This vibrant and luscious easy orange curd recipe is effortlessly crafted from just 5 simple ingredients. It’s the ideal accompaniment for morning delights or a few favorite baked nibbles! Try dipping the orange curd over these homemade French shortbread cookies or use in my favorite small batch thumbprint cookies. Move over lemon curd!

Click the recipe link above to go straight to the recipe card which includes ingredients, instructions and notes. Scroll through the post for helpful tips and step by step instructions with photos.

Small mason jars of orange curd next to a plate with slice of bread spread with the orange curd.

Recipe Highlights


  • FLAVOR – Mirroring the sweetness of traditional jams or preserves, its richness is amplified by butter and egg yolks, making it a luxurious spread.
  • VERSATILE – Its tangy-sweet profile can elevate cakes, tarts, and scones, serve as a spread for toast, swirl into yogurt, dollop on cheesecake, or enhance other desserts. A burst of citrus flavor! 🍊
  • INEXPENSIVE – uses basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Recipe Ingredients

Lemon, oranges, butter, sugar and bowl of egg yolks.

There are just five basic ingredients needed to make this versatile and easy orange curd recipe: fresh lemon, fresh navel oranges, butter, sugar, and eggs.

Recipe Instructions

Five egg yolks in clear bowl.

Step One: Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Save the whites for another project.

Egg yolks and sugar mixed in clear bowl.

Step Two: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until smooth.

Orange curd ingredients in saucepan with stick of butter topped with orange zest.

Step Three: Combine the juices, orange zest, and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until the butter is just melted.

Saucepan with orange curd mixture and whisk.

Step Four: Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the egg mixture into the citrus mixture.

Orange curd in saucepan.

Step Five: Return to heat and increase to medium-low. Cook, stirring regularly, until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Orange curd cooking is saucepan and black flat spoon.

Step Six: Once it starts to thicken, start stirring consistently until the mixture is thick and coats the back of the spatula for about 7-10 minutes.

Orange curd mixture through a small sieve.

Step Seven: Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Orange curd in mason jars.

Step Eight: Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.

  • Strain the Mixture: After cooking, strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any coagulated egg bits and orange zest.
  • Constant Stirring: Always stir continuously, especially once the eggs are added, to prevent them from scrambling.
  • Low and Slow: Cook the mixture over low to medium-low heat to ensure that the eggs don’t curdle.
  • Immediate Transfer: Once cooked, transfer the curd to another container to stop the cooking process and prevent it from over-thickening.
  • Thickening Test: To check if it’s ready, the curd should coat the back of a spoon and hold a line when you run your finger through it.

FAQs about Orange Curd

Ensure constant stirring, especially after adding eggs. Cook on low to medium-low heat and consider using a double boiler for gentle, indirect heat. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve post-cooking to catch any coagulated bits.

Absolutely! Lemon, lime, grapefruit, or a combination of citrus fruits can be substituted. Just adjust the sugar as needed, depending on the sourness or sweetness of the chosen fruit.

Store orange curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For a longer shelf life, consider canning or freezing.

Three small jars of orange curd.

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Small mason jars of orange curd next to a plate with slice of bread spread with the orange curd.

Small Batch Orange Curd

This delightful Homemade Orange Curd is a creamy spread made from fresh orange juice and zest, sugar, butter, and eggs. It boasts a vibrant citrus flavor and silky texture, making it perfect for spooning over desserts, stirring into yogurt, or spreading on scones or homemade biscuits.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 209kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest 1-2 medium oranges
  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Save the whites for another project.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until smooth.
    5 egg yolks, ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • Combine the juices, orange zest, and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until the butter is just melted.
    1 tablespoon orange zest, ⅓ cup fresh orange juice, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the egg mixture into the citrus mixture.
  • Return to heat and increase to medium-low.
  • Cook, stirring regularly, until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Start stirring consistently until the mixture is thick and coats the back of the spatula about 7-10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge until ready to use. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

Follow these tips for the best orange curd:
  • Strain the Mixture: After cooking, strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any coagulated egg bits and orange zest.
  • Constant Stirring: Always stir continuously, especially once the eggs are added, to prevent them from scrambling.
  • Low and Slow: Cook the mixture over low to medium-low heat to ensure that the eggs don’t curdle.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 7mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 18g
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