These lemon curd thumbprint cookies feature a buttery coconut shortbread cookie filled with tangy homemade lemon curd. – a pretty addition to any cookie tray!
You look like you need a new spring baking project and I’m here to tell you to look no further than these complete GEMS of a cookie!
If I had to imagine spring in a cookie, it would definitely be these guys. The delicate shortbread, the pretty little lemon curd center, and the light dusting of powdered sugar is just ticking all the spring boxes.
Almost too pretty to eat, but trust me, you won’t have any trouble with that.
We’re still having a moment with lemon around here and it’s time to let the sweets have their time to shine with the most glorious citrus fruit.
Lemon fans, listen up – these are about to become your new addiction.
These Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies feature…
- A light, buttery shortbread cookie base with flaked coconut.
- Tangy homemade lemon curd.
- Minutes to make and a stunning addition to any spring event!
Making the Lemon Curd Thumbprints
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
- Flaked coconut
- Baking powder
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Lemon Curd
Lemon curd is SO easy to make at home and noticeably better than jarred lemon curd, in my opinion.
To make it at home, all you need is a fresh lemon, sugar, egg yolks, softened butter, and a double-boiler for cooking it.
Setting up a double-boiler is very simple, just set a heat-safe glass bowl over a pot of barely-simmering water. From there, cook the egg yolks, lemon juice, zest, and sugar in the top bowl until slightly thickened, then remove from heat and whisk in softened butter.
And that’s all it takes for homemade lemon curd. It’s really that easy!
Tips for Perfect Thumbprint Cookies
- Make homemade lemon curd – homemade is sooo worth the extra few minutes here! You can’t beat the fresh, bold lemon flavor.
- Pulverize flaked coconut – we want the coconut very finely chopped for the cookie dough and we found a few quick pulses in a food processor worked perfectly. If you don’t have a food processor, chop coconut very finely with a knife.
- Indent dough balls – use your thumb or the back of a tablespoon to press an indention into each cookie.
- Chill cookie dough – form the dough into balls and either freeze or refrigerate until dough is firm. – don’t skip this chilling step, it prevents the cookies from spreading too much while baking.
- Indent cookies again after baking – the cookies may have spread a bit during baking and lost their thumbprint. Just use the back of a tablespoon to re-indent cookies.
- Fill cookies with lemon curd – be careful not to overfill thumbprints, otherwise the lemon curd will run out of the cookie and things will get messy.
- Dust cookies with powdered sugar and coconut – once the cookies are cooled completely, lightly dust with powdered sugar and extra coconut for one last little decorative touch.
Make Ahead Instructions
To make cookies ahead of time, shape dough into balls and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 2 months.
Follow recipe instructions if baking from refrigerator. If baking from frozen, allow dough balls to thaw in refrigerator prior to baking.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
If you wish to freeze cookies, bake and cool per recipe instructions, but do not fill with lemon curd. Place cookies in an airtight container and freeze up to 2 months.
To serve from frozen, thaw cookies completely, then fill with lemon curd and dust with powdered sugar per recipe instructions.
These thumbprint cookies really are little spring gems. The shortbread cookie is soft and buttery with just a hint of coconut flavor, while the lemon curd center is a perfect little burst of tangy lemon flavor.
Bring these beauties to any spring gathering and watch them steal the show!
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
A few more cookie jar favorites to try next!
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Iced Oatmeal Raisin Apple Cookies
- Citrus Browned Butter Shortbread Cookies
Coconut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar and additional flaked sweetened coconut for garnish
- In the bottom pot of a double-boiler, bring a few inches of water to a boil, then reduce heat to low to keep water at a simmer. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest into the top bowl of double boiler and place on top of bottom pot of simmering water.
- Whisk lemon curd continuously so the egg yolks don't curdle. Continue whisking over simmering water until curd becomes smooth and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove curd from heat and immediately add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time whisking well after each addition.
- Allow lemon curd to cool slightly, then place plastic wrap directly on surface of lemon curd and place in refrigerator.
- Place coconut in a food processor and pulse several times until a fine, chopped consistency. Set aside for a moment.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until completely creamy, about 3 minutes of mixing. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Combine coconut, flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat flour mixture into liquid until a soft dough forms.
- Roll dough into 1-in. balls and place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your thumb to make a small indentation in each cookie.
- Chill dough balls in freezer 10–15 minutes (or in fridge 30 minutes) until dough balls are stiff.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough balls from freezer or fridge and bake cookies at 350F for 11–15 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.
- Use the back of a tablespoon to re-indent thumbprints if cookies have lost their thumbprint shape during baking. Cool cookies on baking sheet 10 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Spoon lemon curd into thumbprints, being careful not to overfill. Allow to cool completely, then dust cookies with powdered sugar and coconut. Enjoy!