There is something so wintery, but also warm and sunny, about lemons! To make the most of citrus season, these Lemon Curd Cookies will add a little sunshine to your day!
These Lemon Curd Cookies are soft, chewy lemon cookies topped with homemade lemon curd! The mix of textures and the sweet-tart lemon flavor will make these a new favorite!
If you enjoy this recipe, check out the posts for my Lemon Sugar Cookies, Strawberry Shortbread Cookies, and Orange Shortbread Cookies with Cranberry Glaze!
With some lemons and some fridge and pantry staples, you'll be whipping up these cookies in no time! Measurements for each of the ingredients are included in the recipe card, below.
Lemon Curd Ingredients
- Eggs - For richness and to help the curd set. While many curd recipes use only egg yolks, this one uses whole eggs, so you won't have any leftover whites to deal with! The color will be a bit lighter yellow and the curd will set up softer because of this, but the flavor is outstanding!
- Salt - To balance and enhance the flavor of the curd.
- Sugar - For sweetness.
- Lemon Zest and Juice - For flavor.
- Unsalted Butter - For richness and a satiny texture. Softened butter will melt more efficiently into the warm curd.
Lemon Cookie Ingredients
- Flour - Provides structure for the cookies. I used all-purpose flour.
- Baking Soda - For leavening.
- Salt - To balance and enhance the flavors of the cookies.
- Sugar - For sweetness and keeping the cookies moist.
- Lemon Zest - For flavor.
- Unsalted Butter - For moisture and richness. Unsalted so that you control the amount of salt in the recipe. You want your butter to be at room temperature so it incorporates better with the other ingredients.
- Egg - For moisture, richness, and a little leavening. You want your egg to be at room temperature.
- Lemon Juice - For flavor, moisture, and also reacts with the baking soda for leavening.
- Lemon Oil - For flavor. I love using lemon oil to heighten the lemon flavor in the cookies. I've found that the oil has more concentrated flavor than lemon extract. If you'd prefer not to buy lemon oil, you can use lemon extract or just add a bit more zest to your dough.
Hint: The link I've provided to the lemon oil is to a set of citrus oils because it's more cost effective! If you're looking for another recipe to use the oils in, check out my Lemon Sugar Cookies and Orange Shortbread Cookies with Cranberry Glaze!
Here's what you need to do to make these delicious cookies, step by step! More detailed instructions are included in the recipe card, below.
Making Homemade Lemon Curd
In a saucepan, combine sugar and lemon zest, rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingertips.
Add lemon juice to the sugar mixture and stir to combine.
Beat eggs with salt, then pour into the saucepan. Stir to combine.
Warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Strain, cover, and chill.
Hint: *Ina Garten voice* If you don't have the time or desire to make homemade lemon curd, store-bought is fine!
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Making Lemon Cookies
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Mix the sugar and lemon zest to help release the oils from the zest.
Add the butter to the sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
Add egg, lemon juice, and lemon oil and mix to combine.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Scoop dough onto pans and flatten each scoop slightly. Bake until barely golden.
This recipe mostly uses pantry and refrigerator staples, so I have only one potential substitution for this one:
- Instead of Lemon Oil- If you prefer not to use lemon oil, you can use lemon extract instead, or simply add more zest to your cookie dough.
No special equipment is required for this recipe, but here are a few things that make the process a little easier:
- Microplane Zester - Most people already have a zester or grater of some kind, but this one is my favorite.
- Nonstick Parchment - I like using nonstick parchment on my pans to ensure no sticking and for easier cleanup.
- Cookie Scoop - I used a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoon volume) to portion out my cookies so they’re all uniform in size (and my hands stay a lot cleaner).
- Offset Spatula - Not a necessity, but an offset spatula is helpful in keeping your hand out of the way as you're spreading the lemon curd on top of the cookies.
If you'd like, the lemon curd can be made well in advance. The curd will keep in a covered jar in your refrigerator for up to four weeks. For longer storage, freeze the curd in a freezer-safe container for up to one year. To thaw, simply place the curd in your refrigerator for about 24 hours before you need to use it.
The plain cookies (without lemon curd) will keep in an airtight container for up to a week. They'll stay soft and moist for longer if you place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies (white bread works best for this so it doesn't lend any flavor to the cookies)! For longer storage, the plain cookies will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
Once the cookies are topped with the lemon curd, they should be eaten right away, as the lemon curd will make the cookies soggy over time.
My best tip for round cookies: When the cookies come out of the oven, immediately use something round (a mug, large round cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, etc.), place it over a cookie, and swirl it in a small circle. The cookie will move around on the cookie sheet a bit, and that's okay. The cookies are still warm and soft, and you'll be able to easily mold them to the rounded shape of the cutter/mug. Repeat with the remaining cookies, and your whole batch will be round!
Other Recipes You May Like
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Lemon Curd Cookies
- Cookie Scoop (large; 3 tablespoon volume)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- pinch salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest (from 3-4 lemons)
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and softened
For Lemon Curd
- Beat eggs with salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips to release the oils from the zest. Add lemon juice and stir to combine.
- Pour egg mixture into the saucepan with the sugar mixture. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until the curd thickens, 5-10 minutes. If you have a thermometer, this will be around 170° F. You will know the curd it thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon, and when you drag a finger over the back of the spoon, you will leave a defined line in the curd.
- To ensure that it's smooth, immediately pour the thickened curd through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl. Add the butter and stir until fully melted and incorporated.
- Cover the curd with plastic, pressing the wrap directly to the top of the curd to avoid it forming a skin. Place the curd in the refrigerator and chill at least 30 minutes. (Hint: the shallower the bowl, the more quickly the curd will chill.)
For Lemon Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment (see note) and set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let the mixer run on low speed for a few minutes to help release the oils from the zest.
- Add the butter to the sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add egg, lemon juice, and lemon oil (see note) and mix to combine.
- With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- With a large cookie scoop (see note), scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Press down on each scoop lightly with the heel of your hand or a measuring cup to flatten slightly (this keeps the cookies a bit flatter, giving you a better surface for the lemon curd after baking).
- Bake cookies until just barely golden on the bottoms, 10-12 minutes. I turn the baking sheets around in the oven after 5 minutes to help promote even baking. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once ready to serve, top each of the cookies with about a tablespoon of lemon curd. Or just dip them in the bowl of curd. No judgement here. 🙂Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.
TURNED OUT GREAT! My family and I thought they tasted like crumbl cookies. However, they ended up being small, ig they don't expand as much in the oven as I thought they would. Disappointed by that, but the taste made up for it. Also, I didn't realize how much work it is to zest lemons LOL (sigh).
Haha I know what you mean about the zesting! I'm sooo happy that you enjoyed the recipe Crystal, and thanks so much for your review!
Wow these are good! The recipe made more lemon curd than I needed, so we had the rest with vanilla ice cream.