As toppings like jams and jellies go, curd is among the more unique options. It’s bright and creamy, bursting with sweet, fruity flavors, and a dab of butter gives it a luscious mouthfeel you can’t get from any other spread offering. 

You can whip up cranberry curd as a holiday gift or churn lemon curd to hang on to winter’s beautiful citrus season as long as possible. It mixes in beautifully with oatmeal, yogurt, or whipped topping. It’s a nice finishing touch to desserts, too, and no one here would argue against a schmear of lemon curd on a slice of warm quick bread.

Now, as we move into spring and summer months, lemon curd is an easy way to stretch your recipes between seasons. Want a bright and fruity dessert but don’t have any local berries yet? A dollop of lemon curd will do the trick! It also happens to pair beautifully with a lot of the foods you’re probably already eating, so dig in to these ideas for using lemon curd.

1. As a simple filling for mini lemon curd tarts in phyllo shells, or in a big tart like this Meyer Lemon Curd Tart

Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

2. Dollop a bit of lemon curd on top of meringue cookies, or try these Chewy Meringues with a truly delightful Tangerine-Lemon Curd.

3. Swap your nightly ice cream for frozen yogurt, and you’ll make a little room for a scoop of lemon curd. Try our Gingery Lemon Curd Sundae to get started.

4. Warm up your lemon curd instead of maple syrup for a Sunday morning pancake drizzle. Top with sliced fruit or berries. Dig in! Try this Tart-Sweet Lemon Blackberry Pancake Topping idea if you want to shake up your weekend brunch.

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

5. Desserts don’t have to be complicated to impress. Stir together ice cream, lemon curd, and limoncello for a dessert your dinner guests will talk about for weeks. Get started with our Limoncello Freeze.

6. Instead of traditional chocolate on your s’mores, add some lemon curd and a bit of lime zest for a tropical Key Lime Pie S’more.

7. Hear us out here! Lemon and chicken are a natural couple, so why not use lemon curd as a rub? The butter in the curd will add a toasty flavor to the bright citrusy essence of the curd. Try it for yourself in this Roasted Chicken with Lemon Curd.

8. Stir lemon curd into your morning oatmeal. Top with berries, and you’re on your way to one delicious whole-grain cup of morning goodness. Even better: Try lemon curd in your oatmeal with this recipe for Lemon-Blueberry with Mascarpone Oatmeal.

Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

9. For a this-couldn’t-be-easier dessert, spoon some fresh berries into a cup of luscious lemon curd. Top with a bit of whipped cream, and then sink into the fruity delight! Try our Lemon Curd with Berries.

10. Stir into your morning yogurt for an instant boost, or make a yogurt dip for your next social gathering. Our Honey and Lemon Dip is a great recipe to try.

11. Build a fruit pizza base with a layer of lemon curd or drizzle some on your toppings. You can make a single-serve version on a whole-wheat pita, too. Go crazy with your combinations. We like kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas with lemon curd. We also really love this Fresh Fruit Pizza with Lemon Curd.

12. You can put a spread of frosting between your cake layers. But why would you when you can do a layer of lemon curd instead? Our Vanilla Cake with Italian Meringue Frosting does just that.