These lemon curd cookies are so buttery and literally melt in your mouth. They have a lemony sugar crust and are filled with a tangy homemade lemon curd.
How could you not love these lemon curd cookies? They are sweet and tangy and have a sensational lemon flavor. Not only do these shortbread cookies have lemon zest inside the dough, but also in the sweet sugar coating.
With each bite, you get a luscious lemon curd filling. There is so much lemony goodness inside these cookies!
If you love lemon recipes, make sure to try my Lemon Lavender Cookies and Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Full of lemon flavor- The cookie dough is flavored with fresh lemon zest, while the lemon curd has fresh lemon juice. I add even more lemon zest inside the sugar coating.
- Lemon curd filling- Each cookie is filled with a big dollop of creamy lemon curd.
- Tender shortbread cookie- These cookies are buttery with a slightly sandy texture from being rolled in lemon sugar before they are baked.
- Easy to make- These lemon cookies take no time to prepare. The cookie dough and lemon curd each have a handful of ingredients.
- Lemons- You will need lemon zest for the cookie dough and sugar coating. Make sure to use fresh lemon juice in your curd for the best flavor.
- Butter- I use unsalted butter. For the cookies, soften the butter for 2 hours before making the dough.
- Sugars- I use white granulated sugar for the lemon curd and powdered sugar for the shortbread cookies.
- All purpose flour- Make sure to sift flour to get out any lumps.
- Eggs- I use whole eggs to make the lemon curd.
How To Make Perfect Lemon Curd
Homemade lemon curd is so easy to make. Once you've tried this from-scratch version, you will never buy store bought lemon curd ever again. Here are some helpful tips in making the perfect lemon curd.
- First and foremost, use fresh lemon juice. Do not use bottled lemon juice.
- Keep the heat on low so the curd gradually thickens. If the heat is too high, it will curdle.
- Do not stop whisking the curd as it cooks. Make sure to whisk along the outer edge of the pot where it can sometimes scorch and burn.
- As you whisk, you will noticeably see the curd thicken. It will coat the back of a wooden spoon. As soon as this happens, turn off the heat and remove it from the stove.
- After cooking, always use a fine sieve to remove any eggy bits or clumps inside the curd.
- Use cold butter. This will help cool the curd down and set it more quickly.
- To prevent a skin from forming, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd.
Step By Step Instructions
STEP 1: Make lemon curd. Juice lemons and heat inside a saucepan. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Slowly pour hot lemon juice over egg mixture, continuously whisking.
Pour mixture back into the saucepan and heat on low. Whisk continuously until mixture begins to thicken, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Add butter and stir until melted. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
STEP 2: Make lemon sugar. Place sugar and lemon zest inside a food processor. Blend until lemon zest is fine and thoroughly mixed into the sugar.
STEP 3: Beat butter and sugar. Inside a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sifted powdered sugar. The mixture will be light and fluffy.
STEP 4: Add dry ingredients. Sift flour and salt over butter mixture. Mix on medium speed just until combined.
STEP 5: Scoop cookies. Use a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop to scoop dough. With your hands, form dough into balls. Place balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
STEP 6: Chill cookies. Roll each cookie in lemon sugar. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place 12 cookies per sheet.
Take the back of a tablespoon and gently press on each cookie to create a divot for the lemon curd. Place cookies inside the freezer for a minimum of 20 minutes.
STEP 7: Bake cookies. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake cookies for 15-17 minutes, turning the sheet pan half way through baking. Once baked, take a teaspoon and press on the tops of each cookie to create a deeper indent for the lemon curd.
STEP 8: Fill with curd. Once cookies have completely cooled, add 1 teaspoon of curd into the center of each cookie. Serve and enjoy!
Use a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop to keep your cookies the same size. This will also help them bake evenly.
Make sure your cookies are completely cool before adding your finished lemon curd. If they are still warm, it will heat up the lemon curd and make it runny.
Give your cookies enough time to chill before baking. You can freeze them for a minimum of 20 minutes or refrigerate them for 1 hour. Properly chilling your dough will prevent your cookies from spreading.
Bake at a low temperature. I bake these cookies at 325° so they do not brown too quickly and they cook all the way through.
Rolling the cookies inside the lemon sugar creates a crust which actually helps the cookies from getting soggy. You can bake off the cookies and hold off on adding the lemon curd until you're ready to serve them.
You will begin to see the edges around the cookie turn a light golden brown. The bottoms of each cookie will also be golden when they are ready to take out of the oven.
Yes, I actually suggest making the lemon curd 1 day in advance to allow it time to chill and set up properly.
Storing and Freezing
Store any leftover lemon curd cookies inside an airtight container. Place them in a single layer and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Refrigerate any leftover lemon curd for 7-10 days.
You can freeze unfilled shortbread cookies for up to 3 months. To thaw, place on counter until they come to room temperature.
To freeze lemon curd, make sure the curd is completely cool. Place in an airtight container or Ziplock freezer bag for up to 1 year. To thaw, place inside the refrigerator overnight.
Other Recipes To Try
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Lemon Curd Cookies
- 3 Eggs
- ⅓ cup Lemon juice about 3 medium size lemons
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoon Butter unsalted
- ½ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 Lemon zest
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- 8 oz Butter unsalted, softened
- 2 oz Powdered sugar sifted
- 10 oz All purpose flour sifted
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Lemon zest
- Place lemon juice inside a saucepan. Heat on high until mixture comes to a boil.
- Inside a medium size bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Whisk until smooth. Once lemon juice is heated, slowly add to egg mixture. Make sure to whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Pour mixture back into the saucepan and heat over low heat. Continuously whisk to prevent the bottom from burning. Once it thickens, remove from heat and check to make sure it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Press lemon curd through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.
- Stir in cold butter and mix until completely melted. Cover directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Combine sugar and lemon zest inside a food processor. Blend until lemon zest is fine and combined with the sugar.
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- Cream butter, powdered sugar and lemon zest for 2-3minutes until light and fluffy. Sift flour and salt directly over butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
- Scoop dough with tablespoon or small ice cream scoop. With hands, form into balls and place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roll each ball into lemon sugar.
- Using the back of a tablespoon, gently press to create a divot on top of each cookie. Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Space cookies at least 2" apart. Bake cookies for 15-17 minutes, turning the sheet pan half way through baking. Once baked, take a teaspoon and gently press on the tops of each cookie to create a deeper indent for the lemon curd.
- Once cookies are completely cool, fill with 1 teaspoon of lemon curd. Serve immediately.
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