These lemon curd cookies are a soft and tender butter cookie that's filled with a bright and tangy lemon curd. There's even a dusting of powdered sugar sprinkled over the top!
These lemon thumbprint cookies are a perfect springtime cookie! The buttery cookie dough pairs so well with the tart and sweet homemade lemon curd filling.
I even added a little bit of lemon zest to the cookies to highlight the lemon flavor even more! All lemon lovers need to try these cookies!
Why You'll Love These Cookies
- They're topped with a tangy homemade lemon curd.
- Both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest are used.
- You only need simple ingredients.
- Each bite just melts in your mouth from the soft textures!
These truly remind me of buttery shortbread cookies because they're soft and crumbly, while also being sturdy.
Here are some notes on the ingredients we'll be using. For the full ingredients list, look at the recipe card below.
- Egg Yolks: 4 large egg yolks are needed for this lemon curd recipe.
- Lemons: You'll need 3-4 lemons. You'll use both the zest and juice.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is used in both the lemon cookies and curd.
- All-Purpose Flour: Be sure to properly measure your flour (check out Expert Baking Tips above).
- Corn Starch: Helps the cookies to be soft and tender.
- Powdered Sugar: This is an optional ingredient. I like to sprinkle it over the cookies once cooled.
Here are the step by step instructions on how to make these lemon curd thumbprint cookies.
Step 1: Make the curd. In a small saucepan over med-low heat, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk constantly until thick.
Remove from the heat, whisk in the cubed butter, and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Cool completely.
Step 2: Dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, and salt. Set aside.
Step 3: Cream butter. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and creamy.
Step 4: Wet ingredients. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Step 5: Combine the ingredients. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture just until combined.
Step 6: Scoop the dough. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out the dough and roll into balls.
Use the back of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to press into each dough ball to make an indent.
Step 7: Chill the dough. Place the prepared baking sheet into the refrigerator to chill for 40 minutes. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 8: Bake. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes and allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them over to a cooling rack.
Step 9: Assemble. Dust the cookies with powdered sugar and then pipe on the curd into the center of each cookie.
Keep any leftover cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Expert Baking Tips
- Lemon Curd: If desired, you can definitely make this the day before. The curd must be completely chilled before filling the cookies.
- Measuring Flour: To help ensure you don’t add extra flour, follow these three simple steps: 1) Fluff up the flour using a fork. 2) Spoon the flour into your measuring cup. 3) Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level out the flour.
- Cookie Scoop: I used a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop in order create smaller cookies. I recommend the #50 cookie scoop for this recipe.
- Cookie Dough: Use a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to make an indent into each cookie dough ball. I do this before baking and then after.
- Chill Time: The cookie dough balls must chill 40 minutes before baking. This allows the butter to firm back up and to not overspread while baking.
You didn't chill the dough long enough. The cookie dough balls must chill for at least 40 minutes before baking.
You certainly can, but I highly recommend you make it yourself. It's super easy and tastes so good!
It will last in the refrigerator for at least 1 week. You can add it to your muffins, fill cupcakes with it, or even mix it into ice cream!
It brings me so much joy to see you make my recipes. 🙂
More Cookie Recipes
Lemon Curd Cookies
- Baking Sheets
- Parchment paper
- Small Saucepan
- 4 large egg yolks
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Lemon Butter Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- powdered sugar (optional)
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt.
- Whisk constantly as the lemon curd cooks to avoid any curdling. It will take about 20-25 minutes to thicken. Once thick, remove from the heat and mix in the cubed butter until completely combined.
- Scrape the curd into a heat-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Lemon Butter Cookies
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and use a silicone spatula to fold in any loose flour.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop (I used my #50, which is about 1 tablespoon) to scoop out the dough and roll into balls in your hands. Place onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Use the back of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to press into each dough ball to make an indent. Place both baking sheets in the refrigerator to chill for at least 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once chilled, bake one cookie sheet at a time for 9-11 minutes, or just until the edges are set. If needed, use the ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to press softly into each cookie to make the indent more obvious.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them over to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once cooled, dust each cookie with powdered sugar (optional) and add about 1 teaspoon of lemon curd to the middle. I placed my curd in a piping bag and piped it onto the cookie.
- Keep any leftover cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.