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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

A thumbprint cookie with triple the lemon! Lemon zest and juice baked into the dough, and homemade lemon curd in the center!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14 cookies
Calories: 174kcal


For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbs. (135 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd

For the lemon glaze

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Prepare pans and preheat oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Beat butter and granulated sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add egg yolk and vanilla. Add the egg yolk, mixing until combined. Add extract and mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour and salt and mix just until combined.
  • Shape cookies.  Using a tablespoon scoop the cookies into 1 inch balls. Roll each cookie into a ball using your hands and place on the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. With your thumb or the back of a ¼ teaspoon, dent each cookie in the center, and put ¼ teaspoon jam into each indent.
  • Bake and cool the cookies. Bake for 15-17 minutes until light golden brown on the bottoms. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, before moving to a cooling rack to completely cool.
  • For the glaze. Mix all ingredients for glaze in a small bowl. If it's too thick, add a bit more milk. If it's too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. Drizzle over cookies once they are cooled. 


  • Dough May Curdle. When you add the lemon juice and zest to the dough your dough may start to look a little funky and curdled. Keep mixing.  It will come back together and be all creamy again I promise.
  • Measure your flours correctly. Too much flour can result in a dense cookie. Don’t just scoop the flour directly into your measuring cup. This can result in a major over measurement! After you have spooned the flour in, then use a knife to level off the flour. Don’t tap the sides of the measuring cup, or pack your flour down. Both can also result in too much flour. You can read a full tutorial on how to measure flour here
  • Butter softened to room temperature. Does the temperature of the butter matter? It matter so much this quote was added to end of the recipe in the cookbook.”Butter is like the concrete you use to pour the foundation of a building. So it’s very important to get it right: the temperature, the texture, and aeration” So in other words…yea it matters. It matters so much I did an entire post on how butter temperature affects cookies.  The butter needs to be softened to room temperature, which mean you can slightly indent your thumb in the butter but shouldn’t easily smoosh all the way through. If you forget to take your butter out in time, cut the butter into small chunks and leave out at room temperature. It will soften much faster this way. When you cream the butter and sugars together it’s also important to let this happen for a whole 5 minutes to allow enough air into the batter and helps leavens the cookies. For 3 quick ways to soften your butter, you can read this post.
  • Use a small cookie scoop for best results - A cookie scoop will give you all perfectly even sized cookies which means they will all bake evenly.
  • Fill with curd before baking - Trying to fill them after can be tricky. So fill before you bake and keep it easy peasy.
  • If your cookies spread too much.. - Try chilling the cookie dough. Any unused dough can be kept covered in the fridge. Or after they come out of the oven, take a spoon and press the edges back in toward the middle. 
  • Sticky dough? If while shaping the cookies, the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly dust your hands with flour. And when indenting the center of the cookies, lightly flour your thumb, or a teaspoon, and press down into the center.


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg