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How To Make Vegan Lemon Curd

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.

 

Recommended products + tools

To make things easier for you, here are the products I’ve used and recommend for this recipe! So often, I get asked about what kind of gluten free flour I use or which kind of baking pans are best – and I know that the baking/cooking world can be overwhelming, what with the bazillion different products available out there. Well, no more.

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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!
Print Rate
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook/Bake Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins

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

  • 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.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric, enough to get the golden yellow colour typical of lemon curd.
  • 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).
  • Allow to cool and enjoy!
  • 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.)

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.)
Tried this recipe?Mention @theloopywhisk or tag #theloopywhisk!

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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33 thoughts on “How To Make Vegan Lemon Curd”

  1. I followed this recipe but used pineapple juice instead. I used 150g sugar (as pineapple is already sweet) and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. It came out amazing first time! So impressed. I’m going to make lemon next time. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  2. Hi, Can you tell me if this recipe makes enough curd to fill a 9″ tart pan? And do you think it would make a good tart filling? Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Love this recipe!!! Super easy, no eggs, I love eggs but trying to use less. I have friends who don’t eat eggs. I would add more lemon juice and a little less sugar. I used cornstarch this time, next time I’ll use arrowroot.

    Reply
  4. The taste was wonderful. The consistency was not. I followed the recipe exactly and got a huge ball of glop. It would be perfect to use as the monster in a remake of The Blob! What did I do wrong? Why did I get a huge ball of glop? I used arrowroot instead of cornstarch because I can’t do grains. Cooked too long?

    Reply
    • Hi Cheryl, it’s very possible that arrowroot absorbs a different amount of liquid compared to cornstarch, resulting in a thicker curd. I would recommend you add a smaller amount of arrowroot next time, and stop cooking once it reaches the desired consistency. Also take into account that the curd will thicken additionally on cooling!

      Reply
  5. Hi. I made this today to join my two lemon sandwich cake halves together. It was amazing. Such a great recipe. Thank you Loopy Whisk!

    Reply
  6. This lemon curd recipe is 5 stars! I did find that 1/3 c cornstarch made the curd too thick, even when I increased the lemon juice to 3/4 c. Next time I will use a scale for better accuracy. Still tasted great.

    Reply
    • Hi Suzie, so glad you enjoyed the recipe! The scale is definitely a good idea – volume measurements are so much less accurate! In terms of the amount of cornstarch used, the exact quantity might depend on the consistency of lemon curd you want – if you’re aiming for a runnier lemon curd, definitely decrease it.

      Reply
    • You can definitely experiment with other oils (I haven’t personally), but I prefer coconut oil because it firms up slightly as it cools, giving the lemon curd a slightly thicker texture. You could leave the coconut oil out completely and just use coconut cream too!

      Reply
  7. Do you think it will work with soy cream instead of coconut cream? I’m allergic to coconut milk/cream and flour. I really miss lemon curd!

    Reply
    • Hi Susanne! I don’t have any experience working with soy cream, I’m sorry to say. Still, I do think it should work… and if you give it a try, let me know how it goes! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Just made this – WOW! Soooo delicious and the coconut and turmeric are undetectable, jut pure lemoney perfection! Thank you for this recipe, one I’ll be using again many times I’m sure!!

    Reply
    • Hi Frankie! So… my best advice would be to make a small batch and leave it out in the “very hot” weather and juts see how it behaves. When you prepare it, I would cook it a bit longer, and maybe decrease the amount of coconut cream and/or oil slightly, to make it thicker…better safe than sorry 😉 Hope it turns out well!

      Reply
  9. This looks amazing! It looks very much like a lemon sauce an Asian restaurant I used to frequent made. It was delicious on Rice and chicken. I’ve tried to recreate it with no success. Now I’m vegan AND oil free. You said you made this while omitting the coconut oil but it was thinner. I can live with that! Could you share the details? Did you simply omit the oil or did you add additional cream to compensate, etc.? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Kim! That’s interesting, I’ve never heard of such a sauce before, must be delicious! Of course, I’m guessing it’s not as sweet as this lemon curd 😉 I would definitely add more cream to compensate, but how much you add depends on what kind of final consistency you want. I would add the cream bit by bit, and cool a spoonful of the curd after each addition to check how runny/thick it is. Once you get to the desired consistency – just don’t add any more cream! 🙂

      Reply
    • Hey Tammy! If you put it in the fridge or the weather is cold, it does firm up because of the coconut oil. But it’s super easy to get it runny again, just heat it up gently, either microwaving it briefly, placing the container in some warm water, or heating the curd in a saucepan 🙂

      Reply
    • Hi Lynn! I haven’t tried it (yet!!!), but I think the recipe needs some tweaking to make vegan lemon bars – this lemon curd as is would be slightly too runny, but if you change the amounts of coconut cream and coconut oil slightly, it should work… Definitely going on my to-do list! 😉

      Reply
    • 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). 🙂

      Reply