Mini Lemon Tarts

Mini Lemon Tarts

Mini Lemon Tarts

I’m at it again with the mini desserts, I don’t know why. Certainly I could make full size desserts, it’s just that I find these mini’s so darn cute. I knew that I wanted to make lemon tarts today because the wintertime yields the most wonderful and fragrant varieties of citrus. I decided to hit up my local Costco in my quest for the fruit, and lo and behold they had the most gorgeous boxes of Meyer lemons.  I imagine most people wouldn’t react to fruit with such glee, but I have a hard time finding these; and when I do, they’re usually small and unattractive.

So, what you may ask is a Meyer lemon. They are a cross between a lemon and a Mandarin orange.  Their skins are thinner than your garden variety lemon, and the juice is sweeter. The Meyer lemon has less acid, a very floral scent and their season is usually between January and May. And by golly, I just love them.

I should point out, if you make these tarts in the mini muffin tin, please make sure you spray the tin sufficiently so the tarts will release easily. I also made some in 4 inch tart pans, and those were easier to release.

Anyway, I still have tons of these lemons left so you guessed it…Mama’s Gotta Bake somethin’ new tomorrow. I’m thinking muffins.

Mini Lemon Tarts

Mini Lemon Tarts

Mini Lemon Tarts

Tart Crust

From The Silver Palate Cookbook

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons cold water


  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt into mixing bowl. Cut chilled butter into pieces into the bowl. Using your fingertips, quickly rub the butter and dry ingredients together until the mixture resembles coarse meal
  2. Stir egg yolks, vanilla and water together and add to the flour-butter mixture and blend in using a fork. Shape dough into a ball.
  3. Place the ball of dough on a pastry board. With the heel of your hand, smear about 1/4 cup of dough away from you into a 6-8 inch smear; repeat until all the dough has been dealt with. Scrape dough together; reform into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray well so the crusts will not stick to the pan.  Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of wax paper. Using a 2″ round cookie cutter, cut circles and tuck the dough into muffin cups, pressing with your fingertips so that the dough comes up the sides of the cup.
  5. Using a fork prick the bottoms of each dough cup. Then cut 3″ squares of foil and press them into the inside of the dough cups. Use pie weights, beans or rice or even pennies to weigh down the foil. 
  6. Bake the crusts for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and take out the foil and pie weights and then return the crusts to the oven for another 5-9 minutes until the crusts are lightly golden on the edges.  Everyone’s oven is different so you really have to keep an eye on the crusts. It’s not so much about the time, but how they visually look. You don’t want an undercooked dough, and you don’t want the crust too dark as it will be very dry and crumbly.

Press the dough rounds into the mini muffin tin

This is what it looked like with the foil and pie weights

Meyer Lemon Filling

Adapted from Joy of Baking

  • 5 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the cream cheese and process until smooth. Add the sugar and process until incorporated. Add the eggs and process until thoroughly combined. Add the lemon juice and zest and process until well blended and smooth.
  3. Using a tablespoon, I spooned the mixture into the individual tarts, filling to the top.
  4. I baked the mini tarts for about 10 minutes.  The tarts are done when the filling is set. It took my oven about 10 minutes.
  5. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then gently remove them from the pan.  I sprayed the pan well so the tarts released very easily.

You can garnish the tarts with fresh whipped cream and a wedge of lemon if you like. The recipe makes 24 mini tarts, or one-9″ tart.

I love my Meyer lemons

Recipe: Intermediate 

You can view this recipe and others at Crumbs and Chaos.

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98 Comments on “Mini Lemon Tarts”

  1. 3meals2snacks says:

    Forget dinner. What time is dessert? I know chocolate is often the preferred indulgence, but sometime it is just too much. For me, and this always-on-target master blogger, LEMON is the luscious choice. And “mini” can be fit into anyone’s eating regimen, can’t it? Absolutely. Just perfect….thanks. (The tart photo is now my new desktop background.)

    • Irene says:

      These were fabulous and a big hit at our New Years Eve party. I came home with only an empty tray. I found there to be lots of filling left over from my tarts. I would make double the crusts for the filling.

  2. Kathy says:

    Those are so adorable! Great photos – lemons are gorgeous!

  3. Wowee! So cute! I love mini-puddings. These are so wonderfully pretty and your photography has done them great justice.

  4. These are beautiful!

  5. thelegaltart says:

    These sound and look sooo great. Love lemon tarts. Will have to look out for this variety of lemon.

  6. Clo says:

    Off to Costco to find Meyer lemons! Love the pics, especially the one with the pie weights…beautiful composition. Not a baker, but feel so inspired, may have to give this a try. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Yum they look great!

  8. Gorgeous, sunny photos. Love the one with black and white stripes. I have never put cream cheese in a lemon tart before.

  9. Becky says:

    I love your little mini lemon tarts. They look so good, especially made with Meyer lemons, which I also like. Great pics and lovely presentation.

  10. df says:

    These look delightful and might be just the thing we need for a pick-me-up at my house right now! They had Meyer lemons at my local supermarket today, so step one is complete…

  11. Suzanne says:

    I love love lemon desserts they are so wonderful and these mini tarts are really cute! My Dad has a meyer lemon tree in Ca. but I live in Arkansas so I only get to use these on a few occasions or if I find them at the store. I made lemon curd this weekend but with regular lemons, I can’t wait to make some scones and slather it on.

  12. cindy says:

    I just a bag of meyer lemons ar Walmart.These little tarts look perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Soni says:

    Lovely and beautiful!

  14. Mary Livingson says:

    I too just adore lemon desserts… THESE LOOK FANTASTIC!

  15. Erika says:

    These are gorgeous!

  16. patty says:

    Gorgeous photos, love the tarts!

  17. bakingaddict says:

    Love mini – everything especially lemon tarts. I don’t think I could stop at one though :) Great addition to #citruslove.

  18. I was flipping through the LA Times food photos and this one stopped me cold. WOW. What a sight to behold. Will be making these soon. Thanks for the eye candy.

  19. Margo says:

    These would be perfect for a tea. How far ahead can you make these tarts?

  20. [...] planning on doing a riff on these mini Meyer lemon tarts for my Cooking Club this Saturday. Our theme is “appetizers”, so naturally, I want to [...]

  21. They look delicious!!!

  22. Eilda Reber says:

    Great looks good I am going to try it

  23. This will be a match made in heaven for the lemon curd I canned a few months ago. Can never go wrong with lemon!

  24. missgamma says:

    These look so cute and delicious! I love lemon desserts so will have to give these a go.
    Great photos!

  25. bkr12 says:

    yum – you make it look so easy!

  26. naturess says:

    I don’t know if I dare to try out this recipe – they might be too good to stop! Sounds so delicious!

  27. abigailyates says:

    I love lemon tarts and I love single serving sizes. Makes it easier to share without overindulging.

  28. phabphee1210 says:

    Made these for a pool party to kick off the summer, and they were all gone in just a couple seconds! EVERYONE LOVED THEM!

    Do you have any tips on the chocolate garnish? I COULDN’T SEEM TO MAKE IT LOOK RIGHT…

  29. Jean says:

    Just a thought for you- since you love Meyer lemons. I have a Meyer Lemon tree growing in my living room and it bears fabulous fruit. I have never tasted a lemon quite like a meyer. The tree is easy to grow and I put it out on my deck for the summer. In fact it’s out there now with about 30 lemon flowers and already half a dozen lemons forming. You may love having these to pick at your whim.
    Definitely trying this recipe. Thanks. :-)

  30. Thanks for stopping by my blog! These look scrumptious and like you, I find mini desserts super cute :-) Just love the name of your blog…

  31. I want to put your photos on my wall, then EAT them! =P

  32. vinicooksveg says:

    There are so amazing! lovely blog !

  33. thehungrymum says:

    I can almost taste the lemon from here. Such gorge photos :)

  34. mmmarzipan says:

    Oh. My. Gosh! These look perfect! Yum! :)

  35. Your little lemon tarts look so appealing! Keep me posted re any chocolate cake recipes…

  36. radhika25 says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I love lemons! And I’m going to have fun looking through your blog :)

  37. They’re just so pretty!

  38. puravida says:

    Lovely! I saw Meyer lemons at a store the other day – must try!

  39. Oh – these look like something my little guys would love! Absolutely delicious!
    Thanks for checking out our House of Bedlam –
    Happy New Year!

  40. Kim says:

    These look so cute and delicious! Do you have to use Meyer’s lemon juice or can you just buy plain old lemons?

    • Kim, you can use plain, old lemons…no problem. You can’t always get access to Meyer lemons, so when they’re not available, I just use regular lemons.

      • Kim says:

        Thanks so much! I saw about to use bottled juice… gag… I love your recipes! Have a happy new year!!

  41. Kim says:

    just wondering, is the lemon mixture supposed to liquidy, then harden in the oven?

  42. lucybythesea says:

    Sound wonderful. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  43. sarahlouisek says:

    Yum, yum, yum! I’m going to look for these lemons.

  44. naomimgruer says:

    Thanks so much for stopping by my lifestyle blog Bmore Energy, I’m also a “baking mama” (it’s what kept my four kids’ little hands busy many a snow day) and your Mini Lemon Tarts look amazing. (now to find those pie weights…) :)

  45. Lauren says:

    I made these in my mini pie maker and they were perfect.

  46. OMGosh – I love love love lemon anything. Can’t wait to try them (although I don’t know if they would come out as beautiful as yours!)

  47. Judy Smith says:

    I LOVE Meyer lemons! They make nearly everything taste better — they are the stars of the citrus world as far as I’m concerned. You have a beautiful site — I can’t wait to see more of it! And thank you for stopping by MY site — good to have you!

  48. Beautiful images. Tasty-looking sweets.

  49. petit4chocolatier says:

    Gorgeous :)

  50. ohlidia says:

    I love meyer lemons as well. These look so gorgeous, I must try them! Thanks for visiting.

  51. Heather says:

    i like mini-desserts for bake and take occasions. Then you don’t have to worry about slicing it up and stuff. Nice recipe.

  52. myprispective says:

    yum! look amazing

  53. swim5b says:

    OH my word! they like like to die for. I may need to re-visit ur blog to try these out, Many thanx for sharing such a wonderful recipe <3

  54. ms lemon tart says:

    This got grabbed my attention. I have some lemons in the frig and I am on my way to the market for some cream cheese.

    • swim5b says:

      I’ll be waiting patiently to see your pic of ur lemon tart, I love lemon anything. As Crumb Boss would say, We’re all building on recipes. <3

  55. swim5b says:

    They REALLY look awesome!!

  56. Hi there, nice to find your blog, I see you are among the “professionals” around here’ I’m only at the begging of the “road” . I baked the mini tarts myself and I know for sure they taste wonderful.
    Regards, Oana

  57. Gorgeous!!! Your tarts are amazing.

  58. How I need the patience to make mini’s of things. I sure love to eat them but never seem to make them…. until now. I’m going to give these a go. They look delicious!

  59. Maya from Australia says:

    Made these for guests and they were fantastic. I made them the day before and served with ice cream to counteract the great ‘zing’ of the lemon. Followed recipe closely except I made pastry in food processor too, super quick and easy, and used regular lemons I had on hand. Would definitely recommend this recipe and have written out in my recipe book to make again.

  60. Sam says:

    These look incredible. Sadly I’ve never come across Meyer lemons in Australia

  61. kt says:

    Looks wonderful, love lemon!

  62. oddsandhens says:

    Love lemon desserts! Will also be pinning these to my lemon board.

  63. Neva says:

    What a delicious recipe, I pinned it and can’t wait to make this.

  64. These are adorable! Love it.

  65. these are gorgeous, I would like one now please :)

  66. I have company coming on Sunday so am going to make these for dessert. Thank you for stopping by my Clementine Paddleford blog.

  67. sebbyholmes says:

    Wow these look amazing.nice work. I will make these for my girlfriend I think. Thanks for stopping by Articuleat – I’m glad you liked my posts

  68. misopang says:

    Your pictures are fantastic :) will have to try this recipe out!

  69. Mimi and Sue says:

    We absolutely love love love your mini desserts — just enough to satisfy a sweet craving AND you don’t have to feel guilty, it’s just a bite after all :-) Of course, as all divas know we are always watching our figures. Keep those mini desserts coming Mama’s Gotta Bake!!!

    • HI Mimi and Sue! Thanks for your comments. As a fellow Diva I too am always watching my figure and for that reason I am always looking for new mini dessert recipes. I always say, everything in moderation!

  70. shannaward says:

    Beautiful and fresh.

  71. thefolia says:

    VIva la minis!

  72. They look gorgeous! I’m definitely going to try these out!

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