I’ll be honest, the word curd gives me the ick. It’s up there with moist. That’s probably because it’s so close to the word curdled – which typically means something has gone very very wrong. But lemon curd is worth having to say (and type in the case of this recipe – you’re welcome) thanks to its creamy tart flavor and versatility.

And when I say it’s versatile, I am not kidding. Here is a short list of some of the things you can do with lemon curd:

  • Make an easy but very impressive lemon tart (bonus points if you add meringue on top)
  • Whip up my dad’s favorite dessert – lemon bars!
  • Sandwich between macaron shells (don’t forget the F&W Guide to Macarons)
  • Serve with crepes or use it like jam on toast
  • Use as a filling for donuts or breakfast buns
  • Elevate thumbprint cookies and use it instead of jam
  • Fold into whipped cream to add some flavor and tartness

This recipe varies from traditional lemon curd in one very simple way: it’s dairy-free! This just means, instead of using regular butter, I used dairy-free butter. When picking a dairy free butter, you’ll notice some say recommended for baking on the box – I recommend you go with one of those. I went with a dairy-free version of this recipe because I have so many friends and family trying to limit or cut out dairy for health reasons. Desserts are always what I bring to events, so I knew I needed to expand my dairy-free recipes.

If you don’t want to bother getting specialty butter then use regular unsalted butter! The ratios all stay the same to make it as easy as possible for you to put together this fast, simple, yet impressive dessert component.

Easy Lemon Curd (Daiy-Free)

This lemon curd can be used in so many ways from fillings to swirling into a cheesecake. The best part is even those avoid dairy can enjoy this creamy treat.
Course Condiment, Dessert
Servings 3 cups


  • 2 tbsp fresh grated lemon zest
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks save the whites for another use like macaron shells
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice this is about two large lemons
  • 1/2 cup dairy free butter


  • Pulse lemon zest and sugar in food processor until the lemon zest is combined with the sugar – add egg yolks and lemon juice and pulse again until combined.
  • Melt the butter until just melted (not too hot) and stream into the food processor while you continue to pulse.
  • Transfer mixture to a double boiler and cook over low heat, whisking until mixture thickens. This can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as 15. You'll know it's ready when you coat the back of a spoon with the mixture, run your finger through, and the line stays without the remaining mixture falling down the spoon.
  • Let cool and refrigerate in an air tight container. Try to use within 1-2 weeks.
Keyword Easy Desserts, easy recipe, lemon, lemon curd, lemon curd recipe, quick dessert, under 20 minutes