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Last Updated on June 10, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
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!
What can you do with 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 these lemon curd cookies! 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!
- all-purpose flour – because these lemon curd 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 lemon curd 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 these lemon curd cookies!
- 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.
This is a pretty simple lemon curd cookies recipe, 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.
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!
Definitely! Whether you use homemade or store-bought lemon curd for these cookies, you should keep it refrigerated in an airtight container afterwards.
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.
These lemon curd cookies are just the beginning! You’ll also love my key lime cookies — they’re soft, tangy, and almost melt in your mouth! They’re topped with the most perfect key lime powdered sugar glaze, and will always be a hit with your guests!
Another fantastic cookie recipe you’ll love are my peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies — they’re so fun to make, and such a delicious treat for an afternoon snack!
Lemon Curd Cookies – Thumbprint Cookies with Easy Lemon Curd Filling!Print Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
Equipment you may need
- microplane grater/zester
- wooden spoon
- 4 large lemons - zested and juiced
- 4 large eggs - beaten
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp (89 ml) salted butter - cubed
- To make lemon curd, heat zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a medium saucepan, whisking constantly. Add chunks of butter gradually, continuing to whisk as butter slowly melts.
- Continue to cook mixture, whisking often, about 10 minutes or until thickened. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any egg solids 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.
- Add softened butter and cream together about 3-5 minutes, or until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Gradually add flour and mix just until dough comes together.
- 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.
- 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.
PIN this lemon curd cookies recipe for later!
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