Microwave lemon curd is a simple luxurious treat when you need a hit of lemony goodness in your life. Cooked in the microwave it takes only minutes to make!
This post was first published October 22, 2018 and was last updated August 22, 2020.
I started making lemon curd years ago and it’s one of my favourite things to eat. One day I thought, “Can I make this in the microwave?” It turns out you can! In only a few minutes!! Just whisk the ingredients and microwave until thick. Since I started making microwave lemon curd I have never gone back to a pot on the stovetop.
I highly recommend using a thermometer to check for doneness if you have one. Because microwaves vary in power the curd can take anywhere from 3 to 7 minutes to cook. The microwave I currently own cooks lemon curd in 3 minutes, however, my old microwave took 6 minutes.
Microwave lemon curd needs a couple of hours in the fridge to set after it’s cooked so be sure to prepare accordingly. Also, if you’re unsure what to do with your curd I’ve got a list of 20 ways to use it below!
What Is Lemon Curd?
A mixture of eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and butter, lemon curd is cooked together until thick and smooth. It’s used in desserts, as a dessert topping, and also as a spread on things like toast and biscuits.
Curd vs Pie Filling vs Pudding
Lemon curd, pie filling, and pudding all have eggs, sugar, and lemon juice, however:
- Lemon Curd is made with butter, no thickeners, and no milk
- Lemon Pie Filling is made with butter and thickener, usually flour or cornstarch
- Lemon Pudding is made with butter, thickener, and milk
- lemon zest and juice
How To Make Step-By-Step
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and eggs to a medium-large microwave-safe bowl.
- Whisk the mixture vigorously until smooth.
- Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes for the sugar to completely dissolve.
- Give the mixture another good whisk then break the butter into small pieces and add them to the bowl.
- Microwave the mixture for one minute on full power. Remove the bowl from the microwave and take a temperature reading. The goal is to reach 170ºF (76ºC).
- Whisk the mixture briskly to help melt the butter pieces and make the curd smooth. You must whisk the curd vigorously in between each minute of cooking. Hard whisking helps eliminate the risk of scrambled egg bits in your microwave lemon curd.
- Return the bowl to the microwave and cook for one minute.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and take a temperature reading. After each minute the temperature will climb. As you get close to the 170ºF (76ºC) mark, reduce the cooking time to 30 second increments. When the curd has reached 170ºF (76ºC) it’s done! In the microwave I currently own, my curd cooks in about 3 minutes.
- At this point the microwave lemon curd will be thick enough that your whisk will leave tracks when you mix.
- Give the curd one good final whisk until smooth.
- Ladle the microwave lemon curd into clean jars or container. Leave the lids off of the jars for a few hours to prevent condensation on the underside of the lids from dripping into your curd. Let the curd cool completely before storing in the fridge with a tight fitting lid.
Notes & Tips
- Serving Size – Serving size is calculated at 2 tablespoons of microwave lemon curd per serving .
- A Note On Temperature – Don’t be alarmed if your lemon curd goes over the 170ºF (76ºC) temperature mark. The last batch I made reached 178ºF (81ºC) and was still perfect. The curd must cook to at least 170ºF (76ºC) in order to reach the correct thickness and setting point. In and around that point is fine, just don’t let the temperature get too high at the risk of curdling and scrambling.
- Lemon Substitute – You can make this recipe with any other citrus you like such as grapefruit or blood oranges. I’ve also substituted one of the lemons with the pulp and seeds of one passionfruit with delicious results!
- If You Don’t Love Lemon Zest – You can either omit the zest, or strain it out after the microwave lemon curd is cooked.
- Egg Substitute – I have not made fruit curd without eggs, however, a quick internet search yields versions thickened with coconut cream or arrowroot powder.
- Sugar Substitute – I’ve only made this recipe with white sugar, however, my friend Alex has a recipe for healthier lemon curd made with honey.
- Make Lemon Curd Dairy-Free – Butter adds silkiness and richness to lemon curd, however, you can easily make this recipe dairy free by swapping in your favourite plant-based butter.
- Shelf Life & Storage – Because this recipe is for a small batch of lemon curd I never bother with the canning process. I keep microwave lemon curd, stored in glass jars with tight fitting lids, for up two two weeks in the fridge.
- Eat microwave lemon curd straight up with a spoon.
- Dollop it on a slice of angel food cake.
- Swirl it into cheesecake batter before baking, or use it as a topping for baked cheesecake.
- Spread it on blueberry white chocolate scones.
- Dollop it into baked puff pastry and top with edible flowers or berries.
- Add it to homemade vanilla frosting for use on cakes or cupcakes.
- Spread it on toast or English muffins in the morning for breakfast.
- Add milk, whisk, and toss with day-old bread cubes to make bread pudding.
- Use microwave lemon curd as a filling between lavender sugar cookies.
- Roll it up in sourdough crepes.
- Make homemade donuts and pipe lemon curd into the middles.
- Make cherry clafoutis for breakfast and serve it with lemon curd and whipped cream.
- Use as a topping for French toast or pancakes.
- Layer lemon curd, crushed French meringues, and whipped cream in parfait glasses.
- Stir it into yogurt.
- Make Lemon Curdsicles (vanilla ice cream and lemon curd layered in popsicle moulds).
- Layer curd with sponge cake, fresh fruit, and whipped cream to make a trifle.
- Use as a filling inside a jelly roll cake.
- Add a spoonful to your morning oatmeal, granola, or steel cut oats.
- Pour lemon curd into a pre-baked pie shell and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350ºF (180ºC). Let the pie cool completely before decorating and/or slicing. Decorate the top with whipped cream, meringue, or fresh fruit.
More Great Lemon Recipes
Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins Loaded with raspberries, bright lemon zest, and pockets of tangy cream cheese.
Lemon Buttermilk Cake With Strawberry Jam Cream Cheese Icing Dense, moist, and can be made without a mixer!
Lemon Bars With Shortbread Crust Rich, crisp, buttery bottom with a creamy and tart topping.
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of 3 lemons, approximately 1/2 cup (125 ml)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup (56 g) butter, room temperature
- Whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and eggs in a medium-large microwave-safe bowl briskly until smooth. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes for the sugar to completely dissolve.
- Give the mixture another good whisk then break the butter into small pieces with your hands and add them to the bowl.
- Microwave the mixture for one minute on full power. Remove the bowl from the microwave and take a temperature reading. The goal is to reach 170ºF (76ºC). Whisk the mixture briskly to help melt the butter and make the the curd smooth. Return the bowl to the microwave and microwave for one minute.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and take a temperature reading. After each minute the temperature will climb. As you get close to the 170ºF (76ºC) mark, reduce the cooking time to 30 second increments.
- When the curd reaches 170ºF (76ºC) it's done. At this point the curd will be thick enough that your whisk will leave tracks when you mix. Give the lemon curd one good final whisk.
- Ladle the curd into clean jars or containers. Leave the lids off of the jars for a few hours to prevent condensation on the underside of the lids from dripping into your curd. Let the curd cool completely before storing in the fridge with a tight fitting lid.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 53Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g
DISCLAIMER - NUTRITIONAL DATA IS PROVIDED BY A CALCULATOR AND IS A ROUGH ESTIMATION OF THE NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION IN THIS RECIPE.