This homemade vegan lemon tart is creamy, light, and fresh! It comes together in 3 simple stages—namely the shortcrust pastry, vegan lemon custard, and lemon filling.
The smooth dairy-free "mascarpone" filling is flavored with zingy and sweet homemade eggless lemon curd, giving this tart an incredible flavor. A buttery shortcrust pastry gives the perfect crunch in contrast to that creamy lemon filling!
💭 What To Expect From This Recipe
- Easy to make: The shortcrust pastry comes together in the food processor, so there's no need to rub in the pastry. It's the same crust as found in my lemon meringue pie and apple tart recipes.
- Light and creamy consistency: Thanks to the secret ingredient for this vegan lemon tart recipe, non-dairy yogurt! This tart is incredibly light and has a silky smooth texture. It will literally melt in your mouth.
- Fresh and zesty flavor: The best part of this recipe is that it's bursting with real lemon flavor from homemade lemon curd, just like in my lemon cheesecake. It's not overly sweet and has the perfect balance of tanginess from zesty lemons and non-dairy cream cheese.
- Perfect for gatherings: Like most tarts and pies, this vegan tart can easily be made ahead of time and served for a dinner party, summer bbq, or birthday party.
- Allergy-friendly: You can easily adapt this eggless lemon tart recipe as gluten-free by opting for GF flour in the crust. It's also completely dairy-free, and nut-free.
🍋 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this creamy vegan lemon tart:
Notes about the ingredients
- If you want to keep this tart vegan lemon tart gluten-free, swap the pain flour for GF all-purpose flour. I also recommend that you check the labels of the remaining ingredients to make sure they are free from gluten.
- Cornstarch, otherwise known as cornflour. This acts as an egg replacer for the lemon curd filling as it thickens and sets the lemon custard.
- Vegan butter gives the base a lovely "buttery" flavor and flaky texture. You can also substitute it with coconut oil if you'd prefer.
- It's important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. The bottled stuff will not do the recipe any justice and is not suitable for making the lemon curd filling.
- Vegan Greek-style yogurt works best for the filling due to its thicker consistency. If you can't find vegan Greek-style yogurt, you can substitute it with regular soy yogurt or coconut yogurt. Either works well, however regular soy or coconut yogurt will give the tart filling a slightly less set consistency - it's still good though!
- Vegan cream cheese is what gives the lemon pie filling its mascarpone flavor. I use violife, but you can use any non-dairy cream cheese that’s available to you. The vegan cream cheese together with the non-dairy yogurt creates a mascarpone flavor and consistency.
🥣 How To Make Vegan Lemon Tart
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)
(1) Add the pastry ingredients to your food processor (that's the flour, vegan butter, sugar, sea salt, and soy milk) and pulse until they form a dough. Do not overwork the mixture, blend until just combined.
(2) Wrap up the dough in cling film or place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
(3) Roll out the chilled dough so that it is an inch or so larger than the circumference of the tart tin. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry over the tin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of a 9″ tart tin with a removable base.
(4) Use a knife to cut around the edges if needed and try to get the sides as even and smooth as possible. Pierce several holes into the base of the pastry using a fork.
(5) Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the tart. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils, or baking beads.
(6) Blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the beans/baking beads and bake for another 20 minutes. Place the tin on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
Lemon custard filling
(7) Make a batch of vegan lemon curd and allow it to cool to room temperature.
(8) In a large mixing bowl, whisk the vegan cream cheese for a couple of minutes until light and airy.
(9) Add the cooled lemon curd to the whipped cream cheese in 2-3 increments, whisking to combine each time.
(10) Lastly, add the vegan yogurt to the mixture and whisk again to combine. You'll be left with a light and creamy lemon tart filling.
(11) Pour the filling into the tart tin and use a spatula or spoon to swirl or smooth out the top.
(12) Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, until the lemon filling is firm and holds its shape to the touch.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- This eggless lemon tart is best served cold from the fridge. To garnish, add some whipped coconut cream (or other non-dairy whipped cream if you want to make it without coconut) and fresh lemon slices.
- Chill the pastry before baking. Do not skip this step. Chilled dough is much easier to roll out and work with. It also helps to create a more evenly baked crust.
- Blind baking is an essential step in order to get a nice crunchy tart crust. It helps the crust to bake evenly without having darker patches or burnt spots. If you don't have baking beads, you can use dried beans or rice to weigh down the parchment paper. Thekitchen has a great post that goes into detail on when and how to blind bake pastry.
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
As it contains vegan cream cheese and yogurt, it should not be left at room temperature for more than a couple of hours max.
In warmer climates, do serve the tart directly from the fridge to avoid the filling from melting.
Yes, you can freeze the tart in an airtight container and defrost it in the fridge overnight before serving.
Absolutely, this recipe will make 4-6 mini lemon tarts. You could also use a muffin tray to make super small vegan tartlets!
🥧 More Vegan Tarts
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- ¾ batch (420 g) vegan lemon curd, *see notes
- 200 g (7 oz) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- 120 g (½ cup) vegan Greek-style yogurt, *see notes
- vegan whipped cream, optional
- fresh lemon slices
- In your food processor, combine the flour, vegan butter, sugar, salt, and non-dairy milk and pulse until just combined. Gently knead the dough into a smooth ball and wrap the dough in cling film or place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a round 9" tart tin with some oil or vegan butter.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the chilled dough so that it is an inch or so larger than the circumference of the tart tin. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry over the tin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of the tin. Use a knife to cut around the edges if needed and try to get the sides as even and smooth as possible. Pierce several holes into the base of the pastry using a fork.
- Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the tart. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils, or baking beads. Blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the beans/baking beads and bake for another 15-20 minutes until light golden brown. Place the tin on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
- Make a batch of vegan lemon curd and allow it to chill to room temperature. Reserve ¼ of the lemon curd for garnish or other recipes, this tart uses just ¾ of the lemon curd for the filling.
- Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and use an electric whisk (or stand mixer) to whip it on low speed for a couple of minutes until light and airy.Add the lemon curd in 2-3 increments, and whisk to combine each time. Lastly, add the greek-style yogurt and whisk for another 30 seconds or so until evenly incorporated, be careful not to over-mix!
- Pour the filling into the cooled tart base and place it in the fridge to set for 3 hours (or overnight if preferred).
Serving and Storage
- Garnish with coconut cream and fresh lemon slices before serving.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 3 days. You can freeze the tart in an airtight container and defrost it in the fridge overnight before serving.
- Granulated sugar: Some white sugar is not vegan, if in doubt use organic sugar.
- I recommend making a full batch of lemon curd as you can serve the rest on the side or with toast.
- If you can't find vegan Greek-style yogurt, you can substitute it with soy or coconut yogurt. The filling will be slightly less thick in this case.
This tart should not be left at room temperature for more than a couple of hours max. In warmer climates, do serve the tart directly from the fridge to avoid the filling from melting.
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*This recipe was originally published in March 2021. The recipe has since been improved and updated to minimize the ingredients used, simplify the instructions and make it even more delicious!