Lemon Cream Tart

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it’s the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!

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This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it's the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!When life gives you lemons, make lemonade a Lemon Cream Tart.  I stumbled across bags of lemons on super sale at our grocery store recently, and I couldn’t help but toss a bag in my cart.  I mean, it’s springtime…and springtime just screams lemon desserts to me.  Once I got home, I promptly turned one of those lemons into a glass of homemade lemonade, and then I promptly turned the rest of the lemons into this Lemon Cream Tart.

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it's the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!This Lemon Cream Tart is, well, tart…but in a good way.  It’s packed with flavor, and a thin slice is all you’ll need to satisfy your Lemon Cream Tart craving.  (What?  You don’t have regular Lemon Cream Tart cravings?  Hah!)  One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to hop on my bike and ride down to an old pharmacy next to Colonial Lake in downtown Charleston, SC.  This pharmacy had bins of hard candy, and the prices ranged anywhere from 1¢ to 5¢ per piece.  I could take $1-2 dollars from my lemonade stand business and come away with a bag full of candy.  And, yes, they put that candy in a little brown paper bag.  I still remember it like it was yesterday!

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it's the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!How does the candy memory relate to this Lemon Cream Tart?  Because I loved lemon candy as a kid!  I would go straight to the Lemonheads and lemon gumdrops.  I also liked hot cinnamon candy, too.  Maybe I was a glutton for punishment?  Or maybe I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it?  Or maybe I just knew that my little sister wouldn’t try to steal my candy that way.  Either way, lemon candy in a brown paper bag is a favorite memory from childhood.  That and Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.  On a side note, I wish old pharmacies like that one still existed.  I haven’t been back to Charleston in years now, but I suspect that store has probably closed up by now.

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it's the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!Fast forward 30 years, and I now love to bake lemon desserts.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I love to bake all desserts!  But lemon desserts do hold a special spot in my baking lineup.  This Lemon Cream Tart is actually quite easy to make.  I used a standard pie dough this time, but I’ve also made this one with a graham cracker crust, too.  Both work quite well.  And the lemon filling itself is essentially lemon curd.  It’s not hard at all to make!  The hardest part is letting this tart chill in the fridge until it’s time to cut and serve it.

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it's the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!I decided to experiment and use a stencil to dust a pattern of powdered sugar on top of this tart.  It’s a fun way to add some character to this tart since otherwise it’s entirely yellow.  Word to the wise: if you use a stencil, freeze the tart first.  Otherwise, the stencil will stick.  I lost a little bit of the lemon filling thanks to the stencil.  Nothing too crazy, but I learned my lesson about freezing the tart next time…and I suspect next time will be pretty soon.  I hope you enjoy this Lemon Cream Tart as much as we did.  Cheers, friends!

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it's the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!

Lemon Cream Tart

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it’s the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 364kcal



  • Butter bottom (but not sides) of a 9” tart pan with removable bottom. Roll dough out until it’s ~11” in diameter. Press dough into bottom and sides of tart pan; place pan in freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Remove tart pan from freezer and dock dough (prick with fork every 2”). Place parchment paper over dough and then add pie weights (or dry beans) to prevent dough from rising in the oven.
  • Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and remove parchment paper and beans. Return pan to oven and continue baking for 12-15 more minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove pan from oven and set aside to cool completely.
  • Using a large saucepan, add eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream and lemon zest; whisk together until well combined. Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean bowl. Add butter several pieces at a time, stirring after each addition until butter has completely melted and is well combined.
  • Transfer mixture into cooled crust. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • {Optional} Garnish with powdered sugar before serving.

This Lemon Cream Tart is a packed with flavor, and it's the perfect dessert for a warm spring day!

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  1. We are so on the same page. This looks an awful lot like the tart I overdosed on earlier in the week! What is it about lemon that is so delicious? Lemonheads were one of my favorites as a kid too. And lemon drops! Did you ever eat grapeheads or orangeheads? They were harder to find and I think they were called something less politically correct than “grapeheads” back in the day but they were SO GOOD. Have a great weekend, David!

    1. Overdosing on lemon tart? Is that even possible? I mean it’s lemon tart! Just kidding…I know you can totally overdose on lemon tart. I made this one a few weeks back, and it was quite tasty…but I was good with a thin slice. So much flavor packed in that lemon curd! Oh man, grapeheads! I remember them as Alexander the Grapes. You are totally taking me back to a good place there, Kelsie. Are you sure you didn’t grow up in Charleston with me? I’m pretty sure you were one of the girls who we jumped on the trampoline with in the neighbors’ backyard. Haha!

  2. I used to do exactly the same thing. I don’t think there is any such thing as penny candy anymore. Good thing there’s a lemon tart! I think I see one in my future.

    1. I think the closest thing to penny candy is the candy aisle at Party City. To be fair, it’s definitely not a penny…but they do let you go through and pick out a candy mix one piece at a time. And they have the old school candy that we grew up eating. Too bad it costs WAY more than 75 cents when you head to the counter now. Thanks, Jeff!

  3. Oh this is beautiful! I love lemon desserts the best—I will choose them over chocolate any day. This reminds me of a special lemon ginger cheesecake I used to make in the mid 90s. The recipe was from Bon Appetite—the crust was ginger snaps, butter, and nuts. The filling was a cream cheese/egg/sugar mixture that had chopped candied ginger in it and cooked in a double boiler. Then that was layered in a springform with dollops of homemade lemon curd swirled in. Then last, chilled— no baking needed as the cream cheeese and eggs were cooked stove top. I have lost the recipe but I think about this dessert ALL the time. If you ever run across such a recipe, let me know! Meanwhile, I’ll make your tart soon. If we ever have a warm spring day. I’m down here in Nashville freezing!

    1. Lemon Ginger Cheesecake, eh? I’ve never heard of combining lemon + ginger in a dessert before, but I know the flavors do go well together. In fact, I’m planning on making ginger lemonade here soon. Maybe I’ll need to pair that with lemon ginger cheesecake! 🙂 Also, I did a bit of googling and searching…and I think I found the recipe! This HAS to be it: https://mybakerlady.com/2011/02/28/lemon-cheesecake/

      Also, I wish I was in Nashville right now! 🙂 My niece’s birthday is Friday, and it sure would be fun to be down there to celebrate with her!

      1. That HAS to be it! But funny, why do I recall candied ginger instead of fresh ginger? And I don’t think I bothered with the vanilla wafers —I just used all ginger snaps because I love them so much, THANK YOU!! I have this book marked(though it sure looks troublesome!)

        1. I feel like that has to be the recipe you were thinking about, Kim! I mean that’s a pretty unique way of making a cheesecake (I’ve never tried that method myself). And I agree with you about the gingersnaps. I would go all gingersnaps myself! But I must admit that mixing the cookie types for the base is a fun idea. I think you should go make this one on a Friday afternoon/evening sometime…and then spend the weekend enjoying it! 🙂 Thanks again for your comment here, my friend!

          1. I have been little OCD about the candied ginger part. I have decided I think I must have made that substitution because it sounded better to me at the time. I owned a bakery bake then and was much more adventurous and confident about doing whatever I wanted when it came to recipes. I’m much more timid these days. 🙂 But I’m definitely gonna do this one weekend —I think it’s worth the trouble. Thanks again for finding the recipe!

        2. Wow, I didn’t realize you owned a bakery! That’s pretty awesome. 🙂 I hear ya about being timid with new additions…but sometimes that’s how you stumble across awesome ideas! Candied ginger or not, I hope you have fun making (and eating) this dessert this weekend!

    1. I love lemon desserts, too, Manali…especially in the spring. I think it’s my taste buds’ way of willing the warm weather to finally arrive. 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!

    1. Thank you so much! This tart really does have a great look…all thanks to the lemon curd filling. 🙂 It’s delicious, too! I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

  4. Fantastic! Another recipe to add to my arsenal of lemon desserts that I have a new found appreciation for. Good use of the stencil too! Gave a real nice touch.

    I have to say though I would probably be partial to the grahm cracker crust, that sweetness paired with the tart’s…tartness sounds just amazing to me.

    Great recipe David! Hope your weekend went well! 😀

    1. Everyone needs an arsenal of lemon desserts! (In truth, everyone needs an arsenal of all desserts…but lemon is a key chapter in that book.) I had fun with the stencil, but I think next time the tart needs to be frozen. The stencil pulled up some of the filling in the middle of the tart. Oh well.

      Weekend did indeed go well here…and I hope yours did, too, Matt! Cheers, my friend!

  5. I love lemon! We used to have lemon eating contests when we were kids! Not the best for our teeth, but we thought it was fun. This lemon tart looks so inviting. I love the idea of using a stencil. Freezing the tart first is a great tip!

    1. Oh my gosh…lemon eating contests!? I remember one time my aunt dared me to drink a tiny glass of lemon juice. I did it (because it was a dare!), but man I must’ve made the funniest face. Haha! Thanks so much, Kathy!!

    1. I’m right there with ya on the lemon desserts, Marissa…especially this time of the year! I think it’s my body’s way of willing the warm weather to finally arrive. 🙂

  6. I was never a fan of hot cinnamon flavoured candy or even cinnamon gum….though, I do enjoy cinnamon. Weird, right? My favourite flavour of candy as a kid usually involved something with orange. These days I am loving lemon desserts and this is right up my alley. I could seriously do some damage to this tart all by myself and not even feel one bit bad about it, lol. Delicious David!

    1. Well, that’s only kinda strange, Dawn. I mean cinnamon candy isn’t the same as cinnamon. It’s hotter…which is strange since cinnamon isn’t really hot at all. Now as far as doing damage to this tart? I totally know where you’re coming from as I already did a number on this one. Haha! Thanks so much, my friend…hope you had a great weekend!

  7. Hahaha – David, I don’t think I’ve ever had Lemon Cream Tart cravings! But this sure looks fantastic! And WOA – I didn’t stop by on Friday and now you hit me with two desserts! Dang – desserts are my favorite thing – especially homemade ones! I think I could enjoy one of those Oreo Cupcakes with a side bowl of that Oreo frosting AND a slice of this tart! Awesome tip about freezing this before stenciling it.
    BTW, my only ref. to those pharmacies are from TV shows – I didn’t have them in Abu Dhabi or Sri Lanka – it was mostly little convenience shops much like the bodegas in NYC.
    Hope you guys had a wonderful weekend and guess what – it was chili here with highs only in the 50s! Looks like Winter #2! Brrr!

    1. Haha! Yes, it’s back-to-back dessert madness going on over here! But one is lemon and the other is chocolate. Gotta keep everything in balance, right? 🙂 And, yes, winter just doesn’t seem to want to quit this year. I think the lemon dessert is my way of willing the warmer weather to arrive. Thanks, Shashi, and I hope you gals had a great weekend down South!

    1. Thank you so much, Puja! This really is one of our favorites…especially when the days are just beginning to (finally) warm up. 🙂

  8. I love lemon deserts, they are sweet, sour a little tart and crazy scrumptious. Your lemon cream tarts look like my cup of tea, ohhh these would be great with a little tea. Springtime is the perfect time for little lemon cream tart. It looks great David 🙂

    1. Yes! I love all desserts, but what’s funny is how I crave different desserts at different times of the year. Spring is all about lemon for my taste bud cravings, though! This tart turned out really well, too. It’s sweet + tart (no pun intended), so a little slice is all I need to get my dessert fix! Thanks, Mary!

    1. Yes! I always crave lemon desserts as soon as the weather starts thinking about warming up. Since we’re finally (mostly) out of the freezing temps here in New York, that means it’s time for lemon desserts! This one is delicious, too, Dawn. It’s rich, so just a little slice is all you need to cure the craving!

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