Lemon Curd Cookies

Lemon Curd Cookies

Last Updated on September 24, 2021 by Chenée Lewis

This easy lemon curd cookies recipe is always so fun to make and eat! They’re shortbread cookies with lemon curd that we’ll make homemade, or you can use store-bought and it’s just as good! If you like these lemon curd thumbprint cookies, you’ll love my Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake, my Lemon Dump Cake, and my Lemon Poppyseed Scones!

Overhead view of lemon curd cookies on parchment paper
Lemon Curd Cookies

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Easy Lemon Curd Cookies Recipe

Thumbprint cookies are so fun! I love making my peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies for a yummy nostalgic treat, and my cinnamon-dusted salted caramel thumbprint cookies are always a huge hit! But I have a soft spot for lemon goodies, so these lemon curd cookies may be my new favorites! They’re buttery lemon shortbread cookies filled with rich, tart lemon curd, and they’re SO easy to make! Best of all, you can feel free to use either homemade lemon curd or save time with store-bought lemon curd!

One lemon curd cookie seen from above
Easy Lemon Curd Cookies

What can be made from lemon curd?

The recipe for the homemade lemon curd for these cookies comes from my lemon coconut layer cake, which can be found in my Sweet Summertime cookbook! Making that cake was a useful reminder that there are SO many delicious uses for your leftover lemon curd once you’re done making this recipe! My favorite is to use the lemon curd as an ice cream topping! Just spoon it over some creamy vanilla ice cream and enjoy the contrast of the sweet and tart flavors. I also love lemon curd as a topping on pastries, toast, biscuits, crepes pancakes, yogurt, and other breakfast goodies.

Lemon curd is also perfect as a dessert filling or topping. Think cheesecake, layer cake, cupcakes, or tarts. And of course, these lemon curd cookies are always a good idea!

Is lemon curd the same as lemon custard?

Not quite, although they do have some similar ingredients. Lemon curd is made with lemon juice, butter, sugar, and eggs. Lemon custard, on the other hand, often adds cornstarch, milk or cream, or flour to those ingredients to achieve a thicker, creamier consistency.

Ingredients

  • all-purpose flour – because these cookies have a shortbread base, it’s important to measure your flour correctly. I recommend measuring flour by weight using a kitchen scale, or using the spoon-and-level method.
  • lemon zest – use a microplane grater to remove the outer peel of the lemon to add a brighter lemon flavor to these cookies. I prefer to use organic lemons when I’m zesting them, since the coating added to conventional lemons can inhibit the lemon flavor.
  • salted butter – your butter should be cold and cut into cubes. I like to cut it into cubes, then place it back in the fridge or freezer to chill again before using. If you prefer to use unsalted butter, just add ½ teaspoon of salt in with your dry ingredients.
  • vanilla extract –  be sure to use a high-quality pure vanilla extract. Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
  • powdered sugar – sift your powdered sugar before measuring, or use a kitchen scale to measure out 115 grams by weight.
  • lemon curd – I include a recipe below for a delicious homemade lemon curd, but you can also use your favorite store-bought lemon curd to save time making this recipe!
  • turbinado sugar – we’ll be using turbinado sugar to add a sweet crunch to the top of our cookies! If you don’t have any turbinado sugar, feel free to use white sparkling sugar or just omit it altogether.
lemon curd cookies scattered on parchment paper
Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Curd

Equipment

This is a pretty simple recipe for shortbread cookies with lemon curd, so you’ll mostly need basic cookie tools — a large baking sheet and liner, and an electric mixer. You’ll also want to grab a microplane grater to zest your lemon, and a wooden spoon or other tool to press out the “thumbprint.” I like to use a wine cork!

Tips and F.A.Q.

Does lemon curd keep?

Your lemon curd should last up to a week, refrigerated in an airtight container. You’ll definitely have some left over, so see above for some ideas for what to do with your extra lemon curd!

Do you refrigerate lemon curd after opening?

Definitely! Whether you use homemade or store-bought lemon curd for these cookies, you should keep it refrigerated in an airtight container afterwards.

Does baked lemon curd need to be refrigerated?

Yes, you should keep these lemon curd thumbprint cookies in the refrigerator — they should be fresh for up to 4 days. If you like, you can also freeze them for up to 2 months – just be careful when freezing to not stack to the cookies to avoid the lemon curd sticking to everything.closeup of lemon curd cookies

Why is my lemon curd not thickening?

You may not have heated it enough to set the eggs — I’d recommend using a thermometer to make sure the temperature hits between 160-185°F. Also, keep in mind that your lemon curd will thicken as it cools, so if you’re unsure if it’s thick enough, let it cool to room temperature. If it’s still too thin, you can reheat it, stirring constantly, to reach the appropriate temperature.

Why did my lemon curd go grainy?

This may be the result of cooking it at too high a temperature. You should aim to heat to at least 160°F, but no higher than 185°F.

How do I store these lemon curd cookies?

These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 1 week if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.

More Lemon Recipes You’ll Love

Overhead view of lemon curd cookies on parchment paper

Lemon Curd Cookies Recipe – Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Curd Filling!

Print Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
This easy lemon curd cookies recipe is always so fun to make and eat! They’re shortbread cookies with lemon curd that is homemade or store-bought!! I know you'll love these lemon curd thumbprint cookies!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 39 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine :American
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 151kcal
Recipe Source: Chenée Lewis

Ingredients

Lemon Curd

Instructions

  • To make lemon curd, heat zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.
    4 large lemons, 4 large eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Reduce heat to low and continue to cook mixture, whisking constantly, about 10 minutes or until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and add chunks of butter gradually, continuing to whisk as butter slowly melts.
    6 tbsp salted butter
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and place in a bowl to cover and let cool. Chill at least one hour or overnight before using for cookies.
  • To make lemon curd cookies, place powdered sugar and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and press with a wooden spoon to release lemon oils.
    1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Add softened butter and cream together about 3-5 minutes, or until mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla.
    1 cup salted butter, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Gradually add flour and mix just until dough comes together.
    2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • Scoop out one-inch dough balls and place 2 inches apart on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Chill any extra dough for the next batch.
  • Use your thumb, the end of a wooden spoon, or a wine cork to press an indentation into the middle of each cookie. Fill each indent with about ½ to 1 teaspoon chilled lemon curd. If desired, sprinkle each cookie with raw sugar.
    ½ cup lemon curd, turbinado sugar
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place baking sheet in freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes while the oven preheats.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are golden brown. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Video

Notes

Salted butter: I typically use salted butter in baking, but you can use unsalted butter in this recipe — just add ½ teaspoon of salt in with the dry ingredients for the cookies and ¼ into the lemon curd.
Softening Butter Quickly: To soften your butter, place the stick of butter on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for 4 seconds. Turn so another side of the stick of butter is facing up and heat for another 4 seconds. Repeat for a total of 16 seconds.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie | Calories: 151 kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.3 g | Protein: 1.6 g | Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Cholesterol: 37 mg | Sodium: 71 mg | Potassium: 15 mg | Fiber: 0.3 g | Sugar: 6 g | Calcium: 4 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Tags: Easy lemon curd cookies, lemon curd cookies, lemon curd cookies recipe, lemon curd cookies recipes, lemon curd shortbread cookies, Lemon curd thumbprint cookies, Shortbread cookies with lemon curd, thumbprint lemon curd cookies
Did you try this recipe? Rate it below!I can’t wait to see (and share) your results! Follow me on Instagram at @chenee_today and tag #cheneetoday!

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