Instant Pot Lemon Curd Recipe

Instant Pot Lemon Curd

The Spruce Eats / Morgan Baker

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 13 mins
Chill: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 18 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 14 ounces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
182 Calories
10g Fat
20g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 182
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 135mg 45%
Sodium 174mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 57mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lemon curd is a creamy spread made from lemons, eggs, sugar, and butter. The texture is perfect for using to layer, fill, and spread on desserts all year long. The key to a delicious lemon curd is using high-quality ingredients like European unsalted butter, fresh eggs, and peak-season citrus. Making curd in the Instant Pot takes this recipe from a tedious, constant stirring technique to an almost set it and forget it technique. The Instant Pot method is also perfect for doubling or tripling and then giving the curd as a gift paired with vanilla scones or sweet biscuits.

Be mindful that this curd will appear curdled at first, but try not to panic. Just remember to keep whisking as you add the butter, and the mixture will become a silky, smooth consistency. If it seems thin, remember it will also thicken as it cools. The key to this recipe is to trust the process.


  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a heat-proof glass container large enough to fit the mixture but small enough to fit in the Instant Pot. Cover tightly with foil.

  3. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the bottom. Carefully place the jar with the egg mixture onto the trivet and seal the Instant Pot lid. Pressure cook at high pressure for 3 minutes, then naturally release for 10 minutes.

  4. Carefully remove the jar from the Instant Pot. The egg mixture should appear thick and set like a custard with small bubbles on top. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between additions until well combined. As you whisk, the mixture should turn from clumpy to smooth and creamy.

  5. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and let the mixture thicken and cool in the refrigerator, at least four hours or up to overnight before serving. 


This recipe will work perfectly in all the sizes of the Instant Pot from the 3-quart to the 10-quart. However, if you want to double or triple the recipe to give this curd out as gifts, you'll need at least the 6-quart.

How to Use Instant Pot Lemon Curd

There are many delicious ways to use this lemon curd, and all are pretty simple and quick.

  • You could slather it between cake layers or mix it in with American buttercream to step up your typical vanilla layer cake.
  • Or you could use it to fill mini pie shells to make lemon tarts and top with whipped cream and edible flowers.
  • For easier applications, spread it on toast, top ice cream, serve with biscuits, or top a store-bought classic cheesecake with it.

Whenever you want to add a little pop of tart citrus flavor to your favorite breakfast or dessert dishes, this lemon curd is your go-to.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store lemon curd in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to two months.
  • If you'd like to freeze this lemon curd for enjoying later, store it in the same glass jar with a tight-fitting lid but be sure to leave about one inch of room at the top. This will allow for expansion in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Is lemon curd the same as lemon jam?

Lemon curd and lemon jam both provide a bright, citrus flavor to cakes, cookies, and pies, but there is a slight difference between the two. Lemon curd is made using eggs and butter, while jams and jellies are made by cooking down fruit with sugar.

Can the Instant Pot explode?

The Instant Pot comes with many safety features and is a far step above the pressure cookers of the past, so it's unlikely to explode. Always be sure to read the manual before using and brief yourself fully on how to operate all kitchen appliances.