It’s healthy dessert time! If you’ve ever longingly wandered past a bakery window wishing you could just gobble up all of the pastries inside, then these gluten-free vegan mini lemon tarts will dry your tears.
Not only do they look super fancy and cute, but they are also approachable and easy to make.
A gluten-free and nutrient-dense spin on the classic fruit tart, our easy lemon tarts are high in antioxidants and filled with a rich yet healthy homemade custard.
It’s our favorite no-bake dessert – simple yet elegant, colorful and entirely customizable. You can top the creamy filling with any fresh fruit of your choice!
We’ve made raspberry tarts, peach tarts, mango tarts and blueberry tarts before! Add a sprinkle of coconut flakes or fresh mint leaves for visual and taste pleasure and you have yourself a beautiful silky, citrusy and sweet treat.
Your taste buds will be happy to enjoy some natural sweetness, even if they are used to more heavy and sugar-laden treats.
The creamy vegan custard has a mix of vanilla and lemon with just the right touch of sweetness and a hint of coconut – don’t worry if you’ve never made custard at home before, it’s actually just a 5-minute procedure.
We can assure you that these are the perfect mini lemon tarts that get you excited about whole plant-based foods!
They almost taste like lemon cookies! We just love the silky, smooth texture of the chilled mini lemon tarts – and everyone we’ve served them to agrees.
They are perfect to bring to a garden party, picnic or wedding shower and can even be made in advance (except for the colorful topping).
So, instead of having desserts as an occasional treat, our healthy vegan lemon tarts actually offer a whole bunch of essential nutrients and make indulging a real joy!
But first things first (and then you get the dessert).
What Are Mini Fruit Tarts?
Good question, because tarts come in all shapes and sizes. They can be either sweet or savory and are usually made with a firm and crumbly crust.
Tarts are made in tart pans with shallow sides and, sometimes, a removable bottom. Mini tarts call for several mini tart pans instead of one large pan.
Most fruit tarts are filled with creamy custard, cream cheese, mascarpone, heavy whipping cream or an egg-milk mixture.
As you’ve probably guessed from the title – our vegan mini tarts aren’t made with any animal products at all!
Plant-based or not, there are all kinds of mini fruit tart variations – from blueberry to peach, blackberry, plum, mango, lemon, almond or cherry tarts! Just choose your favorite topping.
Overall, mini tarts are basically the perfect refreshing spring and summer dessert!
But what if you’re a hardcore chocolate lover and haven’t tried fruit tarts before?
Our mini lemon tarts can be served without the fruit topping so they pretty much resemble cookies with a cream filling – how delicious does that sound?
Why These Are the Best Vegan Lemon Tarts
- Low in sugar and oil-free
- Approachable & easy no-bake dessert
- Look super fancy and cute
- Chilled, lemony & not overly sweet
- Easily customizable & very refreshing
- Decadently creamy & undetectably healthy
- A fun family-friendly treat
- Popping with both rich and fresh flavors
- High in fiber and complex carbs
- Perfect for parties & picnics
Our dairy-free lemon tartlets come with an easy gluten-free vegan crust (did I mention this is a no-bake recipe?) and filled with a light, creamy and citrusy custard.
And while many traditional tarts are sugar-laden and mostly always feature eggs, butter and heavy cream, we managed to create a fuss-free whole food plant-based version that not only tastes fantastic but also loves you back!Whole Food Plant Based Diet 101 →
How to Make Vegan Lemon Tarts From Scratch
Making vegan lemon tarts can be as quick and convenient as making any other sweet tarts.
Theoretically, you could just take some store-bought vegan cream cheese for the filling, pick up a random vegan crust while you’re there and be done in 10 minutes or so – but this wouldn’t result in a very wholesome and loving-you-back kind of dessert.
That’s why we’re making these mini lemon tarts from scratch. Yup.
But fear not! This doesn’t require more kitchen skills than any of our other measure-mix-heat up-serve recipes. Meaning: almost no skill needed!
Here’s the kitchen equipment you’ll need to make these tasty mini lemon tarts!
First of all, you’ll need some mini tart tins and parchment paper. Also, get some bowls, a saucepan and a food processor. If you want to make it just one big vegan lemon tart, use a regular-sized tart tin instead.
If you don’t have all of these kitchen tools on hand, feel free to check our in-depth guide for some suggestions on what to get!Full Guide: Best Kitchen Tools →
Next, go ahead and gather your ingredients for this easy no-bake dessert!
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Tarts
- Oats – the main ingredient for the crumbly, sticky crust; check for the gluten-free label if you’re allergic!
- Almonds – for some added smoothness and essential nutrients
- Dates – making the rest of the ingredients stick together and adding natural sweetness
- Plant-based milk – for the creamy custard filling; we used low-fat canned coconut milk and almond milk but feel free to switch things up
- Lemon juice & zest – these add the tartly, fruity touch! Definitely don’t skip them.
- Vanilla extract – for flavoring the vegan vanilla custard
- Toppings – we used fresh seasonal berries plus some mint leaves but any fresh fruit will do; find more ideas towards the end of this article
As you can see, this recipe leaves some room for customization – meaning it’s much more likely that you can already make our vegan lemon tarts today despite not having 100% of the ingredients we wrote down for the recipe!
The two main parts of the vegan fruit tarts are the crust and the creamy filling – we’ll show you how to make each of them. Then all you have to do is just put both of them into your mini tart pans.
How to Make a Vegan Tart Crust
Vegan tart crusts come in so many different shapes and sizes! There are some made with almond flour and flax seeds, others with white flour and vegan butter, then there are completely raw nut-based ones.
Isn’t it awesome that there is so much variety? You can choose to go for a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread-type crust, an easy gluten-free no-bake version, and everything in-between.
After some testing, we decided to take different parts of a couple of recipes and put together our whole food plant-based, easy and tasty version of a sweet and simple vegan tart crust!
This means vegan dates for the natural sweetness, oats and almonds for the crumbly chewy texture and (secret ingredient!) frozen banana – something we haven’t really seen out there.
Before starting to make your vegan tart crust, you should soak your dried dates for at least an hour, then drain them and simply add with the frozen banana into a food processor.
Once you’ve created a nice puree, you can add the rolled oats and almonds (both of which need to be coarsely ground) and process again until a sticky mixture forms.
Remove from the food processor and evenly divide into your mini tart tins, pressing the crust gently with your fingers. Voilà!
The first step is done; while the crust is waiting in the freezer, you can prepare the other parts of the mini vegan lemon tartlets!
How to Make an Easy Vegan Custard
Our healthy vegan custard is made with 7 different ingredients, some of which are probably not your everyday staples. But if you’re up for some more variation in your plant-based cooking, it totally makes sense to get a hold of these magical add-ons.
The typical texture for our custard is achieved by combining arrowroot powder with low-fat coconut milk and almond milk.
There are a few ways to thicken vegan custard – some recipes prefer to use cornstarch or agar powder, both of which are vegan substitutes for gelatin.
Granted, arrowroot powder and agar powder are amongst the more advanced vegan cooking and baking ingredients, but you can create wonderful things with them!
Everything else you need, like lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract and rice syrup or another sweetener of choice, are easy to come by.
If you’re looking for a more yellow vegan custard, simply add a pinch of turmeric powder – you won’t notice the taste at all and it will boost the nutrition even more at the same time.
Then, you basically just need to add all the ingredients into a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil while stirring. After a short time, the mixture will thicken and you’re left with a creamy and healthy vegan vanilla lemon custard!
Tips for the Best Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Tarts
So, we’ve established that our recipe for the vegan fruit tarts is low-sugar. If you’re kind of used to eating a whole food diet, then they will be just the right amount of sweet and indulgent!
However, many popular desserts (looking at some other vegan tarts out there, too!) feature copious amounts of sugar, which makes it hard for everyone to enjoy the natural sweetness from foods like dates.
This means that if you already know you won’t find these sweet enough for you personally, please feel free to make the vegan custard a whole lot sweeter. You can use more of the rice syrup or add another sweetener of choice.
Are These Vegan Tarts Gluten-Free?
Yup, they sure are. If you cannot have even the smallest particle of gluten, however, you need to make sure that the oats for your crust are “certified gluten-free.”
This means that the oats are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet and are free from any cross-contamination.
On top of that, our vegan lemon tarts are also dairy-free, oil-free and refined sugar-free – only a teeny amount of rice syrup is in our easy vegan custard.
Nut-Free & Other Vegan Fruit Tart Ideas
There are endless variations of delicious vegan tarts!
You can make them nut-free by replacing the almonds with more oats or some seeds of choice. The crust itself has no coconut in it, but the custard is made with some low-fat coconut milk and almond milk – both of these can be swapped out for soy milk.
If you’re looking for a higher protein vegan tart featuring tofu, we can highly recommend this vegan chocolate tofu tart that’s incredibly easy and satisfying! We made it for the whole family last Christmas and everyone was truly over the moon.
Other Delicious Fruity Tart Topping Ideas
How Long Does Lemon Tart Last in the Fridge?
This recipe is pretty meal-prep friendly. You can make the crust and the filling up to two days in advance and once you’re ready to serve them, top with fresh fruit of your choice.
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days – or just freeze them for longer storage (without the berry topping) and let thaw for a few hours before serving.
More Easy Vegan No-Bake Desserts
Intrigued about the idea of no-bake desserts? There are so many delicious vegan recipe ideas for easy yet healthy treats like these – here are some of our favorites.
Pin all of them for later below!
Try These Healthy Plant-Based Treats Next
All of these recipes from our blog are health-promoting, budget-friendly and easy to make! Free from added oils and low in added sugar, they are nutrient-dense and totally kid-approved.
This is how you make healthy taste great! You can browse all of our recipes here. But now, let’s hop over to the full recipe for our gluten-free vegan lemon tarts.
Did you make our mini lemon tarts? Let us know how you like them in the comments below and don’t forget to rate! You can also Pin it for later or tag us on Instagram to show us your creation – we’d love to see your creations.
For the crust
- 5 pitted dates, soaked into water for at least 1 hour
- 1 ½ cups (about 150 g) rolled oats
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ banana, cut into slices and frozen
For the filling
- ¼ cup low-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp rice syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- Mixed berries of choice
- Fresh mint leaves
- Line 6 tarts tins with parchment paper.
- Add the oats and almonds into the food processor and pulse three or four times until coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl.
- Drain the dates and add them into the food processor together with the frozen banana.
- Process to obtain a puree.
- Add the ground oats and almonds, and process to obtain a sticky mixture.
- Evenly divide 6 tablespoons of the mixture into each of the tart tins, then press them with your fingers onto the bottom and sides.
- Place the tins into the freezer while you prepare the custard filling.
Make the Vegan Custard
- Add the arrowroot powder into a medium-sized saucepan and mix it with the coconut milk.
- Add the almond milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest to the saucepan, whisk to combine and place over medium heat.
- Bring to boil stirring continuously, then turn the heat to low and continue to stir until the mixture thickens and turns into a cream.
Finish the Mini Lemon Tarts
- Remove the tins from the freezer and evenly pour the filling inside.
- Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours (though overnight refrigeration is best).
- Once you are ready to eat the mini lemon tarts, decorate them with fresh berries and mint leaves. Serve chilled and enjoy!
- You can replace the rice syrup with any other sweetener of choice, but keep in mind that dark ones like maple syrup will change the color of the custard filling.
- Instead of almond and low-fat coconut milk, you can use other plant-based milk alternatives to suit your needs.
- For the decoration, you can use other fruit instead of berries (peaches look great!) or some coconut flakes. Find lots of ideas throughout the article
- Raisins are a common swap for dates but we haven’t tried this version yet.
- You can make the custard and crust up to two days in advance; store in the fridge and put together just before serving.
- These lemon tartlets are freezable for longer storage and keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 31gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 5g