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lemon sauce with fresh lemons and nutmeg in a glass jar

Easy Lemon Sauce for Desserts

Lemon Sauce is like a staple in our refrigerator! It's fantastic served over just about anything you can think of; toast, ice cream, gingerbread, angel food cake, pound cake, cheesecake, bread pudding.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Amercian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 132.75kcal
Author Amy


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoons nutmeg optional
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • yellow food coloring optional


  • Whisk three egg yolks in a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
  • Add sugar and cornstarch to a saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  • Add salt and a little ground nutmeg. Nutmeg is optional but DELICIOUS!
  • Set saucepan over medium heat. While whisking gradually add water.
  • Continue whisking and cooking until the mixture begins to thicken. It should be about the constancy of thin gravy.
  • Slowly add about a small amount, about 1/4 a cup, of thickened lemon sauce to beaten egg yolks in the liquid measuring cup. Whisk.
  • While whisking lemon sauce in the pan, slowly add egg mixture to the lemon sauce and continue whisking until thickened. Drag the back of a wooden spoon or spatula through the lemon sauce. Once it leaves a trail behind it the sauce is the right consistency. The trail will close quickly but you should see a visible trail after dragging the spoon on the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add lemon juice, zest, and butter. Stir until butter is melted.
  • Serve warm.


You may add yellow food coloring to the dessert sauce to make it more yellow if you'd like. Start with just a drop or two then stir. Keep adding food coloring to get the desired color. 
This sauce is best served warm. Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to use a glass jar. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It will also get thinner when reheated. Warm lemon sauce in the microwave before serving.
If you'd like a thinner sauce just add a few Tablespoons of water until you get the desired consitency you'd like. 


Calories: 132.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.3g | Protein: 1.14g | Fat: 4.66g | Saturated Fat: 2.45g | Cholesterol: 80.76mg | Sodium: 103.8mg | Potassium: 15.08mg | Sugar: 18.96g | Vitamin A: 184.8IU | Vitamin C: 3.22mg | Calcium: 10.11mg | Iron: 0.18mg