This Lemon Cream Cheese Tart is a bit tangy, a bit sweet, and tastes fantastic! A creamy lemon filling is baked on a shortbread-style crust.
This Lemon Cream Cheese Tart is a bit tangy, a bit sweet, and tastes fantastic! A creamy lemon filling is baked on a shortbread-style crust.

Recently I made a Lemon Cream Cheese Tart, which my husband and I enjoyed on a snow and ice-covered Valentines Day. We each enjoyed a piece, and then gave the remaining slices to several neighbors as a Valentines treat (since we were snowbound, AND so we wouldn’t gobble up the entire thing ourselves!). It is so incredibly GOOD!

At 7pm on Valentines night, our power went out due to snow and ice, so we were glad we had enjoyed our homemade dinner and dessert earlier! Our power ended up being out Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon, but our generator helped keep the food in our fridge cold (hooray). Candles and flashlights also quickly became our best friends!

All that said… this lemon cream cheese tart tastes wonderful! The foundation for it is a shortbread-style crust, and the yummy lemon and cream cheese filling is amazing! Put them together, and top with sweetened whipped cream… it’s dessert perfection!

I received a printed recipe card for this dessert at a women’s event over 15 years ago (which indicated the original recipe was from Bon Appetit magazine). This dessert is sooo delicious, and we love it! It’s also fairly simple and straightforward to make. Here’s how:

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page

Make The Crust

The first thing you will do is to preheat your oven to 425°F. The next thing to do is make the crust! The easiest way to make it is with a food processor, but you can also use a hand-held pastry blender or two forks for this step, if desired.

Place flour and powdered sugar in a food processor, and add chunks of really cold butter. Pulse until the butter becomes about the size of peas and mixture forms small clumps. NOTE: If using pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in the butter into the flour mixture in a bowl until it reaches the same consistency.

Pour the crumbly crust mixture into a 9″ tart pan (that has a removable bottom).

Butter, flour and powdered sugar are processed until tiny crumbs form for crust.Crumbly crust mixture is poured into a tart pan (with a removable bottom).

Time To Bake The Crust

FIRMLY press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Continue to press until you have a firm crust and sides. Once the crust is pretty solid, put the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes (this helps really chill the butter).

Remove the pan from the freezer. Place it on the middle rack in a preheated 425°F. oven. Bake the tart crust for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. When done, remove the crust from the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. Place the pan on a wire rack, and allow it to cool completely before adding the lemon filling.

Crust mixture is firmly pressed into the tart pan to form a solid base and sides.After baking, the crust for the lemon cream cheese tart is golden brown.

Prepare The Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

You can make the lemon cream cheese filling while the tart crust bakes OR while the tart crust is cooling after baking. Your choice. You can beat the filling with an electric mixer OR you can place the ingredients in a food processor to thoroughly mix.

I like to use a food processor, because I feel like it really gets the filling smooth and mixed well. I have tried it with electric mixers, but sometimes, if the cream cheese isn’t soft enough, the cream cheese doesn’t “break down” as completely. You will just have to continue beating until it becomes smooth.

Beat (or process) softened cream cheese until very smooth. Add granulated sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and finely grated lemon zest (peel). Continue to process until smooth and well-blended.

A lemon and cream cheese filling is mixed together for the tart.

Bake The Lemon Cream Cheese Tart

Pour the lemon cream cheese mixture over the top of the COOLED tart crust. It will come almost up to the top of the pan. Carefully place the lemon cream cheese tart on the middle rack in the oven. Bake the lemon cream cheese tart 350°F. for 30 minutes.

When done, transfer the tart pan to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, cover the tart with plastic wrap. Place tart pan in the refrigerator to chill at LEAST one hour, but more if you have time. This tart can be prepared, covered and refrigerated up to one day ahead.

The tart crust is covered with the lemon cream cheese filling and then baked.

Once the lemon cream cheese tart has been completely chilled, carefully remove the tart from the pan, by carefully pushing up from the bottom. TIP: If it does not release easily, run a butter knife carefully around the sides of the pan.

When ready to serve, the chilled lemon cream cheese tart is removed from the pan.

Garnish And Serve The Lemon Cream Cheese Tart

The lemon cream cheese tart is now ready to serve, as is, OR you can “fancy it up” a bit with whipped cream. I make stabilized whipped cream to decorate this dessert, which means the cream will hold it’s shape for several days, so I can decorate the entire tart. It’s also fun to garnish the tart with lemon slices and/or fresh mint leaves, for extra color!

You also slice pieces, and then garnish each slice with aerosol whipped cream or you can make your own whipped cream (not stabilized) to decorate each slice. I have included instructions for homemade in the Notes section of the printable recipe at the bottom of this post.

Lemon Cream Cheese Tart, garnished with whipped cream, lemon slice and mint leaf.A slice of lemon cream cheese tart, served on a white plate.

I truly hope you will have the opportunity to make this delicious lemon tart! The crust is sturdy, very easy to cut, and pairs well with the sweetness and tartness of the lemon topping in this dessert.

Thank you for stopping by, and I trust you will come back soon for more yummy recipes. Have a GREAT day!

Looking For More Delicious TART Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have several delicious fruit tart recipes, including:

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Original recipe source: Bon Appetit Magazine, (October 1995 edition).

Lemon Cream Cheese Tart
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Refrigeration Time (minimum-inactive)
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs
 

This Lemon Cream Cheese Tart is a bit tangy, a bit sweet, and tastes fantastic! A creamy lemon filling is baked on a shortbread-style crust.

Category: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cream cheese tart
Servings: 8 (or 10 smaller slices)
Calories Per Serving: 282 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
For Crust:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 8 Tablespoons COLD butter =1 stick
  • cup powdered sugar confectioner's sugar
For Filling:
  • 5 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 large eggs
Optional: whipping cream, lemon slice, mint leaves for topping (see NOTE below)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

    2. MAKE CRUST: Place flour and powdered sugar in food processor; add cold butter chunks. Pulse until butter becomes the size of peas and mixture forms small clumps. (If using pastry blender or forks in a bowl for this step, cut in butter until it reaches the same consistency). Place crust mixture in a 9" tart pan (with removable bottom).

    3. FIRMLY press crust mixture onto bottom and up the sides of tart pan. Continue to press until you have a solid crust and sides. Put pan in the freezer for 15 minutes (to chill butter). Remove pan from freezer. Place on middle rack in a preheated oven. Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. When done, remove pan from oven- REDUCE OVEN TEMP TO 350° F. Place pan on a wire rack; let crust cool completely before adding lemon filling.

    4. MAKE LEMON FILLING: Using a food processor or electric mixer, process or beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Add granulated sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and lemon zest. Continue to process until smooth and well-blended.

    5. Pour the lemon filling into the COOLED tart crust (it will come almost to top of the pan). Carefully place tart on middle rack in oven. Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes. When done, transfer tart pan to a wire rack; allow tart to cool to room temp. Once at room temp., cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at LEAST one hour, (but more if you have the time). Tart can be prepared, covered and refrigerated up to one day ahead.

    6. Once completely chilled, carefully remove the tart from the pan, by carefully pushing up from the bottom. TIP: If it does not release easily, run a butter knife carefully around the sides of the pan to loosen the crust.

    7. To serve: Cut tart into slices. Garnish each slice (or top of the tart) with a dollop (or dollops) of whipped cream, a lemon slice, and a fresh mint leaf, if desired. Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator. Enjoy!

    Recipe Notes

    NOTE: It is recommended you top each slice (at serving) with whipped cream if you are NOT using a stabilized whipped cream (to prevent whipped cream from losing shape). Can also use aerosol whipped cream, OR can beat 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream and 2 teaspoons powdered sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form, then pipe decoratively around the top of the tart or individual slices before serving.

    Nutrition Facts
    Lemon Cream Cheese Tart
    Amount Per Serving (1 slice (1/8 of total))
    Calories 282 Calories from Fat 135
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 15g23%
    Saturated Fat 9g56%
    Trans Fat 1g
    Cholesterol 86mg29%
    Sodium 202mg9%
    Potassium 97mg3%
    Carbohydrates 32g11%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 19g21%
    Protein 5g10%
    Vitamin A 516IU10%
    Vitamin C 6mg7%
    Calcium 41mg4%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!This Lemon Cream Cheese Tart is a bit tangy, a bit sweet, and tastes fantastic! A creamy lemon filling is baked on a shortbread-style crust.

    Lemon Cream Cheese Tart

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