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This is no ordinary Lemon Whipped Cream! This Lemon Curd Whipped Cream Recipe makes whipped cream that is perfectly tart and flavored with lemon curd!
I learned very early on what happens when you squeeze a lemon into milk. When I was a kid, I had been invited to a real English tea in Hong Kong with my Mom and I wanted to have my tea with both cream and lemon. Well, we all know how that turned out for me!
So can one get a bigger, bolder lemon flavor in whipped cream than zest can provide? Lemon extract is one possible solution (if you go that route, Nielson Massey’s lemon extract is the only brand I’d recommend). However, if you want your lemon whipped cream to be something exceptional, fold in some LEMON CURD!
Whipped cream made with lemon curd has endless delicious applications! I use this lemon curd whipped cream in my Lemon Berry Trifle, for example. It would also be phenomenal dolloped on a pavlova with berries, sour cream pound cake, angel food cake, strawberry shortcakes, sweet potato pie…the list goes on and on!
Table of Contents
Why you will love this lemon curd whipped cream:
- Incredibly versatile: This whipped cream is not only an unforgettable topping for desserts but an exceptional lemon whipped cream filling for cakes and cupcakes. You could even mix a little into your oatmeal to turn your breakfast into a decadent treat!
- The lemon boost: This is the best way to get the most lemon flavor in your whipped cream. And, its fresh lemon zing is an added advantage to bring countless desserts to the next level. Pep up even the most basic dessert with the bright citrus flavor that this lemon curd whipped cream provides.
- A streamlined process: I’ve obsessed over this recipe to bring you the easiest way to make delicious lemon curd whipped cream from scratch!
Why use lemon curd to flavor lemon whipped cream?
- Flavor: Lemon curd captures all the bright tartness of fresh lemon juice without the acidity! Lemon curd won’t curdle your cream but will give you a fresh lemon taste, especially if you use my favorite lemon curd recipe. I’ve included the instructions here to make a lemon curd that isn’t too overwhelmingly sweet.
- Speaking of not too sweet: The sugar is already mixed right into the curd when you make whipped lemon cream with lemon curd. And so, no need to add any confectioner’s sugar to your whipped cream!
- Texture: Folding lemon curd into whipped cream gives it an extra silky, rich texture. It is still light and fluffy but has a nice body to it. Plus, you can use leftover lemon curd to make lemon bars or to fill chocolate lemon surprise cupcakes!
- Stability: Folding standard lemon curd into whipped cream will help it hold up for longer refrigeration. It’s also stable enough to make a lemon curd whipped cream cake, if you’re feeling up for a challenge!
- Whole Egg: The egg in a curd is integral to thickening. Whisking the eggs first with the sugar protects it from the heat and also from acidic ingredients like lemon juice.
- Egg Yolk: Egg yolks in a curd are also thickeners, but they add just the fat from the egg without the added moisture from the whites. This makes a thick, rich curd. Too many yolks will make your lemon curd taste ‘eggy’ and is definitely something to avoid.
- Granulated Sugar: Sugar is here for sweetness but it also adds a little leavening when beaten with the eggs. Sugar also protects the eggs from the heat and additional acidic ingredients like lemon juice.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is the flavor here! My motto for citrus juices is that fresh is always best. If you must use store-bought lemon juice, try to find a frozen option that is frozen fresh juice. Sometimes you can find lemon juice in the refrigerator section. Note that if it looks dark in color, then it is no longer going to taste fresh.
You will get the brightest lemon flavor when you use fresh lemons for your lemon curd.
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is less salty than table salt, and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It heightens the flavor here and will keep your whipped cream from tasting dull or flat.
- Butter: Unsalted butter allows you to control the flavor of the curd while still adding all the buttery goodness! It makes for a very silky, luscious lemon curd.
- Heavy Cream: Be sure to use full fat heavy cream, which is sometimes called heavy whipping cream. Light whipping cream will not whip the same. It will over whip too easily and not be as smooth.
How to Make
Note: If you are short on time, you could also use store-bought lemon curd. However, store-bought curds have varying degrees of sweetness, so I cannot vouch for the excellence of the results like I can with my homemade recipe. If using store-bought then you will need about 1 cup of lemon curd.
Make the lemon curd:
Step 1: In a large sauce pot, whisk together eggs and yolks until smooth and homogenous.
Step 2: Whisk sugar and salt into the eggs very well. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice.
Step 3: Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until nappant. Nappant is when you can dip a spoon or spatula into the custard, draw a line across it with your finger, and the custard does not run down the spoon into the line. Even the most perfectly stirred lemon curd will begin to look lumpy right when it starts to curd. This is totally normal and it doesn’t mean that it is ruined. I simply vigorously whisk the curd until smooth.
Step 4: Remove the pot from heat and stir in butter with rubber spatula. Strain into a bowl or a plastic wrap lined baking sheet. The curd will cool faster if spread out on a metal, plastic-wrap lined baking sheet.
Step 5: Cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes and refrigerate until cold.
Make the whipped cream:
Step 1: In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with a whisk until stiff peaks form.
Unless you’re feeling especially buff today (some days are better than others) I like to use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment for my whipped cream. This helps to at least balance out all the constant stirring from making the curd!
Step 1: Loosen the curd in its bowl by beating it with a rubber spatula. If you opted to chill it on a baking sheet, simply add it to a bowl prior to loosening. It won’t take much, but you want to get your curd pliable, especially if you decided to add gelatin.
Step 2: Take a spoonful of the whipped cream and place it in the bowl with the curd. Mix together. This is called “sacrificing” in baking because you are sacrificing a bit of the volume in the whipped cream to loosen the curd and get it closer to the consistency of the cream.
Step 3: Next, spoon all the loosened curd into the large bowl with the cream. Gently fold in the curd, trying to preserve as much volume as possible.
Step 4: Use your lemon curd whipped cream immediately or store it refrigerated for up to one week!
Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
The key to unlocking the perfect lemon curd is the ideal ratio between tart lemons, sugar and a hint of butter. My lemon curd has just enough sugar to balance the puckering tartness of the lemons but not so much to make it sweet. Fresh lemons will help you get the best lemon flavor for this equation!
- Without the curd: If you have lemons and you are short on time, then you can absolutely make my standard issue lemon whipped cream in a pinch. But, if you are in the market for an exceptional variety, then trust me that lemon curd is the way to go.
- Extra stability: For extra stability, you can stabilize your lemon curd with a little gelatin. Check out my amazing lemon bars recipe to learn this technique! It will hold without weeping for a week!
- Other citrus: Want to make a different fruit curd? Like say a lime or orange curd whipped cream instead? You’ve piqued my interest, and I am totally here for it! Let me know in the comments which citrus you try, and what dessert you pair it with!
- Butter: If you don’t have any butter at home, you can omit the butter for a curd that is still delicious and smooth. The butter adds richness and silky mouthfeel, but it can be left out if you are in a jam.
- Lemon juice: If you don’t have access to fresh lemons, or the time to squeeze them, store-bought lemon juice is not a problem! It just will taste ever so slightly less fresh.
- Egg yolks: If separating your eggs is something that does not appeal to you, you can always buy them pre-separated at the store! The egg yolks in a carton should behave about the same.
Store lemon curd whipped cream in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap for up to a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make lemon curd whipped cream for up to a week before serving, however its best flavor and presentation will be when it is freshly made. If you opt to add gelatin to the curd, it will stabilize the whipped cream for even longer.
You can make as large of a batch of this lemon whipped cream as you would like, you are only limited by the capacity of your stand mixer.
Generally, whipped cream is not an ideal candidate for freezing. The reason for this is that it weeps while it thaws. However, you could freeze it and then eat it as a semifreddo. It’s that delicious!
I would not suggest adding straight lemon juice to whipped cream, due to the possibility that it will curdle. One of my lemon chantilly variations uses lemon zest, while this one uses lemon curd, but both approaches will circumvent the chances of curdling!
You can rest assured that lemon curd will not curdle whipped cream. It is a safe way to add a bright lemon flavor to your whipped creams!
It would also be phenomenal dolloped on a pavlova with berries, sour cream pound cake, angel food cake, strawberry shortcakes, and sweet potato pie. You could serve it on cupcakes or even as the main event with a bowl full of stone fruit. If you use lemon curd with gelatin then you have just made stabilized lemon whipped cream! Congratulations! Use it to frost this classic white cake, these coconut cupcakes or the best fig cake!
Lemon Curd Whipped Cream
For the Lemon Curd (could also use store-bought):
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream cold
Make the Lemon Curd:
- In a large sauce pot, whisk together eggs and yolks until smooth and homogenous.
- Whisk in sugar and salt very well. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until nappant. Nappant is when you can dip a spoon or spatula into the custard and draw a line across it with your finger and the custard does not run down the spoon into the line.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter. Strain into a bowl or a plastic wrap lined baking sheet.
- Cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes and refrigerate until cold.
Make the Whipped Cream:
- In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with a whisk until stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, loosen the curd by beating it with a rubber spatula. It won’t take much but you want to get it pliable, especially if you are using a stabilized lemon curd.
- Take a spoonful of the whipped cream and place it in the bowl with the curd. Mix together. This is called “sacrificing” in baking because you are sacrificing a bit of the volume in the whipped cream to loosen the curd and get it closer to the consistency of the cream.
- Spoon all the loosened curd into the large bowl with the cream and fold in the curd trying to preserve as much volume as possible.
- Use immediately or store refrigerated for up to one week!
Before You Go
I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed Dessert Recipes!