Lemon Shortbread Tartlets

Lemon Shortbread Tartlets Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

I had no idea how perfect these would be for today, until now. A ray of sunshine in a time of sadness and grief. It’s hard to look beyond it all and move on with daily life. One day at a time. Food is my comfort place. I associate food with happy and sad times. That’s why they call pizza and pasta comfort food. That’s why people associate ice cream with binge eating after a bad breakup. Food = comfort. Whatever your comfort need, there is a food.

I don’t remember what songs were playing at certain times of my life. I remember and relate memories to the food. It’s fitting of course given where I am now, being a food blogger. I love food. I make food. It makes me happy in sadness and happy when I don’t need an ounce of cheering up. I’m reminded of how my Gramma could make a mean s’more, even if it was in the microwave. A pizza date with my Grampa and blowing the wrappers off of straws. Then there was the pizza and too many drinks I had drowning my sorrows after hearing of a friends death. I could go on and on, it’s always the food. Happy and sad. Food brings us together in all occasions.

Lemon Shortbread Tartlets Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

These are perfect lemon-y sunshine bites of deliciousness resting in shortbread flower cups. Forget the flowers that will only wilt and die. Edible flowers that cheer up and excite your tastebuds are where it’s at.

While these require slightly more time than whipping up a batch of lemon squares, these are far more party friendly and way cuter. Every ounce of flavor you expect from a lemon square packed into a one bite dessert. They’re totally worth every second that you spend making them. I highly recommend adding these to your Mother’s Day menu or special event this spring.

Lemon Shortbread Tartlets Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

Yield: 2 dozen

Prep Time: 90 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 100 minutes

Lemon Shortbread Tartlets

A bite sized version of your favorite lemon square.



  • 1/2C sugar
  • 16 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2C all purpose flour

Lemon filling:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1C sugar
  • 1/4C lemon juice (roughly 2 lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 Tbsp butter


For the shortbread:
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla, giving a quick mix. Finally add in flour and salt, mixing until smooth. Shape dough into 2 equal discs, wrapping separately in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile prepare lemon filling:
In a double boiler over simmering water, whisk all ingredients for 8-10 minutes. Press through a fine mesh strainer, into a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to the surface of lemon curd so to avoid a skin forming. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a mini cupcake pan.

Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Using a 2 1/4-inch flower cookie cutter, cut out enough shapes to use up dough. Gently press cut out dough into greased cupcake pan. Fork each throughout, transfer to the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Fill each cup 3/4 full with lemon curd, or roughly 1/2 of a small cookie scoop. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool until completely set.

Carefully remove tartlets from pan. Sprinkle with optional powdered sugar prior to serving. Store chilled.

Shortbread adapted from Joy of Baking

More Spring recipes to try:
Perfect white cupcakes with lemon frosting
Blueberry lemon squares
Mini lemon-lime cheesecakes
Carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting
Lemon sugar cookies
Slow cooker mini meatball minestrone soup

Items used in this recipe:

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56 Responses to “Lemon Shortbread Tartlets”

  1. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — April 17, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Such a lovely post, and what a lovely treat to match! I especially love that last photo :)

    • #
      Rachel — April 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Thank you :)

  2. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — April 17, 2013 at 7:17 am

    I absolutely love that photo on the chalk board. So cute! One of my favorite desserts is a lemon tart with shortbread crust so this is right up my ally.

    • #
      Rachel — April 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

      You would love these then!

  3. #
    Tracey — April 17, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I agree, food totally equals comfort and I associate a lot of my best memories with food too. I love the little flower shortbread cups, they’re adorable!!

    • #
      Rachel — April 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

      I kept thinking of other memories but had to stop or the post would just be food memories ha.

  4. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — April 17, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Awe, I love these. They are sunshine on a gloomy day…it’s been raining nonstop here! I love lemon desserts.

    • #
      Rachel — April 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Maybe lemon recipes should be the new gloomy day food? :)

  5. #
    Tieghan — April 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

    These are so cute an they look delicious!

  6. #
    Terri C — April 17, 2013 at 9:27 am

    That is the most darling picture! And the tarts look wonderful.

  7. #
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — April 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

    These are absolutely gorgeous! I’m a huge fan of lemon desserts and can’t wait to try these. Thanks for sharing!

    • #
      Rachel — April 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thank you :)

  8. #
    Amy @Very Culinary — April 17, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I am so crazy in love with that last picture.

  9. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 17, 2013 at 10:02 am

    These look adorable and sound super tasty! Love shortbread and anything lemon.

  10. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

    These are too cute, Rachel! I love that you just used a flowery cookie cutter and not a special pan – they look professionally made! Your chalkboard photo is adorable, too!

  11. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — April 17, 2013 at 11:03 am

    LIttle bites of sunshine! Lemon makes me smile me every time (you and I are similar here–I made lemon shortbread cookies to honor my aunt a few weeks ago when we needed cheer.) PS. This chalkboard pic is just adorable!

  12. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — April 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

    The cuteness of that last photo is just too much :) I remember food, smells and music when it comes to memories but food is definitely the best part!

  13. #
    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — April 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

    These are so cute & ready for Spring! I love the chalk drawing. ;)

  14. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — April 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Looking at the photos my mouth started to salivate. Trying to keep all the drool in….. Love the last photo!

  15. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — April 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

    So, these are to cute for words!! Love the lemon!

  16. #
    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — April 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    These are beautiful and that last picture is stunning!

  17. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — April 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Love the photo!!!! Really cute!!!

  18. #
    Rachel — April 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    These are adorable! So perfect for spring, and I’ve been dreaming of some sort of lemon dessert. I’m currently on a no booze, no processed sugar, and no coffee kick (only for a month), so I’ve just been torturing myself by saving amazing dessert recipes. It’s totally a thing.

  19. #
    Tiffany | baking at tiffany's — April 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    These are so adorable! And what a great idea. I will need to keep these in mind for my next gathering.

  20. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — April 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    What a lovely post and that chalkboard photo is adorable! I love these little bites of sunshine. So pretty!

  21. #
    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — April 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    These are the most adorable lemon tartlets! They look so delicious too!

  22. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — April 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Yuuum! I can’t wait for everything lemon in the coming months!

  23. #
    Dina — April 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    these are pretty and they look yummy!

  24. #
    kerri tillquist — April 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Tried these! LOVE them! Thank You- Love your sweet post.

    • #
      Rachel — April 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      So glad to hear it and thank you :)

  25. #
    Carol | a cup of mascarpone — April 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    What a delicious, fun tartlet!!! My two favorites in one…shortbread and lemon curd! LOVE the tartlets on the chalkboard!

  26. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — April 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Sunshine tartlets, that’s what I’m calling these! How can you not smile, think of warm weather, and kick back and relax eating one of these adorable little tarts? LOVE lemon desserts!

  27. #
    Jen @JuanitasCocina — April 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    This is like my perfect dessert…of my dreams. So pretty and just…needing to be in my hand right now!

  28. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — April 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    woohoo! the lemon recipe! they’re seriously so cute and i really do love lemon desserts. i love that last picture – can i pick them? ;) more like gobble them up!

  29. #
    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos — April 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    These are downright adorable and would be the perfect way to make someone’s day!! Lemon is one of my faves :)

  30. #
    Honey, What's Cooking? — April 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    this looks so delicious.. love lemon tarts. gorgeous photos.

  31. #
    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — April 18, 2013 at 2:10 am

    These are so sweet. Perfect for pretending to be girly. I can’t wait to try them.

  32. #
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker — April 18, 2013 at 2:38 am

    These are adorable! I love lemon-y sweets. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

  33. #
    katie — April 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    oh man my mom and I would love these! Lemon + shortbread = amazing!

  34. #
    Megan — April 18, 2013 at 10:09 am

    These make me so happy, I seriously smile when I look at these, they’re like this flowers of lemon and butter!

  35. #
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — April 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Beautiful little lemon tartlets!! I love the styling, Rachel :)

  36. #
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — April 18, 2013 at 11:27 am

    LOVE the ray of sunshine! So perfect and fitting. And i love your chalkboard drawing! A bouquet of these flowers please!

  37. #
    Audra | The Baker Chick — April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am

    These are too adorable for words! I love the chalkboard picture too!

  38. #
    Paula — April 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Just love your presentation of these happy little tartlets. Yes, we could all use some cheery food and conversation of late. This post and especially your photos did make me smile :)

  39. #
    Kristi @ MSFK — April 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    These are gorgeous, and look so yummy! I love mini treats like this.

  40. #
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — April 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Lemon desserts always put a smile on my face and these tarts are downright adorable.

  41. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Omg I love the creativity of that chalkboard picture! SO PRETTY and creative and what a great recipe! Pinning!

  42. #
    Tieghan — April 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    So cute! Their driving me crazy!

  43. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — April 20, 2013 at 10:10 am

    So cute and pretty Rachel. LOVE it!

  44. #
    Wendy — April 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    These have to be the prettiest shortbread ever! What a great idea to bake little flowers in a cupcake pan! The lemon filling sounds perfect with the sweet buttery shortbread.

  45. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — April 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Oh goodness, these are so adorable :) I love lemon tarts, I bet these taste divine!

  46. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — April 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

    The cuteness! I can’t handle it!!!!!!!

  47. #
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — June 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I found your site via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures today! Your comment cracked me up, so, of course, I had to see what your blog was all about. I am so glad I did! These look absolutely A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. and I want to eat each and every single one!

    • #
      Rachel — June 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      So glad you found me!

  48. #
    Louise — March 14, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Just found this on pinterest and would love to add them to a dessert buffet I am prepping for. Can i freeze the tart shells after their initial baking time? Then I would thaw and fill and finish the bake the day of serving. Would this work?

    • #
      Rachel — March 15, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I haven’t personally tried freezing them, but I imagine it would be okay to freeze the shells and then fill later. Good luck!

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