Mini Lemon Tarts with Shortbread Crust

mini lemon tart with shortbread crust with whipped cream and a lemon slice on top, with lemon tarts in the background.

4.2 from 25 reviews

Sweet and tangy mini lemon tarts with buttery shortbread crusts and simple lemon curd filling are delicious and adorable spring and summer desserts!


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white whole wheat (or all purpose) flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lemon curd (recipe below)

For the lemon curd:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 3 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cubed


  1. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in vanilla. Add flour, and salt and mix well. Refrigerate dough for 30 min.
  2. Preheat oven to 300° F. Remove dough from refrigerator and press into mini tart pans. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool before removing tarts from pans.
  4. Fill each cooled tart crust with lemon curd. Top with berries or whipped cream (optional).

To make lemon curd:

  1. Whisk eggs and egg yolks very well in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small nonreactive saucepan, heat lemon zest, juice, sugar and salt over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat. Slowly scoop a about 1/2 cup into the eggs while whisking.
  3. Pour egg mixture into the pan on the stove while whisking to prevent curdling. Turn heat back on to low and cook, whisking, until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the cubed butter until it’s completely mixed in.
  5. At this point you can strain the zest out and any egg solids that may be in the curd if you’d like, by pushing it through a fine mesh stainer, or just leave it as is.
  6. Cover lemon curd and chill until ready to use.


  • I like homemade lemon curd best (the flavor is out of this world!), but you can absolutely use premade lemon curd if that's what you have.
  • Some commenters have experienced a metallic taste due to using a metal saucepan. I've never had this occur with stainless steel, but it may be best to use a non-reactive pan, such as an enameled pot to avoid leaching. 
  • When making the lemon curd, make sure the eggs are fully whisked to prevent lumpy curd. You'll also want to make sure you don't skip them tempering step, and then keep the heat as low as possible in the final cooking and thickening step.
  • Make sure crusts are completely cool before taking them out of the pans and adding the lemon curd to them. If you don't have pans with removable edges, you can gently slide a toothpick between the edge of the crust and the pan to help you pop it out.
  • If you have Meyer lemons, you can make Meyer lemon curd. It's a little sweeter and so delicious!
  • If you like your lemon curd a little sweeter, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.
  • You can make the crusts and lemon curd up to 2 days in advance, but wait until a couple hours before serving to assemble them.

Keywords: mini lemon tarts, mini lemon tarts with shortbread crust, lemon tartlets, mini meyer lemon tarts