keto lemon curd on a piece of cake with lemon wedges

easy keto lemon curd recipe (dairy optional)

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Sweet, tangy, and irresistible, this keto lemon curd is like sunny goodness in a jar (which, by the way, you will want to eat by the spoonful). It is creamy, rich, and perfect. A satisfyingly sweet-tart balance. Spread it onto a keto buttermilk biscuit or lemon blueberry scones, serve it on this citrus cake or top a pretty pavlova. There really is no wrong way to eat lemon curd. And if a spoon is all you’ve got, well, you do you.

Here’s what I know you’ll love about this easy lemon curd recipe:

  • it is keto, gluten-free, and low-carb
  • I’m sharing two ways to make keto lemon curd, a “traditional” recipe along with a dairy-free lemon curd option
  • it’s ready in 15 minutes
  • only six ingredients are required

Fruit curds, gotta love ’em. I know I do. These cranberry curd bars are what I look forward to during the holidays, and lemon curd is the summertime equivalent. About a year ago, I shared this keto cake trifle with olive oil lemon curd (a combination that’s insanely good!) and originally made the lemon curd a bit differently. Since then, I’ve discovered a better way, which is bound to happen when lemon curd makes the list of your favorite things.

So I figured it was time to give this easy keto lemon curd recipe a whole post of its own, including two methods based on your dietary needs. Keto lemon curd can be done with or without dairy, and for the latter, I’m sticking with olive oil as the preferred fat of choice since it’s a much healthier oil than what is used to make most vegan butters on the market.

ingredient list

This easy lemon curd recipe uses egg yolks only, and is cooked using a double boiler, a method that helps prevent any egg from scrambling (if you don’t have a double boiler, you can easily make your own by placing a heat-proof bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water). This also means there’s no need to strain the mixture after cooking, which some lemon curd recipes call for to remove any lumps (usually overcooked egg).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh lemon juice. I use the juice of about three large lemons.
  • Lemon zest. Grate it very small- a microplane works best.
  • Egg yolks. Use pasture-raised eggs for the best flavor.
  • Granulated allulose. My preferred sweetener of choice for this lemon curd recipe. Allulose dissolves better than sweeteners containing eyrthritol, which can often crystallize.
  • Salt. Optional, but salt always adds flavor, even in sweet recipes.
  • Softened butter or extra virgin olive oil. Traditionally, lemon curd is made with butter. But swapping in olive oil is a dairy-free alternative that also works well.

lemon curd with butter vs. dairy-free lemon curd

Let’s break down the difference in texture and taste!

  • Keto lemon curd with butter: It’s rich, creamy, and… buttery. Honestly, it’s hard to beat that thick texture and buttery flavor that curds are known for.
  • Lemon curd with olive oil: A nice quality, extra virgin olive oil adds a light touch of olive oil flavor that is surprisingly delicious paired with the tangy lemon. It’s not over powering and it tastes light and fresh.

Whichever version you go with, the steps are almost identical and both result in a pretty incredible keto lemon curd.

the process

  1. Juice and zest! Heat water in a pot to use a double boiler setup (if you don’t have one, simply use a glass or metal heat-safe bowl set on top of a medium saucepan of boiling water). Juice the lemons and zest one of them.
  2. Combine and cook. In the bowl or top of your double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, allulose, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Cook and gently whisk for about 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. It will turn foamy as it cooks and is done when it becomes pale yellow and similar to the consistency of gravy. Note: This process will feel like it’s taking a while, but stick with it! The lemon curd will thicken right toward the end.
  3. Stir in the butter/oil. Remove from heat and stir in the softened butter. If using olive oil, drizzle it slowly into the lemon curd while whisking to combine.
  4. Pour and cool. Pour the curd into a heat-safe glass jar and let it cool before storing in the refrigerator covered with a lid.

recipe notes

  • Allulose is a keto-friendly sweetener that you can find in liquid or granulated form. For this lemon curd recipe, you’ll want to use granulated allulose. Keep in mind that it’s about 70% as sweet as sugar, which means if you choose to use a different low-carb sweetener of choice, like a granulated monk fruit sweetener blend, you will not need as much (I’d go with about 1/2 cup). Allulose dissolves well and won’t crystallize when the lemon curd cools. It also has a clean taste with zero aftertaste, and I’m using it more and more in my baking these days.
  • If you’re making your own double boiler with a pot of water and a heat-safe bowl, be extra careful when removing the bowl from on top of the pan. It will get pretty hot during the cooking process- use a dish towel or oven mitts to quickly lift it up and away from the pot and be mindful of the steam that will release.

how to use lemon curd

This low-carb lemon curd has so many possibilities. It’s the perfect easy lemon curd recipe for cake, biscuits, cookies, pancakes, etc.! Here are a few more ideas:

you might also love…

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you purchase something from one of those links. I will always recommend brands and products that I use and love. Thank you for supporting Stem and Spoon! -Abby

closeup of jar of keto lemon curd with a spoon beside it

easy keto lemon curd recipe (dairy optional)

Yield: 1-1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Tangy, creamy, and sweet, this is an easy keto lemon curd recipe that only requires six ingredients and 15 minutes to make! It's sugar-free and also includes a dairy-free option.

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks (preferably pasture-raised eggs)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 3/4 cup granulated allulose*
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter (or substitute extra virgin olive oil for dairy-free lemon curd)

Instructions

  1. Heat water in the bottom pot of your double boiler until it comes to a boil. Reduce the temperature to medium.
  2. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, allulose, lemon zest and salt in the top pot of the double boiler (or in a heat-safe bowl set on top of the pot of boiling water to make your own double boiler).
  3. Whisk the ingredients together and cook the mixture for 10-12 minutes. The liquid will turn slightly frothy, then a more pale yellow color. It will thicken toward the end of the 10 minutes- hang in there and keep whisking the curd gently. It is ready when it is the consistency of gravy or hollandaise sauce.
  4. Carefully remove the top pot (or bowl) from the heat and immediately fold in the softened butter. If using olive oil, drizzle in one tablespoon at a time, whisking it into the mixture to combine.
  5. Pour the lemon curd into a heat-proof glass jar. Allow the curd to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes

If the curd doesn't appear to be thickening after 10 minutes, increase the heat and continue whisking another 5 minutes. If using a makeshift double boiler, use oven mitts or a dish towel to lift the bowl off of the pot of water, as the bowl will be hot to the touch.

I prefer granulated allulose for this keto lemon curd recipe because it dissolves well and has a clean aftertaste. If you'd like to use a granulated monk fruit sweetener or erythritol sweetener blend, reduce the amount to 1/2 cup since it is sweeter than allulose. Keep in mind that erythritol-based sweetener can crystallize when cooled.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 59Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 1gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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