Lemon Curd Cookies

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Lemon curd cookies are soft, buttery treats infused with the zesty essence of fresh lemons. These buttery thumbprint cookies feature a shortbread crust with luscious lemon curd centers. Celebrate long days and hot nights with this tangy summer dessert.

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Ten lemon Curd Cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar.

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🧑🏼‍🍳 Why this Recipe’s a Keeper

  • These cookies provide a refreshing burst of citrus flavor. Enjoying lemon curd cookies is like snacking on rays of sunshine. Lightly crisp with a soft tangy center, this shortbread dessert will brighten up any occasion. Enjoy these special cookies with a glass of milk.
  • They’re easy to make with simple ingredients. You can use homemade lemon curd, or a jar of store-bought lemon curd to save time. The choice is yours!
  • Perfect texture. These cookies boast a soft and buttery texture that almost melts in your mouth. Each bite is a heavenly experience.
  • Crowd-pleasing appeal. Their sweet tangy flavor is a hit at any gathering. Serve them for Easter, Mother’s Day, 4th of July celebrations, backyard summer parties, and church socials. Make a double batch. Freeze half for later and enjoy half right now.
  • Lemon curd cookies are also ideal for afternoon tea. Arrange thumbprint cookies on a small tiered tray along with other bite-sized desserts like peanut butter blossoms and vanilla creme sandwich cookies. When hosting a tea party be sure to include mini cucumber sandwiches.
A fresh batch of Lemon Thumbprint cookies cooling sprinkled with powdered sugar.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Butter: It’s the base of our shortbread cookies. It adds tenderness, richness and flavor. I recommend high-quality butter like Tillamook, or the Kirkland brand from Costco.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness and flavor, and locks in moisture.
  • Large Egg: Adds structure and texture. It helps bind the cookie dough together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients. I prefer Mexican vanilla extract. It has a rich buttery taste and bakery aroma.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure for the cookie dough and prevents it from spreading too much in the oven. For even measuring, take a spoon and fluff up the flour in the bag. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup (overfilling it), then swipe off excess with a knife.
  • Kosher Salt: This seasoning balances the flavors of the other ingredients. If you don’t have kosher salt on hand, feel free to use sea salt instead.
  • Lemon Curd: You can use homemade lemon curd (my preference), or store-bought lemon curd from a jar. The most flavorful brands (taste, texture, color) are Trader Joe’s, Bonne Maman, and Waitrose.
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds an extra touch of sweetness while providing the lemon curd cookies with a classic lemon-bar look.
Ingredients for lemon curd cookies recipe.

📖 Recipe Steps

RECIPE PREP: Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or reusable silicone mats. Set them aside.

  1. Add softened butter and granulated sugar the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the salt. Gradually and slowly add in the flour. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix just until the dough comes together into a ball around the paddle attachment. Do not overmix.
  4. With a (1-tablespoon) metal scoop, portion dough into balls. Roll the pieces between the palms of your hands until smooth and round. Arrange on prepared trays, leaving them least 2-inches apart. Gently press down on each ball to flatten the surface a bit.
How to make shortbread cookie dough for lemon thumbprint cookies.
  1. With the back of a spoon or your thumb, press 1/2-inch-deep wells into the center of each cookie. Chill them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (or 1 to 2 hours). While the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Once the dough has chilled, fill the middle of each cookie with 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon curd.
  3. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or just until the bottoms turn golden blonde. Remove the treats from the oven. Let them remain on the pan to cool completely.
  4. Dust the lemon curd cookies with powdered sugar. They’re now ready to serve and enjoy.
How to form lemon thumbprint cookies.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly asked questions when making lemon curd cookies, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

I don’t have powdered sugar on hand. What can I do?

Make your own powdered sugar at home! It’s super easy. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon corn starch to the jar of a high-speed blender. Blend for 35 seconds or until fluffy. Recipe yield: 2 cups powdered sugar. Store unused sugar in an airtight container.

How do I prevent the cookies from becoming too flat?

Ensure your butter is at the right temperature (softened but not melted), and don’t overmi the dough. Chilling the dough before baking also helps maintain the cookie’s shape.

How to quickly soften butter?

Unwrap the cube of butter. Cut it into tiny little pieces. Spread out the pieces on the butter wrapper. Let it sit out on the countertop to soften. It will take about 15 minutes.

How do I ensure a consistent size for each cookie?

Use a cookie scoop to measure equal portions of dough for each cookie. This ensures they bake uniformly and look appealing.

How long should I refrigerate the cookie dough before baking?

For at least 30 minutes, or 1 to 2 hours. Chilling the dough allows the flavors to meld and prevents the cookies from spreading too much. Overnight chilling is even better!

What’s the best way to store leftover cookies?

Because lemon curd cookies feature lemon curd centers, they must be stored in the fridge for food safety. Arrange them in a single layer inside a parchment paper-lined airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze lemon curd cookies?

Yes you can. Let cookies cool completely. Arrange them in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking tray leaving space between the pieces. Freeze until solid. Wrap each frozen cookie in plastic wrap or squares of parchment. Transfer them to an airtight container lined with parchment paper. Wrap container in plastic and freeze up to 1 month.

Lemon thumbprint cookies cooling on a wooden board next to a bowl of lemon curd.

🍋 More Lemon Curd Desserts

If you have leftover lemon curd on hand you are super lucky! Here are more great ways to use it up. Make one or more of these tasty desserts. Add them to your recipe collection. Pin them to Pinterest.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Taste testers rated these the BEST lemon curd cookies. They enjoyed the light crisp texture of the shortbread, along with the vibrant flavor of the delicious lemony centers. They said hands down, this recipe’s a winner!

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with a friend. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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Ten lemon Curd Cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Lemon Curd cookies


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5 from 7 reviews

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Description

Irresistible lemon curd cookies are classic summer treats! These buttery shortbread cookies boast bright and luscious tangy centers. Prep this easy recipe in 15 minutes, chill the cookies then bake. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup lemon curd, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or reusable silicone mats. Set them aside. 

  1. Add softened butter and granulated sugar the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until the buttery mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, add in the salt. Gradually and slowly add in the flour. Stop mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix just until the dough comes together into a ball around the paddle attachment.
  3. With a (1-tablespoon) metal scoop, portion dough into balls. Roll them between the palms of your hands until smooth and round. Place the balls on the prepared trays at least 2-inches apart. Gently press down on each ball to flatten the surface a bit. With the back of a spoon or your thumb, press 1/2-inch-deep wells into the center of each cookie.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. While the oven is heating, stick the trays of cookies in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Fill the middle of each cookie with 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon curd. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or just until the bottoms turn golden blonde. Remove the treats from the oven. Let them remain on the pan to cool completely.
  6. Dust the lemon curd cookies with powdered sugar. They’re now ready to serve and enjoy.

Notes

ABOUT THE BUTTER: This is the base of the shortbread cookies. I recommend high-quality butter like Tillamook, or the Kirkland brand from Costco. If using salted butter, eliminate the 1/2 teaspoon salt from the recipe. Each cube of salted butter contains approximately 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Chill Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Lemon Curd Cookies 👉🏻 Join the Convo

Have you ever experienced the joy of freshly-baked lemon thumbprint cookies? Was it at a coffee shop or bakery? Share your thoughts on lemon curd cookies in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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7 Comments

  1. I made these cookies for my Granny. She had been craving a lemon curd dessert. She said these were even better than the lemon curd cookies her sister (who owned a bake shop) would make back in the day. I’m saving this recipe to make it again!