The Best Quick and Easy Lemon Cake Curd Filling

This is the quickest foolproof Lemon Cake Curd Filling Recipe with whole eggs, fresh lemon juice and zest, cane sugar, butter, and optional tapioca flour for a velvety, smooth, sweet, and tangy curd that is perfect for a lemon layer cake or any lemon dessert. It’s ready in less than five minutes and perfect for Mother’s Day, Easter, brunches, baby showers, or any special occasion.

Jar of quick and easy lemon curd filling.

This is the quickest foolproof Lemon Cake Curd Filling Recipe for homemade lemon curd. It uses egg whites and yolks for a velvety, smooth, sweet, and tangy curd that is perfect for a lemon layer cake or any lemon dessert. Fresh lemons and zest are combined with cane sugar, butter, and optional tapioca flour in a sauce pan and is ready in less than five minutes. All lemon lovers will devour this lemon curd filling with your favorite cakes for Mother’s Day, Easter, brunches, baby showers or any special occasion.

How do you fix curdled lemon curd?

Straining: If the curdles are small, you can strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove them. This won’t completely undo the curdling, but it might salvage some of the curd.
Blending: If the curdling is more severe, you can try using an immersion blender to smooth it out. Be careful not to over-blend, as this can make the curd too thick.
Start over: Unfortunately, if the curdling is extensive, it might be best to start over.

As long as you keep the heat on low and constantly stir the curd in the sauce pan you will not have to worry about it curdling 🙂

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Easy Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe

  • You only need a few simple ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Jar of quick and easy lemon curd filling.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make the best-tasting lemon cake curd:

Eggs: If you prefer an egg-free version, you can try using a commercial egg replacer or aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) as a substitute for the eggs. Use the equivalent of 2 eggs according to the instructions on the egg replacer package.

Butter: Use vegan butter or coconut oil for a dairy-free version.

Cane Sugar: Substitute with coconut sugar, brown sugar, or regular sugar.

Fresh Lemon Juice: Lime juice or orange juice can be used as substitutes for lemon juice. I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice over store-bought bottled lemon juice for the best citrus flavor.

Fresh Lemon Zest: This provides the best lemon flavor. But, if you are using storebought lemon juice, you can omit the zest. 

Tapioca Starch: This is also known as tapioca flour and is optional for a slightly thicker curd. Arrowroot starch, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch can also be used in the same amount.

How to Make My Lemon Curd Filling Recipe

Here are easy, detailed, step-by-step instructions for the best way to make the perfect lemon curd for lemon cake. The instructions are also repeated in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 1: Make the Lemon Curd

Zest and juice two lemons.

In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, cane sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and tapioca starch. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let the filling simmer or boil.

Adding lemon curd ingredients to bowl.
Stirring lemon curd in sauce pan.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is thoroughly melted. Pour the warm curd through a mesh strainer into another bowl to remove any scrambled egg bits and pulp.

Cover the curd with a layer of plastic wrap inside an airtight container to prevent a crust from forming on top. Then store in the fridge until ready to serve or decorate a cake. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Once the lemon curd has cooled, use it as a filling for cakes, cupcakes, or other desserts. 

Straining lemon curd through a sieve.
Straining lemon curd through a sieve.
Jar of quick and easy lemon curd filling.

How to Add Lemon Curd to a Frosted Layered Cake

Prep your Cake and Frosting: Bake and cool your cake layers according to the recipe instructions. If needed, level the tops of the cakes to create even layers. I highly recommend my Gluten-Free Lemon Cake Recipe. Prepare your favorite frosting recipe.

Assemble the Cake: Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting over the top of the cake layer.

Add the Lemon Curd: Spoon a generous amount of lemon curd over the buttercream layer, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula.

Repeat the Layers: Repeat the process with the second cake layer, buttercream frosting, and lemon curd, stacking them on top of each other.

Frost the Cake: Once all the layers are assembled, frost the sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream frosting, covering it completely and smoothing the sides and top.

Decorate (optional): You can decorate the cake with additional lemon zest, lemon slices, or edible flowers for a beautiful presentation.

Chill and Serve: Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Slice and serve the cake, and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions:

  • You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the curd before cooking it.
  • You can increase the lemon juice by 2 tablespoons for a tart lemon curd.
  • This curd tastes delicious with lemon buttercream frosting, swiss meringue buttercream, lemon cream cheese frosting, or lemon bars.
  • You can dust to top of your lemon curd with powdered sugar for added sweetness and aesthetic.
  • Serve it over the top of vanilla ice cream or a white cake.
  • For the best lemon curd cake, check out my Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cake Recipe

Helpful Recipe Notes

Eggs in Curd: Often, only the egg yolks are used in curd. I include the entire egg, which helps the curd cook faster and results in a naturally sweeter curd with just enough sugar.

Butter Temperature: Make sure your butter is at room temperature for easier creaming with the sugar.

Lemon Zest: Use a fine grater or zester to get the lemon zest. Avoid grating the white pith of the lemon, as it can be bitter.

Refrigeration: Store the lemon curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Freezing: Lemon curd can be frozen for longer storage. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion, and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Avoid Freezer Burn: To prevent freezer burn, cover the surface of the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper before sealing the container.

Reheating: If the lemon curd becomes too thick after refrigeration or freezing, you can gently reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired consistency.

Separation: If the lemon curd separates after storage, simply whisk it vigorously to recombine the ingredients.

Can I use a different sweetener instead of cane sugar in this lemon curd recipe?
Yes, you can use granulated sugar, coconut sugar, or a sugar substitute like erythritol or stevia.

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice?
While fresh lemon juice provides the best flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice if that’s what you have on hand. Just be sure to adjust the quantity to taste, as bottled lemon juice may be more concentrated.

Can I make my own lemon curd dairy-free?
Yes, you can use dairy-free butter or coconut oil instead of butter to make this recipe dairy-free.

How can I thicken the lemon curd if it’s too thin?
If the lemon curd is too thin, you can mix a small amount of tapioca flour or cornstarch with water to create a slurry, then stir it into the curd and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. This works well if you’re using the curd in the middle of the cake.

Can I use this lemon curd as a filling for cakes and cupcakes?
Yes, this lemon curd makes a delicious filling for cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts, especially with lemon frosting. Just make sure to let it cool completely before using.

Jar of quick and easy lemon curd filling.

The Best Quick and Easy Lemon Cake Curd Filling

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
This is the quickest foolproof Lemon Cake Curd Filling Recipe with whole eggs, fresh lemon juice and zest, cane sugar, butter, and optional tapioca flour for a velvety, smooth, sweet, and tangy curd that is perfect for a lemon layer cake or any lemon dessert. It's ready in less than five minutes and perfect for Mother's Day, Easter, brunches, baby showers, or any special occasion.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 16
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca flour (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Zest and juice two lemons.
    In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, cane sugar, room temperature butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and tapioca starch.
    Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes.
    Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is thoroughly melted. Pour the warm curd through a mesh strainer into another bowl to remove any scrambled egg bits and pulp. Then store the curd in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to add it to the cookies.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Eggs in Curd: Often, only the egg yolks are used in curd. I include the entire egg, which helps the curd cook faster and results in a naturally sweeter curd with just enough sugar.
Butter Temperature: Make sure your butter is at room temperature for easier creaming with the sugar.
Lemon Zest: Use a fine grater or zester to get the lemon zest. Avoid grating the white pith of the lemon, as it can be bitter.

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 31mgPotassium: 12mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 119IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword lemon curd
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m so excited to share this easy curd recipe with you! After lots of experiments, this is the easiest and best-tasting method 🙂

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