Lemon Curd Cookies have the base of a whipped lemon shortbread cookie that is filled with creamy lemon curd. These cookies are incredibly easy to make and are lusciously divine. Serve them as a special treat for lemon lovers or as a dessert for the holidays, baby showers, bridal showers or summer parties.
When making these cookies for a bridal or baby shower serve them with Summertime Pasta Salad or Springtime Pasta Salad. Also, they make a refreshing dessert at the end of a feast of ribs, wings and potato salad during the summer months. For lemon lovers though, they will be in heaven if Sgroppino (an Italian Lemon Sorbet Cocktail) and Italian Lemon Pound Cake are also served.
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What are Whipped Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Whipped shortbread cookies are a butter cookie that has a light, airy and crumbly texture. These cookies are made with somewhat similar ingredients as regular shortbread cookies are. However, the main difference is that regular shortbread cookies are much more dense in texture.
Best Lemon Curd
When making homemade Lemon Curd I adore Ina Garten’s Lemon Curd Recipe. When purchasing Lemon Curd I enjoy the Trader Joes brand. However, both my husband and I very much like Bonne Maman’s Lemon Curd.
Ingredients for Lemon Curd Cookies
- All Purpose Flour– As the name suggests, this flour is great for an all around flour that is perfect for many purposes. However, it is important to sift the flour with a tool such as this to help ensure a light a fluffy texture of the whipped shortbread cookie.
- Corn Starch– Important for creating the crumbly and tender texture.
- Powdered Sugar– Most grocery stores will have this sugar labeled as powdered sugar. However, you may also find it labeled as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar.
- Unsalted Butter– Using a high quality unsalted butter is highly recommended.
- Lemon Zest and Lemon Extract– Using both the zest and the extract helps to achieve a more concentrated lemon flavor in the whipped shortbread cookies.
- Salt– Using salt (especially when using unsalted butter) is important because it is a flavor enhancer. It also helps to prevent the sweetness from taking over the flavor of the cookies. I use Maldon’s Sea Salt flakes for everything from baking to marinating and cooking. This is because of its low iodine levels and it tastes amazing. When using it for baking, it is important to use a mortar and pestle to grind the sea flakes or run the risk of biting into large flakes of salt.
- Sweet Lemon Curd– You can either make your own lemon curd or use store bought. (See Best Lemon Curd section directly above.) Also, any other type of fruit curd can be substituted as a fun variation.
- Lemon Juice– Use the lemon juice only if making a lemon glaze to drizzle on the cookies.
How to Make Lemon Curd Cookies
Making the Cookies
- Preheat oven to 325℉ and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine room temperature butter, powdered sugar, salt, extract and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment beat on medium-high speed for a full 5 minutes making sure to stop and scrap down sides of mixer.
- Once beaten the butter should look silky smooth and fluffy.
- In a medium bowl stir together cornstarch and flour. Gradually add to butter mixture.
- Beat on medium speed until blended, making sure to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop a tablespoon of dough. Place the scooped cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
- In a separate small bowl add a small amount of additional powdered sugar. Dip the back of a rounded 1/4 teaspoon into the powdered sugar.
- Press the back of the 1/4 teaspoon into the rounded cookie dough making an indentation. Bake cookies unfilled for 15-20 minutes making sure to rotate halfway through. Keep a watchful on the cookies at around the 10 minute mark to ensure that the cookies do not over bake. Once baked, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling wrack to cool completely before filling with the lemon curd.
Note: The back of a spoon may be used to gently make an indentation if a rounded 1/4 teaspoon is not available.
Filling the Cookies
- Using a gallon size plastic ziplock bag is a short cut to not having a piping bag. Open the bag and place your hand into the inside corner of the bag. Slide the corner into the bottom of the glass and fold the edges over the side of the glass.
- Spoon the the lemon curd into the bag. Note: If making lemon curd from scratch, make sure to cool completely before filling the plastic bag.
- 10-16 ounces of lemon curd will fit nicely into a gallon sized bag.
- Once filled, pull the sides of the bag up.
- Remove the bag from the glass and twist at the top, just above the lemon curd.
- Using a pair of scissors, cut the tip of the bag off.
- Squeeze a small dollop of lemon curd into each cookie.
Lemon Glaze for Cookies
- To make the lemon glaze place 1 cup of powdered sugar into a small to medium sized mixing bowl.
- Add 3 tbsp of lemon juice and mix well.
- If glaze is too thick add in an additional 1/2 tablespoon- 1 full tablespoon more of lemon juice until the desired consistency is reached.
- Transfer glaze into a sandwich bag using the same technique as the lemon curd (see Filling the Cookies section above).
- Drizzle cookies with glaze.
- Stand Mixer– Because of the lengthy mixing time I highly recommend using a stand mixer. If using a hand mixer, cream the butter mixture on high speed for a full 7 minutes.
- Cookie Sheets
- Parchment Paper– Lining the cookie sheets with parchment paper makes for very easy transferring of the cookies.
- Bowl Scraper– These sturdy pot and bowl scrapers makes the job of scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl much easier with this softer dough.
- Microplane– For zesting the lemons.
- Small Cookie Scoop– Use a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoop.
- Rounded Measuring Spoon– These dual sided measuring spoons give the ease of an oval side that fits into many spice jars and the rounded side for making indentations.
- Measuring Cups
- Spatula– This style makes for easy transferring of the cookies from the baking sheets to the cooking wrack.
- Cooling Racks
- Mixing Bowls
- Gallon and Sandwich Size Bags or Piping Bag
- A Glass for the Bags (see above images)
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the dough for these Lemon Curd Cookies need to be chilled before baking?
No, the dough does not need to be chilled before baking. However, the dough can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container a few days before baking. When ready to bake, let the dough sit at room temperature for a few hours before forming the cookies.
Can you make these cookies without lemon curd?
Yes, these buttery cookies are wonderful without lemon curd also. To do so, increase the lemon zest to 2 tablespoons and follow the directions from my Whipped Shortbread Cookies recipe on how to form the cookies.
How long does leftover lemon curd last in a jar once opened?
A jar of lemon curd, once opened will last in the refrigerator for approximately 4-6 months. However, I tend to air on the side of caution and use it within a month.
Homemade lemon curd should be used within a week.
Is lemon curd the same as lemon custard?
Doing a quick Google search and it can become incredibly easy to mix up lemon custard with lemon curd. However, these recipes are similar but not the same. The main difference is that lemon custard has either milk or cream in the ingredients list and the lemon curd does not. In short, lemon custard is very similar to lemon curd but is creamier because of the milk.
Do these cookies need to be refrigerated because of the lemon curd?
For anyone who loves lemons, these cookies do not last long. During the winter months we leave ours out over night covered (our home never gets above 68℉ in the winter). However, if these cookies will be around longer than a day and a half it is a good idea to refrigerate. The easiest way is to use a refrigerator organizing bin because it allows you to store the cookies in a single layer.
More Luscious Lemon Desserts and Savory Recipes
Lemon Curd Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar *sifted, See Note #1 below
- 1/4 salt See Note #2 below
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest *from 1 large lemon or 2 medium, See Note #3 below
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour *sifted
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 10 ounces lemon curd
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
Making the Cookies
- Preheat oven to 325℉ and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter, sifted powdered sugar, salt, lemon extract and lemon zest. Using the paddle attachment beat ingredients on medium-high speed for a full 5 minutes making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through. See Note #4 below.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together the sifted flour and cornstarch.
- Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Scoop the batter using a small (1 Tablespoon) sized cookie scoop and place on prepared cookie sheets leaving about 1 inch space in-between each cookie.
- Place a small amount of powdered sugar in a separate small bowl. Dip the back side of a rounded 1/4 teaspoon into the powdered sugar and then press the sugared side into the center of the cookie making an indentation. See Note #5 below.
- Bake the cookies unfilled for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. See Note #6 and 7 below.
- Once baked remove from the oven an let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wired cooling wrack to completely cool.
Filling the Cookies
- Once the cookies have completely cooled, open a gallon sized plastic bag (or piping bag) and place the corner edge into the center of a glass. Fold the edges of the bag over the sides of the glass. Spoon the lemon curd into the bag. Once filled, pull the sides of the bag up and remove from the glass. Twist the bag at the top of the lemon curd. Using a pair of scissors cut the tip of the bag off. Squeeze a small dollop into the center of each cookie. (See images in post for guide.)
- In a small bowl add powdered sugar and 3 tabelspoons of lemon juice. Mix well. If glaze is too thick add an additional 1/2-1 full tablespoon more lemon juice. Transfer glaze to a sandwich bag (or piping bag) using the same glass technique as the lemon curd. Drizzle a small amount of glaze onto the cookies.