Lemon Sauce is a staple in our refrigerator because it’s easy to make and it’s fabulous served on gingerbread, pancakes, pound cake, angel food cake, bread pudding, ice cream or any other dessert you can think of! It’s zesty, tangy, tart, and just the right amount of sweet!
NOTE: This post was updated in 2019 to include new photos and tips. The recipe is the same!
My mom used to make homemade gingerbread, and I LOVED it! I have to admit the best part was the sweet lemon sauce and the mounds of freshly whipped cream she served on top of it.
Here in Eastern Idaho, it gets so stinking cold and it stays cold for forever! I feel like most of my life is spent trying to keep my nostrils from freezing shut. Needless to say, it’s not my favorite part of living here.
After long winters of shivering and being shut-in, I start craving all things lemon. The zesty flavors feel like the only hope of thawing out and finally getting summer.
Just like most of my recipes, my recipe for lemon sauce is easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and is super versatile.
How to tell when lemon sauce is cooked?
One of the trickiest things about making any lemon sauce recipe is that it’s kind of hard to tell you exactly how long to cook lemon curd recipes. Even though you measure exactly the cooking time still varies every time you make it. Not to worry though, I’ll show you exactly how to know when it’s ready so it won’t be too thick or too thin.
**Little Dairy on the Prairie Pro Tip**
The easiest way to tell if thickened sauces are cooked through and thickened just right is test it with a wooden spoon or spatula. Drag the spoon through the sauce making sure it’s touching the bottom of the pan. Once it leaves a clean streak behind the spoon you’ll know it’s thickened just right. The sauce will quickly fill the streak.
What’s the difference between lemon curd, lemon pie filling, and lemon sauce?
All three are very similar really. Lemon curd is typically thickened with whole eggs and egg yolks, while lemon pie filling is usually thickened with flour. Pie filling is more like pudding and the flavor is less intense.
Lemon Sauce Recipes vary a lot. After trying several of them this is my favorite! It’s thickened with egg yolks and cornstarch which gives it a bright lemony flavor AND it’s creamy! This recipe also has butter which adds another element of flavor! This sauce is also a bit thicker than other recipes I’ve tried.
How to make lemon sauce?
STEP 1: Add sugar, cornstarch, salt, and a little ground nutmeg. (Nutmeg is optional but DELICIOUS!) Whisk to combine.
STEP 2: Set saucepan over medium heat. While whisking gradually add water.
STEP 3: Continue whisking and cooking until the mixture begins to thicken.
STEP 4: Slowly add about a small amount of lemon sauce to beaten egg yolks. Whisk. This helps heat the eggs up a little at a time so they don’t turn to scrambled eggs.
STEP 5: While whisking lemon sauce slowly add egg mixture to the lemon sauce and continue whisking until thickened to the point you can drag a spatula through the sauce and it will leave a trail for a second.
STEP 6: Remove from heat.
STEP 7: Add lemon juice, zest, and butter.
STEP 8: Stir until butter is melted.
What to do with lemon sauce or lemon curd?
This is the best thing about this dessert sauce! It can be used in a million different ways!
- spread over toast
- add a little bit to whipped cream
- serve it over pancakes, waffles, or French toast
- add it to smoothies
- for ginger bread
- serve over cake
- topping for angel food cake
- use it for bread pudding
- topping for cheesecake
- over ice cream
Does lemon sauce have to be refrigerated?
Yes! Since lemon sauce has eggs it will need to be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How long does lemon sauce last?
Lemon sauce stored in the refrigerator will last up to two weeks.
Can I use lemon juice concentrate to make lemon sauce?
It’s best to use freshly squeezed lemon juice in lemon sauce and lemon curd recipes. It will add the most flavor.
How much lemon juice is in one lemon.
One average a lemon will have 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest.
Easy Lemon Recipes
Lemon Dessert Recipes
Be sure to check out my other easy no bake dessert recipes too!
A few Lemon Main Dish Recipes
Other Dessert Sauces
Be sure to pin my Lemon Sauce Recipe
You guys, this lemon sauce is seriously so yummy you’ll be dreaming up new ways to use it! Dessert sauces are like icing on the cake and this recipe is so dreamy and easy to make! Get a jar made and in your fridge. Let me what you serve it with!
Easy Lemon Sauce for Desserts
- 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.