Lemon treats are among my favorite sweets and these cookies are right up there with the best! In just 30 minutes with just 6 ingredients, you'll have these buttery, sweet and tangy lemon curd thumbprint cookies on your table. Grab a bowl and let's go!
Lemon thumbprint cookies are a sweet treat for any season. These are especially popular for baby showers, high tea and Easter celebrations. These are like buttery shortbread cookies with a bright hit of tangy lemon. If you love sweet and tangy lemon curd, then this is the perfect recipe for you!
Did I mention I love lemon desserts and treats? For more lemon recipes, check out my Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins and Easy Banana Bread Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting.
Fruit and lemon feature in my drinks too, like Lavender Lemon Drop Martini and Easy Homemade Strawberry Peach Lemonade With Real Juice on this site. For a special and relaxing drink, try Lavender Milk Tea with these cookies.
Can you believe you can make these with just 6 ingredients?!!!
- Lemon Curd - I've used store bought lemon curd for these but you can definitely use your own homemade lemon curd recipe too. (I admit, tangy homemade lemon curd can't be beat but using premade lemon curd makes these way faster.)
- Butter - I've used salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add ⅛ teaspoon of salt to the sugar mixture. Using room temperature, softened butter helps keep the dough firm enough to shape your cookies easily. Don't use melted butter.
- Lemon Zest - I adore lemon zest. It adds vibrant lemon flavor without adding liquid. This touch adds a delicious lemon scent and flavor to the cookies.
See recipe card for quantities.
In just a few short minutes, these simple ingredients get baked up into lemony cookies that are a perfect lemon lovers dream. Start by preheating the oven to 350'F.
1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add sugar and lemon zest. Using your hands, rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar until well combined and fragrant.
2. Add the butter and vanilla extract to the bowl. Cream it together well with an electric mixer or stand mixer for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
3. Slowly add the flour, mixing until the dough resembles wet sand. If you find that your cookie dough is too crumbly, you can add cold water, ½ teaspoon at a time, until the dough can be shaped into balls. (Add a pinch of salt to this step if using unsalted butter.)
Get one large (or two small) non stick baking tray or cookie sheet or line one with parchment paper.
4. Form dough balls that are about golf ball sized and spread them evenly across the surface of the large cookie sheet leaving about 1 ½" between each cookie.
Use your thumb or the pointy end of a wooden spoon to make a fairly deep indentation into the center of each cookie.
5. Fill each indent with a generous amount of tart lemon curd.
6. Place in the preheated oven and bake cookies at 350°F oven for 15 minutes.
These cookies will not get golden brown in the oven. You’ll know they’re finished baking when they become matte rather than shiny.
7. Let the thumbprint cookies cool for 5 minutes, then lift them gently onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving and enjoying!
Aren't these the easiest cookies you've ever made?! Yum.
Substitutions + Variations
There are a few simple and easy variations that can be made to these lemon thumbprint cookies.
- Citrus Swap - Prefer lime, orange or grapefruit? Swap out the lemon curd for lime, orange or grapefruit curd and use the zest from the corresponding fruit for the cookie batter. Bake up as directed.
- Sugar Glazed - Lemon curd thumbprint cookies are even better when topped with a simple glaze of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Simply mix a cup of confectioners sugar (not castor sugar) with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice and a tiny pinch of salt. Mix until smooth and drizzle over the edges of the cookies.
- Leftover Lemon Curd - If you have leftover lemon curd, you can use it in lots of ways. Make some simple lemon tartlets, spread it on toast, or spoon it onto vanilla ice cream or yogurt.
These lemon curd cookies will keep well, stored in a single layer in an airtight container (or on a plate covered with plastic wrap) for up to 1 week. Because of the sugar, they do not need to be refrigerated.
Lemon curd thumbprint cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Air is the enemy so be sure to eliminate as much air as possible, sealing them up in a freezer-safe bag or tightly sealed container before placing in the freezer.
For some more delicious sweet treats and desserts, try one of these.
I think the combination of sweet buttery cookies and luscious, lemon curd centers is seriously the best and I hope you agree! I'd love for you to share this with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.
If you have any questions or comments, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. I try to answer any recipe related questions quickly as I know you might be in the middle of making it. Also check out my FREE PRINTABLE meal planner to make menu planning and grocery shopping a breeze. And if you like this recipe, I would love it if you give it a star rating in the recipe card.
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup Butter Brought to room temperature
- ⅔ cup Granulated Sugar
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ cup Lemon Curd
- Use your hands to rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar until well combined and fragrant.
- Add the butter and vanilla extract. Cream everything together until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.
- Slowly add the flour, mixing until the dough resembles wet sand.
- Form the dough into golf ball sized dough balls and spread them evenly across the surface of a nonstick cookie sheet, about 1 ½ inches apart.
- Use your thumb to make a good indent into the center of each cookie.
- Fill each indent with a teaspoon of lemon curd or a little more if it fits.
- Bake the cookies in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.
- Cool 5 minutes, then remove cookies to wire cooling racks and let the thumbprint cookies cool completely before serving.