Honey Sweetened Lemon Curd Recipe

This lemon curd recipe is made with whole-food ingredients and has no refined sugar! It’s naturally sweetened with honey and it tastes amazing on toast, biscuits, and scones. Use this recipe to make curd for your favorite desserts, too. Lemon bars, anyone??!

Two pint-sized canning jars of homemade lemon curd recipe, surrounded by lemons and whole grain English muffin

I recently had the pleasure of taking a cooking class from a friend who is a chef. It was a class based on whole food cooking and it was for “Sweet, Sugar-Free Spreads”.

These spreads were not sugar free in the traditional sense, but rather, free of refined sugars. Everything we made that day was totally clean, sweetened with either honey or maple syrup. The best part is, everything turned out absolutely perfect and delicious!

We made strawberry chia jam, berry coulis and my favorite, lemon curd. Holy schmoly that stuff was good! So much so that I asked Chef Tina if I could share the lemon curd recipe with you here.

Thankfully, she said yes, so now you can make this deliciousness for yourself! Thank you Chef Tina!!

And just a heads up, if you are lucky enough to have access to lots of lemons, I’ve got tons of information on harvesting and preserving lemons below the recipe! Just keep scrolling…


Here is some of what I use to make this lemon curd, as well as to handle the fresh lemons I use to make it.


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This whole-food lemon curd recipe is the best thing since sliced bread. And incidentally, it tastes really great on toasted sliced bread too! Information on juicing, zesting, candying and dehydrating lemons is below. Don’t miss it!

2 pint-sized canning jars of real food lemon curd

Lemon Curd Recipe

This lemon curd recipe is made with real food ingredients and has no refined sugar! It's naturally sweetened with honey and it tastes amazing on toast, biscuits, and scones. Use this recipe to make curd for your favorite desserts, too.
(Recipe originally adapted from "Green Market Baking Book" by Laura C. Martin and Fine Cooking Magazine.)
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Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 32 servings (2 cup total yield)
Calories: 33kcal


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated Meyer lemon zest


  • In a medium glass (heat-proof) bowl, cream the butter and honey with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs slowly.
  • Add the juice and place the bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water.
  • Cook over moderate (medium-low) heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture has thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not boil. To test, dip the wooden spoon into the curd and draw a line on the back with your finger. If it leaves a clear path on the spoon, immediately remove the bowl from heat and stir in the zest.
  • Pour the curd into a glass jar(s) and let it cool completely. The curd will thicken and set as it cools.
  • Store the curd in the refrigerator.
  • Note: This recipe has not been tested for canning.


Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1tbsp. | Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 13mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Preserving Lemons


I consider myself very lucky to have family members with a Meyer lemon tree. I spend hours juicing and zesting the rinds for Christmas baking and other cooking during the year. Zest freezes really well, and you don’t have to defrost it to use it. With the number of lemons I usually get, this usually yields several gallons of lemon juice.

Preserving Lemons

I throw all the lemon peels on the compost pile, and start to work on the juice and zest. I pull out all my ice trays, and start filling them up, one by one.

Preserving Lemons

Once frozen, I pop out the lemon juice and zest cubes and place them in separate zip lock storage bags for cooking, and adding to drinking water during those hot summer days here in California.

And of course, I save a little fresh juice for the week’s cooking as well.


If you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate lemon slices for all sorts of holiday purposes. You can even dehydrate the rind (if you don’t zest it first) and grind it up for seasoning foods. Lemon powder is delicious!

To do this, you’ll want to know your intended use first so you cut the lemons accordingly. Then place them on the drying racks and put them into your dehydrator. Follow your appliances, instructions for dehydrating lemons or other citrus fruits. They should be very crispy and hard when finished dehydrating. No softness should remain.


While I have yet to try this with natural sweeteners, candied lemon peels are delicious for the holidays. (Do not zest first!) You can even dip them in dark chocolate for a lemony version of chocolate covered candied orange peels. They make great gifts! And since I haven’t tried my hand at creating a recipe myself, I found this wonderful recipe from another blogger that gives you the option to use all-natural honey for making candied lemon peels.

Preserving Lemons

Suggested uses for zest are:

  • Add some extra “zing” to your chicken by sprinkling some zest on before baking
  • Sprinkle on fish prior to baking as well
  • Use in any type of baking
  • Sprinkle a few little crumbs into a cup of tea for an extra lemony treat

Suggested uses for frozen juice are:

  • Soups that require lemon
  • Any drink you like with lemon
  • Baking any type of meat that likes to simmer in it’s juices as it cooks
  • Anywhere else you use lemon juice
  • And of course, the dieter’s good ol’ stand-by, add to water when you’re having cravings. I can’t remember the scientific explanation for this, but lemon actually does curb cravings, or so I’ve read. Seems to work for me!

From the Gracious Pantry archives. First published on 7/10/2015.

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  1. Can’t wait to try!!!! What would be something clean I could put it on? Thanks.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Michele – I have a recipe for english muffins. Or you could just buy clean bread…. Treat it just like jam. 🙂

  2. I noticed you used a canning jar for storing the lemon curd. Would you recommend canning this recipe for long term storage?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – No, it’s just the containers Chef Tina gave us to take it home in. This should be stored in the fridge.

  3. Just to be sure I use 4 egg whites plus 2 whole eggs?? Thank you.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Helena – No. 4 large egg YOLKS and 2 whole eggs.

  4. Would this work with vegan butter?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Anna – I’m not sure, I’ve never tried.

  5. Has anyone tried this with coconut oil instead of butter?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kristen – I have not. Sorry.

  6. Hi, how long would this keep for in the fridge? Thanks 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Misty – Well, I would guess a week or two. But that’s only a guess because we finished it after 2 days!

  7. I’m so going try this!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alexs – Let me know how you like it! 😀

  8. Hi! Would love to try this but can it Be made without any type of sweetener? Thanks in advance!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melanie – Sorry, no. This is a sweet recipe. It would be very sour without it. I suppose you could try pure liquid stevia since that’s not actually a sugar. But I’m not sure how the recipe would turn out.

  9. Amanda R. says:

    Honey gives me a worse sugar rush than even sugar does. Are there any sugar free alternatives that I can use in replacement?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amanda – You would have to experiment. I don’t know of any and it wasn’t my original recipe, so I haven’t messed with it. Sorry. 🙁

  10. Can you freeze this for later?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Teresa – I do not recommend it. But honestly, it doesn’t make enough to freeze. This stuff doesn’t last long. lol!

  11. beautiful looking spread! love that it’s made from scratch with just natural sugars, have been looking for alternative spreads and this definitely works, thank you for sharing this!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sabrina – Thanks! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  12. looks yummy going to try this tonight, however can i use just normal lemons? I don’t have any meyer ones x

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Gemma – Sure! 🙂

  13. I made the Meyer lemon version and also tried it with passion fruit puree. Both delicious. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lindsey – My pleasure! The passion fruit version sounds amazing!! 😀

  14. Jennifer St Clair says:

    You can cut down on the sweetener without an issue, and this also freezes well.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – How much did you cut down on it? Would love to know! Thanks! 🙂