Does Lemon Curd Have Dairy and Contain Gluten? Explained

If you’re someone with dietary restrictions, trying to determine which foods are safe to consume can be a challenging task. Lemon curd is a delicious and versatile condiment that people often enjoy on toast, pastries, or even as a stand-alone dessert. However, if you have dairy or gluten intolerances, you may be wondering whether this tangy spread is suitable for your diet. In this article, we’ll explore whether lemon curd contains dairy and gluten and if homemade versions of the recipe are safer for people with these dietary restrictions. We’ll also highlight some alternative recipes for those who want to avoid traditional lemon curd altogether.

Does Lemon Curd Have Dairy and Contain Gluten?

If you’re intolerant to dairy or gluten and are curious about whether or not lemon curd is safe for you to consume, then the short answer is that it depends on the recipe. Let’s dive into why.

Explanation of Dairy and Gluten Intolerance

Dairy intolerance occurs when your body has difficulty breaking down lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. This can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort after consuming dairy products.

Gluten intolerance, on the other hand, occurs when your body has an adverse reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Some common symptoms of gluten intolerance include bloating, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, and abdominal pain.

Ingredients Used in Lemon Curd

The main ingredients used in lemon curd are eggs, sugar, butter (or margarine), and lemons. The egg yolks give lemon curd its richness while the lemon juice provides its tartness.

Sources of Dairy and Gluten in Lemon Curd

  • Eggs: Eggs are considered a dairy product by some people because they come from chickens. However, they do not contain lactose so they’re generally safe for those with dairy intolerance.
  • Sugar: Sugar does not contain dairy or gluten.
  • Butter/Margarine: This ingredient contains dairy unless specifically labeled as vegan/dairy-free. Some margarines may be made without any animal products at all which makes them both vegan/vegetarian-friendly but always check labels first if concerned.
  • Lemons: Lemons do not contain dairy or gluten.

Analysis of Common Recipes of Lemon Curd

Most traditional lemon curd recipes do contain butter, which means they’re not dairy-free. To make a dairy-free version, you can substitute the butter with vegan margarine or coconut oil. As for gluten, lemon curd doesn’t usually include any gluten-containing ingredients unless added specifically as filler or thickener.

While lemon curd isn’t a guaranteed no-go zone for people who are lactose intolerant or have a gluten allergy/intolerance, it’s important to read the ingredient labels carefully and ask questions when ordering lemon curd at cafes and restaurants.

Is Homemade Lemon Curd Safe for Dairy and Gluten Intolerant?

If you’re intolerant to dairy or gluten, it is important to know whether homemade lemon curd is safe for you or not. Let’s discuss the ingredients and process involved in making lemon curd at home.

Making Lemon Curd at Home

Lemon curd can be easily made at home with a few simple ingredients. It is a combination of eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and butter cooked together until thickened. The mixture is then strained through a fine-mesh sieve before being stored in jars.

The Ingredients Used in Homemade Lemon Curd

Homemade lemon curd does contain dairy in the form of butter. However, it can be substituted with non-dairy alternatives such as margarine or coconut oil without affecting the taste or texture of the finished product. It does not have any gluten-containing ingredients such as flour or bread crumbs.

The Process of Making Homemade Lemon Curd

The process of making homemade lemon curd involves heating eggs and sugar over low heat while continuously whisking until thickened. Lemon juice and butter are added to this mixture slowly while still whisking over low heat until combined thoroughly. The mixture will thicken further once cooled after being poured into jars.

  • To ensure that your homemade lemon curd is both safe for dairy and gluten intolerant individuals:
  • Substitute butter with margarine (or other non-dairy options) when making the recipe
  • Avoid using flour or bread crumbs which may contain gluten throughout the entire process
  • Be careful when purchasing pre-made products since certain store-bought lemon curds may contain these allergenic ingredients as thickeners or preservatives

By following these instructions, you can enjoy homemade lemon curd without any concerns about its effect on your intolerances. Enjoy it on your favorite gluten-free bread or bake it into desserts without worrying about risking a flare-up of intolerances. Homemade lemon curd is a delicious spread and ingredient for various recipes to add a citrus-y flavor.

Alternatives to Traditional Lemon Curd

If you’re looking for some tasty alternatives to traditional lemon curd, there are a few options available:

Dairy-free and Gluten-free Lemon Curd

  • Coconut milk-based lemon curd
  • Almond milk-based lemon curd
  • Cashew cream-based lemon curd
  • Soy milk-based lemon curd

To make these dairy-free and gluten-free versions of lemon curd, simply substitute the dairy ingredients in traditional recipes with non-dairy substitutes. You can also use gluten-free flour or alternative thickeners like cornstarch.

Lemon Curd Substitutes

  • Lime curd (similar consistency but with a more intense flavor)
  • Pineapple or mango curd (for a tropical twist)
  • Passionfruit or orange marmalade (for tangy alternatives)

These substitutes offer similar textures and flavors to traditional lemon curds, all while providing something new and exciting for your taste buds!

Other Lemon-Based Recipes

  • Lemon Bars: These dessert bars are made with shortbread crusts and lemon filling that oozes zesty goodness. Perfectly sweetened and tart filling under just right layer of buttery baked crust.
  • Lemon Meringue Pie: A classic dessert recipe that requires pie crust filled with rich & tangy mixture of cooked egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, water & fresh squeezed Lemons then topped with signature fluffy whipped egg white sweet enough vanilla-scented meringue that is toasted until golden brown in the oven.
  • Lemon Basil Chicken: A savory recipe that blends chicken, onions, garlic and lemon juice to create a tasty dish. Sautéed with the combination of basil leaves and other seasonings that give zest a perfect taste.

These alternative lemon-based recipes are great options if you want to switch things up but still crave the bright and refreshing flavor of lemons.


In conclusion, while traditional lemon curd does contain dairy in the form of butter and egg yolks, it’s possible to create homemade versions that exclude these ingredients entirely. Additionally, store-bought options may not always contain gluten but could potentially encounter cross-contamination during production processes. As always when it comes to any dietary concern or restriction; reading labels carefully before purchasing is important.


Is there a vegan version of lemon curd?

Yes! Vegan alternatives using coconut cream and other substitutes are widely available.

How long does homemade lemon curd last?

Stored correctly in an air-tight container in the fridge; homemade lemon curd should last up to two weeks.

Can I freeze my leftover lemon cakes made with Curds?

Yes! The unfrosted cake will freeze well wrapped tightly in plastic wrap/foil then kept for at least 2-3 months in the freezer.

Why do some jars of commercial Lemon Curds have translucent appearance rather than bright yellow.

This depends on sugar quality used while making ,variation in egg content etc., colouring agents may not be used commercially as its unnecessary addition because its already bright from lemons used but variation do occur .

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