These Lemon Curd Cookies are bursting with fresh lemon flavor! Tender, tangy and with luscious lemon curd centers - a perfect treat for lemon lovers!
If you love lemons, then these Lemon Curd Cookies are perfect for you! They're packed with so much deliciousness that they’ll leave your taste buds tingling.
These lemon cookies have a subtle and balanced flavor with just the right amount of sweetness from the cookie dough.
The dough comes together quickly too, with no chilling required! These lemon curd thumbprint cookies keep for 3 days and they're also very easy to double or triple so you can share with family and friends.
And who doesn’t love a batch of tangy lemon curd? This homemade lemon curd is simple, quick, and so creamy! But you can also use store-bought lemon curd if desired.
These easy lemon thumbprint cookies are great for dessert or just to snack on at any time of day. With just eight basic ingredients and less than 30 minutes of prep time, you can enjoy these lemony cookies as soon as possible!
What is Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd is a sweet, egg-based mixture that’s usually served with pastries, scones, or biscuits. But it also makes a delicious cookie filling, too. The result is a tender and tangy cookie with a delicious rich and creamy, lemony center.
Ingredients and Variations
For the thumbprint cookies, you will need:
Butter - Softened to room temperature and unsalted.
Sugar - Granulated or caster sugar. You will need some extra sugar to roll the cookies before baking. You will also need powdered sugar for dusting (optional).
Egg yolk - Use room temperature eggs.
Vanilla extract - Optional, but a great flavor enhancer.
Salt - To balance the sweetness.
Flour - All purpose flour works best for these cookies. Make sure to weigh your flour using digital kitchen scales for accuracy. Use room-temperature flour.
For the homemade lemon curd, you will need:
Lemon Zest + Juice.
Sugar - Granulated or caster.
Eggs - You will need one egg and one egg yolk for the small batch lemon curd.
Butter - Use unsalted butter (cubed).
How to Make Thumbprint Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together the softened butter and sugar (using a stand or handheld electric mixer) until pale and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and mix well. Scrape any ingredients from the sides of the bowl.
Finally, add the flour. Note: the mixture might be a little crumbly at first, but the dough will come together as you keep mixing it.
Use a cookie scoop (or one tablespoon) to measure the cookie dough.
Roll into dough balls and roll each ball into granulated sugar, then transfer to prepared cookie sheet, leaving a 2-inch space between each one.
Using your thumb or the back of a rounded measuring spoon, press an indentation into the center of each cookie dough ball.
Repeat these steps for the remaining cookie dough.
Bake cookies in a preheated oven for 11-13 minutes or until set and the bottoms are lightly browned.
Remove from the oven. At this point, you can repeat the indentation step (pressing very lightly) if the dough has risen slightly and the previous indentation is gone. Be careful as the cookies will be hot!
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make sure the cookies have cooled down completely before filling with lemon curd.
How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd
This easy lemon curd recipe yields a small batch of lemon curd filling, enough to fill 18-22 thumbprint cookies.
Feel free to double or triple the amounts for a larger batch or storing.
Beat together the egg, egg yolk, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium bowl.
Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Add cubed cold butter gradually and stir after each addition until butter is melted.
Do not let the lemon curd bubble or boil at any point!
Continue cooking the mixture for a few minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture frequently.
Lemon curd is ready once the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the wooden spoon or when it leaves a coating on the side of the saucepan when tilting it.
Once ready, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass bowl to remove any bits of lemon zest.
Allow the mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes before filling the cookies. Lemon curd will continue to harden as it cools.
Transfer 1-1½ teaspoons of cooled lemon curd into each indentation of your thumbprint cookies. Dust with powdered or icing sugar as desired. Then leave to set for around 15 minutes, then serve and enjoy!
Making Ahead and Storing
Lemon curd cookies can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The cookie dough can be made one day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Bring out to room temperature 10-15 minutes before baking.
Unfilled baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. They can be filled before serving.
Lemon curd can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Leftover lemon curd can be stored in the same way.
To ensure the right cookie dough consistency and for best results, always weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales, rather than cups.
This applies for flour, butter, and sugar.
Digital scales are more accurate than cups as ingredients are measured by their actual weight.
If your lemon curd hasn't thickened enough, it may require more heating.
For this small batch lemon curd, it will take 7-10 minutes of frequent stirring to cook lemon curd. It will take even longer (up to 30 minutes!) if it's a large batch.
Remember though, that lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools down.
Yes, lemon curd cookies should be kept refrigerated until ready to serve.
Leftover cookies should be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 1 week.
No, the cookie dough for these thumbprint cookies does not require chilling time!
However, if you're preparing the cookie dough ahead, you can refrigerate it overnight and then bring out to room temperature 10-15 minutes before baking.
Lemon Curd Cookies
- 112 g unsalted butter softened (½ cup)
- 100 g granulated sugar or caster sugar (½ cup) + 4-5 tbsp. for rolling
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract optional
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 145 g all-purpose flour sifted (approx. 1 cup + 1 tbsp.)
- 1 tbsp. powdered sugar for serving, optional
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 75 g granulated sugar or caster sugar (approx. ⅓ cup)
- 60 mL fresh lemon juice (¼ cup)
- zest of one lemon
- 60 g unsalted butter cold and cubed (¼ cup)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats). Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Use a spatula to scrape any ingredients from the side of the bowl.
- Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, and salt and mix well until fully combined.Add sifted flour and mix slowly. The mixture will be a little crumbly at first but the cookie dough will come together as you continue mixing it.
- Using a cookie scoop or one tablespoon, scoop cookie dough, roll into balls and roll each one in granulated sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a 2-inch space between each one.
- Use your thumb or the back of a rounded measuring spoon to press an indentation into the center of each ball of cookie dough. Repeat for the remaining cookie dough.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the cookies are set and the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and repeat the indentation step if previous indentations are gone or decreased in size. Do this carefully and using very light pressure as the cookies will be soft when out of the oven.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the egg, egg yolk, sugar, lemon zest and juice. Transfer mixture into a small saucepan and stir over low-medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Gradually add the cold cubed butter, stirring until each addition is melted. Make sure not to let the curd come to a boil or bubble at any point.
- Continue cooking the mixture, stirring frequently using a wooden spoon for a few minutes. Lemon curd is ready once it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon or when it leaves a thick coating on the side of a tilted saucepan.
- Pour the cooked lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl to remove any lemon zest and other bits.
- Let the lemon curd cool for 10-15 minutes. It will continue to thicken as it cools down.
- To fill the cookies, carefully spoon 1-1½ teaspoonfuls of cooled lemon curd into the indentation of each thumbprint cookie. Dust with powdered sugar and store in a refrigerator until ready to serve.