Almost anytime you add lemon to a recipe, it automatically becomes better. Lemon just adds such wonderful freshness and zing to recipes, and that goes for the best lemon desserts and other lemon recipes.
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We love tangy lemon flavors whether it’s just lemon water or homemade lemonade. However, there is something extra special about desserts made with lemon. The combination of lemon and sugar is absolutely divine. Have you had the lemon loaf at Starbucks? Think about that, but you get a whole cake made in your own kitchen
Whether you’re making lemon bars, lemon cookies, or lemon cakes and puddings, luscious and delicious lemon treats are a great way to bring some freshness and a happy ending to any meal.
Lemon desserts have a special place in the hearts of many, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess. Their vibrant flavor can invigorate your taste buds and brighten your palate. From the classic lemon meringue pie to more creative lemon-infused creations, there is no shortage of delicious lemon dessert options for you to explore.
As you delve into the world of lemon desserts, you’ll discover recipes that combine the zesty fruit with a variety of ingredients, textures, and cooking techniques. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing after-dinner treat or a show-stopping centerpiece to impress your guests, the versatility of lemon desserts ensures there’s something for everyone.
Lemons are sour and tart, but they go magically with sweetness and bring out the flavor of most spices and flavorings.
Whether comforting and warm or light and fresh, lemon desserts are a treat your family will love.
Let’s dive in and discover these 25 lemon dessert ideas!
1. Lemon Lush
Lemon Lush is a vintage recipe that is as fresh and delicious as it was 30 years ago. The name says it all, and this is one of the most beloved luscious lemon desserts.
If you ever attended a potluck or church dinner when you were a kid, there’s a good chance you enjoyed a recipe that was either Lemon Lush or based on it.
Some recipes call this “No Bake Lemon Lasagna,” which is a quirky-sounding name that we happen to love.
The creamy layers in this lemon dessert are absolutely decadent. The crust is made from chopped walnuts (or pecans), butter, and flour.
If you want to do something a bit different, you can also use crumbled vanilla sandwich cookies (like vanilla Oreos) for the crust instead of the nuts.
Then, there is a cream cheese layer that is sweetened with powdered sugar and Cool Whip.
The next layer is lemon pudding, and Lemon Lush is topped with a layer of Cool Whip. Garnish with more chopped nuts and you have an absolute masterpiece.
If you want this dessert to have even more lemon flavor, add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to your pudding.
If you feel intimidated by the idea of baking a Danish from scratch, don’t be. It’s easier than you think when you use puff pastry.
This cream cheese lemon Danish is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert.
The puff pastry in this Danish is so flaky and indulgent, and we love the sweetened cream cheese that’s at the center of this tasty lemon treat.
Vanilla extract flavors this Danish beautifully, and the glaze is made with lemon zest, milk, more vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar.
Anytime we can use liqueur in a recipe, we know we’re going to love it.
Lemon Tiramisu is made from Limoncello liqueur, 40 ladyfinger cookies, lemon zest, lemon curd, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and mascarpone cheese. Heaven!
This delicious cake is topped with a drizzle that’s made with lemon curd and Limoncello. You can make homemade lemon curd easily.
If you don’t have Limoncello, you can use a combination of fresh lemon juice, water, and sugar as directed in this original recipe. You can also go with frozen lemonade concentrate.
if you want a lemon dessert that is as gorgeous as it is delicious, you can’t go wrong with this luxurious and creamy baked lemon raspberry cheesecake.
This lemon raspberry cheesecake has a delicate flavor and is easier to make than you think.
While some cheesecakes are too dense, this one is just creamy and satisfying enough without being overly heavy.
The lemon and vanilla add tons of flavor without making this cheesecake too sweet.
Be sure your ingredients are at room temperature when you get ready to pull them all together.
Add a dollop of whipped topping to your cheesecake for even more creaminess.
A trifle bowl allows gorgeous layers of delicious ingredients to show through, and that’s exactly what happens with this beautiful lemon strawberry trifle.
We love the way these strawberry slices are perfectly layered inside the bowl with the luscious lemon pudding layers and vanilla wafers. You can get as creative as you want to with a trifle bowl.
The sublime sweetness comes from sweetened condensed milk and lemon pudding, and the creaminess is added because of the heavy cream.
Be sure to make your strawberry lemon trifle at least two hours before you serve it. It needs to refrigerate so that it firms up nicely. Also, you can make this lemon recipe up to 24 hours in advance.
There are few desserts as fresh and beloved as classic lemon bars.
Maybe it’s the shortbread crust, or possibly, it’s the powdered sugar that’s sprinkled on top. Whatever it is, there is just something super special about lemon bars.
The shortbread crust in this recipe is made with unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, sugar, and kosher salt.
The filling is made with fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, and lemon zest.
Be sure to dust these lemon bars with powdered sugar after they’re cooked. Store the lemon bars in the fridge in an airtight container (as if you will have any left!).
For lemon treats that are great for hot days, you will love this lemon ice cream cake.
The cake has two lemon cake layers and a lemon ice cream layer. The cake is frosted with whipped cream and then garnished with lemon slices that have been candied.
This cake is as gorgeous as it is delicious.
To get the coconut flavor, simply stir half a cup of sweetened shredded coconut into the cake batter. Then, garnish the cake with toasted coconut for even more coconut flavor.
To get more coconut flavor, you can also use coconut extract in this recipe.
If you’ve never made cookies with cream cheese, you’re missing out on a wondrous thing.
When you make cookies with cream cheese, you usually don’t use eggs and that’s exactly the case with these delicious cookies.
There are very few better uses for fresh blueberries, and we love blueberries. This recipe also uses lemon zest to add even more lemon flavor.
You can also use frozen blueberries to make these cookies. If you do use frozen blueberries, toss the berries with a little bit of flour so that the color doesn’t bleed.
If you love white chocolate and lemons, this is one of the lemon dessert recipes that is going to send you over the moon.
We love this lemon dessert idea for a springtime gettogether, but of course, it’s delicious at any time of the year.
Here’s the best part: all you need to make this lemon bark is two ingredients. With white baking chips and lemon candies, you’ve got everything you need to make a fantastic and fancy-looking lemon dessert.
We recommend melting your chocolate in a double bowler instead of in the microwave.
While creme brulee is a lemon dessert that is fancy enough to be served by professionals in restaurants, it’s not as difficult to make as you would imagine.
Lemon creme brulee is a creamy custard that is infused with an explosive lemon flavor. Then, it is topped with a torched sugar topping.
The ingredient list for this incredible dessert is remarkably short and consists of heavy cream, granulated sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, pure vanilla extract, and kosher salt. The topping is nothing but granulated sugar.
The secret to lemon creme brulee is to gently heat your heavy cream and then add it very slowly to the egg mixture.
Cream cheese and lemons were born for each other, and there’s no easier way to enjoy this delightful pair than in this creamy lemon cheesecake mousse.
We love that this lemon cheesecake mousse is a low-carb option, and it’s super quick and easy to whip this recipe up.
This mousse has just six ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand: cream cheese, heavy cream, pure vanilla extract, lemon rind (or lemon zest), low-carb sweetener, and fresh lemon juice.
To make this lemon recipe lighter, you can also use lower-fat cream cheese.
If you love lemon desserts, you must try lemon mousse. It’s as creamy and lemony as lemon pudding, but even lighter and fluffier.
This recipe for a lemon mousse with strawberries is perfect for an elegant spring or summer luncheon, and it makes the ideal light dessert for any time of year.
The mousse is made with fresh lemon juice, egg yolks, and heavy cream.
Serve this mousse in little dessert cups with a graham cracker crust and it’s absolutely perfect. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
For a perfect dessert, serve this lemon mousse with fritters.
What we love about lemon meringue cookies is that they are incredibly soft in the middle but crunchy on the outside. It’s just the perfect combination.
Want to know another reason to love lemon meringue cookies? Each cookie has just 20 calories.
Also, they’re really pretty, aren’t they?
The fresh lemon flavor in these cookies melts in your mouth and to make them, you only need five ingredients.
All you need to make these gorgeous little cookies is cream of tartar, egg whites, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, and lemon extract (or lemon zest).
Homemade marshmallows are an extra special treat, and these lemon marshmallows are to die for.
Did you know that marshmallows date back to ancient Egypt? Neither did we! But they do. How cool is that?
The original marshmallows were made from a flower called the marsh mallow (yes, really, two words just like that).
However, in modern times, marshmallows are made with gelatin and some other ingredients such as fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and lemon zest.
Since these marshmallows have citric acid, they won’t be as fluffy as traditional marshmallows. That’s totally OK with us.
It seems like everyone is enjoying baked donuts these days, and why not? Baked donuts are just as delicious as the traditional fried donuts and a lot healthier for you.
These baked lemon donuts are fluffy donuts that are topped with a decadent lemon glaze that’s made with fresh lemon juice, powdered sugar, and lemon zest.
The donuts have healthier whole wheat white flour, and coconut sugar makes them a little more paleo-friendly.
You can substitute brown sugar or white granulated sugar if you don’t have coconut sugar in your pantry.
Just hearing (or seeing) the word truffles brings up visions of gorgeous desserts. And out mouths start to water, too.
These lemon cheesecake truffles are super creamy and they require no baking, which we love.
Even better, these luscious little yum-balls are sugar free, in addition to gluten free, grain free, and nut free.
The coconut oil, coconut cream, and cream cheese make these truffles so creamy. The fresh lemon juice and lemon-flavored liquid stevia add tons of lemon flavor.
Lemon zest and shredded coconut make up the outer coating.
When blackberries are in season, it’s so much fun (and yummy!) to make blackberry cobbler, pie, and more. However, how can you ever go wrong with cheesecake?
The next time you find some fresh blackberries, consider whipping up these blackberry cheesecake lemon bars.
The crust on these bars is made with graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. The blackberry puree is made from either fresh blackberries or frozen blackberries.
It’s in the cheesecake that your lemon flavor comes into play. Made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, these bars are full of fresh lemony goodness.
18. Lemon Cupcakes
This recipe for tart lemon cupcakes gives you cupcakes that are soft, moist, and positively bursting with delicious lemon flavor.
Just as delicious as the cupcakes is the vanilla buttercream frosting that goes on top. We love it!
Every single bite of these lemon cupcakes gives you a refreshing burst of lemon flavor. These cupcakes are made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
Use unsalted butter to make these cupcakes, and the pure vanilla extract flavor will shine through.
To give these lemon cupcakes a whole different twist, you can also try cream cheese frosting. You can also double the recipe to make a lemon cake.
No list of the best lemon desserts would be complete without an entry for a classic lemon meringue pie. A lemon pie is the classic lemon dessert, and we can’t resist it.
Although a finished lemon meringue pie is impressive, this classic pie recipe is probably much easier to make than people realize.
This recipe tells you how to make a true lemon meringue pie from scratch and make the lemon curd filling. The lemon curd is what makes this pie so special.
The secret to getting the perfect pie crust for lemon meringue pie is to blind bake the crust. What this means is that you bake the crust alone without the pie filling. This will help prevent your lemon pie from having a soggy bottom.
20. Lemon Macarons
So you think you can’t make macarons at home, right? We’re here to tell you that you absolutely can.
This isn’t one of the easy lemon desserts on our list, but if you’re up for a challenge, you will be richly rewarded with a lemon dessert you can be proud of.
The secret to making macarons is knowing the process, and you can easily find videos that show you how to make macarons step-by-step.
Also, when you make macarons, measure carefully. Consider using a scale instead of measuring cups.
21. Lemon Loaf
Lemon loaf is one of our favorite lemon dessert recipes. If you love the Starbucks lemon loaf, you are going to absolutely adore this copycat recipe for lemon loaf. This lemon loaf tastes similar to a lemon pound cake, but a lemon pound cake is much heavier, just like any flavor of pound cake.
To make this lemon bread, you don’t even need a mixer and it isn’t made with a cake mix, unlike many of the lemon loaf recipes out there.
Because it’s made with sour cream and canola oil, this lemon loaf is super moist. You can also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.
To make the lemon glaze, all you need is fresh lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar.
Lemons are perfect with so many different foods, and one of the foods we love with lemons is fresh berries. In this case, it’s raspberries.
This wonderful little refreshing dessert is just like springtime in a jar (or glass).
The flavors that jump out at you are lemon curd, whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and graham crackers. You can also use granola.
We also love cream cheese in pretty much everything, so this lemon dessert is a winner on all counts.
You can serve this tasty little lemon raspberry parfait with some buttery shortbread cookies for sheer perfection.
23. Lemon Meltaways
A lemon meltaway is a wonderful little bite-sized bit of sunshine. Who can resist them? Not lemon lovers, that’s for sure!
These simple egg-less cookies are made with butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice.
You can use different types of citrus to make these cookies, too. Some ideas include orange and lime, for example.
Here’s a tip: double this recipe. You won’t regret it and these cookies will get gobbled up.
If you have extra dough, you can freeze it for the next batch. It’s great to have some slice-and-bake cookies in the freezer ready to go.
If you’ve got some pretty glasses and about 15 minutes, you can create this marvelous palate-cleansing lemon sorbet.
Sorbet is made from sugar and fruit and doesn’t contain dairy. You can make it in an ice cream maker if you have one, but you can also make it without an ice cream maker.
This lemon sorbet recipe has only four ingredients: granulated sugar, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. That’s it!
Feel free to garnish this lemon sorbet with fresh mint, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of your favorite white liquor.
Scones are an incredibly versatile treat. They can be savory or sweet, and, of course, we love the sweet varieties.
The traditional scone is typically buttery with some tangy notes, and we’re here for it. Scones can be flaky, light, and tender. We like ours nice and moist but still held together.
These scones taste like lemon cake and are made with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, heavy cream, and cold butter. The glaze calls for powdered sugar, lemon zest, and milk.
Remember that when you’re making scones, it’s important to avoid overmixing the dough. In fact, if you leave your dough a bit shaggy, your scones will be perfect.
You can add some fresh blueberries to this lemon scones recipe to make the flavor really pop.
If you have a garden, you know that in the summer, you’re going to be blessed with tons of zucchini. Why not make a moist and delicious lemon cake with your zucchini?
You can make this lemon cake with almond milk or coconut milk if you like, and the cake gets tons of flavor from either almond extract or vanilla extract.
We recommend using cake flour to make this delicate cake. Also, be sure to squeeze your zucchini dry before folding it into your batter.
The glaze is made from fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar.
This cake can also be made as a bundt cake.
27. Lemon Brownies
Lemon brownies are a great way to get tons of lemon flavor and lemon sweets with just one bowl of mixing.
These brownies are so fresh and light, and using real lemon juice and lemon zest gives them tons of tart lemon flavor.
Made with lemon extract, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice, these brownies are chock-full of so much lemon flavor.
The glaze on top is what makes these lemon brownies so special. It’s made with lemon extract, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, powdered sugar, and water.
Once your lemon brownies are finished and your brownies are glazed, sprinkle them with lemon zest or candied lemon peel for garnish.
Watch this video below to learn how to make easy one-bowl lemon brownies with Jenny Jones.
27 Delicious Lemon Desserts (+Tangy Lemon Bark)
- 1 cup hard lemon candy crushed and divided
- 10-12 ounces white chocolate baking chips
- Line a pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
- Melt the white chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave.
- Stir in 2/3 cup of the candy.
- Spread in the pan and sprinkle with the rest of the candy
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.