Crazy for Crust

Jun 10

Mini Lemon Chess Pies

I’ve been dying to make a Lemon Chess Pie f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Finally I decided to do it…but made them mini instead.

Mini food is the best food, after all.

The PERFECT Mini Lemon Chess Pies!

Sooooo, you know how I’m obsessed with lemon times one trillion? It’s like I’m making up for all the (crazy) years that I swore I hated lemon desserts.

Let’s just agree that that time in my life should be banished and never spoken of. And that I’m going to post something lemon every month to make up for it, mmkay?

There’s someone else in my life who is even more obsessed with lemon than I am: my sister-in-law, Katie. Whenever I ask her want dessert she what she shouts lemon faster than Jordan shouts mint chip.

Family gatherings are fun in our family.

A few weeks ago Katie celebrated her birthday, and I made her mini lemon chess pies to celebrate. Kind of the best decision on my part ever, *pats self on back*.

These were too good. I almost didn’t give them away!

The PERFECT Mini Lemon Chess Pies!

These are probably one of the easiest mini pies ever to make. I started with a refrigerated pie crust (my favorite is Pillsbury). Making the mini crusts are way easier than you think. Here are my secrets:

  • Use a mini muffin pan and spray them well with the cooking spray with flour. This ensures the pies will come out.
  • Use a 2.5″ round cookie cutter (or jar lid or glass) to cut circles. Re-roll the dough as needed. Press each circle gently into each cavity.
  • Be sure to chill the crusts while you make the filling. You want cold crust!

And, well, if you’ve ever made a chess pie filling, it’s one of the easiest to make. One bowl and just a whisk – that’s my kind of baking. Eggs, milk, lemon juice, sugar, and a few other things get whisked together. One tablespoon of the filling goes into each pie, then you bake.

It’s easy to remove these from the pans if you wait until they’re completely cool. Use the tip of a knife to help loosen the pie, and if you’ve sprayed the pans well enough, they should pop right out. Dust with powdered sugar, and try not to eat them all.

Go ahead. I dare you.

Mini Lemon Chess Pies

I’d fail that one miserably!

Mini Lemon Chess Pies

Yield: 40-42 pies

The perfect lemon chess mini form! Perfect for a party, these are super sweet and tart all at the same time.


  • 1 box (2) refrigerated pie crusts, I use Pillsbury
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 large lemon or 2 small)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nonfat or regular milk
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 3 mini muffin pans with cooking spray. (I like the kind with flour in it for these pies.) This makes about 40-42 pies.
  2. Unroll your pie crusts and cut 2.5” circles with a cookie cutter or jar. Press each carefully into each mini muffin cavity.
  3. Re-roll dough as needed. Chill until filling is ready.
  4. Whisk melted butter and sugar until smooth, then whisk in eggs until the mixture is a rich yellow, about 30 seconds.
  5. Whisk in the salt, lemon zest, vanilla, lemon juice, milk, and flour, one at a time, whisking until smooth.
  6. Fill each pie crust with 1tablespoon of filling. You may have just a bit of filling left over.
  7. Bake pies for 17-20 minutes until the tops are no longer wet. The crust will just be very lightly brown. (I like to place my muffin tins on a cookie sheet before baking, for easier handling and less spilling.)
  8. Cool pies completely before removing from pans. They should pop out easily with the help of a knife. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Peanut Butter Chess Pie

Peanut Butter Chess Pie (3 of 5)w

Lemon Cake Roll

Lemon Cake Roll (4 of 8)w

The Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes (9 of 13)

No Bake Lemon Dessert with Golden Oreos

Lemon Dessert (3 of 6)w

Sweets from friends:
Buttermilk Slab Pie by Foodness Gracious
Easy Chocolate Pie by Very Culinary
Lemon Marshmallow Meringue Pie by Something Swanky

48 Responses to “Mini Lemon Chess Pies”

  1. Chloe @ foodlikecake posted on June 10, 2014 at 3:16 am (#)

    Those are so cute!


  2. Medeja posted on June 10, 2014 at 3:48 am (#)

    How cute! These bites look really tempting and addictive!


  3. How to Philosophize with Cake posted on June 10, 2014 at 4:04 am (#)

    Those sound delicious! I love chess pie, lemon sounds like a great flavor to add. :)


  4. Tieghan posted on June 10, 2014 at 5:32 am (#)

    These look so good. I am becoming a little lemon obsessed too, so I cannot wait to try these!


  5. Caitlin posted on June 10, 2014 at 7:08 am (#)

    My roommate LOVES lemon, and I’d like to make something like this for her birthday. Do you think it would be easy to convert into a full pie?


  6. Amanda posted on June 10, 2014 at 7:19 am (#)

    I love minis too, and these look wonderful! Must try these soon!


  7. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on June 10, 2014 at 7:23 am (#)

    Well aren’t these just so adorable! And lemon and mini – they would be so highly poppable! one right after the other :) Pinned and these babies have HIT written all over them :)


  8. Mir posted on June 10, 2014 at 8:14 am (#)

    I love that these are mini! Tht means I can eat more, right?l
    These must’ve been so hard to give away!


  9. miss messy posted on June 10, 2014 at 9:13 am (#)

    I’d never heard of chess pie before I started blogging, these look delicious! You’re right. Mini things are better!


  10. Julianne @ a Beyond a Frosting posted on June 10, 2014 at 10:01 am (#)

    You are right! Everything is better in mini!!


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  12. Matt Robinson posted on June 10, 2014 at 11:08 am (#)

    These look so incredibly good, I would be afraid I’d eat the entire batch. Love ’em! Anything lemon is so perfect for summer:)


  13. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking posted on June 10, 2014 at 11:24 am (#)

    I have been dying to make chess pie forever too! And you made them mini and lemon! I love it! They are so cute! I really want to make a chocolate chess pie but I feel like I should start with the regular one first because I’ve never even had chess pie! :-)


  14. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel posted on June 10, 2014 at 11:58 am (#)

    Yep, I want these pies in my mouth right now!


  15. Annie @Maebells posted on June 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm (#)

    I love all things tiny and mini! These look fantastic!


  16. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar posted on June 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm (#)

    Mini is the best! I’ve been wanting to make a lemon chess pie too – it looks so yummy! Pinned!


  17. Kelly - Life made Sweeter posted on June 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm (#)

    So so cute! I’m obsessed with anything lemon and mini! Can’t wait to try these – they look fantastic – pinned :)


  18. Alyssa {Cake, Crust, and Sugar Dust} posted on June 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm (#)

    Adorable!!! Dorothy you always put the cutest spins on desserts :)


  19. Alice // Hip Foodie Mom posted on June 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm (#)

    Dorothy, I love these mini lemon chess pies!!! and I get to use my mini muffin pan. . which sadly sits in my pantry un-used. . that needs to change ASAP! Pinned!


  20. Pat posted on June 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm (#)

    I wish I were in your family! :) Can’t wait to try these ~ I have a love affair with lemon and I love mini’s too.



  21. Laurie F. posted on June 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm (#)

    Love minis! Love lemon! Another great bake sale item. I don’t “pin”, but I printed it! (;


  22. Stephanie @ Back For Seconds posted on June 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm (#)

    Come join my family!! And bring these :)


  23. Serene @ House of Yumm posted on June 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm (#)

    Ummm..yeah. First of all, mini desserts are always the best. Second of all, lemon?! Love it. These are so super cute and yummy looking! I think I would eat the whole batch…by myself.. Pinning!


  24. Samina | The Cupcake Confession posted on June 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm (#)

    I can never ever make these as food gifts because I’m 145673 % sure that these won’t even make it to the gift recipient in the first place!!!!! 😉 I loveeee mini desserts!!!! It just gives you all the more reason to eat more of them and I am definitely going to need them!!!! These are cute and lemony and delicious!!!! Loveee it! Pinning! 😀


  25. kylie posted on June 11, 2014 at 2:08 am (#)

    I loooove lemon chess pie! So easy and sooo relish! Loving the mini version, great idea :) I’ll have to make these this weekend


  26. Jennie @themessybakerblog posted on June 11, 2014 at 4:39 am (#)

    That creamy lemon center is calling to me. These look delicious. Pinned.


  27. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction posted on June 11, 2014 at 5:34 am (#)

    I might have to make these for my lemon-loving mom for her birthday that’s coming up! She’d love these!


  28. Alexis @ Upside Down Pear posted on June 11, 2014 at 7:04 am (#)

    These sound amazing!! Mini is dangerous because I loose track of how many I’ve eaten. I’m always like…just one more…they’re so tiny! These would be great to bring to a BBQ this summer! Much easier to travel with than a whole pie :)


  29. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on June 11, 2014 at 9:00 am (#)

    These look delicious. I think I need to crash your family get togethers for the desserts :)


  30. Laura Dembowski posted on June 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm (#)

    These are absolutely adorable! I’m just not sure I’d be able to stop popping them in my mouth!


  31. JP posted on June 12, 2014 at 2:39 am (#)

    I’m going to try them with puff pastry instead of Pie filling…..I hope it works out, they look great! The more LEMON
    the better!!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 12th, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Yes! Let me know how it works! I always mean to buy puff pastry at the store (I’ve never made my own; it’s on my bucket list) but I always forget!


  32. Liz Fourez posted on June 12, 2014 at 7:26 am (#)

    Mini food is always more delicious! Love these little chess pies, Dorothy!


  33. Lindsay Ann @ Lindasy Ann Bakes posted on June 12, 2014 at 11:13 am (#)

    eeek obsessed with MINI ANYTHING! These look so refreshing and so perfectly proportioned for a summer treat 😉


  34. Connie | URBAN BAKES posted on June 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm (#)

    Soo these were the lemon pies you were telling me about. They are so itty bitty cuute!! I love little things (well, sometimes) lol. If I had these in front of me, I’d pop a bunch in my mouth. The little treats are dangerous around me!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 12th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      They’re too easy to pop, that’s for sure!


  35. Jocelyn@Brucrewlife posted on June 13, 2014 at 10:32 pm (#)

    These little mini chess pies look phenom!! I would probably eat way more than I should! :)


  36. Lauren @ Imperfect and Fabulous posted on June 14, 2014 at 10:09 pm (#)

    I just discovered how amazing chess pies are in the fall. This lemon version sounds amazing!


  37. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking posted on June 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm (#)

    Mini is always better!! They’re cuter, tastier, and way easier to sneak a second serving (or umm like five, if you’re me) without feeling guilty. Lemon is a really popular flavor in my family too — it’s the only flavor all of the men request for birthday desserts! — so I’m definitely taking mental notes. Send all of your lemon thoughts my way! 😉


  38. Renee @ Awesome on $20 posted on June 17, 2014 at 11:17 pm (#)

    Oh, Dorothy! These are so adorable. I’m in love. And I bet they taste even better than they look.


  39. Marlene posted on June 25, 2014 at 9:24 am (#)

    How far in advance can you make these? Do they freeze well? They look so yummy! Thanks for posting these, Dorothy.


  40. Annie posted on June 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm (#)

    These sound amazing! I bet they would be good if you substituted lemon for lime or even orange, too! I may make all 3 for a 4th of July gathering and see which people like best. :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 29th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I so want to do lime and orange!! Let me know how they are! Enjoy!


  41. Ann posted on August 13, 2014 at 11:54 am (#)

    Do they freeze well, how far in advance can one make these?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 13th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      These should freeze great! Place them in a ziploc bag (a gallon size) with paper towels between layers. They can be frozen for up to one month. Let them defrost with the paper towel in the bag to absorb moisture!


  42. Maureen posted on September 21, 2014 at 7:50 pm (#)

    I made these last week, they were SO easy and my family adored them.   Very quick to make when you use store-bought pie crust too. Thanks so much for the recipe!


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