Vegan Lemon Mascarpone Tart

This vegan lemon mascarpone tart is simple, creamy and delicious, perfect for citrus season! The creamy dairy-free mascarpone filling is flavoured with homemade lemon curd, all topped on a shortbread crust. The perfect tangy, sweet and creamy dessert!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
4.5 from 4 votes
flatlay of vegan lemon tart with fresh lemon slices on white wooden surface.

If you’re looking for a refreshing spring or summer dessert then look no further than this homemade lemon mascarpone tart!

The smooth dairy-free “mascarpone” filling is flavoured with zingy and sweet homemade egg-free lemon curd, making this tart the perfect combination of creamy and fresh. The crust of the tart is a shortbread pastry that gives the perfect crunch in contrast to that creamy filling!

THIS VEGAN LEMON MASCARPONE TART IS:

  • Fresh and light
  • Zingy and citruss-y
  • Bursting with flavour
  • Creamy and smooth
  • Easy to make
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Perfect for spring and summer
 

vegan lemon tart

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED FOR THIS VEGAN LEMON TART?

All purpose flour: If you want to keep this tart gluten-free, use a GF all purpose flour, but also check the labels of the remaining ingredients to make sure they are suitable.

Ground almonds: almonds will add flavour to the shortbread crust. Feel free to substitute them with more all-purpose flour.

Vegan butter: this gives the base a lovely “buttery” flavour, but you can also substitute it with coconut oil if you’d prefer.

Sea salt: always add some salt to enhance the flavours and balance the sweetness of desserts.

Pure maple syrup: if you’ve been a long-term reader here on the blog, you’ve probably seen me use this ingredient a lot. I love using pure maple syrup as it gives a beautiful flavour and natural sweetness to desserts.

Lemon juice and lemon zest: It’s important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice here, the bottled stuff will not do the recipe any justice.

Caster sugar: if you’re living in the US, make sure you opt for organic sugar as it’s possible that conventional white sugar is not vegan due to the processing method.

Plantbased milk: I used oat milk for this particular recipe, but coconut milk, almond milk or soya milk would also work perfectly.

Cornflour: otherwise known as cornstarch. In non-vegan recipes, one of the functions of eggs is to thicken the curd. In this vegan lemon curd, cornflour/cornstarch is used as the thickening agent.

Vegan white chocolate: the best vegan white chocolate in my opinion is iChoc White Vanilla

Vegan cream cheese: I use violife, but you can use any vegan-friendly cream cheese that’s available to you.

Vegan greek style yoghurt: If you can’t find vegan greek style yoghurt, you can substitute it with 110g regular soya yoghurt and increase the amount of vegan cream cheese to 300g.

lemon tart

HOW TO MAKE A VEGAN LEMON MASCARPONE TART

MAKE THE LEMON CURD

Start by making the lemon curd which will flavour the filling. Add the fresh lemon juice and zest, plantbased milk and organic caster sugar to a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to reduce for 10 minutes. This will intensify the flavour and create a lemon-y syrup base for the curd. Sieve to remove any pieces of lemon zest and transfer the lemon mixture to a heat proof jug.

Next, make a roux by adding four tablespoons of the liquid mixture back to the saucepan with the cornflour and whisking to form a paste. Add the lemon mixture back to the pan in small increments, continuously whisking well to incorporate the mixture. Once all of the liquid has been combined, continue to cook out the mixture for 2 minutes or so, while whisking until you have a thick glossy curd. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the crust.

MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST

Get your oven preheated to 175°C (350°F) before you get to making the tart crust. Then it’s as simple as adding all of the crust ingredients (apart from the water) to your food processor and blitzing them to a dough. If needed, add the tablespoon of water and blend again to bring the mixture together.

Once you have your dough, you’ll want to press half of the mixture into the sides of the pan first, and then press the remaining half into the base of the pan (pictured below). Lastly use a fork to prick several holes into the crust to ensure air does not build up underneath it whilst baking. Next bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until slightly browned, then allow to cool (do not remove the tart from the tin). Once at room temperature, place the tart in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.

MAKE THE CREAMY VEGAN MASCARPONE FILLING

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler (au bain-marie), stir well and set aside for a few minutes until it cools to room temperature.

To a large bowl, add the cream cheese and use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whip it on low speed until smooth – don’t over-mix. Add the lemon curd in one tablespoon increments, and whisk to combine. Add the melted white chocolate and whisk again to combine. Lastly add in the greek style yoghurt and whisk for another 30 seconds or so until evenly incorporated, again be careful not to over-mix!

Pour the filling into the cooled tart base and place in the fridge to set for 4 hours (or overnight if preferred). Garnish with coconut cream and fresh lemon slices before serving.

vegan lemon tart

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flatlay of vegan lemon tart with fresh lemon slices on white wooden surface.

Vegan Lemon Mascarpone Tart

4.5 from 4 votes
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This vegan lemon mascarpone tart is simple, creamy and delicious, perfect for citrus season! The creamy filling is flavoured with homemade lemon curd, all topped on a shortbread crust. The perfect tangy, sweet and creamy dessert!
Prep Time 25 mins
Chill Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Servings 8

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp water

FILLING

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup plant-based milk of choice
  • 3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 4.5 oz vegan white chocolate
  • 7 oz vegan cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup vegan greek style yoghurt *see notes

GARNISH

  • ½ cup coconut cream, whipped optional
  • fresh lemon slices

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Start by making the lemon curd which will flavour the filling. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, caster sugar and plantbased milk to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove the lemon zest.
  • Add about 4 tablespoons of the liquid mixture back to the saucepan with the cornflour and whisk to form a paste. Bring the heat up to medium and add the remaining liquid back to the pan in increments of about 4 tablespoons, whisking continuously to avoid the mixture from sticking to the pan. Once all of the liquid has been combined, continue to cook out the mixture for 2 minutes or so, while whisking until you have a thick glossy curd. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the crust.
  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a 9.5" tart tin with some oil or vegan butter.
  • In your food processor, combine the gluten-free flour, ground almonds, vegan butter, maple syrup and salt until the ingredients stick together to form a dough. If needed, add the tablespoon of water and blend again to bring the mixture together.
  • Evenly press the dough half of the dough into the sides of the tart tin first, then press the remaining dough into the base of the tin. With a fork, gently prick the dough several times.
  • Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until slightly browned, then allow to cool to room temperature (do not remove the tart from the tin). Once at room temperature, place the tart in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
  • Melt the white chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler) and set aside until it cools to room temperature.
  • Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and use an electric whisk (or stand mixer) to whip it on low speed until smooth. Add the lemon curd in one tablespoon increments, and whisk to combine. Add the melted white chocolate and whisk again to combine. Lastly add the greek style yoghurt 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 in the fridge to set for 4 hours (or overnight if preferred). Garnish with coconut cream and fresh lemon slices before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days.

RECIPE NOTES

*If you can't find vegan greek style yoghurt, you can substitute it with 110g regular soya yoghurt and increase the amount of vegan cream cheese to 300g. 
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6 thoughts on "Vegan Lemon Mascarpone Tart"

  1. Hi Christina. I want to know if I can replace with something else the cream cheese, like coconut oil and more cornstarch. Or you prefer 100% the vegan cream cheese? I ask because that cream cheese is really expensive in mi country, and maybe exist other option! Thanks so much for your time and recipes 💞

    1. Hi Josefa,

      You could try using coconut whipping cream in it’s place, but I haven’t tried it personally so I can’t say how it will turn out. The cream cheese helps to add the “mascarpone” taste to the filling, so it may be more of a “lemon tart” without it.

      Let me know how it goes if you try it!

      Christina x

  2. Hi Christina! I have read over the recipe several times, and I can’t quite figure out what to do with the lemon curd. Does it get plopped on top of slices of the tart when you’re serving it? Do you pour it over the filling as a separate layer? (Judging by the pics I’m guessing no on that one). Or are you supposed to mix it in with the filling? It doesn’t say when it’s supposed to be added, though, if that’s the case. Can you clarify?

    1. Hi Lori,

      Thank you so much for calling this out! That’s my mistake – I’ve added it now. The lemon curd is whipped into the filling 🙂