Healthy Small-Batch Lemon Curd

Healthy Small-Batch Lemon Curd

Made with just four ingredients, this small batch lemon curd is the perfect amount for adding a punch of flavor to your breakfasts or snacks this week. 

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This small batch lemon curd is my secret ingredient for making an everyday breakfast feel a little more special.

Overnight oats, scones, yogurt, pancakes. I love all of these foods. But sometimes I want something with just a little more “wow” factor that doesn’t involve too much extra time.

This healthier lemon curd is so simple, yet adds such a big punch of flavor and color. 

While it does require a little advance planning, it comes together quickly and only requires 4 simple ingredients. 

Let me show you how to make this simple, small-batch lemon curd, as well as all my favorite ways to put it to good use!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Packed with a bright, lemony flavor.
  • Lower in butter and sugar than many other lemon curd recipes.
  • Makes a smaller batch so nothing goes to waste. 
  • Instantly makes any breakfast, snack, or dessert just a little more special. 
Top down view of small batch lemon curd

Ingredients Used to Make Lemon Curd

  • Lemons: I’ve used both 2 large lemons and 2 ½ smaller lemons to make this curd before and both had just the right amount of lemon juice. Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons, so if you want to use them be sure to reduce the amount of sugar slightly. 
  • Sugar: I used raw cane sugar, but granulated sugar or honey would also work. While I haven’t tried it with coconut sugar, I don’t recommend it. Coconut sugar doesn’t dissolve quite as well, so you may end up with a grainer texture.
  • Egg: I used 1 large egg when I shot these photos. But in the past, I’ve also had success with 1 medium egg. 
  • Butter: Just a little butter helps with the texture and flavor of lemon curd. Make sure to use unsalted! I have not tried this recipe with a vegan butter substitute or coconut oil. 

You’ll also want a small mason jar to store it in. 

Jar of small batch lemon curd

How to Make Lemon Curd from Scratch

  1. Dissolve sugar in the lemon juice. Add zest. 
  2. Lightly beat egg in a small mixing bowl. Slowly pour sugar-lemon juice mixture into the bowl, whisking constantly.
  3. Add mixture back into saucepan and reduce heat to medium-low. Add butter.
  4. Keep whisking for 5 minutes until it’s slightly thickened and butter has melted.
  5. Pour into a glass container, let cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours to thicken.
  6. Put it on everything!
grating a lemon

How long does lemon curd last?

This small-batch recipe should keep for up to 1 week in your fridge. Just make sure that it’s in a container with a tight-fitting lid!

What do you use lemon curd on?

When I think of lemon curd, my mind goes to milk scones. However, you don’t have to stick with traditional English teatime uses. 

Other ways to use it include:

  • On pancakes and waffles.
  • In yogurt breakfast parfaits.
  • On top of oatmeal.
  • Mixed into overnight oats.
  • Layered with chia seed pudding. 
  • As a spread on toast along with cream cheese. 
Small batch lemon curd with toast

Tips for making this recipe

  • Use fresh lemon juice. If you’re going through the effort of making lemon curd, make sure to use the real thing. Bottled lemon juice won’t have the same flavor. 
  • Don’t stop whisking! The key to a lemon curd that’s silky smooth is to keep everything moving. 
  • If using Meyer lemons, I’d reduce the sugar by 1 tablespoon to account for the lemons being sweeter than normal varieties. 
  • Make it the day before if you can. While it can be ready in as soon as 3 hours, I find the flavor and texture is best when the lemon curd sits in the fridge overnight. 

More healthy lemon dessert recipes to try 

Love lemon as much as I do? Here are some of my favorite healthy lemon dessert recipes to try:

If you tried this small batch lemon curd, or any other recipe on the blog, let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

Lighter Lemon Curd (small batch)

This lighter lemon curd is exactly what your scones, tarts, and parfaits have been missing!
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time3 hrs 7 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade lemon curd, Small batch lemon curd
Author: Kelli


  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • Add sugar, lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. About 3-5 minutes.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg until frothy. Whisking continuously, slowly pour sugar-lemon juice mixture into the bowl to combine with the eggs.
  • Pour egg and lemon mixture back into the small saucepan and reduce heat to medium-low. Add butter and stir consistently for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has slightly thickened and the butter is fully melted.
  • Carefully pour mixture into a mason jar or other glass container. Allow to fully cool at room temperature before covering with a lid and refrigerating for at least 3 hours.

Don’t forget to pin for later!

Add a comment


  • Jayne crayton AvatarJayne crayton6 months ago

    Made this to use in another recipe and lived it. Plan to make a jar to keep & the only thing I would change is to reduce the sugar a tad. Other than that it was perfect for me.

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast5 months ago

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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