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!
Lemon desserts can be tricky if you eat an egg-free or vegan diet. Right…?
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:
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.
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.
4. Finally, we’ll stir in some coconut oil and coconut cream.
5. Aaaaand… that’s it.
Yep, it’s THAT simple.
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.
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.
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.
The links below are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission for every purchase you make, at no additional cost to you. This allows me to fuel my – and your 😉 – chocolate addiction, so thank you for supporting The Loopy Whisk! (For more information, check out the Disclosure Policy.)
- Regardless of whether you’re using cornstarch or arrowroot starch, I like to use a non-GMO organic brand.
- Similarly, it’s best to use a high quality organic cold pressed coconut oil – this also means that the vegan lemon curd won’t have a strong coconut oil aftertaste.
- You can either use a high quality coconut milk with few/no additives to get the coconut cream… or just buy straight-up coconut cream, if you want to avoid the extra step of separating the cream from the milk.
Vegan Lemon Curd (Gluten, Dairy & Egg Free)
- 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)
- 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.)