Lemon Thumbprint Cookies are made with a simple, buttery dough, rolled in powdered sugar, then filled with a spoonful of lemon curd and baked.

This Lemon Cookie Recipe has a burst of sweet lemon in every bite! Lemon lovers will go crazy for these gems.

Lemon thumbprints on a white serving dish.

Why You Must Make

  • These lemon cookies are perfect for lemon lovers! They taste like lemon bars, but you can eat them without a fork.
  • Using a good quality jarred lemon curd makes them super easy to make.
  • They are small cookies so just one or two will give you your fix without ruining your diet!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Flour, Salt
  • Butter – At room temperature. I used salted and only added a pinch of salt to the dough.
  • Powdered Sugar – Sifted. Some for the dough and more to roll the dough balls in.
  • Egg – At room temperature for easier incorporation.
  • Vanilla Extract – Real vanilla, not artificially flavored. Check the label.
  • Lemon Extract – I get mine at Penzey’s
  • Lemon Curd – I bought a jar, but you can always make your own
Lemon Thumbprints Ingredients with labels on a metal sheetpan.

How to Make

These lemon curd cookies look like they came from a bakery, but they’re quite easy to make. You’ll make a basic cookie dough flavored with vanilla and lemon, roll it into balls, then roll in powdered sugar, make a thumbprint and fill each divot with lemon curd.

Recipe Tips

  • You can make your own lemon curd, but I like to buy a jar to make it easy.
  • Some of the powdered sugar will melt into the cookies when baked, but they’ll still look nice.
  • If you’re baking on a hot day, you may want to chill your dough first so they keep their shape better.
  • I like adding lemon extract to the dough, but you can also add finely grated lemon zest for that extra boost of citrus.
  • I like using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for making cookie dough. This prevents excess air from getting incorporated into the dough. You want a dense shortbread cookie texture not a cakey texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Homemade Lemon Curd When Making These Cookies?

Yes, homemade lemon curd will work fine. But if you don’t have the extra time, a good quality jarred curd is a great shortcut.

Why Doesn’t the Powdered Sugar Stay On the Cookies?

The heat of the oven causes the powdered sugar to melt into the cookies. Adding a little cornstarch to the powdered sugar can help minimize the melting, but these cookies are pretty even when the sugar fades a bit.

How Do You Store Thumbprint Cookies?

These will stay fresh for about 1 week in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Due to the lemon curd filling, it’s best not to stack them. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Again, they should be frozen in one layer to keep the filling intact.

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2 lemon thumbprint cookies on a small square white plate with fresh raspberries to garnish.

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 18 cookies

Tasty thumbprint cookies filled with lemon curd.


  • Jar of lemon curd (you will use less than half of it)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar plus more for rolling cookies
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon extract and mix until combined.
  4. Mix in the flour and salt just until combined.
  5. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes or until it firms up.
  6. Scoop out tablespoons of dough and roll into balls.
  7. Roll each dough ball in powdered sugar and place them on your baking sheet.
  8. Using your thumb or the back of a teaspoon-sized measuring spoon, make a divot or well in each dough ball.
  9. Place a spoonful of lemon curd in each well.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes. The edges should look set and the cookies should show slight browning along the bottom rims.
  11. Let cool for a few minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
  12. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Recipe adapted from Barley and Sage and Pastry and Beyond.

You can make your own lemon curd if desired.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 63mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 4g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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