This vegan lemon curd is great for baking with, as well as spreading on toast, sandwiches, or crumpets! It’s super lemon-y with just the right amount of sweetness.
I’ve been meaning to make vegan lemon curd for this blog for quite some time now! Every time I make pancakes I always wish I had some lemon curd to go with them.
Growing up in the 90s, my great-gran would always make us fluffy pancakes with lemon curd in the afternoons after Sunday school at church.
Her baking was absolutely divine and after she died, I would always be reminded of her whenever I ate lemon curd on anything.
Lemon curd without eggs
In case you didn’t know, traditional lemon curd contains eggs (and a lot of the time it contains dairy too), meaning it isn’t suitable for a vegan diet.
But the good news is that it’s incredibly easy to make your own without those ingredients! There’s no fancy equipment required, no thermometer needed… just a few ingredients and a saucepan.
I gave my gran some to try after making it this week and she told me that it was nicer and more flavorful than the lemon curd she buys from the supermarkets. That is quite the compliment from someone who is a self-proclaimed lemon curd lover!
My gran told me she ate hers spread on top of some Digestive biscuits which is such a typically British thing to do. It also tastes amazing spread on toast or sandwiches (yes, lemon curd sandwiches are a thing).
Want more vegan dessert recipes? Try these:
What I love most about this recipe is that it’s perfect for using in lots of baking recipes. You can adjust the thickness according to your preference and use it in tarts, cupcakes, frosting, mousses and more.
Anything with vegan lemon curd added to it is sure to be a hit, especially in the summer months!
How to make vegan lemon curd
This recipe is incredibly simple and straight forward but for those of you who prefer a more detailed recipe, this is for you! I’ve written as much relevant information as I can think of below to ensure that you get it right first time.
Measure out your coconut milk. You’ll need 330ml which is around 1+1/3 cup if you’re using cups to measure.
I tested this recipe with full-fat coconut milk, soy milk and plain old water, and found I got the best results with coconut milk.
It helped add a rich creaminess to the curd and the lemon masked the strong flavor just fine. You can’t taste one bit of coconut in this recipe, promise!
The soy milk version worked OK but was not quite as creamy, and the version where I used water just wasn’t really that great. The texture was nice but you could taste the cornflour A LOT.
No thank you.
Next, measure out the rest of your ingredients. It’s best to have them all there ready to go before turning on the heat. That way you won’t need to rush around before it starts to cook.
100g or 1/2 a cup.
I used caster sugar (also known as superfine sugar) but granulated will work fine too. I’d recommend not using coconut sugar as it will alter the flavor and the color of the finished curd.
120ml or 1/2 a cup.
It’s important to use fresh lemon juice here, not the kind that comes in a bottle. You need fresh lemons in order to get the true flavor.
When measuring my lemon juice for this recipe, 120ml ended up being around 4 lemons worth of juice.
The zest of 1 lemon
Grate the zest off of 1 medium-sized lemon. You can use 2 if you’re feeling fancy but I found that using just 1 gives plenty of flavor.
Cornstarch is also known as corn flour in the UK.
You’ll need around 6 tablespoons. I found that this was the amount I needed to make it thick and spreadable.
If you want your vegan lemon curd to be a bit thinner or runny, you can definitely reduce it back to 4 tablespoons or less.
I tested this recipe both with and without vegan butter and it definitely tasted better with! It adds a bit of creaminess and I love that it adds a subtle yellow color too.
I tried added a vegan yellow food coloring to my first batch and it ended up looking like radioactive waste. Woops.
I also tried adding a pinch of turmeric but the flavor is just so strong to me that I can taste any amount added to my baking recipes, no matter how miniscule.
In my opinion, it’s not necessary to add any yellow coloring to the recipe. It’s purely for visual appeal and doesn’t change the flavor.
This lemon curd has a very subtle yellow color anyway and I was very happy with how natural it looked!
Place all of your pre-measured ingredients into a pan. I used a small saucepan but I’d imagine any type of pan you have would work fine.
Mix them together before turning on the heat. If the mixture is well combined while it’s still cold, it will prevent the cornstarch from clumping up.
Once the ingredients are somewhat combined, place the pan onto a medium-high heat, stirring continuously to prevent the mixture from burning or sticking to the pan.
As it begins to heat, it will start to bubble and thicken. This should only take a few minutes.
When you think it’s thick enough, put a wooden spoon into the mixture. If the lemon curd coats the back of the spoon (rather than sliding right off of it and leaving no trace) then it’s ready and you can take it off of the heat.
Leave the curd to cool down for a few minutes.
Once it’s slightly cooled, put it through a large strainer into a bowl. Use a spoon to help ease it through.
This will get rid of any leftover lumps or lemon zest, making your curd super smooth and creamy!
Leave the lemon curd in the bowl and let it cool completely.
Once the curd is totally cool, give it a good mix then transfer it into a jar. To maximize the shelf-life, make sure your jar is sterilized before using it. This post on how to sterilize jam jars by Great British Chefs is great if you’ve never done it before.
If you don’t have any jars to hand, you can also use a food storage box but it won’t last quite as long.
How much does this recipe yield?
This recipe will fill 1/2 – 3/4 of a standard-sized jar. It makes enough for at least 24 tablespoons, and I’ve found 1 tablespoon to be the perfect amount for a serving size.
Of course, if you use less cornstarch in the recipe it will be slightly runnier and make a few more servings.
How long will the curd last?
It will last at least a week if stored in the fridge. If you’ve used a sterilized jar to store it in, it will last a bit longer.
This recipe is also great for freezing and will last for 6+ months in the freezer.
If you want to freeze your lemon curd, allow it to cool completely first. You can freeze it in the jar (make sure to leave an inch or two of space in the jar), storage box, or even in a zip lock freezer bag.
When you’re ready to eat it, just transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. It’s important that you eat it all after defrosting and don’t re-freeze it. I’d recommend freezing it in small portions for this reason.
I hope you enjoy my vegan lemon curd recipe. If you make it yourself, please let me know how you get on by leaving a comment and rating below! xo
Sweet, spreadable lemon curd without eggs.
- 1 + ⅓ Cup Full-fat coconut milk* (330ml)
- ½ Cup Sugar (100g)
- ½ Cup Fresh lemon juice (120ml or ~4 lemons worth of juice)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 6 Tablespoons Cornstarch** (cornflour in the UK)
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan butter
Add all of the ingredients into a saucepan and mix well before turning on the heat.
Turn up the heat to medium-high. Stir continuously until it begins to bubble and thicken. This should only take a minute or two.
When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove it from the heat.
If you like smooth lemon curd, strain the mixture into a bowl to get rid of the zest. If you prefer the zest left in, just skip this step.
Leave it to cool completely then transfer into a sterilized jar.
- *Make sure to mix the coconut milk to combine the creamy part and the water before measuring. Light coconut milk will also work.
- **This vegan lemon curd is thick and spreadable. If you want it to be more runny, use 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch instead of 6.
- Store in a sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 1 week and stir before use.
- If you’d like it to look more vibrant in color, you can add a tiny pinch of tumeric or vegan-friendly yellow food coloring.