Lemon Curd Cookies

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These buttery shortbread cookies are filled with lemon curd, baked, and then drizzled with a vanilla-almond glaze. Lemon Curd Cookies have perfectly crisp edges with a soft and tangy center — a lemon lover’s dream treat!

Other favorite lemon treats: Lemon Blueberry Bread, Lemon Zucchini Bread, or our favorite Lemon Bars.

Overhead photo of Lemon Curd Cookies with a spoonful of lemon curd alongside.
I know, I know, Christmas has come and gone along with the cookie-baking season. But I just had to slip one more cookie recipe in for you to make before the New Year. I thought of waiting a few months to post this recipe (saving it for Easter or springtime), but I decided it would be a travesty to wait that long!

If you love shortbread and you love lemon, these might be your new favorite cookie. We have not been able to stop eating them at my home!

Process shot collage -- butter and sugar get beaten together and then dry ingredients are added to make Lemon Curd Cookies.

These cookies are a bit more involved than most cookie recipes because you’ll need to make lemon curd, cookie dough, and a glaze. While none of the components are overly intricate, each part takes time and a bit of planning. You’ll want to make the lemon curd a day in advance and the actual cookie dough also needs chilling before being baked.

Don’t let the advance preparation scare you; these cookies are worth every minute it takes to make them. (And then some!)

How to make Lemon Curd Cookies

Below I’ll share a quick overview of the steps for making Lemon Curd Cookies. The numbers on the photo collages (above and below this text) correlate with the steps listed below. 

As I said, you’ll begin with making lemon curd. While I haven’t included step-by-step photos for that, you can see a full post on making homemade Lemon Curd here.

  1. Soften the butter to room temperature. Make sure to use real butter, not margarine. The better the butter, the better these cookies will taste.
  2. Add granulated sugar and beat….
  3. …until you reach this consistency.
  4. In goes the extracts, salt, and cornstarch, and finally the…
  5. …flour! Mix until just combined. Avoid over mixing the dough or you’ll end up with less-tender cookies.
  6. The consistency of the dough should look like this photo.  You can probably tell it’s quite soft and needs to be chilled.
  7. Before chilling, measure out the cookie dough balls using a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon.
  8. Form each cookie ball and then roll it in granulated sugar.
  9. Press an indent into the center of the cookie dough balls and place it on a sheet pan to chill thoroughly.
  10. Fill up the indent with fully chilled and thickened lemon curd.
  11. The curd should be even with the top of the cookie. Bake the cookie and allow it to cool completely.
  12. Add the glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and allow time for the glaze to dry before enjoying these amazing Lemon Curd Cookies. 

Process shot collage -- cookie dough being formed into balls and then filled with lemon curd.

Can you make Lemon Curd Cookies ahead of time?

These lemon curd cookies can be made in advance. All you need to do is make the dough, form them into the cookies (with the thumbprint) and freeze the dough balls. (Place on a sheet pan to freeze and then transfer to an airtight container/bag.)

The frozen cookie dough will last from 3 to 6 months in the freezer (Baked cookies with the curd don’t freeze very well and neither does the glaze).

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, just pull them out of the freezer (no need to thaw), top with the prepared lemon curd, and pop them in the oven. They’ll typically need a couple of extra minutes on the bake time.

As far as baking these cookies ahead of time, these are best within 3-4 days of being made. The better you store the cookies, the longer they’ll last.

Up-close photo of finished cookies.

Lemon Curd Cookie tips

  • Chill the dough. This cookie dough must be chilled before baking, which allows the ingredients and flavors to meld. Just like marinating meat before you cook it makes it more flavorful, the same applies to these cookies.
    • I recommend shaping the cookies first and then chilling them. While the dough is still soft and warm, it shapes a lot easier (and cracks less) than when the dough is firm and cold.
    • After adding the lemon curd filling, we chill the cookies for another 5-10 minutes. We want the cookies very cold and firm before they go into the oven.
  • Thoroughly beat the butter and sugar. Beating the butter and sugar fluffs the dough with air; that gives the cookies the perfect foundation for great texture. Take your time to make sure the butter and sugar are well blended. 
  • Make the lemon curd at least one day in advance. The curd needs to be fully thickened and well chilled before adding to the cookies. You can make the curd 3-4 days in advance before baking.
  • Don’t overfill the indent of the cookies with the lemon curd. Overfilling will cause spilling, burning on the sheet pan, and make a huge mess. You don’t want to go there.

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Lemon Curd Cookies

4.93 from 13 votes
These buttery shortbread cookies are filled with lemon curd, baked, and then drizzled with a vanilla-almond glaze. Lemon Curd Cookies have perfectly crisp edges with a soft and tangy center -- a lemon lover's dream treat!
Print Recipe

Lemon Curd Cookies

4.93 from 13 votes
These buttery shortbread cookies are filled with lemon curd, baked, and then drizzled with a vanilla-almond glaze. Lemon Curd Cookies have perfectly crisp edges with a soft and tangy center -- a lemon lover's dream treat!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon curd cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chilling Time 1 day 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 33 minutes
Servings 35 -37 cookies
Chelsea Lords
Calories 155kcal


  • Candy Thermometer for making the lemon curd



  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2-1/4 cups white all-purpose flour (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd (homemade or store-bought) (Note 2)
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies in


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (or 2 tablespoons whole milk)
  • 1 drop pure almond extract, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • LEMON CURD: If making homemade lemon curd, prepare at least one day in advance. See Note 2.
  • COOKIES: In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the room-temperature (NOT melted or softened at all) butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as needed. Add the vanilla extract, cornstarch, and salt and mix until combined. Add flour to the bowl. Beat together at low speed, scraping bowl as needed, until all ingredients are combined. Do not over-mix the dough.
  • CHILL COOKIES: Shape the cookies into small balls -- the size of 1 tablespoon (use a tablespoon measuring spoon to form and measure balls) and then roll the cookie dough balls in the 1/3 cup granulated sugar until generously coated. Next, gently indent the center of each cookie dough ball with your finger. Place these cookies 2 inches apart on a Silpat or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (or freeze for 30 minutes). Remove from the fridge and add completely chilled and thickened lemon curd to fill (but not overfill) the centers of all the cookies. Return the cookies to the fridge for 10 more minutes.
  • BAKE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly browned under-neath and the tops are no longer glossy. Slightly underbake for soft and delicious shortbread cookies.
  • COOL COOKIES: Remove cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. (Add heavy whipping cream or milk until you've reached your desired consistency; I like the glaze on the thicker side, but you may want to add a bit more cream or milk.)
  • GLAZE: Drizzle the glaze over the cookies (either drizzle with a spoon or transfer the glaze to a plastic bag and cut off the tip to pipe). Allow the glaze to set. Cookies are best enjoyed within 3-4 days; store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Flour: This is the measurement that differs most person to person--if you have a food scale I highly recommend using it for this measurement. 315 grams of flour is perfect for these cookies!
Note 2: Lemon curd: Grab store-bought lemon curd or make your own (nothing beats homemade -- this is the BEST Lemon Curd ever!) If making homemade, it needs to chill at least 8 hours before using in these cookies. If you do opt to make the homemade lemon curd, you'll have quite a bit leftover as we only use about 1/2 cup in these cookies. Read the post on the lemon curd recipe for lots of ideas how to use up leftovers!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 37cookies | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.6g | Protein: 1.5g | Fat: 8.1g | Cholesterol: 40.1mg | Sodium: 9.1mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 13.9g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hi Chelsea,
    I just made your recipe for your Lemon Curd Cookies today. I have never been a lemon cookie fan, but I am now. They absolutely melt in your mouth. I was short on time, so I bought the lemon curd. I plan on making these again, so I will try the homemade curd next time. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Great buttery cookie with a hint of lemon. Will make again adding lemon zest and/or lemon juice to dough as I would prefer an even more lemon flavor.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed these Lemon Curd Cookies! Thanks so much for your comment Nichole! 🙂

  3. Hi Chelsea, the first time I made these cookies they were perfect! The second time round however they fell apart, what could I have done wrong?
    Delicious recipe by the way, they were a huge hit with the family!

  4. I’ve made them twice.
    They taste great but the cookie dough spreads out (almost melts away from the lemon curd. The cookies look like sunny side up eggs.
    My cookies look exactly like your photos until they’re baked.

  5. So I am attempting a different spin on this recipe, I wanted to try a raspberry curd instead, would I still put the curd into the cookie prior to baking or can I do it after? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with your lemon curd, I just wanted to try something new!!

  6. Looks like a great recipe, and am excited to make them! But cookie instructions call for 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar. Is this a mistake?

    1. No, sorry for the confusion; 3/4 goes in the cookies and the 1/2 cup is what you roll the cookie dough in after it’s made! Enjoy!

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Though the making of lemon curd was a little bit unclear, it turned out alright in the end!
    Cookies were finished in a day!

    1. Yay! SO thrilled you enjoyed these, thanks Wendy! And thanks for letting me know the lemon curd directions were unclear, do you mind sharing what was confusing so I can fix it for others? Thank you!!

  8. Just made the lemon curd cookies 1st batch was great 2nd pan was runny and spread I think I should bake one batch at a time but they are delicious

  9. I sent a comment my second batch spread and did not brown Now I know what happened two cookie sheets were stuck together other wise cookies were great I omitted the glaze as I thought they were sweet enough

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you! Great recipe, I added orange zest to the dough and used an orange curd – absolutely melt in your mouth deliciousness.

  11. Cookies taste lovely, but they cracked at the slightest pressure when making the indent for the filling.

    1. Sounds like the dough was a little dry; most likely a little too much flour got packed in the measuring cup!

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