two of my own recipes you can make:
Petite Financier Cakes
Amaretti Cookies
You can also freeze them for later so there is no pressure to use them quickly.

You might also like:

Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.

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Honey Lemon Curd

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  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: about 1 cup of curd
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This tangy-sweet and tantalizing honey lemon curd promises a burst of citrusy flavor with a subtle hint of earthy sweetness from the honey.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) honey
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest (12 lemons depending on size)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the honey, egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken and bubble around the edges. Continue whisking and sweeping every inch of the pan (to prevent scorching the curd) until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter until it is completely melted.
  4. Pour the hot curd into a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Press the mixture through using a spatula and scrape any curd clinging to the underside of the strainer into the bowl. Transfer the curd to a sealable container or bowl and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Notes

This honey lemon curd can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.