Lemon Love: Top 5 Luscious Lemon Desserts

lemon macaroon tart picture

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Lemon Love: 5 Luscious Lemon Desserts

What’s not to love about fresh lemon desserts?! It’s bitterly cold across the country this winter so I’m dreaming of ocean water, palm trees, and fresh citrus! Good thing lemons are available year long so you can lighten up the New Year with these luscious lemon desserts!

Serve a lemon dessert as a favor at your next brunch or dinner party! Simply wrap them up in a cellophane bag or small kraft box. Tie with a pretty wraphia or satin ribbon. Attach a printed label right off your computer – try these cute vintage lemon labels here and here!

For the macarons specifically, I love this diy macaron bags with printable labels here!

1. Mini Lemon Tarts

Yields 6 Mini Tarts


1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
6 mini pie tarts (frozen aisle)

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually pour in milk until smooth, stirring regularly. Cook until thick and reduce heat. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, add in egg yolks slowly. Return to heat until boiling and cook 2 minutes longer (until thick). Remove from heat and stir in butter and lemon peel. Stir in lemon juice. Cover and cool completely. Fold in sour cream and add dollops into each pie tart. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and additional lemon slices and zest.

french lemon macaron recipe picture

2.  French Lemon Macarons

What’s the difference between Macaron and Macaroon? Click here for an article to find out!

Recipe via msadventuresinitaly.com

Ingredients for Meringue:

3.5 oz whole skinned almonds (or almond flour)
3 egg whites, aged 2-3 days at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4-5  tablespoons white sugar
Food coloring (as desired)
Zest of 1 lemon


Zest the entire lemon, making sure to avoid grating up the white part (pith) of the lemon and leave it to dry overnight.

Remove any almond skins and grind the almonds as finely as possible together with the dried lemon zest. In a small container/bowl, whisk the powdered sugar together with the almonds to blend well and break up lumps. If you have a large food processor, you can pulse them together a few times.

In another, large mixing bowl, begin to (electronically) whisk the egg whites. After they start foaming, add the granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until it gets thick.

Fold the dry mix carefully (and slowly) into the meringue and add the food coloring, if desired, until fully mixed.

Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons out onto a baking sheet lined with regular parchment paper. Leave them to set for 30 – 60 minutes to form a skin.

Preheat the oven to 300F. Cook macarons 8-10 minutes, keeping a careful eye on them. After taking out of the oven, let cool completely before filling them.

I recommend filling the macarons immediately before eating, or the same day. Store unused macaron halves in an airtight container and they will be good for several days.
Put a dollop of the limoncello ganache on one half of the macaron before placing the other half on top.

Limoncello White Chocolate Ganache

Filling Ingredients
3.5 oz white chocolate, chunked
1/4 cup (about 50ml) of limoncello liqueur


Heat the limoncello on medium heat, until it starts to simmer. Cook a bit of the liquid off, and remove from heat. Add the white chocolate chunks to the mixture, stirring until smooth. If it doesn’t melt, heat it for a few seconds on the burner and then remove again.
If the mixture is too solid, add more limoncello and taste it (often!). Let the mixture cool completely before trying to fill the macarons. If it stays too liquid, set it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes

Recipe via Two Peas & Their Pod, originally on Baking Bites


3/4 cup superfine sugar, divided
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, sift together cake flour and 1/4 cup superfine sugar.
3. In a large bowl, beat room-temperature egg whites until foamy, then add in cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add in the remaining 1/2 cup of superfine sugar while the mixer is on high speed, beating the egg whites to soft peaks.With a rubber spatula add in the vanilla and lemon zest, do this very gently!
4. Fold in flour mixture, adding it in two or three additions.
5. Divide evenly into prepared muffin tins. Fill them pretty full.
6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown. The tops will spring back when lightly touched.
7. Cool on a wire rack.

I think this recipe would be divine with a light glaze or a whipped topping. For a simple idea, top with fresh fruit!

Image via Limelight {tart}

4. Zesty Lemon Cookies

Recipe via Real Mom Kitchen as seen in The Salt Lake Tribune

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a standing mixer on medium speed, add butter and sugar, and cream until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add lemon juice and zest, mixing until blended.
Add salt, baking powder and flour and mix until blended.
Drop by rounded scoopfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake until edges are firm with no color, 12 to 15 minutes.
Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.  Servings » Makes 2 1/2 dozen (I used my cookie scoop and got 3 dozen cookies)

Image via The Daily Green

5. Luscious Lemon Bars


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 lemons, juiced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.

Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. For a festive tray, make another pan using limes instead of lemons and adding a drop of green food coloring to give a very pale green. After both pans have cooled, cut into uniform 2 inch squares and arrange in a checker board fashion.

image via bhg.com

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  1. Mmmm….thank you for the yummy recipes!

    Happy New Year!

    : )

    Julie M.

  2. Lemon… YUMMY! Thank you so much for sharing these recipes! I definitely will try the lemon bars.

  3. Lemon overload! Those all look great though. I’ve got a lemon and blackberry muffin that I’m currently obsessed with, but I think I can make room in my life for those mini tarts! Yum!

  4. Please do raspberries next…I love them so much…but I can learn to love lemon…maybe! xo

  5. Gorgeous pics & delish looking recipes, there must be a sassy stylist behind that new camera lens! ;)

  6. These desserts look fantastic! I’m particularly in love with those lemon angel food cupcakes…they look divine! Yum. :)

  7. Yummy! I LOVE lemon treats! Beautiful photos too! xo

  8. love this! i was actually wondering what the “Lemon” font is in the first Lemon Love photo . . .

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