Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts

Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts_

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about change.  Not big, drastic, life-altering change, but the sort of small nuances that keep us on our toes and make us feel like we are moving towards something bigger.

Sugar Cookie Tart Shells

If you buy into the broad strokes used to paint entire generations of people, at 32, I fall into a strange gap between the “millennials” and Gen X. We’re a group that, if Buzzfeed is to be considered a reliable source, has a bit of an identity crisis.

Unfortunately, I do relate to the stereotype that many of us in this generation are never quite satisfied.   Instead of living in the moment, we’re always looking ahead to the next thing.

Filling Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts

People sometimes assume that living abroad is, in itself, an ongoing adventure.  I thought it too before moving to Thailand.  Many things about this life are exciting, but it’s not the long, leisurely vacation I pictured it to be.  As it turns out, just like anywhere else, we still wake up to alarms, grumble through our morning commutes, get home late with no plan for dinner, curl up on the couch with a mug of tea to watch Top Chef.

And really, it’s a good thing.  Not every moment can hold an adventure – the ones that do would start to lose their magic.

Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts

For all my pondering about the next “big” thing – where we will live when we move home to the U.S., what job I will have, even what car I will drive – I’d do better if I just let it go.  (We’re not moving home any time soon, after all.)

I try to remember that, if we give them a little space our lives construct themselves in ways that are unexpected, sometimes scary, and often so very wonderful.  Never in a million years would I have imagined mine would bring me to Bangkok.  That is a change that just happened to come along at exactly the right time.

Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts

For all my planning and thinking ahead, I know this moment is worth holding onto.  There are Saturday afternoons of baking world’s simplest lemon tarts with a sugar cookie crust and Sunday brunches spent with friends, sipping mimosas and eating waffles.

Despite my inner generation-whateverness that makes me yearn for some new twist, the stuff that’s happening right now is pretty good too.

Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts_Inquiring Chef

Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
No finicky crusts necessary for these tarts. Use a simple cookie dough for the crust and fill it with a perfectly sweet and sour lemon filling.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24 pieces
For the crust:
  • 8 Tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and ½ cup (190g) all-purpose flour
  • scant ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
For the lemon filling:
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • juice from 1 large lemon
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
For topping
  • 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  1. To make the sugar cookie crust, in a standing mixer (or by hand) beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes oh high. Add the egg and mix on medium until fully incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt all at once and mix on medium just until no spots of flour remain, about 20 seconds (do not overmix). Wrap the dough in parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.
  3. While the oven is preheating, make the lemon filling by whisking together the eggs, egg yolks, whipping cream, lemon juice, and granulated sugar until smooth.
  4. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Divide the dough into quarters and divide each quarter into six even balls of dough. Press each ball of dough it into a space in the muffin tin. Using your thumbs, press the dough into the tin so that it is evenly distributed along the sides and bottom. (Don't worry if it is a bit thinner in some places than others.) Pour the lemon filling into the center of each sugar cookie cup, stopping just below the top of the crust.
  5. Bake until the filling is set and the crust begins to turn golden, 10-12 minutes. (Do not over bake - pull the tarts out just when you see any golden color on the crusts.) Allow these to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Before serving, dust the tops of the tarts with 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar. Beat the whipping cream with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon the whipping cream on top of each tart. Serve chilled.





  1. says

    These sugar cookie tarts are so cute! They came out beautiful. I completely agree with everything you said – I often get so focused on goals or what’s ahead that I forget to appreciate what is right now. And that needs to change. It’s something I constantly try to work on … whether successful or not : )
    Ashley recently posted..Grandma’s Graham Cracker CakeMy Profile

  2. says

    Oh boy – I’m drooling over lots of food I see on your site here, including these sugar cookie lemon tarts (I love lemon tarts!). They look scrumptious. : ) And all from Bangkok – wow!
    Monica recently posted..Project PretzelMy Profile

    • says

      I haven’t tried it, Susan, but I’m sure you could! With most baked goods, I like to bake them about half the time indicated and then freeze them and finish baking them once they come out of the freezer. That might work well with this recipe.

  3. Samantha says

    These look lovely! I do have a question though…I’ve been searching for a recipe for standard muffin-sized lemon tarts (I don’t have a mini pan at the moment, I’m living overseas for a few months and I’ve been trying to keep my purchasing to a minimum), but all lemon tart recipes I’ve found are either for a full-size tart or mini ones. Do you think I’d be able to make this recipe into 12 muffin-sized tarts, with increased baking time of course?

  4. robyn says

    hi, do you find these have enough “lemon”. and do you pre whip the cream before adding it to the filling?

  5. Elaine says

    I baked these and for some reason they filling looks eggy, a light yellow color when done and not like the picture. What could I have done wrong.? Help! Really want to make these look pretty as they are yummy. Thanks so much!

    • says

      Elaine, I doubt you did anything at all wrong. I suspect it just has to do with the color of the yolks of your eggs. The eggs I use are very fresh with very bright yellow yolks. You might try picking some eggs up at a farmer’s market or using some that you just bought from the store to see if that helps, but the color of egg yolks are so variable that this might be difficult to fix. Glad you liked the tarts though!!!

    • says

      Hi Lisa – the filling should definitely not be runny. It’s possible that they didn’t cook quite long enough. Cook the tarts until the yellow filling is cooked all the way through.

    • says

      Lisa – one more thought on this. Do make sure that the tarts cool completely at room temp – this will help them to set correctly.

  6. Chaitra says

    Hi Jess,

    I want to try these for my party this weekend. But i am a bit concerned about not baking the cookies once before the filling is added. Is it fine just to par bake the cookies for about 8 mins and then bake them with the curd for 2 mins or so?

    • says

      Hi Chaitra! I wouldn’t recommend baking the cookies first. Since these tarts are so small, the recipe has been tested so that the cookie and the filling will all finish baking at the same time. If you bake the cookie crust first, I’m afraid it will dry out and the filling may not cook all the way through.

      • Sharon says

        I want to put a filling into precooked shells. Could I bake these prior to filling and then add a filling? I was thinking about lemon curd, precooked cake filling or a whipped ganache filling. Could these just be precooked?

  7. Girija says

    Hi…luv dsimple recipe n wud luv to try it bt I hv a ques. to u hv to use unsalted butter?? Can i make it with normal yellow butter??

  8. Aier says


    I saw your recipe on Pinterest, cameto your page for the recipe and found that you live in Thailand.
    What a narrow World Wide Web! I live in Bangkok and hope you enjoy your moment here.
    I’m gonna try this recipe today, and will let you know my result.

    Thank you for the yummy sweets.

  9. Maryann says

    Hi! I love this recipe so easy.. Can you tell me if I put in refrigerated case, how many days do you think they last for?
    Thanks so much

    • says

      Maryann – I’ve had them last 2-3 days without getting too dried out! If I’m just making them for us, I put the whipped cream on the top and just refrigerate them in a baking dish with tall sides covered with foil (to protect the topping), but if I have time before serving them, I’ll refrigerate them for a day or two and put the whipped cream on the top just before serving. Glad you like the recipe! It’s one of my favorites!

  10. Brittany Matthews says

    These look scrumptious! Is it possible to do these in a standard size cupcake pan? And if so, how would I need to adjust the baking time/temp? Thank you!

    • says

      Brittany – I haven’t tried these in a standard cupcake pan because the filling cooks through just the right amount in miniature form. I’m afraid that if they were made full-size the cookie crust might get too crisp before the filling is totally cooked. It’s totally worth a shot though – if you do it let me know how it turns out!

  11. nadia says

    i made these for my niece’s birthday and they were AMAZING! They disappeared quickly. Definately a keeper!

    • says

      Hi Alyssa, I have tried it, but I’m sure it would work. I’d probably cook the tart shells, let them cool, and then add the pudding at the end though – no need to cook the pudding again in the shells.

      • Andrea says

        I’m not a native English speaker, so I’m wondering when you list 2 eggs and 3 yolks separately, does that mean that I have to use 2 whole eggs including whites and yolks PLUS 3 extra yolks, or do you mean just 2 egg whites and 3 yolks separately?


        • says

          Hi Andrea – your first statement is right. You’ll need five eggs total – 2 total eggs and 3 that you’ll just use the yolks. Hope that helps! Thank you for reading!


  1. […] Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts Want the delicious tart without the finicky crusts? Try a batch of sugar cookie lemon tarts. The crusts call for a simple cookie dough and they’re filled with a perfectly sweet and sour lemon filling. Watch out, these zesty sweets may just become one of your very favorite things about summer. Get the details at Inquiring Chef. […]

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