Vegan Lemon Curd

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Jars of creamy vegan lemon curd for a refreshing dessert

A few weeks ago, we had a brunch with some friends and lemon curd was on the table.

Lemon curd is so delicious, but it’s so not vegan-friendly. So I set off to make my own inspired version.

Fresh lemons and coconut milk for making rich and creamy vegan lemon curd

This 1-pot, 5-ingredient vegan lemon curd is like the real deal, and it’s delicious enough to eat right from the jar with a spoon – the sign of any good dessert.

It’s also naturally sweetened and requires just 30 minutes hands-on prep time before going into the refrigerator to set and thicken.

Cooking our vegan lemon curd recipe in a saucepan

The key to any good lemon curd is a ton of lemon zest and fresh lemon juice.

The creative part came with the base ingredients. And for that I went with coconut cream for rich, creamy texture, and arrowroot starch to thicken. To sweeten naturally, I went with a little maple syrup. Oh man, so good.

I imagine this would work well with lime juice and zest, too!

Saucepan filled with our creamy 1-pot vegan lemon curd
Jars of vegan lemon curd topped with fresh raspberries and lemon zest

This curd is the real deal. It is slightly more white in color because there are no eggs, but the lemon flavor is 100% there.

I hope you love this curd! It’s:

Perfectly sweet
& Seriously delicious

I was so pleasantly surprised at the way this curd turned out! The coconut flavor is minimal (to none), the lemon really shines through, and it’s not too sweet.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to enjoy this straight out of the jar, pudding style. But it also makes a delicious topping for waffles, pancakes and baked goods, like these Lemon Muffins!

Top view of three jars of creamy vegan lemon curd for a delicious refreshing dessert

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We love seeing what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Grabbing a spoonful of our naturally-sweetened vegan lemon curd

Vegan Lemon Curd

EASY vegan lemon curd with just 5 ingredients and 1 pot required! Creamy, perfectly tart, naturally sweetened! Enjoy straight from the jar, or add to waffles, pancakes, and baked goods!
Author Minimalist Baker
Jars of Vegan Lemon Curd topped with lemon zest and fresh raspberries
4.43 from 57 votes
Prep Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 40 minutes
Servings 36 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Dessert, Spread
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 7-10 Days


  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream*
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)


  • Place coconut cream and lemon zest in a small saucepan and whisk to combine.
  • Add lemon juice and arrowroot starch to a small mixing bowl and whisk to thoroughly dissolve. Then add to coconut cream mixture and stir.
  • Lastly, add maple syrup (starting with lesser amount // 1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and whisk again until well combined.
  • Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low bubble – not boil – whisking often. Once it starts bubbling and getting thick, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until a visible ribbon forms when spooning a bit of the curd across the top. It should be thick and kind of jiggly in texture. During this process switch to a rubber spatula for stirring to ensure the curd isn’t sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan.
  • Remove from heat and taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest for acidity/brightness, or maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes, then whisk once more and transfer to a glass bowl or jar (I prefer these) and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the curd – otherwise a film may form.
  • Refrigerate for 5-6 hours, or overnight, or until completely chilled and set. Will keep in the refrigerator 7-10 days, though best within the first 4-5 days.
  • This is so delicious you can eat it straight, but it makes an especially delicious topping for muffins, pancakes, waffles and other baked goods.


*Our current preferred brand is Savoy Coconut Cream. While we used to recommend Trader Joe’s coconut cream, the formula has changed and we find it is no longer reliable. You can also try subbing full-fat coconut milk, but it will likely not be as thick and creamy. Try adding more arrowroot starch to help thicken.
*For all other substitution questions, check out our Recipe FAQ page.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 36 servings)

Serving: 1 one-Tbsp servings Calories: 30 Carbohydrates: 1.4 g Protein: 0.3 g Fat: 2.8 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 2 mg Sugar: 0.8 g

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  1. K says

    I made this recipe twice and both times, it did not thicken as it says it would. I added more arrowroot powder but it was still liquidy. Has anyone else encountered this difficulty?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re sorry it’s given you trouble! What brand of coconut cream have you been using? If it’s thick and creamy, it might be that it needs to cook longer!

  2. Lindsay says

    We made a vegan rainbow trifle for a pride month party, and your lemon curd was perfect to layer with. Seriously delicious, and so similar to non-vegan curds. I used about a third of a cup of standard white sugar in place of the maple syrup, but would love to try sweetener alternatives next time I make it. Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

  3. Victoria Johnson says

    I am about to try this for the third time. So far it has not thickened and I have had two batches of lemon soup!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! We’re so sorry that’s happening, Victoria. What brand of coconut cream are you using? We wonder if it’s not thick enough. You can try adding more arrowroot starch to help!

  4. Kristin says

    I’m planning to make a pavlova and would love to to top with this lemon curd. It’s traditionally with whipped cream. Would you suggest I use coconut whipped cream with this drizzled or is it a creamy consistency that I can just go straight curd on top? Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kristin, sounds delish! The curd isn’t thin enough to drizzle, but we think it is thick and creamy enough that it should be good on its own! Hope this helps!

  5. @chickysmaine says

    I am not vegan and this blew my mind. I can’t stop eating it with a spoon. Gamechanger. Perfect recipe. Epic. Make this.

  6. Cherish says

    Yum, yum! This was just the right amount of tart. I haven’t had lemon curd since I was a kid and could still eat eggs. A definite make-again recipe. Bonus – my local Asian grocery had the coconut cream brand you recommended and it was so good that I’ll be sure to put a few cans in my pantry.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenny, sorry to hear that! A thicker brand of coconut cream and making sure to cook until a visible ribbon forms should help.

  7. Romeo Romeo says

    I tried this, but I did mix your recipe with someone else’s. I liked that you didn’t use earth balance, but I am avoiding coconut milk and products. I used soy milk and cornstarch instead. I used small amount of sweetener. Again I liked your recipe the most because you didn’t use a lot of sweetener, other recipes uses way too much sugar! It did thicken up very nicely and quick for me. I will try it will arrowroot next time to see if it changes things up. I’ve never had dairy and egg lemon curd so I do not know what it’s suppose to taste like, but this vegan version is very nice tasting. I think this would work in baked goods like cake as well. It did seem firm up well, but I have to see how it thickens up tomorrow after it sits in the fridge. Thanks for the recipe, sorry that I changed things up a bit!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Faye, that sounds lovely! We haven’t tried it though so we’re not certain it will be firm enough. Let us know if you give it a try!

  8. Natalie Hamilton says

    Hi! I love your recipes! Can this be made as a plain custard without lemon or lime juice? I’m looking for a good vegan custard. Thanks so much.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Natalie, we haven’t tried it that way, but we think it would work. We’d suggest adding vanilla extract.

  9. Mar says

    I just saw a blackberry curd, it looked soooo lush an delish! But not vegan, so had to look around for a vegan lemon curd and use that as a basis. THANKS!!
    I want to use it in a cake 🔥

  10. katie says

    I was so excited to try (and eat) this!
    Just made it – followed and double checked recipe but it just will not thicken up for me.
    I used coconut cream from Thrive Market. I’ll refrigerate it as is and see what it’s like chilled. Any suggestions for how to use a runny version?
    Or what to do differently next time?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie, so sorry to hear it didn’t turn out with that brand! Perhaps refrigerating and more arrowroot would help?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work, but it doesn’t get *as* set / firm as a traditional curd. Let us know if you try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lily, we haven’t tried freezing it, but don’t think it would freeze well. Let us know if you try it!

  11. Kady says

    I’m definitely going to try this! I love lemon curd. Have you tried a vegan cranberry curd by chance? I’d love to find a way to make that as well.

  12. Shelly says

    Hi! Would this curd work well as a filling for a vanilla cake? I’m looking to do lemon curd, raspberry, and blueberry fillings with cashew-vanilla icing. Any input is greatly appreciated. Love your recipes!! Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shelly, thanks so much! We think if you thickened it enough (by cooking longer) and used a high fat coconut cream, it could work as a layer between cakes, but we wouldn’t go super thick. Let us know if you try it!

  13. Karen says

    This vegan lemon curd is so wonderful! I used Let’s Do Organic organic heavy coconut cream. Like many others, I didn’t get a ribbon, and I didn’t have much time to spare so I just cooked it (stirring regularly with a spatula) for about 20 minutes and then let it rest and then put it in the fridge overnight. It was set beautifully the next morning.

    Also, I stuck with 1 Tbsp of maple syrup. The next morning tasting it direct from the jar I thought maybe I should have added more maple syrup. However, when I used the lemon curd on a scone it was just the perfect amount of sweetness.

  14. Claire says

    Turned out delicious!

    I’m not sure if the recipe really specified how long it would take to simmer down the mixture, but it took near to an hour for me with regular mixing. I added a little extra raw sugar to make it taste more similar to the supermarket ones.

    Turned out a lovely golden colour because of the maple syrup. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! Depending on the consistency of your coconut milk it can take a while!

  15. Helen says

    Would there be a way to do this curd without heating it on the stove? Would blending the ingredients in high speed blender work?

    thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      the magic of heating is it activates the starch and that’s what helps it thicken! But you could try something like this instead.

  16. newlyvegan says

    Hi! I made this today and really bummed it didn’t work out. It didn’t thicken at all and was really runny. I didn’t want to add any more arrowroot as it was starting to taste a bit starchy. Any tips on how I could have messed up such a simple recipe?! LOL.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, so sorry to hear it didn’t work well! Did you use coconut cream or coconut milk? Coconut cream will make it thicker. Hope that helps!

  17. Helen Silberg says

    Looks yum! I would like to use this recipe for a vegan lemon tart. Is this recipe suitable for a 24cm tart. Also can you suggest an equally yummy pastry base for a vegan tart.

  18. Elysia says

    I love lemon curd and was so excited to find this vegan recipe! I made it tonight, replacing arrowroot with cornstarch, and the texture seems to have come out great. I’m using this in place of the tofu cream for the No-Bake Lemon Cookie Fruit Tarts!

    One issue: I’m not a big fan of overly sweet curd, or overly sweet desserts in general, but 2tbsp of maple syrup left mine soooo tart. It was as if I hadn’t put any sweetener at all. I ended up adding a total of around 6tbsp, and then adding more starch to make up for the extra liquid – but I don’t see anyone else having this issue from the comments. Am I unknowingly using a low quality maple syrup, or do I have some crazy lemons?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, good question! Sweetness is definitely up to preference. I’d say next time potentially scale back on amount of lemon on the front end!

  19. Jennifer says

    With Shelter In Place in effect, I’ve been cooking more and wanting to use up the dozens of lemons ripening on my tree out back. I am so happy to have found this recipe. It’s SO easy and SO tasty! Thank you so much. I can make up a batch during my “morning 15-minute break of teleworking, and it’s cooled and ready to be topped with fresh raspberries for a wonderful, perfect after-dinner treat. BTW, I used a can of full fat coconut milk and doubled the arrowroot starch and it was to our liking.

  20. Zephra says

    Are you putting the entire can of coconut cream in the pan(Ncluding the liquid), Or just a solid cream part from the top portion?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Zephra, only use the coconut cream. But we used a whole can of coconut cream. So if using coconut milk, you would need to use multiple cans.

  21. Hope says

    I’m trying to find a good vegan version of traditional British/Scottish lemon curd to go on scones. Would an “Organic Heavy Coconut Cream” work?

    Like this: Let’s Do Organic Heavy Coconut Cream, 13.5 Ounce

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That might work. That specific product is a very thick coconut cream, so it could be a little too strong/thick. But let us know if you try it!

  22. Kaisa Weathers says

    Hi, I’m very interested in this type of cooking for my new son-in-law. However I was not able to get the ribbon like texture. I even added about a half a teaspoon more arrowroot starch. I tried turning up the heat but still no ribbons. I stirred for 50+ minutes. Any suggestions?

  23. Michelle says

    Oh my! Tangy deliciousness and I’m not even a fan of lemons. I only picked up lemons as my 8 year old baby looked longingly at a box of lemon bars on Sunday. I picked up a bag of lemons then later realized that I am on a no-baking fast during the Lent season. This lemon curd is my solution to that! Thanks again, Dana! ❤️?
    Oh my modifications: used almost 3/4 cup of lemon juice, and basically a little more than all the quantities of the ingredients since I used more than 1/2 cup of lemon juice

  24. Maureen says

    Followed every step exactly, but tripled the recipe. Sadly I couldn’t get it to thicken after over an hour at the stove. Finally turned off the heat and decided it will be a liquid sauce over pancakes.

  25. Michelle says

    I made a passion fruit curd based on this recipe and it was fantastic! In place of lemon juice, zest and maple syrup, I used a passion fruit nectar reduction and a splash of vanilla, and since I didn’t have arrowroot starch on hand, I just used the same amount of corn starch. The curd thickened nicely and the flavour was incredible! I used it between layers of chocolate cake and it cut the richness perfectly. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  26. sigret says

    I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with a rubbery ball that wont cling to the spoon and is like eating some kind of strange halloween food that is completely inedible. I threw the whole lot into the garbage can.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, that’s so strange! Assuming you didn’t modify anything, I’m not sure what went wrong as no one else has experienced this issue. Sounds like it was potentially overcooked or too much starch was added?

  27. Mel says

    Taste was great but wanted color of traditional lemon curd so added some turmeric powder. Worked a treat with minimal change to flavor.

  28. Justin Stevens says

    Hi, I tried to make this today. The only change I made was using meyer lemons, otherwise it was verbatim, trader joes coconut cream, maple syrup. I cooked this for almost an hour and could never get it to ribbons. After about 30 minutes, i squeezed another 1/2 (regular) lemon and another teaspoon of arrowroot. After about 45 minutes, another half lemon and 1 teaspoon of tapioca… and still it would never firm up. after an hour of cooking i took it off of the heat and let it rest. It’s now (still warm) in the refrigerator covered with cling film but still sloshy.

    We’ll see after it chills overnight. I was hoping to serve this for dessert monday evening…

    Any thoughts?


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Justin, Trader Joe’s has changed their formula in recent years and we think that could be part of the problem. We now prefer Savoy Coconut Cream. We’ll take another look at the recipe and see what changes can be made. In the meantime, we’re hoping chilling will help. Otherwise, maybe even more arrowroot?

    • Justin says

      Hi! Happy to say this firmed up nicely in the fridge! Although I really wanted ribbons and maybe cooked it way longer than i needed…

      I’ll try again as written. Tasty and tart!


    • Maureen says

      Exact same thing happened to me. The only thing I did differently from the instructions was triple the recipe. Never got it to thicken, and checked multiple times to make sure I tripled each ingredient.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Melanie, we haven’t tried any other milks/creams in this recipe and aren’t sure how it would turn out. Cashew cream would likely be the best option. You may need to add additional arrowroot to help it thicken. If you do some experimenting, we would love to hear how it goes!

  29. Dawn says

    This tasted good, but I was shocked to see how much sugar was in the coconut cream. I have never used coconut cream before, and don’t know if all coconut cream has this much sugar, but the only brand I found at my local grocery was Goya, and it had 18 grams of sugar per a 2 tablespoon serving! Plus, 4 grams of saturated fat per 2 tablespoon serving.


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dawn, the coconut cream we use does not have any added sugar and therefore has a much lower overall sugar content. We like this brand. Hope that helps!

  30. Norma says

    Great recipe. Good idea to hold off on the 1tablespoon of Maple Syrup for adjustment later. I guess I need to double the receipe for a 9” tart?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Norma, this recipe makes about 2 cups, so depending on how much filling you like for your tart, that could be enough or you may like to double.

  31. christine simmons says

    hi Dana, I am wondering if I put my finished mix into hot sterilized jars and seal them, should it not keep for quite awhile? like when making pickles, jams etc……many thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Christine, we’d say because the coconut milk is perishable it still needs to be refrigerated. Hope that helps!

  32. makemineirish says

    Given that the dairy and eggs have been omitted, what are the refrigeration requirements? I understand that it is still a perishable product, but how much so? I would like to utilize this a filling in a layer cake, but am curious as to whether it could be kept on the countertop for several days as you would with a jam-filled option (rather than the refrigeration that a “real” curd would require).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d say b/c coconut milk is perishable it still needs to be refrigerated. Hope that helps!

  33. Elana says

    After trying this recipe out, while I truly believe the amount of lemon flavor was perfect, I don’t see arrowroot being the ideal starch for this desert. I also personally increased the amount of maple syrup given the entire can of coconut milk. Arrowroot makes this lemon curd rather slimey and stringy, and now that I’ve attempted this with the hopes that I didn’t need to go to the store to get tapioca or cornstarch, I guess it’s been confirmed why the entire internet agrees that arrowroot isn’t right for creamy things. It also never entirely firmed up for me or reached a stringy stage before I added a touch more arrowroot. That said, I appreciated the simplicity of the recipe. I hope you try out some other startches and tweak this one for us, because otherwise the flavor is great!

  34. Amanda says

    This looks lovely! Is this “sturdy” enough to use as a filling between layers of a cake (like you would use traditional lemon curd)? I need a vegan, nut-free recipe, so this would be perfect if it works (anything with cashew cream is out). Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think if you thickened it enough (by cooking longer) and used a high fat coconut cream, it could work as a layer between cakes, but I wouldn’t go super thick!

  35. Manda Lynn says

    Hi there! I saw back in 2016 someone asked this same question, but there was no response. Do you have any suggestions for subbing out the coconut cream? It just really doesn’t agree with me so I would like to use a different milk/cream if possible. What are your thought? I was even contemplating trying to make my own cashew cream at home and see if that works, but that sounds a little ambitious for a jumping off point. Thank you!!!!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Manda, we haven’t tried any other milks/creams in this recipe and aren’t sure how it would turn out. Cashew cream would likely be the best option. You may need to add additional arrowroot to help it thicken. If you do some experimenting, we would love to hear how it goes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, but it should work! If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  36. Dianne Fritsche says

    Hi again,
    So looking over all my ingredient, my can of coconut cream is 13.5 oz. But I wouldn’t think that would cause it not to thicken unless 1/2 cup lemon juice is too much. I decided to take out some of the cream and add a teas. more arrowroot and added it, but the consistency is the same. I guess I will just let it cook now and report back with the results. Also, no my arrowroot is not expired and I did not boil it while making this. :)

  37. Dianne Fritsche says

    I am in the middle of making this right now. It tastes great and is silky but…I am not getting any ribbon? I do not think it is thickening enough. I am wondering if I should just keep cooking and cooking and if so for how long? :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Keep cooking at a low temperature until it thickens. The texture of different coconut creams can vary and impact the cooking time. We recommend the brands in this post. Hope that helps!

  38. Jess P says

    I follow keto diet but would like to try altering this recipe. We cannot have arrowroot/cornstarch, honey or lemon juice. I want to use lemon essential oil to replace some of the lemon juice. I have used xanthun gum in the past for thickening custard desserts. Thinking that will work for the arrowroot. But by omitting the honey I wonder if I should use canned coconut milk for more liquid. What are your thoughts?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jess, we aren’t sure how it will turn out with these modifications. We think you may need to add stevia to replace the maple syrup or it will be very tangy. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes!

  39. Tiffany says

    I’m currently dreaming up ideas for dessert on Christmas Eve. Thinking a Cranberry or Pomegranate Curd tart might be delicious but I can’t find a recipe for vegan versions. Do you think I could swap out the juice in this recipe for one of those?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would think that should work but can’t say for sure as we haven’t tried it ourselves.. if you give it a try, report back on how it turns out!

  40. Zahava says

    The flavor was delicious. but the texture was rubbery. I might try it with a different thickener, perhaps cornstarch, tapioca, or potato starch. have you tried it with any of these?

  41. Isabel says

    Please could you tell me when referring to 1 1/4 ounces of coconut cream you are referring to the equivalent of 35.5 ml? Sounds very little amount to me.

    Thank you for your reply. I am looking forward to making your recipe for lemon curd !

    Best wishes, Isabel