Vegan Dairy-Free Lemon Curd

Lemond curd
Photo passionate/Moment Open/Getty Images
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 10-12

Traditional lemon curd recipes call for the use of egg yolks and a frightening amount of butter, but this recipe is a bit healthier, while still sweet, tart and satisfying.

Cooking this recipe slowly while stirring constantly is the key for a perfect lemon curd; if you turn up the heat too high or do not stir, your curd will burn on the bottom of the pan and not thicken properly. When allowing your lemon curd to cool, place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface, as this will prevent a skin from forming.

Ways to Serve Lemon Curd

Lemon curd can be added to make any dessert citrus-y and sweet. Use your lemon curd to create a dairy-free baked or no-bake lemon tart. Lemon curd can also be added to traditional macaroons to add some zing to the sugary treat. If lemon cake is a favorite, use lemon curd between layers of cake to upgrade the lemon goodness. It can also be added to muffin batter to give a tangy finish to a usual recipe. You can use lemon curd as a spread on crepes or pancakes as well. The simplest way to enjoy it is on its own with a bit of whipped cream and fresh berries to top it off.

Storing Lemon Curd

Lemon curd has a short shelf life and will not keep longer than a few days if covered and refrigerated. Freeze the remaining lemon curd for up to 1 year. Gradually thaw by transferring the lemon curd from the freezer to the refrigerator for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, store in the refrigerator in a covered container and consume within 4 weeks.

NOTE: This recipe is not a lemon curd canning recipe, which carries special instructions to ensure food safety and freshness. 


  • 1 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or, alternatively, bottled)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (I prefer unrefined cane sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free soy margarine, divided

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest and salt, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

  2. After the sugar is dissolved, add the corn starch mixture and the coconut milk, stirring well to combine. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture begins to thicken and the first few bubbles appear on the surface, about 8 minutes.

  3. Add the dairy-free soy margarine, and cook, stirring constantly, for several minutes more, or until the mixture resembles a thick pudding.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a heat proof dish, cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator to chill.

  5. Chill lemon curd for 2 hours in the refrigerator before using.