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Desert lemons seeds

36 Lemon Desserts to Zest up Your Meals

When life gives you lemons, make these citrusy treats!

Lemons are available year-round, of course, but they’re especially good when they’re in season. You hardly need a reason, however, to include lemon flavor the next time you’re making dessert. The contrast of tart acidity and sugary sweetness is a classic pairing: Think old-fashioned lemonade, or Lemonhead candies, both of which are irresistibly good.

So let that flavor combo make your homemade desserts extra special as well. And here, we have all kinds of ways to make lemony desserts, from the simple (lemon sandwich cookies) to the extra-impressive. The citrus is particularly delicious in lemon cake recipes, but it also makes everything from cookies, pies, tarts, bars, muffins, scones, and more taste amazing.

One of the great traits of lemon, however, is that it doesn’t need to be the star ingredient. A touch of lemon zest, or a little lemon juice will brighten up strawberry desserts or blueberry recipes and add a pop of flavor to sugar cookies and crème brûlées. And easy-to-make lemon curd is the ideal topping for all manner of sweet treats, from bundt cakes to meringues to cupcakes.

So whether you’re baking to manage stress, trying to make dessert-night a little more interesting, or thinking up something sweet to celebrate a loved one or occasion, try one of these editor-favorite lemon desserts. You won’t be sorry.

Poppy seed, lemon and tarragon dessert

Fresh summery desserts with not so everyday flavors coming your way!
Can you imagine the taste of this poppy seed, lemon and tarragon dessert? The poppy seed sponge is moist and little poppy seed specs give it such a lovely crunch, the tarragon bavarian cream is smooth and creamy with a hint of tarragon flavor in the background that gives this dessert another depth. Then comes the lemon curd punch, so creamy and tart it refreshes you instantly. Poppy seed, lemon and tarragon mousse cakes are then covered in a lovely yellow, shiny glaze and decorated with melted chocolate and fresh, edible flowers that make them almost too pretty to eat.

Aren’t they adorable?

If you love mousse cakes like these mini mousse cakes you will love my Blueberry Yogurt Mousse Cake and Rhubarb and Strawberry Mousse Cake.

I bought a new half sphere silicone mold and I had some poppy seeds at home waiting for me to use them, so I started to conceptualize a dessert around that. I researched what flavors go well together with poppy and the first one was lemon, doh, poppy and lemon dessert are quite known. Then I saw that tarragon goes well with poppy too, now doesn’t that sound interesting ? I’m all for new interesting flavors, so I had to use tarragon too.

I also love how the decoration came out, they are so cute I spent a lot of time taking pictures, that’s why there are so many, whoops!

On these pictures I didn’t use a real mirror glaze, that’s why they look shinier and more see-through than the actual ones. But I re-tested the recipe and it tastes better with the mirror glaze recipe that you can find below. For decoration, I used some melted chocolate, edible pansies, and daisies from my garden.

The recipe is made for a six 7 cm sphere moulds, but if you don’t have that, use a round pan anywhere from 19-25 cm, it will only differ in height. The mirror glaze is the same recipe I used for my Vanilla birthday cake, just a reduced amount.

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This dessert tastes really fresh and lemony with a hint of tarragon that is not overpowering and the moist poppy sponge gives it a nice texture. Perfect for summer :).

Here are a few other mini cakes or cupcakes that you must try in the summer:


(makes 6 portions)

Poppy seed sponge
120 g flour
180 g sugar
70 g poppy seeds
5 g baking powder
2 dl milk
0,5 dl oil
1 egg
some rum (2-3 tsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Tarragon bavarian cream
100 g heavy cream
100 g milk
1 tsp gelatin (you can use in sheet form)
20 g sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
130 g heavy cream

Lemon curd
40 g lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
60 g sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
80 g butter

Mirror glaze
100 g glucose
70 g condensed milk
100 g sugar
50 g water
100 white chocolate, chopped
7 g gelatin powder (yes, you can use the sheet form here also)
40 g water
edible yellow color


Tarragon bavarian cream
Bloom the gelatin by the instructions on the packaging (mine was: mix with 1 tbsp cold water and wait 5 min). Mix the egg yolks with sugar and set aside. Heat the first part of heavy cream (100 g), milk and tarragon until boil. Pour the hot cream slowly to the egg yolk mixture while stirring, so the eggs don’t curdle. Return the mixture to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until it reaches 85°C, stirring constantly. To check if it’s done without a thermometer, look at the picture under number 3 from ChefSteps.
Now you have creme anglaise! Remove from heat, add the bloomed gelatin and stir until it’s melted. Strain the mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap that should be touching the cream and let it cool down. This will take some time, so if you are in a hurry, place the bowl in another bowl filled with cold water and ice, stir occasionally. When the creme anglaise is at room temperature, whip the second part of heavy cream (130g) to soft peaks, it shouldn’t be whipped too stiff, so stop whipping when it makes a soft shape. Gently fold it into the creme anglaise. Pour the mixture into six 7 cm semi-sphere moulds, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about half-one hour.

Lemon curd
Mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg and egg yolk. Put the bowl with the mixture over a pan with simmering water, without the bowl touching the water. Cook for a few minutes (about 10), stirring often until it’s thick enough to coat a spoon (because of the eggs, the T shouldn’t be over 85°C). The picture from ChefSteps applies here as well. Remove from heat, strain and add butter in a few pieces. Stir it in, until it’s melted and incorporated. Cover the lemon curd with plastic wrap and set aside to cool.

Poppy seed sponge
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 24 x 32 cm baking tray with parchment paper. Mix the egg, oil, milk, rum and vanilla together. Add flour, sugar, poppy seeds and mix until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20-25 min, or until a toothpick/knife inserted into the batter comes out clean, with no wet batter.

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Take the bavarian cream from the freezer. Remove some of the cream in the center with a teaspoon and fill it with cooled lemon curd. You will have some leftover lemon curd because it’s hard to make less, but when was a little extra sweetness a bad thing? Use it for another recipe or eat with a spoon. Cover the desserts again with the plastic wrap and put in the freezer for a few hours, until everything is fully frozen.

Mirror glaze
Bloom the gelatin in 40 g water, or prepare by the instructions on the package. Bring the glucose, sugar and 50 g water to a boil on low-medium heat and boil for a minute or so, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the condensed milk and gelatin and mix them in. Now add the chocolate and let it sit for 3 min. Add the yellow color and mix everything together with an immersion blender. Be careful not to put air in the glaze, keep the immersion blender under the glaze. Tap on the counter a few times to reduce the bubbles. Strain the glaze to remove the bubbles and leave the glaze to cool to 33°C.

Level the poppy sponge with a knife and then cut out six 7 cm circles. Place them on a serving board. Take the frozen desserts from the freezer and place them on a wire rack that you put on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or just something that will catch the dripping glaze. Take your mirror glaze that should be at 33°C and pour over the frozen desserts. You can do that twice if you want a thicker, more yellow layer. Wait for the mirror glaze to set a bit and then remove the excess that is dripping down with a knife. You can save the leftover glaze for another time, it keeps in the fridge or the freezer for a long time. When the glaze is set, carefully place each dessert on top of a poppy sponge circle that you cut out. Decorate with chocolate and edible flowers.
Be sure to thaw before serving and keep in the fridge.

Issue: April 8, 2000

How can I grow and get lemons from seeds? Cyndi Little via Internet.


You can collect the seeds from a lemon that you eat to grow new lemon trees. It is important that you plant them immediately after you take them from the lemon fruit. They will not tolerate drying like our common garden seeds. This is true of many other tropical fruit seeds. If the seeds have dried a little while, they may still germinate, but the chances decrease rapidly with the increase in time that the seeds have been dry.

Once you collect the seeds, wash them well to remove sugar that may still cling to the seed coat. The sugar will encourage fungal attack. Fungi may then kill the young plant as the seed germinates. Plant the seeds while still moist in a pot filled with potting soil that has been pasteurized by heat to kill disease organisms.

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If the bag has been opened for a while, or if you make your own potting soil from homemade compost, you may want to pasteurize it yourself. You can do this by heating the moistened soil to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit and holding that temperature for 30 minutes after the center of the soil reaches 160 degrees.

Plant the seeds approximately one-half inch deep in the potting soil, moisten the soil slightly, then cover the top of the pot in which you planted it with plastic wrap to reduce evaporation so that the seed and soil will not rapidly dry out. As the soil begins to dry, add a little water, but be sure the soil does not become soggy. The pot in which you planted the seed should have drainage holes so that surplus water may drain away when you irrigate your seed and later the seedling.

Keep the pot with seeds in a warm location, such as the top of your refrigerator, until the seeds germinate. For this first period light is not necessary, but once the seedlings begin to appear, they will need light. If they are in a dark location, move them to a location which receives several hours of bright light each day. Direct sunlight is not necessary, but bright light is necessary.

A interesting thing about citrus seeds is that you may get several seedlings from each seed. One of these will be from the embryo formed due to pollination in the orchard, but the others will be “apomictic” seedlings which are vegetatively produced. That means that the apomictic seedlings will be exact genetic reproductions of the tree on which the fruit was formed, they are clonal seedlings. The one seedling produced by pollination will not be clonal as it will carry genetic material from the pollen parent (father) as well as the seed parent (mother). In any case, you should have a lemon tree, and it will very likely produce tasty lemons in about 15 years! I thought you would want to know that it will take a long time unless you graft from the seedling to a mature lemon tree. A mature tree may often be purchased at a nursery in the house plant section. There are dwarf house plant lemons from which you may also choose. Grafting may reduce the time for fruit production to only 5 years or so.

Marisa Y. Thompson, PhD, is the Extension Horticulture Specialist, in the Department of Extension Plant Sciences at the New Mexico State University Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center, email: [email protected], office: 505-865-7340, ext. 113.


For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension Horticulture page at Desert Blooms and the NMSU Horticulture Publications page.

Send gardening questions to Southwest Yard and Garden – Attn: Dr. Marisa Thompson at [email protected], or at the Desert Blooms Facebook.

Please copy your County Extension Agent and indicate your county of residence when you submit your question!

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