HOW TO MAKE VEGAN LEMON CURD {gluten, dairy, egg, nut & soy free, vegan}

This vegan lemon curd is the real deal. Lemony, luscious, and with a perfect balance between tart and sweet, it also has that perfect lemon curd consistency: runny yet thick, good both for drizzling and for spreading on cookies or cake. And, perhaps most importantly, it has that beautiful golden yellow colour of a proper lemon curd. All that, with no eggs and no dairy!

Vegan lemon curd being poured from a pretty red saucepan into a glass jar. Lemons are in the background and a spoon is in front of the jar.

Lemon desserts can be tricky if you eat an egg-free or vegan diet. Right…?

Actually: no.

I know it can seem intimidating, especially with something like lemon curd, which most can’t imagine without the bazillion egg yolks and the abundance of butter. And guys, I love me some luscious, tart, lemony lemon curd. I could eat it with a spoon.

So when somebody on Instagram remarked that lemon desserts are a pain if you can’t eat eggs… that’s when the brainstorming began. Many vegan lemon curd recipes, while delicious, fall short when it comes to their texture and appearance. Some are jelly-like, all wobbly and too thick. Some are pale, almost white in colour, not even close to the golden yellow of proper lemon curd.

Now, I know that the original complaint concerned egg free lemon curd (and lemon desserts in general), but because I’m somewhat of an overachiever, I went all the way to vegan. 

So I did some tweaking, some experimenting (because that’s what we Chemists do), and… would you look at that:

A glass jar full of the golden yellow vegan lemon curd, with a metal spoon in the jar. Some lemons are in the background.

Yep, this vegan lemon curd ticks all the boxes:

  • It has the perfect consistency: runny yet thick, good both for drizzling and for spreading on cookies or cake.

  • It’s super lemony, with just the right balance between tartness and sweetness.

  • It’s incredibly decadent and luscious, with the shine and ‘butteriness’ that usually comes from adding heaps of butter – just, you know, here it’s achieved without all that butter.

  • It has the most amazing golden yellow colour, as any good lemon curd should. 

  • And it’s gluten, dairy and egg free – and, of course, vegan.

Simply put, it’s darn good. And you’ll want to have a jar on hand… all the time.

The process is equally simple and quick: requiring only about 15 minutes and 7 ingredients.

Let me guide you though one of the simplest recipes out there:

1. First, we’ll get our ingredients together: a couple of lemons, sugar, cornstarch or arrowroot powder and a pinch of salt.

Bird's-eye view of the vegan lemon curd ingredients: lemons, sugar, cornstarch, pinch of salt and turmeric.

2. Then, we’ll cook everything in a small saucepan on medium-high heat, with constant stirring, until it thickens up – about 10 minutes.

3. We’ll add a pinch of turmeric for the colour. This is a handy trick – while you can’t really taste the turmeric, it gives this delicious vegan lemon curd the colour it deserves.

Bird's-eye view of the final stage of making the lemon curd: a pretty red saucepan holds the thickened lemon curd base, and two small glass bowls hold the coconut oil and the coconut cream.

4. Finally, we’ll stir in some coconut oil and coconut cream.

Bird's-eye view of the final stage of making the lemon curd: the coconut oil and the coconut cream are being mixed into the golden yellow vegan lemon curd base.

5. Aaaaand… that’s it.

Yep, it’s THAT simple.

Bird's-eye view of the final product: the golden yellow vegan lemon curd is in a pretty red saucepan with a whisk in it.

Now, I’ve experimented with adding only coconut oil or only coconut cream – and only the combination of the two gives that perfect lemon curd consistency. (Too many “only-s” in one sentence?) Too much coconut oil and you end up with a strangely viscous gloop, too much coconut cream and you get a lemony soup. But add both – and you’ve got yourself a little jar of lemon heaven.

Vegan lemon curd being poured from a pretty red saucepan into a glass jar. Lemons are in the background and a spoon is in front of the jar.

The possibilities of how to use this lemony goodness are endless. On cookies, on cakes, on pancakes or crepes… but, personally, I prefer it on a spoon.

So if you can’t eat eggs or dairy, of if you’re a vegan (or have a friend who’s vegan) – make this lemon curd, and you’ll never have to miss lemon desserts again.

Golden yellow vegan lemon curd is being drizzled into a pretty glass jar from a spoon. Some lemons are in the background.

Vegan Lemon Curd (Gluten, Dairy & Egg Free)

This vegan lemon curd is the real deal. Lemony, luscious, and with a perfect balance between tart and sweet, it also has that perfect lemon curd consistency: runny yet thick, good both for drizzling and for spreading on cookies or cake. And, perhaps most importantly, it has that beautiful golden yellow colour of a proper lemon curd. All that, with no eggs and no dairy!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Kat | The Loopy Whisk

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) lemon juice
  • 3/4 - 1 cup (170 - 200 g) caster sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1/8 cup (20 g) coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp (20 g) coconut cream (Note 1)

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Cook on a medium-high heat, with constant stirring, until thickened (about 10 minutes).

    Note that the lemon curd will thicken additionally on cooling. To check the consistency, spoon out a small amount and allow it to cool.

  2. Add a pinch of turmeric, enough to get the golden yellow colour typical of lemon curd.

  3. Remove from heat and mix in the coconut oil and coconut cream.

    I recommend adding the coconut cream bit by bit, until you reach the perfect consistency (but always judge the consistency of cooled lemon curd - see Step 2).

  4. Allow to cool and enjoy!

  5. The vegan lemon curd keeps well in a closed container in the fridge for about 1 - 2 weeks. (To get it to the perfect consistency after being in the fridge, allow it to reach room temperature by heating gently, e.g. by putting the jar in warm water.)

Recipe Notes

Note 1: You can get coconut cream by putting coconut milk (with a high coconut content and without too many stabilisers/preservatives) into the fridge for a few hours – without shaking! The coconut milk will separate into coconut cream (that you'll need in this recipe) and coconut water (which is great in smoothies).

If your coconut cream is quite runny, add it bit by bit until you get the perfect lemon curd consistency. (Note that the lemon curd thickens further on cooling.)

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Vegan Lemon Curd {gluten, dairy, egg, nut & soy free, vegan} - This vegan lemon curd is the real deal. Lemony, luscious, and with a perfect balance between tart and sweet, it also has that perfect lemon curd consistency. And, perhaps most importantly, it has that beautiful golden yellow colour of a proper lemon curd. The best egg free lemon curd you’ve ever had! #vegan #glutenfree #lemon #lemoncurd #dessert #recipe

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Jeanne! It depends a bit on the type of coconut milk/cream you use: I’ve finally found a brand that I like and that doesn’t have an overpowering coconut taste/smell. (It’s the Aldi coconut milk, in UK.) With it, you can’t taste any coconut – as confirmed by my mum (who really really doesn’t like coconut). 🙂

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