Mini Lemon Tarts

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Yield: 2 dozen mini tarts

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With a flaky, rich cream cheese pastry crust and a zesty lemon filling, these mini tarts are delicious two-bite treats. They're an ideal complement to an afternoon tea in the garden.

Mini Lemon Tarts

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 dozen mini tarts
Published: 01/10/2012




  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (the juice of about 2 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (lemon zest) or 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream


1) For the crust: Mix together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.

2) Add the flour and mix gently until the dough is cohesive.

3) Shape the dough into a 1"-thick disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4) For the filling: Whisk together the lemon juice, zest or oil, and the sugar.

5) Whisk in the eggs, then the sour cream.

6) To assemble: Roll the dough on a floured surface into a circle 1/8" thick.

7) Using a 2 ¾" biscuit cutter, cut out 24 circles, gathering the scraps and re-rolling the dough as necessary.

8) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 24-cup mini-tart pan or mini-muffin pan.

9) Transfer the dough circles to the cups of the pan, pressing into the corners and up the sides of each cup.

10) Pour the filling into each of the tart shells until it nearly reaches the rim of the cup.

11) Bake the tarts for 28 to 30 minutes in the mini-tart pan, or 18 to 20 minutes in the mini muffin pan, until the crust turns golden and the filling has set.

12) Remove the pan from the oven and let the tarts cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

13) Transfer the tarts to a rack to cool completely before serving.

Yield: 24 mini tarts.


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  • star rating 04/27/2015
  • Terri from Moss Bluff,LA
  • My tarts cracked- could it be I baked them too long? Cracked or not they were delicious.
    Your theory is spot on - over baking is the culprit in this cracked lemon filling. We're glad they were more delicious than picture perfect, but like you - we bakers usually seek the best of both worlds for all our efforts. Happy baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 02/05/2015
  • Alan from Salamander Bay, NSW, Australia
  • I made these mini-muffin tarts yesterday for an afternoon tea, they were delicious. I made them to the recipe, except I used dollop cream instead as I mis-read the ingredients. Also, with the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt I combined using a fork (and did not make it smooth) until you could just see the streaks of butter. Someone commented that they had a mess with the pastry, it is best to make in the morning or at a time when the temperature is not hot in the kitchen. They did not stick to the muffin pan and was easy to remove using a skewer. I only had pastry for 23 tarts, while I could have made another 6-10 with the filling. I will definitely make again soon. Not in the same pan and not in a tart dish but in a larger muffin tin and have the pastry up to 1/2 or 2/3 of the sides. Very morish.
  • star rating 03/08/2014
  • Sandee from Ruston, LA
  • These tarts are very good. Nice and lemony. Very easy to make. One note - it is 6 TABLESPOONS (3 ounces) not 6 OUNCES of cream cheese. I had no trouble with the dough after it chilled. I floured my counter top well and rolled it thin. I used a small offset spatula to pick up the circles. A strip of parchment or waxed paper placed in the bottom and up the sides of the greased minimuffin cups made it very easy to remove them from the pan. I think one key is not to overfill them.
  • star rating 01/14/2014
  • DreamBaker from KAF Community
  • I must say I was not sure what to expect. The only other tart I have made is with a more traditional pastry crust with a lemon curd, you know the kind you have to whisk over med heat and temper eggs etc. I thought..Sour cream? Cream cheese? Well, it sure worked! These were delicious! I liked the texture of the lemon curd, and while the pastry was flaky it did have a bit of tooth to it. I grated the zest from one whole lemon and wasn't sure if it would be lemony enough, but its great! I am not the best at pastry dough, so I had a rough start. Next time I will be sure to flour my counter really well. I have a goldtouch mini muffin pan from williams sonoma which I sprayed with pam, and so far they have come out very easily just with a nudge from a spoon. ( I just hope the pam comes off the pan). The crusts are a lovely color..I followed another recommendation to cook on a lower rack. They are a gift so I can't give too much more feedback since I won't be eating them =(. lol But I would certainly make this again, when the need comes.
  • star rating 12/24/2013
  • Mary from Clifton NJ
  • If I could reward no stars, I would. Unmitigated disaster. A complete mess. Couldn't get them out of the pan, despite careful greasing of the tartlet pan. I heated my oven carefully, used an oven thermometer. I wish I could send a picture of the sloppy mess these cookies were. Thumbs down.
    I am sorry to hear that this recipe did not work out for you! Please feel free to call our Baker's Hotline so we can troubleshoot! Jon@KAF 855 371 2253
  • star rating 12/14/2013
  • Nikki from Los Angeles
  • These are good, but be careful you only use 3oz of cream cheese. The first time I did this as 6 oz and it took longer to cook the crust. Wish they still made the 3oz cream cheese at least for holiday baking. Also I had to make two batches of dough for the filling.
    Be sure to roll the crust 1/8" thick. We're glad you found the best way to use both the cream cheese packages and your abundance of filling! Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 10/11/2013
  • parkerhousegraphics from KAF Community
  • Both the crust and the filling were wonderful but I ran out of crust before I ran out of filling - I hate when that happens! I used the mini muffin pans. I'll try it again with a double batch of crust at the ready!
  • star rating 12/17/2012
  • CBoudreau from KAF Community
  • Very seldom do I have issues with recipies from King Arthur but this one........I consider myself to be an experienced baker able to breeze through this and I was mistaken. The filling was fine, the crust another story. With the first batch I started with raw dough filled as directed and ended up with mini cups of lemon filling and gummy, soggy dough that would not fit the definition of crust. To the trash they went. I made another batch and pre-baked the shells. The shells would not cook, they bubbled, slumped slightly and remained gummy and chewy. I was so disapointed, is the recipie correct? 3/4 cup of flour doesn't seem like much compared to the butter and cream cheese ? I do not enjoy complaining, just looking for answers. Thanks for your help. Cherie
    I am sorry this did not work out not once but twice. I am sure you have an oven thermometer being an experienced baker. An oven that is not hot enough may yield the first time results. Be sure the tarts are placed in the lower third of the oven to ensure a thoroughly baked crust. Be sure the crust is rolled to 1/8". We would like to help, so please contact us with any other questions at 1-800-827-6836. Elisabeth
  • star rating 11/12/2012
  • Georgina from Australia
  • star rating 08/16/2012
  • anyasmifya from KAF Community
  • 3 and a 1/2 lemons were not enough for the juice. I had to use an extra lime I found in fridge, thankfully! I used a regular muffin tin to make these tarts, I wish I had two muffin tins. I had lots of extra filling and a bit of dough so, I made an extra large one in a soufflé dish. This recipe creates a lot of dishes! The tarts are not sweet. My boyfriend wasn't too happy about my making tarts but once he got to eat one is was very happy with the results! So, was I. Very flaky yummy crust and the custard has a nice tanginess to it. I wish it wasn't raining out so I could go get some fresh blackberries to put on top!
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