Sweet, tart, and buttery shortbread cookies are the perfect description for my Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies. Thumbprint cookies have to be, hands down, the cutest cookies. Bite-sized little treats with the perfect portion of sweet or tart filling. Store-bought tart lemon curd makes this cookie recipe quick and easy!
We love these sweet buttery cookies full of that lemon flavor. They really remind you that warm weather is just around the corner. I'm convinced that if you bake enough summer recipes, the sun will shine! Maybe HA!
If you love lemon bars then you'll love lemon curd cookies. Pretty much the same thing, just more portable. For another twist, these Lemon Blueberry Cookies are scrumptious too!
Lemon recipes have been a favorite of mine recently. Enjoy a Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake or a Lemon Curd Bundt Cake. These are wonderful for any spring or summer holiday gathering. Want more cookies? My Lemon Blueberry Cookies are a tasty treat.
Important Ingredients with Substitutions
- All-purpose flour - Properly measuring your flour is important to avoid dry and crumbly cookies. For easy measuring, fluff the flour with a spoon then scoop the flour gently into your measuring cup. Once filled, level with a butter knife. This method will give you the most accurate measurement without using a kitchen scale.
- Baking powder & Baking soda - Responsible for the tender crumb, and perfectly shaped cookies.
- Salt - Flavor and balance
- Unsalted butter - Softened to room temperature.
- White granulated sugar - I like to sift the sugar first making sure there are no large sugar lumps.
- Eggs - Room temperature eggs will mix more evenly in your cookies
- Vanilla extract - Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor, use the same quantity of vanilla paste.
- Lemon zest - Fresh lemon zest gives lemon cookies the tangy boost all throughout the cookie, and not just the filling.
- Lemon curd filling- Store-bought lemon curd is ideal for a quick batch of cookies. In a pinch, you could use lemon pie filling, if you must. If you have your own lemon curd recipe, go ahead. Making the lemon curd ahead of time works too to keep these cookies quick to make.
See the recipe below for the full list of ingredients and quantities.
Instructions for lemon thumbprint cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 1: In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Step 2: In a large bowl cream the unsalted butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes at medium speed. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer.
Step 3: Add egg and vanilla extract and lemon zest, and beat until combined.
Step 4: Add the flour mixture ⅓ at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.
Step 5: Use a small cookie scoop to form cookie dough balls. Place them on your prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each one.
Step 6: Use the end of a wooden spoon, measuring spoon, melon baller, or your thumb to press a slight indent into each cookie dough ball.
Step 7: Spoon a small amount of lemon curd into each cookie, roughly ½ teaspoon.
Step 8: Cookies bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
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Hint: Before indenting your cookies, roll them in sugar. Make lemon sugar by adding extra zest to the sugar.
- Blueberry Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies: Add dried or fresh blueberries into the cookie dough. Fill the thumbprints with lemon curd and top with a few blueberries before baking.
- Raspberry Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies: Mix freeze-dried raspberry powder into the cookie dough for a lovely pink hue and raspberry flavor. Fill with lemon curd and garnish with a fresh raspberry after baking.
- Lavender Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies: Infuse culinary lavender into the cookie dough for a delicate floral note. Fill the thumbprints with lemon curd and sprinkle dried lavender buds over the curd before baking. Similar to my Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies. Such a great combinations.
Store lemon curd cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week. Baked cookies with lemon curd will last longer if stored in the refrigerator.
I like to store cookies in a cookie jar or glass bowl next to my coffee pot.
Can I freeze lemon curd cookies? Freeze cookies and cookie dough, without lemon curd, in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw for a few hours before enjoying. Frozen cookie dough can be thawed, filled, then baked.
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If you don't have access to a cookie scoop, use a tablespoon for measuring. Roll dough into balls before putting them on the cookie sheet. This will ensure all of your cookies are the same size and bake evenly.
Fun fact! The Swedish cookie hallongrotta or "raspberry cave" is known in the United States as thumbprint cookies. Shortbread like cookies with an indent in the center filled with raspberry jam.
Lemon curd is sweet and tangy and made from lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. It has a smooth and velvety texture and is typically used as a filling or a topping for cakes, tarts, and pastries.
Lemon custard, on the other hand, is a dessert made from milk, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice or zest. It has a rich and creamy texture and is often baked in a pie crust. The addition of milk or cream in lemon custard gives it a soft texture and a more delicate flavor than lemon curd.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup White granulated sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Lemon zest
- 1 cup Lemon curd jarred
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Add one egg at a time and beat until each is combined. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Add the flour mixture ⅓ at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.
- Use a small cookie scoop to form cookie dough balls. Place them on your prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each one.
- Use the back of a spoon, measuring spoon or your thumb to press a slight indent into your cookie dough balls.
- Spoon a small amount of lemon curd into each cookie, roughly ½ teaspoon.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies chill on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, you can dust them with powdered sugar. This is optional.