Simple vegan lemon tart with a classic buttery shortcrust pastry and creamy eggless lemon curd filling. Light, zesty and uses only 6 key ingredients!
This lemon pie is perfect as a Spring dessert or when life simply throws you lemons! This tart also works well as lemon bars. Or if you prefer something lemony but reaaalllly creamy, check out my vegan lemon cheesecake recipe :).
Ingredients to make this vegan lemon tart
This tart uses common pantry ingredients! That means no cashews, tofu or agar agar powder! You will need:
- Plain all-purpose flour (a gluten free option is provided in the recipe card)
- Vegan butter, margarine or coconut oil
- Sugar, rice malt syrup or maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- Lemon juice and lemon zest. Fresh for the best lemon flavor!
- Thick coconut cream (not coconut milk)
- Corn starch / flour
The tart has a melt in your mouth shortcrust pastry and a smooth custard-like zesty filling. The coconut flavor in the filling is balanced out the high amount of lemon juice and zest.
Normally lemon curd or lemon custard gets its yellow hue from eggs so I added a pinch of turmeric instead.
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Making the pie crust
Simply add all the pastry ingredients (flour, butter and sugar) to a food processor or mixing bowl and mix until combined. You can roll out the pastry on a floured surface and transfer it to your tart pan. Alternatively you can press the pastry directly into your tart pan.
The pie shell will need to be baked for 5-10 minutes. However, this is the only baking you'll need to do!
Making the vegan lemon curd filling
It's very easy to make eggless lemon curd! Add all the ingredients (coconut cream, lemon and sugar) to a heavy-based medium saucepan. Whisk the cornflour before heating it to prevent it from clumping up. Then heat the mixture for 5-10 minutes until it's a thin custard consistency.
The mixture will set quickly so pour it into your pre-baked pie crust.
Decorating the vegan lemon tart
The tart or pie is beautiful without any decorations! However, the tart can be decorated with:
- A light dusting of powdered sugar
- Fresh raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
- Thin lemon slices
- Whipped dairy free cream, such as coconut cream
- Flaked almonds!
If you're feeling fancy, you can use this tart as a base of a vegan lemon meringue pie!
Yes, you can make the tart crust gluten free (the filling is already gluten free)! See the ratios in the notes of the recipe card below.
Yes. I'd recommend substituting the coconut cream with 315g dairy-free milk with 170g firm silken tofu. I'd recommend using soy milk, oat milk or almond milk for the best flavor!
Blend the ingredients together until smooth. Cook the mixture on the stove-top for 15-20 minutes or until it forms a THICK custard.
This coconut-free lemon tart creates a custard-like lemon filling which is softer than the one pictured.
See my other vegan lemon dessert recipes
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Vegan Lemon Tart
- 1 ¼ cups (155g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 1 for gluten free)
- ⅓ cup (75g) vegan butter or margarine
- 3 tablespoons (35g) granulated sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15g) cold water, if needed
- 1 ¾ cups (420g) thick scoopable canned coconut cream, (note 2)
- ¼-1/2 cup (50-100g) granulated sugar, or liquid sweetener to taste
- ~⅓ cup (80g) lemon juice and zest, to taste
- ⅓ cup (35g) corn starch / corn flour
- 2 tablespoons (30g) vegan butter or coconut oil, optional for texture
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- Pinch of turmeric
- Pinch of salt, optional
To decorate (optional)
- Whipped dairy free cream
- Fresh berries
To make the pastry:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease or line a 20 cm (8 inch) loose-bottom tart pan.
- Mix all the pastry ingredients in a medium size bowl or food processor. If the mixture is too crumbly, add some extra water and mix until it becomes a pliable dough. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour and mix again.
- On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry into a thin circle about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick.
- Transfer the pastry to the tart pan and press it against the base and sides to form a crust. Trim off the excess. If there are any holes, patch it up with the remaining pastry. Prick the bottom with a fork to let hot air escape when baking.
- Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry is slightly golden. Allow the pastry to cool in the tart pan.
To make the filling:
- Add all ingredients to a medium-size saucepan and whisk to disperse the corn flour.
- Bring to medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes while whisking constantly. The mixture should thicken quickly and coat the back of a spatula. If there are any lumps in the mixture, blend using a stick blender.
- Quickly pour the mixture into your baked tart shell and smooth the top if necessary. Allow the tart to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- When the tart is firm to the touch, decorate as desired. Serve immediately!
- The tart can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Best to keep the tart without berries on top otherwise they will leak.
- For a gluten free vegan lemon tart, use ⅔ cup (65g) almond meal/flour and ⅔ cup (105g) gluten-free flour blend which has xantham gum.
- For a coconut free lemon tart, substitute the coconut cream with 315g dairy-free milk with 170g firm silken tofu. Blend the ingredients together until smooth. Cook the mixture on the stove-top for 15-20 minutes or until it forms a THICK custard. The coconut-free lemon tart is more soft and custard-like than the one pictured.
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Absolutely delicious recipe , I used gluten free flour and it came out beautifully . Definitely saving this one for the archives
I'm so glad you enjoyed this tart and with the gluten free pastry too! Thanks for your feedback 🙂
Amazing, can't wait to try this! Thanks so much for sharing! Can you explain more about what the plating/presentation is and how to replicate that? Thanks in advance!!
Aw wonderful! I decorated the tart with whipped coconut cream which has been piped using a piping bag and a star-shaped nozzle, fresh raspberries, rose petals and puffed amaranth. I hope that answers your question?
Celine Bangay says
I used the gluten free mix and the pastry won’t hold together when I roll it out - any advice?
Hi Celine, typically gluten-free pastry crumbles more easily, unfortunately! Did your gluten-free flour contain xantham gum? Either way, next time, try pressing the pastry directly into the tart pan. I hope that helps!
This recipe is delicious and so easy! The finished product is so beautiful you would never guess how simple it was to make. I went easy on the sugar because I wanted a fairly tart flavor and dusted it with powdered sugar as a finish.
I am excited to use this as a base recipe to try out a few fun variations.
Aw I'm so glad you enjoyed this Katherine! Glad that it worked with reduced sugar too. Thanks so much for your feedback 🙂
I just made this. I did add some salt to cut the strong coconut taste and bring out the tartness of the lemons. As well as a couple drops of lemon extract to up the lemon flavor without diluting like the juice would. I am wondering how necessary the vegan butter/coconut oil is as it separates a bit as it cools. All in all, tastes great!
Glad you enjoyed the tart! Yes, I find that some brands of coconut cream have a stronger flavour than others. The vegan butter/coconut oil makes the lemon filling more creamy rather than slightly gelatinous. If you use vegan butter, it adds depth of flavour. I find that the mixture separates if it's been heated slightly too high but it can be solved by mixing the curd again (before it's in the tart). Thanks for your feedback!
Do you use sweetened coconut cream or unsweetened? Would love to know what brand you use so I can follow the recipe to a t!
Thanks for sharing!
Hey! I used unsweetened coconut cream. I'm based in Australia so will have different brands from you. But I'd recommend any coconut cream which is thick, white and creamy and can be scooped easily with a spoon. I hope that helps!
This looks amazing!
Is there anything can can be subbed for the coconut? I cannot eat coconut. Could silken tofu be used instead?
Thank you in advance.
Hey! Yes, tofu can be used, though it'll create a completeltly different texture. There are instructions under 'Substitutions' in the recipe post about how to do this!
Just wondering do you mean to use just 1 can of coconut cream OR the total amount of coconut cream should be 420g so depending on the thick cream part in the can we may need a few cans to get the 420g? Does that make sense? I feel like I’m over thinking this? 🙈
Hey, you're not over thinking! The 420g should be just the thick part of the can of coconut cream (though, a little water is fine if you really can't get that amount). It depends on the brand of coconut cream but I often only need 1 can of cream or 2 at the maximum. Hope that helps!
I made this the other day, haven't made pastry in so long so I was a little nervous.
The recipe was great and the whole thing turned out amazing!
My whole family loved it, they couldn't compliment it enough.
I'll definitely be making it again!!!!
Aw I'm so happy everything worked for you! I hear you about making pastry after a long break :). Thanks so much for your feedback x
Making it a second time as I'm writing this. SUCH a good recipe, thank you!
Aw I'm soo glad to hear! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment x
I just made this; why does the filling look like all fat? It tastes great but it looks like thickened Coconut oil. I followed recipe exactly. Thank you
Hey, the filling is definitely not meant to look like that! Did you use coconut cream or creamed coconut? It sounds like the brand of coconut that you used reacted strangely to the other ingredients.
Katie Llanas says
I work at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Made a larger batch of both the filling and the crust and made them into mini tarts. Topped them with whipped coconut cream and berries. They were a hit! I couldn't keep up with the demand and was making them almost everyday.
Oh that's the nicest feedback, thank you so much! I'm so happy that your customers enjoyed this! 🙂
I just made this, it was delicious! I put 70 g sugar in the cake and I think I'm going to go for 100 g next time. Thank you very much for the recipe 🙂
So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Also yes, I hear you - I don't like overly sweet things but with so much lemon juice, sometimes you need it! Thanks for your feedback 🙂
I used Oatly Whipping Cream instead of coconut cream and it turned out really well.
So glad to hear! Thanks Kieran!
Hey I was wanting to do the same did you find you needed more or you just subbed the exact amount ?
Just stepping in here! The same amount of dairy-free cream should work. I'd just recommend cooking the lemon curd for a little longer to make sure it thickens (and to add the oil/butter). The final lemon curd may be a little more soft than the regular but still delicious!