9 Ways to Win the Dessert Course with Lemon

Lemon bars and cakes and pies, oh my! This staple citrus is surprisingly versatile and can be added to a number of desserts to create the perfect combination of tart and sweet.

Try mixing lemon with blueberries for a refreshing, fruity dessert, or adding the flavor to whipped meringue frosting for a special treat. Check out our favorite lemony recipes below for even more dessert inspiration.

Crushed raspberries, spread generously between layers of buttermilk-lemon cake and fluffy meringue frosting, bring bright, fruity flavor to this dessert.

Magic Lemon Meringue Pie

The magic ingredient in Trisha Yearwood’s recipe? A can of sweetened condensed milk, mixed into the lemony filling. It makes this pie, featured in Food Network Magazine, rich and creamy.

These simple icebox bars take only 25 minutes of prep time before going into the freezer overnight — no baking necessary.

No rolling or kneading required: The base of Ina Garten’s fan-favorite lemon bars is made from shortbread dough, which can be made in an electric mixer and pressed right into the pan. When it comes to the filling, it’s all about the balance of tart lemon juice and the sweetness of sugar in the rich, creamy curd.

Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

The addition of creamy ricotta cheese to these cakey cookies guarantees a moist finished product.

Homemade mousse that’s easy? Yep, it’s possible, with Ina’s foolproof technique. The whipped egg whites will guarantee a light, airy finished product.


Photo by: Renee Comet ©Renee Comet

Renee Comet, Renee Comet

Blueberries and lemon are a classic combo, and there’s a reason why. When mixed together, they form a refreshing blend of sweet and tangy that will bring summery flavor to this tart at any time of year.

Lemonade pie-016867.tif

Featured in Food Network Magazine, this easy, top-rated dessert boasts a buttery graham cracker crust. The three-ingredient filling features a whipped cream base and your favorite store-bought frozen lemonade concentrate.

Reinvent pantry ingredients like yellow cake mix and instant lemon pudding into flavorful cupcakes with the help of a splash of coconut milk.

Ina says that these light loaves are even better the next day, so you can make them in advance and enjoy later. While the cakes are still warm, top them with a lemony syrup to not only boost the flavor of the citrus but also keep the cakes moist.

Since these simple bars are baked in a regular square pan, there’s no need to have a special springform pan on hand.

If you don’t have Meyer lemons on hand, opt for a mixture of classic lemon juice and orange juice, which will mimic the subtle sweetness of Meyer lemons, when prepping this impressive dessert featured in Food Network Magazine.

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Marshall Troy, 2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Try this play on a signature Italian dessert: Layer lemon-syrup-soaked ladyfingers with a lemony cream cheese mixture and fresh berries to create a next-level dessert.

Baking: Pies/Tarts/Pastries;
Lemon Chess Pie

Baking: Pies/Tarts/Pastries;Lemon Chess Pie,Baking: Pies/Tarts/Pastries;Lemon Chess Pie

Photo by: Armando Rafael; Armando Rafael ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael; Armando Rafael, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chess pie, a traditional Southern treat, uses cornmeal in the filling, resulting in a rich, thick center and perfectly browned top.

Easter-granita 0018

Easter-granita 0018

Not a baker? No problem. This refreshing chilly treat lets the freezer do most of the work for you. Perhaps best of all, it’s made with just a handful of ingredients and can be prepped ahead of time.

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