Lemon Surprise Cookies

Lemon Surprise Cookies by BakingdomWe finally found a place to live! We get the keys Saturday, move in on Monday, and I. Can’t. Wait.

First of all, it’s a very pretty apartment with lots of space and beautiful light. This is our first time living in an apartment since we were newly weds, and we’re really excited.

Secondly, OMG I CAN’T WAIT TO NOT LIVE IN A HOTEL ANYMORE. When we move in, it’ll be just shy of six weeks that we have been living in various hotel rooms. Six weeks of living out of suitcases. Six weeks of no car, or bikes, and taking Loki E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E because he’s not allowed to stay in the room alone. Six weeks of crappy internet, eight television channels, and cooking on a hot plate.

But you know what? It was also six weeks of doing all of that in Europe! We walked somewhere new and beautiful every day, we saw incredible sights, and we tried delicious new foods. So as challenging as living out of hotel rooms and suitcases has been, I haven’t lost sight of the sunny surprises that come with moving to a new place.

I can’t wait to share picture with you guys, but first, some cookies to match today’s theme of finding happy surprises…

Remember that easy peasy lemon curd recipe I shared with you last week? Remember I said you were gonna wanna come back here this week for some insanely yummy cookies?

Well, you’re about to be glad you listened.

Lemon Zest SugarI added some extra sweet zing to these cookies by rolling them in a zesty lemon sugar. It’s very easy to make, and adds such a great little sweet-tartness and crispness to the outside of the cookies.

Sugar Coat Lemon CookiesJust roll the dough into a ball, then roll the ball in the lemon sugar.

Sweet Homemade Lemon Curd by BakingdomNext comes the secret little surprise of yummy goodness that everyone was thrilled to discover.

Homemade lemon curd.

Lemon Thumbprint CookiesOnce the cookies are shaped and sugared, just press your thumb or a round measuring spoon into the cookies to create an indentation in each one. Fill the indentation with about a teaspoon of lemon curd, and bake.

Honestly, you could totally stop there, and you have some incredibly delicious, adn super easy lemon thumbprints, but…

Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies by Bakingdom…by adding a bit of lemon buttercream, you get to see the looks on people’s faces when they bite into these and discover the golden curd waiting in the middle.

Frosted Lemon Curd Cookies by BakingdomI had intended to leave half of these plain, and frost the rest, but the frosted ones were so amazing, I just slathered all of the cookies with buttercream. It was the right choice.

Lemon Curd Surprise Cookies by BakingdomThe Hubster took these to work. The feedback was that everyone, every person that tried them, loved the surprise of sunny golden curd hiding under the frosting. And then they ate them all, and I only got one. It was a sad day for me. Until the next day, anyway, when I made more. Which is what you should go do. Make these and be happy.


Lemon Curd Thumbprints
with Lemon Buttercream
makes about 2 dozen cookies


1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

about 1/2 cup lemon curd

FOR THE FROSTING (this is just enough to cover 2 dozen cookies)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoons (5 ml) lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 to 3 teaspoons (5 to 15 ml) heavy cream, as needed

To make the sugar: Combine the sugar and zest in a small bowl until the zest is evenly distributed; set aside.

To make the cookies: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined, then stir in the lemon zest and juice, as well as the vanilla. Once everything is combined, sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the top and gently mix in. Add the remaining flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of flour remain. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour, as needed, until the dough is barely tacky. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dough is chilled, line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or Silpat mat(s), and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll one tablespoon portions of dough into balls. Roll each dough ball in the citrus sugar to coat it completely, then space the cookies about 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Using your thumb or a rounded measuring spoon, press an indentation into each cookie. Place about 1 teaspoon of the lemon curd in each cookie.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges turn light golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting or serving.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar until combined. Add the lemon juice and zest, and mix until combined. Add a teaspoon of cream and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Spread the frosting evenly over the tops of the cookies, covering the curd completely. Garnish with sprinkles or more lemon zest, as desired.

Recipes by Darla

Leave a comment


  1. says

    Lemon is my favorite flavor in the whole world, and lemon curd is celestial. I’ve done thumbprint cookies before, but I adore your surprise! I never would have thought of frosting over them. Yum!!

  2. says

    When my husband and I moved to a new state, we had to live in a hotel for a week with our two cats (we boarded the dog). It was…rough. I can’t imagine six weeks!! Love the cookies and plan on making them soon!

  3. Tracy says

    These look amazing! I made the lemon curd last night, sooooo tonight I make these awesome cookies! So excited!! Thank you Darla for your wonderful ideas and recipes!

  4. Lisette says

    I have attempted lemon curd five times, with five different recipes. I had pretty much given up on it forever… Then I decided to have a go at your lemon curd because the biscuits sounded so yum. Not only was it the simplest and quickest recipe I have ever followed it is also the only one that has worked perfectly, and one of the most delicious lemon curds I’ve ever tasted. I am so excited that I can now make lemon curd whenever I want! My family is slightly bemused by my excitement in the leftover smooth, tart, yellow curd in pride of place in the fridge waiting to be turned into a tart. Their bemusement is flecked with crumbs from these cookies, by the way, which I have decided to name ‘Darlas’ from here on in. And when people ask why, I will happily tell them 🙂

  5. Beth says

    I’m soooooo jealous of your hubby’s co-workers! He must be like everybody’s favorite by the end of the first week in a new place. Who wouldn’t love the guy who brings amazing treats every day?