Yolks Only Lemon Curd

Yolks Only Lemon Curd! I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make this versatile recipe. When it’s time to use up those extra egg yolks, this is what you’ll want to make!

a jar of lemon curd

Lemon curd is one of my favorite go-to ingredients for a wide variety of desserts.

Lemon and other fruit curds are great as a cupcake, tart or pie filling. They can be used as a filling for shortbread or to sandwich French Macarons. Lemon curd is traditional on a scone with clotted cream and is insanely decadent warmed up and poured over ice-cream.

Tips for making and storing Yolks Only Lemon Curd:

  • You can use this recipe to make Meyer Lemon Curd. Meyer lemons usually have more juice so make sure to measure the juice.
  • Always combine the sugar with the yolks before adding the lemon juice. If you add the juice to yolks without the sugar, the acidic juice will “cook” the yolks.
  • The zest has lemon oil which adds a full lemon flavor. After cooking the zest can be strained out since it has already added the flavor.
  • It’s not necessary to cook the curd on a double boiler. You can cook the curd directly on the stove as long as you keep the heat on medium-low and stir constantly to avoid burning.
  • When the curd is ready it should coat the spatula or spoon.
  • The curd will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and can be frozen for several months.
  • The recipe can be adapted for other citrus fruits. See the notes section of the recipe card.

Try these other fruit Curd recipes:

Still got extra yolks? Check out this collection of recipes that use extra yolks for some more great ideas.

a bowl of ice cream with lemon curd topping

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a jar of lemon curd
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4.50 from 164 reviews

Yolks Only Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemon curd is an incredibly easy to make recipe that is unbelievably versatile in the kitchen. Make this when you've got extra egg yolks to use up. This recipe makes about 3 cups of curd.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
12 servings
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  • 12 oz granulated sugar (1 ½ cups)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 oz lemon juice (½ cup (3-4 lemons))
  • Finely grated zest from all the lemons
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)


  • Thoroughly whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice, zest and salt.
    12 oz granulated sugar, 6 egg yolks, 4 oz lemon juice, Finely grated zest from all the lemons, ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Place the butter in a heat proof bowl. Put a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and keep it near the stove.
    2 oz unsalted butter
  • Heat the yolk/juice mixture over medium low heat, stirring constantly. You must be sure to keep stirring across the entire bottom and corners of the pot so the custard does not have a chance to stick. The mixture will start out opaque with a fine white foam over the surface. As it heats up the curd will thicken, become more translucent and the foam will disappear.
  • Cook until the curd will coat the back of a wooden spoon and just begins to boil. Don't allow it to come to a rolling boil. One or two bubbles is all you need to see.
  • Immediately remove from the heat and pour through the sieve over the butter.
  • Stir until the butter is melted and thoroughly incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and cool a bit before putting in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate until completely cooled.

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Meyer Lemon, Lime, Orange, Blood Orange, Pink Grapefruit,

  1. 1/2 cup of juice (about 2-3 meyer lemons, 3-4 limes, 2-3 oranges, 1 grapefruit)
  2. 1 1/4 cup (10 oz) granulated sugar
  3. Zest from the fruits


Serving: 1g | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!


  1. In your other lemon curd recipe, there’s an option to add gelatin to get a firmer set. Would this recipe give similar results if gelatin is added?

  2. LOVED this! After making a homemade angel food cake, I had a dozen egg yolks and made a double batch of this. The only thing I did differently is that I shaved strips of lemon peel and cooked it in the curd. I wanted a very smooth curd and removing the strips was much easier than straining would have been.

  3. 5 stars
    the best Lemon Curd I have every made, and I’ve tried many. Thickened beautifully. I also cut back on the sugar and added a half teaspoon of citric acid. I like it to have a bite to it.

  4. OMG! This lemon curd is so easy and really good, just a little too sweet for our taste. Next time I will reduce the sugar. I am glad that it freezes well.

    1. I have to define the number of servings for the nutrition information. Sorry if that isn’t helpful. If you add up the listed ingredients it comes to about 2 1/2-3 cups of curd. It should be enough to fill a tart shell.

  5. This recipe is SO great! Such a bright and beautiful, tangy flavor. I was skeptical about the amount of sugar at first but it’s perfect for my taste. I whisked it constantly and added melted butter slowly towards the end and finished cooking it together and it came out beautifully. I’m using it to layer in between vanilla cake for Easter. Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    I made the yolk lemon curd with 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup stevia, trying to cut down on the sugar. It was absolutely delicious and easy! I’ll try again with more stevia to see how it works! Thank so much for the recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    Brilliant recipe! After making two pavlova’s I needed to use up a lot of egg yolks. This recipe produced a wonderful lemon butter with perfect consistency.

  8. 5 stars
    I can’t believe I made this so easily with such success. Texture is velvety smooth. Consistency is right on. Instructions made it clear what to do when. I will try less sugar next time like the one reviewer as it’s a bit sweet for me.
    Thank you for this!

  9. Ah-mazing! I made 2 pavlovas and was looking for a lemon curd recipe – so much less challenging than stirring over a double boiler!

    I doubled the recipe and am looking forward to serving up tomorrow!


  10. Oh dear..
    What did I do wrong ?
    I made the lemon curd, exactly as per instructions until small bubbles appeared on the surface. I then, as instructed, incorporated the butter, but it looks exactly like custard. It did not become translucent, not did any foam appear on the surface ?? Can someone advise PLEASE ?

    1. I think you didn’t cook the curd long enough and jumped the gun on adding the butter. The instructions read “The mixture will start out opaque with a fine white foam over the surface. As it heats up the curd will thicken, become more translucent and the foam will disappear. Cook until the curd will coat the back of a wooden spoon and just begins to boil. Don’t allow it to come to a rolling boil. One or two bubbles is all you need to see. Immediately remove from the heat and pour through the sieve over the butter.”

    2. @Liz Heap, I always cook the lemon curd with the butter from the beginning not pouring it over later. My lemon curd always turns out perfect! I like knowing that all ingredients have reached bubbling point before putting into jars.

    3. @Liz Heap,
      I think you didn’t cook long enough, there were bubbles at the beginning but those weren’t boiling bubbles, next time let it cook just a little longer.

  11. Excellent recipe! I cut it down since I only had 2 egg yolks I needed to use, and it still worked very nicely!

    1. @Suzanne Mendez,
      I was just going to ask that very question! I only have two yolks, as well.
      Thank you! Now I know I can go ahead and use them up!

  12. Excellent recipe with clear instructions. Great use for extra egg yolks. Used less sugar as I like my curds on the tart side

  13. Fabulous recipe but is it just me or are the grams off? If one cup of sugar is equal to 198 grams, meaning 1.5 cups of sugar would equal 297 grams rather than 336 grams?

    I’ve seen this on other sites, so am wondering how these conversions are calculated.

    Thank you.

    1. I measure a cup of sugar as 8 oz (when I dip the cup and fill it with sugar I consistently get 8 oz). 8×28(conversion to grams)=224g. 12 oz x 28 =339g. Your estimate of 198 grams per cup of sugar assumes a 6.9 oz cup of sugar. I’m not sure where that measurement comes from but for my recipes you can always assume a cup of sugar is 8 oz.

  14. I’ve just made this and it is delicious! Currently cooling in the fridge, but when warm it tastes amazingggggg!!

    I did have to add an extra yolk because when I mixed my sugar and 6 yolks it was almost dry, but that’s no big deal. 🙂

    I love that it freezes well!

  15. Hi from Australia – I made this lemon curd today and it turned out absolutely perfectly and delicious – thanks!

  16. I love this easy to follow recipe. I did make some changes to suit my taste. I used brown sugar instead of white, mixed lemon and limes, and added ground ginger. It has truned out fabulous.

  17. After filling mini tarts, do they need to be refrigerated? Or could I leave them out in the sealed Tupperware container?

    1. Lemon curd should be refrigerated. It can be left out for a couple of hours while serving, etc. But I would definitely store the tarts in the fridge.

  18. Hi! The lemon curd is cooling at the moment. The taste is great, it is still a bit thinner than I expected. Not a problem for what I plan to use it for but any tips for next time?
    Thank you!

    1. It will thicken quite a bit as it cools. It starts off like a sauce and ends up spoon-able. As long as you did cook it until it just begins to boil (a bubble or two) it should thicken up as it cools.

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