Creamy Lemon Tart Recipe

This Creamy Lemon Tart is the perfect balance of sweet and tart! It’s so smooth and creamy too, thanks to the addition of sweetened condensed milk. This tart recipe is the best dessert for a lemon lover!

Looking for another lovely lemon dessert? Try my Lemon Poppyseed Layer Cake!

Creamy Lemon Tart - sweet, tart and delicious!

Creamy Lemon Tart - sweet, tart and delicious!

Easy Lemon Tart Recipe

So it occurred to me last week, after getting back from Santa Barbara, that I have some weird sleep habits. I’m always so pumped to get home to my own bed (it’s so soft and big!) and part of the reason is my weirdnesses.

I actually still sleep with a teddy bear. Don’t judge. There’s a real reason. And it’s not that I love teddy bears.

The hubs actually gave me a teddy bear back on our very first Valentine’s Day together when we were 18, and I slept with it for years. Finally my mom was like, you have got to get a new one – this thing is old and gross. Of course I didn’t care. It was the original. But I gave in and got a new one. In my head it’s still the one he gave me though. 🙂

But even that isn’t the full reason I sleep with one. The true reason is that I have bad sleep habits. I sleep on my stomach, which is totally bad for my back. And I already have a bad enough back. So I actually sleep with a the teddy kind of propping me up so that I’m not fully on my stomach.

See? A real reason.

Problem is, when I sleep somewhere that’s not my own bed, I don’t want to cart my teddy around and look like I’m 5. So I’ll actually just use a pillow. But that’s so bulky. I much prefer the teddy. Plus, it’s red and covered in hearts. Duh.

Creamy Lemon Tart - sweet, tart and delicious!
Creamy Lemon Tart - sweet, tart and delicious!

The other thing I do I will also blame on the hubs. Because this time it really is his fault. And it was also when we were 18.

There was a big ice storm in Charlotte during our senior year of high school. We knew the storm was coming and made sure he came to the house as the storm started so he’d be stuck there. #naughtyteenagers

We lost power for several days so we spent that time hanging out with my younger brother sledding and playing games by the fire. Then at night, we all slept by the fireplace.

One night, I laid down on the couch with my head in the hubs’ lap. To keep my ear warm, he put his hand over it. Now, most nights, I sleep with the sheet pulled up over my ear. There’s just something so comforting about it to me now. And I feel warmer – even when I’m plenty warm.

I’m a total weirdo, right? 🙂

Oh well, the hubs is also a total weirdo too – he doesn’t like lemon desserts. #whoisthisguy?

It’s kind of sad because he doesn’t get to taste how awesome it is, but kind of awesome because more for me! Sadly I didn’t actually get much of this one. It’s one the desserts I sent off with my mom for her weekend gathering with friends and I didn’t want it to be missing too much.

Creamy Lemon Tart - sweet, tart and delicious!
Creamy Lemon Tart - sweet, tart and delicious!

I can tell you though that the taste I had was amazing and so lemony. Sweet, tart – just like you want a lemon dessert to be. It was also a hit with my parents’ friends.

How to Make The Best Lemon Dessert

I got tart pans recently and I just love the cuteness of them. I love this one also because it’s so easy to make.

I used a graham cracker crust, which is baked. I don’t suggest skipping the baking. It really does help hold the crust together and since the filling remains somewhat soft, so you’ll want the crust to be more solid. The filling is firm enough, but sort of creamy soft. So good.

The filling is made by beating egg yolks with lemon zest until they turn a pale yellow. It’s very easy and doesn’t take very long. Then you add the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice mixture and bake it. Easy peasy.

And if you’re wondering what to do with the leftover egg whites, many of my cupcakes use egg whites, so check them out. Here’s the vanilla cupcakes recipe as a starting place, and a lemon blueberry cupcakes recipe as well. Why waste egg whites when you could make cupcakes?

Creamy Lemon Tart - sweet, tart and delicious!

More Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Lemon Poppyseed Cake
Easy Lemon Strawberry Trifle
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
Fluffy Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
White Chocolate Lemon Bars

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Image of a Creamy Lemon Tart
Recipe

Creamy Lemon Tart Recipe

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Creamy Lemon Tart is the perfect balance of sweet and tart! It’s so smooth and creamy too, thanks to the addition of sweetened condensed milk. This tart recipe is the best dessert for a lemon lover!


Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 34 lemons)
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 egg yolks

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Grease a 9 inch tart pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
3. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.
4. Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
5. Whisk together the lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk. Set aside.
6. In a mixer bowl, beat the lemon zest and egg yolks on high until pale.
7. Add sweetened condensed milk mixture to egg mixture and beat until smooth.
8. Pour filling into the crust.
9. Bake for 15-17 minutes. The edges should be set and the center should jiggle a little when the tart is moved.
10. Cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or until firm.
11. To make whipped cream, whip heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken.
12. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form.
13. Add whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with the Ateco 844 tip, or similar (Wilton 1M will work). Pipe whipped cream in circles, starting from the center and working outward. Fill in gaps with drop flowers by piping little drops of whipped cream (they look like small flowers). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Keywords: lemon tart recipe, lemon tart, lemon dessert recipe, tart recipe, lemon recipe, lemon dessert, easy dessert recipe, best dessert recipe

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

48 Comments
  1. Johnna

    Made this for Thanksgiving dessert for family & it was a hit. The lemon flavor was spot on. I used cool whip instead of whipping my own & garnished with lemon zest & lemon slices. Would definitely make again!

  2. Lynn

    Hi Lyndsay – I’m excited to try this. Never made a tart but looking forward to it. This one seems easy and doable. I’m planning to make it for Thanksgiving. and I’m just wondering can I make it the day before and have it sit in the fridge for a whole day?

  3. tam

    This was such a lovely tart! I was so nervous because I’d never made a tart before but I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and he loved it. It came out flat because way too late I realized that my tart pan was 11 inches instead of 9…but it tasted just wonderful 🙂

  4. ana huerta

    Thank you so much! I wish I could attach a pic of how gorgeous it turned out! I tried so many recipes but this was my favorite by far ❤️ You are so talented!

  5. Julie G

    Excellent recipe!  I had all the ingredients on hand. Super easy to make. I like the taste better using sweetened condensed milk rather than sugar in the filling, which is too sweet for me. Love the graham cracker crust and whipped cream topping. The combination of crust, lemon filling and whipped cream was perfect. Thank you for yet another winning recipe!!

  6. Lisa Vicek

    I made my husband fresh lemonade before we were invited for drinks tonight. I had a fresh Orange and frozen lime juice so….we will see how it goes! I also grabbed a shortbread crust instead of graham cracker so  as much as I hate people who don’t follow the recipe the first time thru and post about it…I think this will be lovely. Thank you for the measurements and recipe! 

  7. Jenny

    I’ve promised my pregnant BFF a lemon tart without meringue , and you cant say no to a pregnant BFF that is craving for a lemon tart.
    The Lemon tart was the best recipe I’ve found, the entire family enjoyed it, including her 3 years old son
    The recipe was really easy to prepare, not to too tangy, the condensed milk really balancing the sourness, and turned out to be creamy and crunchy at the bottom.
    It was perfect!
    Thank you! The tart really helped us to deal with the tragic scenes of Game of thrones. 🙂

  8. ella

    hi lindsay, this recipe is great and all, the texture is amazing – i followed exactly what the recipe says- but why did my tart turn out sour? like reaaally sour that the lemon flavor is unrecognizable. please help me out i like this recipe as it doesnt call for so much ingredients. maybe 1/2 cup lemon juice is too much? thanks ♥

    1. Lindsay

      It turned sour after sitting a while? Or was sour to begin with? I’ve never heard of that happening and it shouldn’t be the lemon juice, unless something about the juice was off. Maybe make sure the eggs and sweetened condensed milk are still good? I’m not sure.

  9. Julie

    Could you please tell me what Graham Crackers are? I live in Australia and we can’t buy them here so I need to find a substitute. Thanks

  10. Deborah Corral

    This is one of my favorite tarts. I have made it for parties at my house and have taken it to friends homes. It comes out just like the picture every time and is truly delicious, everyone loves it. It is simple to make and I have no problem with the whipped cream roses, but I love making pretty desserts. Thank you for sharing this lovely dessert!

  11. Sheila @ Kitchen Territory

    I love this! You just took the tart to a whole new level by adding the beautiful frosting. You gave me and idea that I could frost tarts and not just cake! Keep up your awesome creativity! ????

  12. Janet

    This looks delicious! I don’t have a piping bag or tips – never done it – I’m a novice cook. Could I just spread on the whipped cream instead? Thank you.

  13. Debbie

    I made this last Friday for a girl night. I was looking for a lemon dessert to use use up a bunch of lemons and this looked really nice in the photo. I followed recipe exactly and it came out amazing! I served it on a round silver tray it looked exactly like the photo and tasted fabulous. This is so easy to make and everyone loved it! Thank you for posting this lovely dessert.

  14. Yvonne

    This looks so wonderful. I have my heart set on making individual 3″ lemon tarts for a Christmas dinner party. Any suggestions for adjusting the baking time once I pour the filling in?
    Thanks so much,
    Yvonne

  15. SophieEV

    I’ve always wanted to do a lemon tart but I din’t want to do a lemon curd, so this recipe is just great! It was super easy, super fast, and super delicious! This tart has the right balance between sugar and lemon flavor!
    Thank you so much, your blog is definitely becoming my favorite!

  16. Jessica @ Sweetest Menu

    What a lovely tart! I just love the pretty swirls on top. And so few ingredients – amazing! Glad I still have some leftover graham crackers from our trip to the USA 🙂

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thanks Jessica! I didn’t realize graham crackers weren’t available everywhere – seems like such a staple to me. Crazy! You could also use some other vanilla cookie. 🙂

  17. Annie @ Annie's Noms

    This is soooooo pretty! I just love lemon in tarts, it goes so well with the base and cream on top. I have to try this!

  18. Dorothy+@+Crazy+for+Crust

    LOL!!! I use a pillow for the same reason but I like a teddy bear much better. You can totally bring him if we ever share a room! 🙂

  19. Marilyn+Fields

    Lemon desserts are my favorite and since I have an over abundance of Meyer lemons on my tree this year, I will definitely be baking this soon! Looks lemon lucious!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thank you Annette! It’s whipped cream and I used Ateco tip 844, but you could use something similar like the Wilton 1M. I updated the recipe and instructions with that information. Thank you!

  20. LindaM

    The lemon tart looks amazing. You didn’t list ingredients used for the piping of the roses on the tart. Can’t tell if it is whipped cream or frosting. Would appreciate your including the recipe for this on the lemon tart site. I enjoy your cooking site. Thank You.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thank you for pointing that out Linda! It’s whipped cream. I’ve updated the recipe and instructions for the piping. I’m so glad you enjoy the site!

  21. Mir

    I so much prefer sleeping on my stomach (sleeping on my back gives me nightmares, weird), but my back hates it. So I do a lot of pillow propping. Getting older sucks!
    The piping on this tart looks as amazing as the tart itself! I love lemon. Your husband is missing out, big time!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12