If you are a fan of citrus flavors you will love this easy vegan lemon curd. It's like a spreadable version of the filling in my vegan lemon meringue pie! Essentially, it is a vegan lemon custard.
This eggless lemon curd is TANGY. I've used a higher amount of lemon juice than traditional curd recipes to give it a punchy citrus kick. The slightly sour lemon flavor will cut through the sweetness of your favorite vegan desserts such as meringues. It also tastes amazing spread over toast or biscuits.
Why this recipe works
- Made using just 5 ingredients with minimal steps.
- Incredibly tangy and made using a high ratio of fresh lemon juice.
- Perfect level of creaminess with a spreadable consistency.
- This curd has a bright yellow hue without using turmeric or food coloring.
- Eggless, dairy-free, gluten-free, and made without coconut. You can also easily adapt the recipe to be soy-free by swapping it for another non-dairy milk.
Notes about the ingredients
When it comes to lemon curd recipes, you need to use freshly squeezed lemons and lemon zest. There's just no other way about it! Trust me, you will tell the difference from a mile, store-bought juice just does not cut it.
As we're also using the peel of the lemons, I recommend buying them organic if you can. Otherwise, look for unwaxed lemons and wash them really well before testing.
You could also skip the lemon zest for a slightly less tangy taste. Note that because we're not using eggs, some amount of the color in the curd does come from the peel so you may end up with a slightly paler color if you omit it.
The sugar is really important in this recipe, so I don't recommend reducing or swapping it. You can use granulated or superfine sugar (caster sugar). Sugar provides the curd with structure as well as balances out the acidity of all that fresh lemon juice!
The cornstarch is the secret to thickening lemon curd without eggs. You can swap it out for arrowroot starch at a 1:1 ratio.
How To Make Vegan Lemon Curd
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)
First, gather and prepare your ingredients. Zest the lemons first and then juice them.
To make the lemon curd, first add the soy milk, sugar, and cornstarch to a saucepan. Whisk the mixture extremely well, until there are no visible lumps of cornstarch. Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk well again to combine.
Place the saucepan on medium-high heat, to get the ingredients simmering. Then turn down to medium heat and cook out the curd for 10-12 minutes. Make sure you continue to stir the curd throughout the cooking process to prevent it from burning to the saucepan.
Your lemon curd will be cooked when it's thick and coats the back of the spatula. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vegan butter.
Lastly, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight jar or container and placing the fridge.
This vegan lemon curd will keep for at least 2 weeks in an airtight jar in the fridge. You can also freeze it for several months in a covered container and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
Ways To Use This Recipe
- Spread over toast, biscuits, crumpets, cookies, or scones.
- Served with vegan pancakes or waffles.
- As a topping for vegan lemon cheesecake.
- For topping vegan meringue nests or pavlova.
- To fill cupcakes or layer cakes.
- You could also enjoy it over some vegan ice cream.
- Please, please, please make sure you use freshly squeezed lemon juice. As mentioned before bottled lemon juice is not suitable for this homemade lemon curd.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the liquid ingredients really well before heating. This is called making a cornstarch slurry and helps to prevent a lumpy curd.
- Alternate between a rubber spatula and whisk to stir the lemon curd whilst cooking.
- If you can't find vegan butter, you can use coconut cream or thick full-fat canned coconut milk in its place. Just note that the consistency may not be quite as set as with butter.
- You can swap the soy milk for another unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice. Almond milk and oat milk both work well.
More vegan lemon recipes
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- Zest and juice the lemons.
- Add the soy milk, sugar, and cornstarch to a saucepan and whisk until smooth without any lumps. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk again to combine.
- Place the saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat slightly to a gentle simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, while stirring alternating with a rubber spatula and a whisk to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. The mixture will thicken and should coat the back of the spatula.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vegan butter until completely incorporated and you have a smooth curd. Allow it to cool to room temperature for 20 minutes.
How to store and serve
- Transfer the lemon curd to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use. The curd will thicken in the fridge, so you can gently heat and melt it in a saucepan anytime you need a runnier curd consistency.
- Granulated sugar: Some white sugar is not vegan, if in doubt use organic sugar.
- Lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed, not bottled juice.
- Cornstarch: Swap for arrowroot starch.
- Vegan butter: You can swap this for coconut cream or thick full-fat canned coconut milk. Just note that the consistency may not be quite as set as with butter.
- Soy milk: Swap for another unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice. Almond milk and oat milk both work well.
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