Vegan lemon curd is a creamy, tangy, and easy-to-make recipe with 5 simple ingredients, ready in just 5 minutes.
You can use it in many sweet recipes, from lemon bars to a soft lemon cake, and you can also eat it with a spoon straight out of the saucepan.
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Our vegan lemon curd recipe is the dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free version of traditional lemon curd, a fruity dessert popular in England around the 19th and 20th centuries served during tea time with scones and biscuits as an alternative to jams.
Vegan curd is easier to make than a regular one and is absolutely delicious.
To make it, you’ll need a whisk and a saucepan with a thick bottom, so the curd doesn’t stick.
The ingredients are simple, and you can use any dairy-free milk, from soy to oat milk, cashew to almond milk.
You can expect a lemon curd with a beautifully smooth consistency, a shiny look, and the perfect balance between sweet and tangy.
You can use any dairy-free milk of your choice, such as oat milk, rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, full-fat coconut milk, coconut cream, and so on.
Oat, almond, and rice milk make a thin, almost transparent lemon curd.
Soy milk makes a curd like the one you see in the pictures, not too thin or too rich.
Coconut milk is not our favorite here because it makes a rich and creamy lemon curd, almost like a custard, and you will taste the coconut a little.
You can use white sugar or brown sugar. Coconut and palm sugar work, too, although they are a little less sweet.
Corn starch is essential to thicken up the curd. You can substitute potato starch for cornstarch.
We haven’t tried arrowroot starch because we don’t keep it in our pantry.
Lemon curd requires fresh lemon juice and lemon peel. Ensure your lemons are ripe (deep yellow color, not pale yellow or green), or else the curd will be too sour.
Also, we prefer not to use grated lemon zest because it ruins the smooth texture of the curd.
Since there are no egg yolks, we use turmeric to add the yellow color to our vegan lemon curd. You won’t taste it, it’s just for color, and it makes the curd look wonderful and delicious.
Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, trying to peel off only the colored part of its skin. Set aside.
The white pith underneath is bitter, so we try to avoid it as much as possible.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze its juice, then filter it and add it to a small saucepan.
Note: we want the vegan lemon curd as smooth as possible, so it’s best to pass the lemon juice through a sift to remove lemon bits.
To the same saucepan, add dairy-free milk, cornstarch, sugar, and turmeric.
Whisk well off the heat until the cornstarch has dissolved in the liquid, then add the lemon peel to the mixture.
Bring to a boil and cook the lemon curd on medium heat while stirring until it thickens. Turn the heat off, remove the lemon peel, and keep stirring for another minute.
Tip: you can use the curd warm, but if you wish to cool it down completely, plunge the saucepan into a cold water bath and keep whisking until it is cold.
Transfer into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge, or use immediately for cakes and pastries.
How to use vegan lemon curd?
Vegan lemon squares or bars have a crunchy and flakey base made with our simple vegan sweet pastry topped with curd and baked in the oven. They are a delicious and tangy dessert for any occasion.
Check out our vegan lemon bars recipe.
Lemon tart is a delicious dessert you can make with simple ingredients. Thanks to its flakey base and the tart and tangy filling, it’s a crowd-pleaser.
Check out our vegan lemon tart recipe.
Lemon cake is soft, light, spongy, and packed with lemon flavor. If you love lemons, you’ll love this one.
It’s beautifully easy to make and perfect as a dessert or mid-afternoon snack with tea.
Check out our easy lemon cake recipe.
You can drizzle the curd on our tall and fluffy vegan pancakes. They are the perfect match together.
Check out our vegan pancake recipe.
It’s also great for waffles, toast and french toast, English muffins, biscuits, and even fresh fruit such as berries.
You can pour lemon curd on cakes, pies, tarts, and biscuits while still warm. Be sure to cool it down for a few minutes; it shouldn’t be piping hot, but it can be warm.
You can transfer it into a jar and pop it in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes to speed up the cooling time.
You can make fruit curd with pretty much any citrus fruit, including oranges.
Or get creative and substitute grapefruit, tangerine, lime, passion fruit, or mango for the lemon, making your fruit curd.
Refrigerator: let cool down completely, ideally while stirring to prevent lumps, then store the vegan lemon curd in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The curd will get thicker in the refrigerator, so warm it up and whisk it for about a minute to remove lumps.
In some cases, if the curd is too dry, you might need to add a couple of tablespoons of dairy-free milk.
Freezer: transfer cooled down lemon curd to a freezer-friendly airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, warm up in a saucepan and whisk it before using.
More Lemon Dessert Ideas
If you love lemon-flavored desserts like cakes, tarts, and pies, get inspired by these easy lemon recipes:
Vegan Lemon Curd
- saucepan and whisk
- 2 cups dairy-free milk any, we use soy milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 pinch turmeric for color
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- lemon peel
- Peel lemon with a vegetable peeler, trying to peel off only the colored part of its skin. Set aside.Squeeze lemon juice, then filter it and add it to a small saucepan.
- To the same saucepan, add milk, cornstarch, sugar, and turmeric.
- Whisk well off the heat until cornstarch has dissolved in the liquid, then add the lemon peel.
- Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat while stirring until it thickens. Turn the heat off, remove the lemon peel, and keep stirring for another minute.
- Transfer into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge, or use immediately for cakes and pastries.
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