Filed under: Spring / Winter
January 13, 2023

Orange Curd

Buttery smooth, silky curd made with fresh orange juice and zest. You can use either navel, cara cara or blood orange to make this orange curd recipe. 

4.84 from 6 votes
Yield: 2 cups
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Orange curd made perfectly smooth and buttery, bursting with citrus flavor. A little lemon adds a dot of tart to the otherwise sweet curd.



Recipe Ingredients to make Orange Curd 


Oranges: This recipe is designed to work with either blood oranges, cara cara or your regular navel oranges. Each will give you a slightly different taste: navel your standard orange, cara cara will have a hint of berry, blood orange will taste berry like but also be a bit more tart. 

Sugar: Fine granulated sugar.

Butter: Unsalted butter, no need to soften it, it’s best cold here. 

Eggs: Large eggs.

Salt: A small pinch of fine sea salt to help break down the eggs and bring out the flavor of the curd. 

Lemon: Just a bit of lemon juice to add an edge to an otherwise sweet curd (oranges are sweet!). If you want it more tart you can remove more of the orange juice to add more lemon. At more than 2 tablespoons of juice though, the lemon tends to dominate. 

Starch: tapioca or cornstarch will do. We have a bit more juice in this recipe than our usual curds to get to the right taste so some starch will help us get the right consistency. I could have added another yolk but I saw no reason to break up one when starch does the job so efficiently.


How to make Orange Curd 

As with most citrus curds, you’ll start by juicing and zesting your citrus.

I like to rub the zest into the sugar which helps bring out the flavor even more. 

Eggs get whisked together separately, this helps break down the egg whites so that you don’t struggle as much with them once the curd is cooking. 

It’s best to use a thermometer to help you check for doneness, at around 160 F the curd will start to thicken a bit. You can take it to 170 F for a properly thick curd (I stopped mine at 165 F). 

Then you’ll pour it through a fine mesh sieve over the butter. The sieve will capture the zest and the little white egg bits that can sometimes form. 

Incorporating cold butter slowly helps achieve that super silky, smooth texture. 


FAQ & Troubleshooting 


How long will this keep in the fridge? 

Two weeks, longer if you store it in the freezer! 


The curd isn’t thickening. 

This has both eggs and starch in it and over medium heat will thicken, given the enough time. Be patient and keep watch over it – never walk away from a cooking curd for more than 30 seconds or it will over cook.


The curd has white bits in it/The curd is too thick 

This happens when the curd is overcooked, bits of the egg turn white. There’s no real way to salvage an overcooked curd, you’ll be straining out the white bits anyway but if you find it overly thick and still want to use it for spreading over toast or something you can add a bit more orange juice to loosen it. 


What to do with Orange Curd 

Use it to spoon over a pavlova, or mini pavlovas along with whipped cream and some fresh fruit. 

Smear it over toast. 

Make an orange meringue tart (or pie). 

Bake some orange curd stuffed cookies

Make some orange curd bars, with a shortbread crust

Make some chocolate ganache curd bars

See also 

Lemon Curd 

Blueberry Curd

Raspberry Curd 

Cranberry Orange Curd Bars 


Orange Curd Recipe

Orange Curd

Buttery smooth, silky curd made with fresh orange juice and zest. You can use either navel, cara cara or blood orange to make this orange curd recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 2 cups
4.84 from 6 votes


  • 65g or ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 large navel or cara cara oranges or 3 blood oranges
  • 3 large eggs
  • 120g or ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice navel, cara cara or blood orange
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 58g or 4 tablespoons butter cold and sliced
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca or cornstarch


  • Set the sugar in a pot, and zest the oranges over the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until you feel it begin to release its oils and become like wet sand. Add the orange and lemon juice.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs with a pinch of salt.
  • Slice the butter and place it into a bowl and set a fine mesh sieve over it.
  • Combine the eggs into the pot, add the starch and whisk well to combine. Set over medium low heat and begin cooking.
  • Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the curd as it cooks. You’ll keep stirring as it warms and thickens. It will thicken on the bottom first, keep stirring until it reaches about 165 F (it should cover the back of a spoon).
  • Pour the thickened curd into the bowl through the sieve. Scrape it to get as much curd out as possible, and scrape the bottom of the sieve too.
  • Stir until the butter fully melts into the curd and you have a runny, silky curd. Transfer to a heatproof jar and let come to room temperature. Then set it in the fridge to store.
  • Curd will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. I only used egg yolks when I made this recipe. I was looking for a thick curd to fill my carrot cake. After cooling, this set up perfectly for my cake. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Thanks for your reply, Sam.

    The trees are probably the rattiest citrus trees that you’ve ever had the misfortune to behold: bark is falling off, constantly sprouting suckers, etc. But, 3 out of the 5 (2 oranges and a Meyer lemon) produce superior fruit. Even though they should have been dead decades ago. We’ve lived here for about 30 years, and every year we say “they will succumb this year”. Still haven’t, though.

    I like the fact that you’ve removed the stray yolk from the recipe. It’s always so exasperating to have that 1 (or more!) lonely egg white sitting in the refrigerator, waiting to go bad and be composted. Never can figure out what to do with them. And DO NOT suggest egg white omelets. I’d rather eat styrofoam.


  3. Hi, Sam.

    Several comments have mentioned that the orange curd isn’t quite as thick as they would like.

    In your post, you say:
    “Eggs: Large eggs and a yolk. The extra yolk is to help along the thickening of the curd.”

    On the recipe card, neither the ingredients nor the instructions mention the extra yolk. Could that be the reason for the lack of thickness?

    I will be making this as soon as the front yard oranges are ripe.


    • Hi Joe, jealous of those trees you’ve got! When I updated the recipe card a few months ago (after getting the too thin feedback) I removed the yolk and added more starch, that gave me the thickness you see pictured. I just removed it from the text now – thank you for the note.

  4. 5 stars
    Easy peasy and delicious!! I made a double batch, I followed the instructions and it came out exactly like it was supposed to. Would make this again in a heartbeat!

  5. 5 stars
    This orange curd is amazing! Tastes just like an orange creamsicle. I cooked the curd to 170 deg F and similar to the last comment it is a bit runnier than other curds I’ve made. Still very delicious!

  6. 4 stars
    This curd is delicious, but I did have a couple of issues. Cooked for 20 minutes and still only got up to 165 degrees when I called it. Still very usable, but I like my curd a little thicker than this. Also, I used blood oranges that were a darker red/brown color inside and the finished curd had an unappetizing pale brown color. I decided to mix in a single drop of red gel food color and it turned a really pleasant reddish/pink color. Just something to keep in mind.