The Best Lemon Desserts

When life gives you lemons, make lemon dessert recipes! From lemon cupcakes to lemon cheesecakes, there are so many ways to celebrate this zesty, sweet and tart fruit.

One lemon cupcake with lemon slice garnish placed on top of the muffin tin.
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Move over chocolate. Lemons always steal the show on a dessert table.

Bright and fresh, these zesty yellow fruits are full of flavor. When paired with sugar and other fruits, the flavor of lemon really shines.

We've pulled together some of our best lemon dessert recipes ever, and a few tips for baking with lemons.

Love lemon anything? Don't miss lemon chicken thighs and these side dishes for lemon chicken

Tips for Baking with Lemons

When cooking with lemons or baking lemon dessert recipes, it's always good to use fresh juice. The bottled concentrate is totally acceptable in a pinch, but the best lemon flavor comes from fresh fruit.

If you need to zest and juice lemons, zest them first, then juice them. It's much easier (and safer) to zest a whole lemon.

When juicing lemons, take them out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Cold lemons don't produce as much juice.

Lemon extract is another good ingredient to keep on hand, as it can add an extra punch of lemon flavor to desserts.

If you love having lemons around for dessert, you might want to invest in a few good tools:

  • A high-quality lemon zester is key for getting the best zest.
  • Vegetable peelers are great for getting big pieces of zest from the fruit.
  • A citrus juicer — either a by-hand one or an electric juicer — is key for getting the most out of your fruit.
  • A sharp knife or mandoline is vital for getting perfect lemon slices.
Lemons next to striped linen napkin.

Best Lemons for Desserts

When you are baking with lemons, it's important to choose the right kind of lemon.

Your standard lemon will err more on the edge of sour than sweet. If pairing with sugar or other fruits, a regular lemon will work just fine.

Meyer lemons are a type of lemon that is a little sweeter. That's because Meyer lemons are a hybrid between a lemon and a Mandarin orange.

Meyer lemons are excellent in any recipe where lemon flavor needs to shine a little brighter without being too sour. They are especially great for lemonade recipes like strawberry lemonade and orange lemonade.

There are other types of lemons available, including Lisbon, Genoa and Ponderosa, but regular lemons and Meyer lemons are most common in American grocery stores.

Now, let's get into the best lemon dessert recipes!

Lemon Dessert Recipes

Summer has arrived! That means it's time for lemons. Go grab some and make a few of these tasty lemon dessert recipes.

Even More Lemon Recipes

If you have leftover lemons, try them in these savory recipes:

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