14 Bright and Tangy Lemon Desserts

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Tart, bright, delicious, versatile — you can describe lemons in so many ways. If you search my recipes, you’ll often find lemon as the star or in a supporting role. It’s a favorite ingredient for its ability to stand out and deliver wonderful flavor, but also it’s subtleness in brightening up desserts that need just a little tart kick. If you are looking for perfect lemon desserts for a party, or just to satisfy a citrus craving, these recipes will deliver on big, bold lemon flavor.

Lemon Desserts

This bright and dreamy cake has layers of tartness from luxurious lemon curd, lemon zest, and pieces of baked lemon that nestle perfectly into the buttery rich batter. A light and easy drizzle of lemon syrup, made from baked lemon slices, makes a simple bite feel like the warm, sunny promise of a new day.
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These Lemon, Ricotta & Thyme Cakes from Benjamina Ebuehi’s book The New Way to Cake are the ultimate summer dessert. There is nothing more beautiful and fragrant than fresh herbs. I used both thyme and lemon thyme and the combination is perfect in these lemony, rich cakes.
This strawberry fool is made with strawberry coulis, homemade lemon curd, whipped cream, and a fresh strawberry garnish. What's not to love?
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Tart layers of lemon sponge cake and lemon curd, balanced with the sweet meringue icing. The meringue roses remind me of fine porcelain china, dainty and ultra feminine. Perfect on an occasion that requires something spectacular, even a bit over-the-top.
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This lemon Bundt cake is perfect. It is the most delicate texture and rich flavor. I had rather small lemons and wanted it to be an intense flavor, so I added more zest. I also had a chunk of ginger on hand, so I added it to the lemon soaking syrup, but otherwise the recipe is all Sarabeth. 
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This lemon-lime mousse is tangy, a touch sweet, and light. The fresh strawberries lend a perfect balance of flavor and texture to the dessert.
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These lemon meringue bars have everything you'd want from lemon meringue pie, but in single servings. The tart lemon and fluffy meringue make for a simple and tasty way to serve a dessert favorite to a crowd.
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This crepe cake is from Simply Citrus by Marie Asselin. I had a batch of my crepes on hand and it is a bit different from Marie's. They will both be awesome in the cake, so try both! Below is my crepe recipe and the full recipe for the cake and fillings can be found at completelydelicious.com.
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This Lemon Honey-Meringue Pie is very easy to make, but there are some steps that will take your pie from a weepy mess to a magnificent mile-high showpiece.
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A little pudding and a little cake in one recipe. The creamy pudding topping and fluffy cake base make for a wonderful combination, and the lemon flavor adds tartness and flavor to this fun and delicious treat.
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For this recipe I used the vanilla cheesecake base from my Craftsy class. The lemon curd is a lovely addition to the creamy cheesecake and gives it a wonderful look. It is pretty enough to serve as is, but you could also add one of the fruit sauces we make in the class as well.
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Shortbread only has three wonderful ingredients: butter, sugar and flour. The classic cookies are easy to make, but are sophisticated and delicious in a timeless way.
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The tartness of the curd in these lemon-lavender meringue tarts is a perfect match for the sweet meringue. The lavender is a great touch.
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A dacquoise is a French dessert made of meringue disks assembled into a cake. This version with curd and berries is perfect for spring and summer.
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5 thoughts to “14 Bright and Tangy Lemon Desserts”

  1. You had me at lemon! I started making your gorgeous lemon poppy seed cake with strawberry jam and whipped white chocolate frosting. (Talk about decadent!) when I realized I was out of strawberries of any kind. I live across the Connecticut River from your beloved Vermont and our strawberries refuse to wake up until the snow is gone…for good!
    As I was just finishing up the cake, and the whipping cream and white chocolate was chilling in the refrigerator, so, returning to ‘you had me at lemon,’ I made a half batch of lemon curd with the three remaining yolks from the cake. I will use this instead of strawberry jam. I have loads of fresh blueberries and will use them with the curd between layers. I think this will be almost as fabulous as your original recipe.

    I love, Love, LOVE to bake and have your cake book and receive your newsletters. You have inspired me to keep baking which is almost cheaper than therapy. My husband and friends thank you!

  2. Hi , I so enjoy your show on Magnolia network.
    When is season two starting again ?
    Thank you
    Michelle Wynn

    1. Hi Michelle! Zoë finished filming a month or so ago, so we’re still waiting on Magnolia to let us know when they’re planning to release season 2. As soon as we have more information, we will be sure to share it!

      1. I too am so ready to see more of Zoe! Am waiting impatiently!! I love her Zoe Bakes Cake cookbook, and also bought one for a friend. She is just wonderful.

  3. Every moment of Zoë Bakes is delightful. Her energy and love of what she is doing shines through and gives a lift to everyone. Bake On, Zoë!!

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