Crazy for Crust

Easy Lemon Tarts

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These easy lemon tarts only have 3 ingredients and they’re done in under 30 minutes. The perfect quick dessert for any party or any time a lemon craving hits.

Well hello there, Easy Lemon Tarts. How you doin’?

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Easy Lemon Tarts with only 3 ingredients!

I’m really hoping you read that in your best Joey voice. Man, I miss that show.

You guys, today is kind of a special day. It’s March 1…and it’s my parents 40th wedding anniversary! I can’t wrap my brain around the fact they’ve been married that long. I mean, if they’ve been married 40 years then that means I’m…

Never mind. Let’s not worry about numbers. Instead I’m going to wish them a Happy Anniversary and revel in the fact that they still love each other as much now (or more) than they did back then. My parents met each other at my mom’s work. My dad was doing some work in her office and became smitten. But want to know something cool? Their families had known each other for years and they’d probably met as kids, but didn’t know it. Both my grandfathers were firemen, but my mom’s dad (the chief) passed away when she was 5, so after that they didn’t really keep in touch. It’s like their marriage was meant to be.

They knew it was meant to be too. After their first date in October they got married the following March. When you know, you know.

That fun fact made it easier on them when I started dating Mel and proclaimed he was “The One” 2 weeks later. He didn’t propose for 5 months, but that was just logistics. We’d been talking about marriage since about a month in. My parents made me believe in soul mates, so I think I’m kinda lucky I found mine.

Anyway…I thought something as cheery as a 40th anniversary deserved something bright and sunny and happy…like these Easy Lemon Tarts. There is just something about photographing lemon dessert; looking at the pictures just makes me happy!

Easy Lemon Tarts

Literally these tarts have 2 ingredients, 3 if you include the fruit. (I seem to be on a 2 ingredient kick the last few days. First, waffles then dip. Go figure!)

The tart shell is made from sugar cookie dough. I used the Pillsbury break-n-bake sugar cookie dough, the kind that comes in a rectangular package. It made it super easy to just break off a square, roll it into a ball, and press it into my mini muffin pan. You can also use a roll of sugar cookie dough and scoop 1 tablespoon sized balls of dough instead.

Now, if you don’t have any sugar cookie dough in your refrigerator and you want these Lemon Tarts RIGHT NOW (which I understand) you can totally make the tarts from scratch. I suggest using my perfect sugar cookie recipe and scooping 1 tablespoon sized balls of dough. (You’ll probably end up with more than 24 tarts, so get more lemon curd or just make cookies with any leftover.)

I used the prepared cookie dough because, as I mentioned last week, I’m super lazy. No mixing, no clean up. That’s my kind of recipe.

These Easy Lemon Tarts have only 3 ingredients and will satisfy your lemon craving!

The second ingredient in these tarts is the lemon, obvi. I originally made these because a friend had given me a bag of lemons. The best way to use up lemons, IMO? Make lemon curd. I can eat that stuff with a spoon, no joke.

Once the tart shells are baked and cooled, you scoop a healthy scoop of lemon curd into the center. You can use a jarred lemon curd (most grocery stores have it with the jams and jellies) or you can make your own. I used my lime curd recipe and substituted lemon zest and lemon juice. It works perfectly.

The third ingredient (I know, I’m asking a lot…three ingredients…jeesh) is fruit. Top each tart with a raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, or a cut strawberry. This is optional but adds some pretty color. If you’re serving these at a party they’ll practically jump off the plate. If you’re not into fruit, you can sprinkle them with some powdered sugar instead. Or just do what I did…

Easy Lemon Tarts

Top a few with berries for photos and shove the rest in your face as fast as possible. 🙂

Lemon tarts are one of my favorite things, along with lemon bars, lemon pie, shortbread lemon tarts, lemon limoncello cupcakes, and lemon pudding pound cake. Any and all of them would satisfy a lemon craving in no time at all.

3.78 from 27 votes
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Servings: 24 tarts

Easy Lemon Tarts

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
These easy lemon tarts only have 3 ingredients and they're done in under 30 minutes. The perfect quick dessert for any party or any time a lemon craving hits.


  • 1 16 ounce package sugar cookie dough (I used the Pillsbury break apart kind, but you can also use the roll) OR 1 recipe of your favorite prepared sugar cookie dough
  • 1 about 8-10 ounces jar lemon curd
  • Fresh fruit for topping — optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray that has flour in it.
  2. If using the break apart sugar cookie dough, break apart each square, roll into a ball, and press into the bottom and up the sides of each cavity of the mini muffin pan. If using a roll of cookie dough, use 1 tablespoon sized balls and do the same. (Same goes if you're using scratch cookie dough.)
  3. Bake cookie tarts for about 10 minutes, until they just start to turn golden around the edges. Cool, then remove from the pans carefully. They should pop out if you've sprayed the pan well, but using a butter knife to pop them out might help.
  4. Fill cooled cookies with lemon curd and top with a raspberry, blueberry, or strawberry. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookie, lemon, pie

Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!

Click here to see more of my Christmas cookie recipes!

Lemon Funfetti Cookies

Lemon Funfetti Cookies (1 of 8)

Homemade Lemon Oreos

Homemade Lemon Oreos (10 of 6)w

Mini Lemon Chess Pies

Mini Lemon Chess Pies (4 of 9)w

Homemade Lime Curd (use lemons instead!!)

Lime Curd (2 of 5)w

Sweets from friends:
Microwave Lemon Bars by Mom on Timeout
Lemon Cheesecake By Taste and Tell
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze by The Messy Baker Blog

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  1. Happy 40th to your parents! That’s a great milestone. Yay for true love! Your story is equally sweet. When you have love, you know it!
    Love these little guys. Lemon is the best. And very much a bright spot in my cold winter landscape right about now…

  2. They look delicious and so simple as well

  3. Great little recipe!  They look super impressive, but I love that they are so easy.  Our neighbors have a huge lemon tree (and they share) so I’m thinking it’s time to make some lemon curd!  

  4. Aww what a cute story about your parents! And congrats to them on 40 years! That’s awesome!

    About these lemon treats, well you just made my day with them! So pretty and I know they have to be delicious, too. After all, LEMON!

  5. Yes! Another friends fan! Congrats on your parents 40th anniversary, they must love each other so much! This recipe is so perfect for those times when you watn a dessert fast, and only 2 or 3 ingredients is a bonus. 

  6. These tarts look amazingly delicious – the sugar cookie crust is ingenious! Congrats to your parents on hitting the 40-year mark 🙂

  7. These are adorable Dorothy! I love the size, no guilt here! 😉

  8. These are so you!! The lemon curd, the little cute tartlets, just the adorable factor…they are such a Dorothy signature type dessert! You have the patience of a saint to make mini food as often as you do…my patience is clearly nothing like yours 🙂

  9. I am ALWAYS in the mood for lemon.  Especially when it is as easy and cute as these tarts!!  🙂

  10. Wow, 40 years! That’s awesome, a big congrats to them. I love happy stories like that, especially when they’ve possibly known each other before too.

    Loooove lemon desserts, and even more when they’re easy too. 🙂 And a sugar cookie crust? Could they get any better? Pinning.

  11. 40 years is big!! congrats to your parents! I LOVE lemon desserts!!! and using sugar cookie dough for these tarts is brilliant!! love these! 

  12. What a great story! I am loving all the lemon things right now! I just can’t get enough!

  13. Here  I was thinking that celebrating my 10 year anniversary later this spring was a big deal! 40 years is a long time! Congrats to your parents!! 

    I would love to try these lemon tarts, they look gorgeous! yum!!

  14. You’re celebrating life every week and I love it! It’s wonderful to see a couple together as long as your parents. It gives me hope. Easy dessert recipes that look absolutely elegant! The first time that I tried lemon curd was last month. I resisted the urge to eat the entire jar. 🙂 I’m looking forward to making these, Dorothy! 

  15. Hope your parents have a great 40th anniversary!!  Congrats to them for reaching this great milestone!!
    These lemon tarts look so cheerful, refreshing and super delicious!  They instantly make me think happy thoughts of spring!!

  16. First, these are maybe the prettiest cookie cups/tarts I have ever seen.  You need to frame these and hang them in your office.  I’m seeing a lemon theme with teal and yellow, yes?  Second, how funny!  My parents had their first date in the fall, and knew right away too!  They were married in April 🙂  Happy Anniversary Blumers!

  17. Thanks for all the well wishes everyone! 🙂

  18. Your parents don’t seem old enough to be married that long.  Congratulations to them!  And thanks for the recipe – you can never have too many lemon recipes, esp. in individual portions!  And the photos look so cheery, I just want to frame it and put it up in my kitchen.

  19. Wow congrats to your parents!

    Love how easy these are, plus they give me hope that spring is coming (someday!)

  20. Congrats to your parents on their 40th wedding anniversary.  I love hearing stories when two people have been together for so long, and their their story is beautiful.
    I am totally with you and lemon curd, I love it ! and literally do eat it with a spoon.  These little ‘babies’ are going to be great, thanks (I can see I am going to have to make a double batch!!!)

  21. I really love easy cookie cups like this.  They are so darling and so freaking simple and small so I can pop like 3 in a row!

  22. Your parents’ story is so cute! All the women in my family have met their significant others/husbands at work! It must just be our way. I love when I hear of others that have done the same!!

  23. Can you use Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts and cut out circles for the mini muffins instead of the cookie dough?

  24. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to your parents! That’s fantastic!! 
    Also, I just made cookie cups yesterday! Love them! They are so fun to make and eat. These lemon tarts look so Spring-y! Pinned! 

  25. These beautiful little tarts are darling! And I miss Friends, too! 🙂

  26. I love lemon desserts, and this easy peasy recipe sounds delicious! It’s high time I make my first lemon curd. 🙂   

  27. I TOTALLY read that first line as Joey! Best show. Ever. And, well, you know how I feel about lemon…

  28. Happy Anniversary to mom and dad!! 40 years is awesome and yes, when you know, you definitely know.
    These tarts are genius, Dorothy and just two ingredients! I’m always using like 50.  😉  
    I need to take lessons from you.

  29. Wow, congrats to your parents! And these mini tarts are simply gorgeous and bright and cheerful! Perfect for the occasion. 

  30. They look so cute! And I imagine delicious too!

  31. Well aren’t these little tart bites just picture perfect?! I love how easy they are! And I see you have started on the lemon desserts early this year…and I LOVE it! Pinned! 

  32. Congratulations to your parents!!  That is amazing and such a cute story!!!  And these little cookie cups are so pretty, and I love how easy they are!!!

  33. Congrats to your parents! What an achievement!

  34. Mmm! I love the refreshingness of citrus this time of year (or all year really) and love how easy these are! I’ve never made my own lemon curd, so now I think I need to try! AND, I’m so glad friends is on netflix now, cause I’m going through it finally, and I’m on season 7 now. Love it!

  35. I made these for the 4th of July and they were prefect! I topped with raspberries, strawberries and blueberries for the patriotic element. People raved about them all night; it was the perfect dessert for a warm barbecue because they are so light and the perfect size. The only problem I ran into was that when I baked the shells, the puffed up all the way and filled the opening so there would have been no room for the curd. After the 10 minute baking time, I took them out and realized this and quickly smashed down the middles again with a small ice cream scooper or melon baller then continued to bake them for 2-4 minutes until the middle was set. So, make sure you keep a watch on them!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed them! I thought I wrote in there to press them down with a wooden spoon handle (or what you did with the melon baller) if they puff up, I’ll go back and edit it!

  36. I made these for a bridal shower and they didn’t look AT ALL like the photos. I used one sugar cookie cube per muffin tin. pinched it to form a crust and used a dollop of lemon curd. The cookie dough expanded out and over the muffin vessel and about half stuck to the top surface of the muffin pan. The part of the cookie that stuck split apart left the lemon part in the pan. Very sad about this but my family enjoyed all the broken ones.

    • When I make tarts out of sugar cookie dough, I end up having to re-form the “pie” shape once it’s baked. I used the roll of dough for these (not the cubes) but I’ve used the cubes in other recipes. When they come out of the oven I use a wooden spoon handle to press them into the cup shape. They don’t usually bake over the top of the muffin cup, but maybe we have different sized tins? Next time try spraying the entire top with cooking spray to help that. Did you add the lemon curd before or after baking? It should be added after, once they’re cooled.

  37. Hello, A friend of mine has made these and she raved about them. I am making them for a baby shower and would love to know how far a head I can make them. The shower is Sat. afternoon and I would love to make them Thursday night, is that too early and storing them in the refrigerator okay?


  38. Just made these tonight. Wow are they tasty! Didn’t have time to make lemon curd from scratch so I used the jarred. I will definitely make these again! Thanks for sharing…

  39. I have a love/hate relationship with these lemon tarts! I have made them more than 10 times. I’ve started making my own lemon curd AND if I have the time I put a little meringue instead of fruit. Everyone loves them which is why I keep making them. That’s the LOVE part, here’s the hate part: getting the dough out of the pan once it’s cooked. To make 10 little tarts I usually must make at least 20. I can’t get them out of the muffin tin, (doesn’t seem to matter how much or how little spray I use). I’ve tried taking them out immediately (doesn’t work), cooling for 5 to 10 minutes (works only slightly better). They never ever POP out of the tins like I think they should. Any other suggestions?

  40. Hi, I love your pictures in this post and I was wondering if you could tell me what lense you used?

  41. Just made these for a church activity. I couldn’t keep my husband or boys out of them. Delicious! Easy! Fsst! They look like I spent hours on them. I added some stabilized whipped. I used already made lemon curd. Next time I want to make my own.

  42. I have a friend who loves sweets and I’m pretty sure she is going to love this recipe. Tomorow is the start of the semester and I will greet her with this treat. Surely this will lighten the load of schoolwork. A good amount of the batch came out a tad bit crumbly. After doing the filling and topping it seems not to matter too much from how pretty it is. Thank you!

  43. Love this recipe great for Tea Parties

  44. I can not get these out of the pan!! I tried spraying the pan and everything. They just come out a crumble mess. Vary delicious though!! 

  45. Can you use lemon pudding?

  46. Followed directions using Pillsbury Sugar Cookies—tablespoon per mini cupcake. Baked for 10 min—was not browning so left it in 90 seconds longer. Cookie dough had raised over the carefully, (and time consuming) indentations carefully made—so they all looked like cookies with soft middles. Using a butter knife, carefully tried to extract them from the tins—ended up with nothing but a mess of half-baked cookie crumbs. Hoping to serve tonight for our book club-guess it’s another trip to the grocery store.

  47. Oh my gosh! These are so delicious and super easy! Just made them. Husband loved them but he loves anything lemon. 

  48. 2 1/2 hours later, dough falling apart, some overflow, some raw, lemon curd in jar was not pretty & smooth like photo:( over half fell apart. 

  49. Sorry this didn’t work at all using your dough recipe, the mixture was too wet so the tarts didn’t stay in shape. Wouldn’t use this recipe again.

  50. Can the lemon tarts be made a day in advance?

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