Note: This is the new and improved version of this recipe. Some of you reported that you had trouble using it as written. I have tested it multiple times now and decided to put up an easier version. Using a small amount of cashew nut butter is true to the character of the Hail Merry tarts, but any nut butter should work as well. (See Notes below for old filling recipe.)

NO BAKE LEMON MINI TARTS (new and improved recipe)
I found some cute little tarts at Whole Foods called, Hail Merry. They were egg-free, dairy-free, and raw but the first ingredient was agave nectar. I bought them anyway to see if I could make something similar minus the nasty fructose. Mine are tasty little treats that contain lots of good fats but no sugar. They can be dairy-free if made with coconut oil.

1 cup almond, cashew, or other nut flour
3/4 cup finely grated, dried coconut
Sugar substitute with bulk to equal 2 tablespoons sugar*
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 and 1/2  tablespoons butter, ghee, or coconut oil, melted
Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/2 cup butter, ghee, or coconut oil, softened to room temperature
Sugar-free sweetener with bulk equal to ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar*
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons coconut milk or other low-carb milk
1 teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon or 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
Pinch of salt, Redmond Real salt preferred

Grease 2 mini-muffin pans (twelve-cup size) or 24 small tart pans.

To make the crusts: In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients and mix well. Roll into balls and press into tart pans. It takes about 2 teaspoons of dough for each tart. Chill crusts until ready to fill.

To make the filling: Place the butter or coconut oil and cashew butter into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process or beat with an electric mixer until very smooth. Add other filling ingredients and process until blended. Taste and add more lemon juice or sweetener as needed. Pour the filling into the crusts and chill for 30 minutes to set before serving. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired. Can be frozen.

Makes 24 tarts, each with: Calories: 109; Fat: 11 g; Carbs: 2.5 g; Fiber: 1.1 g; Protein: 1.5 g; Net Carbs: 1.4 g
Nutrition info does not include sweetener, which may differ depending on which one you choose, (Most are close to zero net carbs.)

*Sugar substitutes with bulk include Swerve, erythritol, xylitol, Just Like Sugar, LC-Foods Sweet, and stevia or sucralose blends, among others. Most of them can be measured like regular sugar, but check the label to be sure. (Natural Mate is twice as sweet, so you can use half as much.)

If you have extra filling, serve it as a delicious Lemon Pudding with whipped cream and berries or freeze it in mini-muffin pans or paper cupcake liners to make individual Lemon Fat Bombs.

My tarts would have made a prettier picture if I had toasted the nuts, but they are more healthful with raw nuts. (The Omega-6 oils in nuts are fragile and are easily damaged when heated.) You could use nut meal rather than nut flour if you want the raw crusts to look brown.

If you prefer the original version of this recipe, it is below. Only the filling is different.
Old filling recipe
½ cup butter, ghee, or coconut oil, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup full fat coconut, almond, or other low-carb milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Sugar substitute with bulk* equal to ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
Grated zest of 2 medium lemons
¼ teaspoon salt

Make the filling:
Place butter or coconut oil in a bowl and beat until fluffy or blend in a food processor. Add low-carb milk, lemon juice, sweetener, extracts, zest, and salt and beat or blend until mixture is smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice or sweetener as needed.

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(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker,

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!


  1. Okay… how did you get the filling to blend? When you mix 1/2 c coconut oil with 1/3 c lemon juice… you get little blobs of oil dispersed in water. There’s no emulsifier in this recipe… color me skeptical, but I can’t see how one would end up with a “filling” from the list of ingredients. What did I miss?

    • Jeff, This has been one of my most popular recipes and I haven’t heard that anyone had a problem with it. The bulk sweetener should make it thick enough to blend. Thanks for the comment!

      • I used Swerve; maybe that’s not bulky enough 🙂 I put the filling in the fridge to chill and stirred it; while it’s still somewhat separated it was “together” enough to fill the crusts. Next time I’ll try whipping the coconut oil longer, and a different sweetener, to see what happens!

  2. I tried to make it today and that happened to me. I heated the filling mixture on the stove and it did blend together – I had previously tried both food processor and emulsifier blender. I added some cornstarch to the filling but it still was runny in the middle. I had to add more liquid to the crust recipe to get it to bind together. The taste was good but a lot of work for not a perfect product.

  3. Same thing for me. The filling didn’t come together smoothly, which as I was pouring into the bowl, I realized there wasn’t an emulsifier.
    Ended up melting it down to liquid, and chilling in fridge, stirring every so often. Once a little more solid, got it into cups.

  4. You might be using liquid coconut oil when you need solid coconut oil..?

  5. It seems like something is off in the recipe. I followed it to a “T” and the filling would not emulsify with the lemon juice. I used solid coconut oil. For the most part, they tasted great.

  6. RealResultsSkinCareFayettevilleNC

    For future reference – corn starch will only thicken something if it is allowed to come to a full-rolling boil. If you are trying to thicken without heat/excessive heat, then try a guar gum or xanthan gum type product – they work like a charm with VERY little product! Good luck!

  7. There is no Starch in this recipe. Starch is not Carb free friendly

  8. What did you do with the lemons on the top. Are those simply thinly sliced? They look candied in some way.

  9. Is there something carb friendly I could use instead of grated coconut? My son won’t touch anything coconut.

  10. I made this recipe except I didn’t have lemon extract so I used extra zest. It came out lovely. The filling doesn’t end up completely solid but firms up enough to scoop out of the pan onto a plate without it dripping. I used a vitamix and my sugar was a mixture of Xylitol, Erythritol, and Stevia. Hope that helps. They are yummy!

  11. I had the same problem with it separating and I used solid coconut oil.

    • I’ve been out of my kitchen for a quite a while but am better now and will do some testing to see if I figure out what is wrong. The recipe worked for me, obviously, since I have pictures, but I don’t remember exactly what I did or which of the options I used. Meanwhile, you can fix it by adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the recipe.

      I made a batch this morning with coconut oil and it separated when I put it in the refrigerator. I’ll see if I can find my notes to see if I used butter rather than coconut oil when I originally made it. Thanks for the feedback!

  12. This recipe is not workable. Even after REALLY trying to get it to work the tarts were crude, had a terrible texture and were WAY too sour. I would NOT recommend this.

  13. We *loved* the tart lemony flavor, And in the end, when chilled they’re very good. We will keep experimenting with ingredients and technique–it’s worth it!

  14. I just made these. They were delicious! I put a tablespoon of almond flour in the filling and whipped it with the electric beater. It was a little difficult but kept mixing and they turned out great.

  15. These turned out just lovely. Because of the comments I used a little less milk and a little more coconut oil!

  16. I did melt the coconut oil in advance… Me and my doughter loved them so much ? Absolutely yummie! Will be making new ones soon!

  17. I will make these once I can get a couple of lemons for the zest. However, is it possible to use 1/8 tsp. of dry mustard as an emulsifier. I use the mustard in the liquid side before adding oil for making mustard. What do you think?

  18. I meant making mayonnaise … not mustard! Sorry …

  19. I love too cook and bake. This kind of your recipe is new for me, I want to try this one pretty sure its delicious. Excited!

  20. I also could not blend mine, so I drained the milk out and added about 1/4 cup cream cheese to bring it all together.

  21. I have been retesting the recipe. I’m out of ingredients again, but will get back to it as soon as I get a new supply. I think I have a solution to the problem that people have been having! Thanks to all of you for your helpful suggestions!

  22. Disgruntled Reader


    I would recommend taking this recipe down or making your edits to it immediately. So far it appears many of us are being mislead by what you’ve written and wasting our time and money.

    It is hard not to feel ignored when you post several times that you have yet to try out the recipe again. Maybe in the future you test your recipes more thoroughly before posting them.

    -Disgruntled Reader

    • Disgruntled reader: I understand your frustration and am planning to replace the recipe today if I can. I am also behind on other posts that would explain what has been going on in my life. I’ve had some serious problems that have made it hard to accomplish much and also a surgery to correct a vision problem that made it difficult to use the computer. I’m starting a new protocol that I hope will help on both issues.

  23. Thanks for taking the time to revise your recipe! Despite earlier blending issues, my wife and I enjoyed the lemony goodness enough to make them twice. I look forward to giving them another go with your revised ingredients!

    Best wishes — I hope that your vision and other issues you mention all are headed in the right direction. Thoughts and prayers for you 🙂

  24. This is the best keto dessert I’ve had yet. I can’t describe how amazing these are.

    I read previous comments thinking I would need to add a bit of xanthan gum to get the filling to blend but it turned out incredible as is. I used a NutriBullet Pro, and used almond butter instead of cashew, I’m not sure what difference those made.

    Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • Thanks, Paige! I made so many batches of these when testing the recipe that I had a lot of leftover filling. I made it into fat bombs and froze them. I am really enjoying having something ketogenic when I need a quick snack. (And they are not chocolate! I tend to eat too much chocolate, especially in the evening when the caffeine-like theobromine can be problem.)

  25. Hi Judy,
    I see that your recipe has been revised. Could you please clarify exactly what you changed in the filling? I feel like it was just the addition of cashew butter, but I’m not sure if any other quantities have changed. I’m asking because I really LOVED the original recipe!! To all the people complaining that it didn’t work for them: I had a problem with it not blending together the first time I made it, too. I played with warming the mixture up, cooling it down… what I discovered is that you have to blend/whip it for a very LONG time. That’s it. All that was lacking was persistence. 🙂

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