40+ Lemon Desserts to Make ASAP
When life gives you lemons, use them to amplify your dessert recipes. The tangy and zesty qualities of lemons work perfectly in sweet desserts such as cakes, ice creams, and of course, lemon bars.
Ginger Shortbread Cookies with Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting
These bright and fresh cookies get their tangy zest from the lemon in the frosting as well as the candied ginger on top.
Lemon Meringue Ice-Cream Pie
Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
As the sliced lemons bake under the cake and absorb butter and brown sugar, they take on a marmalade-like quality. Meyer lemons really shine in this dessert with their sweet, almost orange-like flavor.
Lemon-Poppy Seed Roulade
This lovely rolled take on the classic lemon-poppy seed combo is an ideal sweet finish to any springtime meal. Airier than a typical lemon poppyseed cakes, which tend to be quite dense, this roulade with a light and creamy lemon filling. This is a good recipe for first time roulade makers, as we found that this sponge cake rolls very easily with no cracking. And once chilled, the roulade cuts cleanly with no problem. If you want to go beyond a light dusting of powdered sugar to finish, you could also top this dessert off with a simple lemon glaze and toasted, sliced almonds.
Lemon-Black Sesame Baked Doughnuts
If you need a break from rainbow-smattered sweets and unicorn-coated everything, these deliciously dark doughnuts are exactly what you’re looking for. A bright lemony glaze balances the warm toasty flavors delivered by black sesame seeds for a balanced, not-too-sweet doughnut. Being an oven-baked doughnut, this recipe is perfect for the first-time doughnut maker or anyone who’s not trying to spend their Saturday morning cleaning up a deep-fry station in their kitchen. We used black food dye to intensify the darkness of these doughnuts, but feel free to leave it out if you’d prefer. Beyond being an incredibly tasty way to boycott rainbow foods, these black sesame doughnuts are the perfect treat to whip out for Halloween.
Lemon Meringue Tart
Of all the sweets Dolester Miles makes, this lemon dessert is her favorite. The marriage of a classic French tart and a Southern icebox pie, it showcases sweet and tangy lemon curd atop a cookie-like crust, all piled high with Swiss meringue.
The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake
This bright and festive cake would be a stunning addition to any dessert table.
Blueberry-Lemon Crunch Bars
Consider yourself warned: A crunch may look like a bar cookie, but you’ll need a fork to eat it. Similar to a crisp with baked fruit and a crumbly topping, a crunch sandwiches a layer of jammy fruit between two buttery layers. While other fruit desserts are on the syrupy side, this fruit is cooked down into a flavor-packed, thick preserve. The bottom layer should be firm enough not to crumble when a piece is cut from the pan, so adding toasted pecans to the mix improves the taste as well as the texture. The top layer can duplicate the bottom, or it can be a simple streusel topping made with flour, sugar, and butter.
Lemon and Vanilla Angel Food Cake
This delicate, cloudlike cake from Kristen Murray, pastry chef and owner of Maurice restaurant in Portland, is an adaptation of one from her great-aunt Crys, using rice flour for regular flour so the cake is gluten-free, with a little crunch. For best results, beat egg whites to very soft peaks so they (and the cake) can expand further in the oven.
Extreme Lemon and Chocolate Roulade
Lemon and chocolate are a lovely and lively pair in this roulade. If you prefer milder lemon flavor, you can omit the rind from the filling. Or, if you are a bold lemon lover (like me), don't strain the rind out of the filling--enjoy the tartness and texture it provides.
How to Make an Easy Lemon-Blueberry Cake from a Box
Dress up a box cake by creating a simple filling using lemon juice and blueberries.
Lemon-Vanilla Pound Cake with Lavender Glaze
Tangy Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Classic lemon squares can contain 36g sugar per piece. We put a puckery cheesecake spin on ours--cutting sugar to just 6g per bar--which allows the bright citrus to shine.
Meyer Lemon Sponge Pudding
Lemon-Olive Oil Cake with Whipped Mascarpone
Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie
A generous topping of blueberries lends a further tangy aspect to this already bright and flavorful icebox pie.
Gingersnap-Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart
With a gingersnap crust and lemon curd filling, every bit of this tart is bursting with flavor! If Meyer lemons are unavailable, substitute equal amounts of regular lemon juice and orange juice. Garnish with Meyer lemon slices.
Pumpkin-Lemon Cream Cheese Chess Pie
Pine Nut–Meyer Lemon Snowballs
Ok, so lemon verbena isn't a fruit--but it does add fruity flavor to this lovely dessert. Its floral aroma and taste soften the tang of the buttermilk
Pink Lemonade Rolls
This playful take on the classic orange roll makes for a perfect treat for Mother’s Day, a bridal brunch, baby showers, or the next time you wanna bring a little extra cheer to you weekend breakfast spread. A tender, buttery dough encases a sticky lemon filling and is then glazed with a bright pink lemonade glaze. This sweet-tart glaze, which we make using powdered pink lemonade mix, is also a great way to spruce up a bundt cake, pound cake, muffins, or scones. We opted for Country Time brand lemonade mix, which you can find on the beverage aisle of your favorite supermarket.
Dreamy Lemon Cheesecake
Deep Eddy Blueberry Lemon Drop Pop
These adult ice pops are the perfect refreshing summer treat. We made ours using Deep Eddy vodka as we find it to be exceptionally vibrant in flavor, but feel free to use your own favorite brand of flavored vodka. Raspberries would also be a delicious fruit to highlight in these bright and boozy pops.
Glazed Lemon-Ginger Scones
Aimee Olexy's lemony, cream-based scones are light, moist and laced with pieces of chewy candied ginger.
Quick and Easy Lemon Curd
We changed the mixing method of our favorite lemon curd, then cooked it in the microwave. The results? Buttery rich and smooth as silk, every time.
Candied Meyer Lemons
Yigit Pura of Tout Sweet Pâtisserie in San Francisco uses these citrus slices as a garnish, both the way they are here (on the softer side, halfway between candied and poached) and one step further (dried overnight on a rack, then turned in sugar for a sparkly look). Sometimes he adds cut-up lemongrass to the syrup.
Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta
Meyer lemon--a lemon/orange hybrid--is sweeter than conventional lemon. If you don't have access to Meyer lemons, you can use a regular lemon and enjoy a dessert that's a bit more tart.
Lemon Cupcakes with Lavender Frosting
No time to make the frosting? Simply top the cupcakes with sweetened whipped cream. Find dried lavender buds or tea in spice stores, high-end markets, or amazon.com. Use food coloring to dye the frosting pale purple, if desired.
You'll use just a tad less than two sticks of butter to make these delicate little gems.
Meyer Lemon Curd Tart
Use the broiler to get that perfect golden meringue.
Lemon Curd Pound Cake
Wait to prepare the Lemon Curd Glaze until the cake comes out of the oven so it will still be warm when spread over the cake.
Lemon Curd with Berries
In this custard, citrus juice stands in for milk as the base liquid, thickened by egg yolks. Butter gives the curd a glorious sheen. Garnish with mint leaves for a spot of green color.
Lemon-Lime Pound Cake
This recipe is based on a classic Southern favorite called 7UP Pound Cake, which was created in the 1950s when the soda company suggested using its soft drink instead of other liquid in pound cake recipes. The result: one of the best, and simplest, cakes you'll ever make.