Tangy Lemon Curd (Honey Sweetened and Dairy Free)


Lemon curd is one of those special treats that is so simple to make. Eggs, lemon juice and zest, honey, and coconut oil (or butter or ghee) magically cooks into a thick, tangy, rich curd, just perfect for a warm day.

Who says you have to spend a lot of money and time to make a nourishing sweet treat? This is my contribution to the Simple and Nourishing Carnival!

This lemon curd is strictly for a lemon lover, like myself. This recipe really allows the lemon to play the dominate role, with just enough sweetener to take the edge off of the sourness of the lemon without dulling it’s tang. It’s the perfect pairing for a sweet cake.

You can serve it simply by dolloping it over sweet fresh berries and toasted nuts, or you can use it as part of a fancy layer cake, in tarts and thumb print cookies, or spread between flaky scones. Oh yes, there are a lot of uses for lemon curd! Simple and fancy!

Tangy Lemon Curd
This is a more frugal version of curd, because, like the Joy of Cooking’s version, I use whole eggs instead of just the egg yolks. However, you could substitute 6 egg yolks for the whole eggs for a super rich curd.

    3 large eggs
    1/4 -1/3 cup of honey
    Grated zest of one lemon (I used about 1 tablespoon)
    1/2 cup of lemon juice
    6 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (or you could use ghee or butter).

1-In a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan, whisk together the first three ingredients until light colored.

2-Add the the coconut oil, breaking it into small clumps as you drop it into the pot for even melting. Then add the lemon juice.

3-Cook, whisking over medium heat until the coconut oil is melted. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens and you start to see a few bubbles popping at the surface.

4-Remove from heat, and scrape into a fine sieve set over a bowl. Strain the curd, gently stirring if needed.

5-Refrigerate for several hours to thicken. Will keep about one week in the refrigerator.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. says

    My family loves lemons; in fact, I have lemons left over from a chicken dish I made tonight. This is so timely. I going to definitely make this lemon curd. It sounds so tangy. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. says

    My family loves lemons; in fact, I have lemons left over from a chicken dish I made tonight. This is so timely. I’m going to definitely make this lemon curd. It sounds so tangy. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. says

    There is just nothing like fresh berries dipped in lemon curd. It’s a wonderful treat. I haven’t made it in ages though. I’m also curious about using whole eggs too – I only ever used the egg yolks.

  4. KimiHarris says

    Shannon and Jenny,

    Good ol’ Joy of Cooking was the one who alerted me to the fact that I could use whole eggs, as that’s the way they do their recipe! (A bit easier on the budget, you know?).

    Texture changes? It’s hard to say whether it was the coconut oil or the egg whites, but as this continue to cools it ends up just a little bit not as smooth. I am thinking that it is the coconut oil though. I have pictures of the curd a few hours apart, and the one I took when it was just barely cooled do look a bit smoother, but then as it continued to cool, it got thicker and a little less smooth. Nothing real noticeable, but I did notice it chance. I think that coconut oil hardens up more then butter when very cold. (By the way, this picture is it completely chilled-the later picture. So that’s how “smooth” it will look).

  5. says

    Looks really yummy, I love lemon curd as a filling for crepes. Also just spread on toast. And I have been wanting to try a recipe that uses a natural sweetner – thanks!

  6. says

    Mmmm, I also love the tanginess of lemons. That looks so refreshing! I really like that it uses whole eggs, because I also find it a struggle to make use of my egg whites. They often sit in my fridge, with good intentions of making meringues or macaroons, but it just doesn’t always happen.

  7. says

    This is very timely. I had been thinking about trying to make to make some low-sugar lemon bars. I am going to try stevia as a sweetener, because it makes such lovely lemonade. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Annette says

    I made your lemon curd recipe for Mothers day and served it with a coconut cake made with coconut flour, coconut milk and and coconut flakes. The lemon curd was perfect with the cake. Thank you for the recipe. I can’t wait to try your lemon curd bar recipe.

    • KimiHarris says


      Great! I am so glad that it turned out well for you. :-) Your cake recipe sounds wonderful. Can you point me to the recipe? I would love to try it sometime!

  9. Peggy says

    OH this looks delicious! Now I have something to do with all the leftover yolks from making angel food cake! I bet the two would be absolute divine together!! Do you know if this curd will freeze well? The angel food cake uses 18 egg whites so I don’t make it very often (read anytime in the last 10 years!) But our ladies as laying nicely so this will be a wonderful treat.

    Thank you so very much for the wonderful recipes!

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Peggy,

      I wouldn’t have thought so, but I was wrong! I looked it up and it seems a lot of people purposely make double batches of lemon curd to freeze. Good to know!

  10. Peggy says


    How exciting! I am going to make up a couple of double batches as we love lemon curd. I used to make a variety that we canned w/ a pressure canner but don’t have the time right now. I would love the coconut cake recipe from Annette is you get it! We (well most of us) love coconut!

    Once again thank you for the time you put into maintaining this blog!!!


  11. Sarah Nissen says

    Hi Kimi!

    I got the ingredients for this and can’t wait to try it tonight! My husband was excited that it meets the requirements of the “Paleo Diet” which he is trying.


  12. Whitney says

    I just made this and WOW!

    I used mostly TT’s expellar pressed CO and a little TT’s gold label EVCO (since my family won’t eat it if they can taste the CO) and it’s AMAZING!

    I have a question, though, because I might have done the first two steps a little wrong. I put the pot over low heat immediately (enameled cast iron) and whisked for a long time. My yolks were so dark that it was hard to tell if it got lighter from all the bubbles/whisking or not. Then before I added the CO and the honey, I checked the recipe again and it didn’t mention heat until after all ingredients were in. Was I supposed to do the first two steps off heat, but just in the pot to decrease dishes (which I appreciate!)? Ii all came together beautifully (I love the magical chemistry of eggs!), but I was curious if I could have been off heat for all that whisking…you know, sitting in a comfy chair while I exhausted my arm. :-)

    Thanks for a delicious recipe! We just took my son of dairy to see if it helps his tummy and he’s a little sad (he’s almost 4) since he loves raw milk, raw cheese, yogurt, kefir, butter, etc. and he’s worried that all things have butter in them. He’ll be so excited!


    • KimiHarris says


      Yes, the first steps are off heat. Sorry I didn’t make that clear enough! But I am glad it still turned out well. :-) It is hard to tell when a nutrient dense, dark yolk is “light”. I guess you would say it’s just “lighter”, rather then light. :-)


      So glad it turned out well for you! Thanks for sharing how you made it in your processor. That’s great. :-)

  13. Melissa says

    Wow! I made it and it was amazing! I did some modifications because I didn’t have a strainer. I used my processor to cream the oil with the honey, then added the eggs (I actually used just yolks and saved the whites for the bars), and finally the lemon juice. Heated up and thickened and ATE. mmm.

  14. Danielle says

    You can make a delicious lemon chicken by mixing half lemon curd, half chicken stock for a sauce. Cut up a bunch of green onions and throw into the sauce. Pan fry chicken tenders or chicken breasts and pour the sauce over the chicken.

  15. Moosey says

    Keeps for one week in the fridge eh? My batch had barely cooled before hubby was spooning it out the jar. Needless to say it lasted less than an hour and I had to go make another batch!

  16. says

    I just made this lemon curd and it is fantastic! It was so simple to make and it tastes absolutely wonderful. As a Crohn’s sufferer who stays away from gluten and excess sugar, this has quickly become my favorite website. Can’t wait to make the base for the lemon curd bars tomorrow. Thanks so much for this recipe.

  17. callmegrace says

    Made this, loved it! I used ghee, it seemed fine. I used 1/4 cup of honey (and was conservative on that) and it is tart but still delish.

  18. Emily says

    Yum! I made this with oranges instead of lemons, since I live in FL and oranges are in season. I wanted to make an orange curd tart so, here are a few things I did differently:
    I one-and-a-halved the recipe, and used 4 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
    I used only 1/3 c. + of honey (since oranges are sweeter anyway)
    I didn’t strain it
    Poured it into a pre-baked tart shell (I used the yogurt dough from Nourishing Traditions)
    Let it cool in the refrigerator for several hours
    Served with a homemade strawberry syrup

    I can’t wait to try it with lemon!

  19. Emily says

    Just made this today … it was AMAZING! Thank you for the recipe. I used pastured butter instead of coconut oil, Meyer lemons and clover honey – oh soooo yummy! Love the 3 eggs instead of 6 yolks, much lighter and much better flavor – the best I’ve ever had. Thanks Kimi!

  20. says


    I just wanted to share that I made this recipe for the first time a few weeks ago, and have absolutely fallen in love with it! The first time was for part of my husband’s birthday treat, but the second batch (last weekend) was just for pure joy. It is so refreshing and delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

  21. says

    I’m going to try using this recipe to make a berry/lemon curd parfait I am bringing to Christmas dinner. I was so excited to find a dairy and refined sugar free recipe!

  22. CindyC says

    I haven’t tried this yet…but I was wondering how it would be to substitute limes? I am starting to be able to convert recipes to natural sugars, etc and am looking for a key lime pie filling.

  23. Jenn says

    lalalalove this!!!!! I used this delicious curd to top Pavlova… add fresh summer berries and OMG! so yummy! (great alternative to the usual whipped cream for us non-dairy folks) Thanks for posting a lemon curd that is not only super easy to make but actually uses ingredients we use!

  24. says

    I know this is weird, but it’s almost my birthday and lemon cake is my favorite, but I’m allergic to eggs, do you know if you can make curd without eggs?

    • amy says

      Alison. what about some type of lemon pudding-I just found this-

      1 Tbs. grated lemon rind

      1/2 cup arrowroot

      2 1/2 cups water

      1 1/4 cups honey

      3/4 cup lemon juice
      1) Use a grater, to grate the lemon rind.
      2) In a bowl, pour water and stir in arrowroot and honey.

      3) In a medium sized saucepan, pour the arrowroot mixture. Blend in lemon juice and lemon rind.
      4) Heat up the saucepan over medium flame and bring the mixture to a boil by stirring.
      5) Keep on stirring for another 5 minutes.
      6) Remove the saucepan from heat and set it to cool by covering with a lid.

      7) Serve cold by garnishing with lemon zests.

      I hope this works for you! I have never tried this recipe but seems easy enough and sounds good!

  25. amy says

    This is an amazing recipe! I was not sure about the coconut oil but since I was making a grain and dairy free dessert for my friend’s baby shower I did use coconut oil. So good! I am going to have to try your lemon curd bars next!!!

  26. says

    Mmmmm. I used butter rather than CO, and did not strain it–I like my zest! It’s delicious with your apple muffins, and also (my favorite so far) on pancakes with roasted peaches.

  27. carly says

    Tried this recipe and found the texture is a little off from normal curd. It was a bit grainy. Perhaps it was my fault while trying to stir it. But just wondering if you got the same effect?

  28. Meg says

    I see most people mentioning sweets with this recipes (cakes, crapes, etc.). It’s also great for things like lemon chicken, especially if you like the healthiness of it but think the flavor or texture is a bit off. With something like lemon chicken it doesn’t have to be the ‘perfect lemon curd’. Serve with quinoa, snow peas, bell peppers…YUM!! Thanks for the healthy alternative!! Now I don’t feel guilty eating my protein and veggies!! Nosh, nosh, nosh…

  29. Martha says

    I made a delicious variation on this with rhubarb juice (and a bit of extra stewed rhubarb) in place of the lemon and zest. Love it! Thanks.

  30. Martha says

    I made a delicious variation on this with rhubarb juice (and a bit of extra stewed rhubarb) in place of the lemon and zest. Love it! Thanks.

  31. Sarah says

    Unbelievable good!!! Made this the other night (I put a spoonful in my plain yogurt with granola). yum, yum, yum!

  32. Denise says

    I have never made lemon curd before. This looked so simple and is on par with my eating plan so I gave it a whirl. All I have to say is YUMTASTIC! It was smooth and creamy ( and I took the lazy no straining route). I will be making this again and trying orange as well. Thank you for this site – it rocks!


  1. […] pancakes aren’t enough for your sweet tooth, you can always make a delicious tart filled with Honey Sweetened, Tangy Lemon Curd, topped with fresh berries, or ice a delicious and healthy cake with Fluffy Honey Sweetened […]

  2. […] month or so of recipes, I found so many recipes that I, myself had forgotten!  For example, the Tangy Lemon Curd (pictured above) and the Lemon Curd Bars are wonderful summer treats that I had lost track of. […]

  3. […] this time of year speaks lemons to me. Whether in the gremolata of the above soup or made into tangy lemon curd, lemon bars, or Lemon Sponge Custard. Something of the light flavor goes with this fresh season of […]

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