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Lemon Curd Shortbread

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This melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Curd Shortbread Recipe features rich, homemade lemon curd nestled in buttery shortbread, making it perfect for teatime treats or special occasions!

Shortbread cookies dolloped with lemon curd.
Lemon curd shortbreads recipe.

Lemon Curd Shortbread

Samantha Pickthall
The delightful combination of homemade lemon curd and buttery shortbread in this Lemon Curd Shortbread Recipe is ideal for teatime indulgence or celebratory occasions!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 40 cookies
Calories 106 kcal


Lemon Curd

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup superfine / caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest, about 1-2 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, about 2 large lemons
  • 100 g 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed


  • 180 g unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 75g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 cups (300g/10.6 oz.) all-purpose flour, scoop & leveled
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar for dusting


Lemon Curd

  • Combine Ingredients in Bowl: In a medium-sized heat-proof mixing bowl, add all lemon curd ingredients.
  • Prepare Double Boiler: Fill a pot with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low to maintain a simmer. Place the bowl with the ingredients on top of the pot, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Cook the Mixture: Whisk ingredients together using a metal or silicone whisk. Continue whisking over simmering water for 10-14 minutes until mixture becomes thick. Whisk continuously to avoid the eggs curdling.

  • Monitor Consistency: Whisk continuously until the curd thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. If it remains thin after 10 minutes, increase the heat slightly and keep whisking until it reaches the desired thickness.
  • Strain and Cool: Pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl, pressing with a spatula to remove solids. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the curd to prevent skinning and refrigerate to thicken.

Shortbread Cookies

  • Prepare Shortbread Dough: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla on medium-high for 2 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Add Wet Ingredients: Beat in the egg for 15 seconds.
  • Incorporate Dry Ingredients: Sift over the flour and baking powder and beat on low speed just until the dough forms. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball.
  • Chill Dough: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or keep it in the mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven while it chills.
  • Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Tray: Preheat the oven to 356ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Form and Indent Cookies: Pick up 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball, and place on the prepared tray. Use your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon to create an indent in the middle of each dough ball.
  • Form Dough Balls: Pick up two teaspoons worth of dough, approximately 15g (0.5oz) each, and roll into smooth balls. Place on a lined baking sheet.
  • Flatten Dough: Slightly flatten each dough ball into a disc using your palm or fingers. Refer to process images in the post for guidance.
  • Create Indent: Press your index finger joint or thumb into the center of each disc to create an indent. Alternatively, use the handle of a wooden spoon. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
  • First Bake: Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven. Re-press the indents if they've puffed up.
  • Final Bake: Return the tray to the oven and continue baking for another 5-7 minutes until the edges are slightly golden.
  • Cool Cookies: Allow cookies to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Fill with Curd: Spoon a dollop of chilled lemon curd into the indents of each cooled cookie.
  • Dust and Serve: Optionally, dust the filled shortbreads with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!


  • Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature one week.
  • Freezing Instructions: Place cooled cookies in an airtight container, either in a single layer or layered with parchment paper between each. Freeze for up to three months.
  • Thawing Instructions: To defrost, leave the cookies in their container in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature on the kitchen counter.


Calories: 106kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 23mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 199IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

First published in 2018, this recipe was updated in May 2024 to include new information and easier to follow method steps in the recipe card. Some ingredients have changed.

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Bite taken out of one lemon curd shortbread.

Lemon Curd Shortbread Recipe

Delight in the tangy sweetness of these lemon curd shortbreads, where zesty homemade lemon curd meets the melt in your mouth texture of classic shortbread cookies.

This recipe offers a splendid combination of flavors that are sure to brighten up your dessert table. Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting out, these cookies provide a wonderful way to showcase your skills with a treat that looks as good as it tastes.

Lemon curd preparation.

What Is The Secret to Making Good Shortbread Cookies?

The secret to excellent shortbread cookies lies in the quality of butter and the method of preparation. Use high-quality butter for rich flavor, and ensure not to overwork the dough. Mix just until it comes together to maintain a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Shortbread cookies preparation.

What is the difference between lemon curd and lemon custard?

Lemon curd is a thick, spreadable mixture made from lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, and eggs.

Lemon custard is a creamier dessert made with milk or cream in addition to eggs, sugar, and lemon, resulting in a softer, more pudding-like texture. Lemon curd typically has a more intense lemon flavor compared to lemon custard.

Lemon curd shortbread assembly.

Expert Tips

  • Use High-Quality Butter: For the best flavor and texture in your lemon curd shortbread, opt for high-quality butter. This will enhance the richness and ensure your shortbread is deliciously buttery.
  • Forming Indents: For creating indents in the dough, the best method is to press with your index finger joint rather than your thumb. This technique helps minimize cracking in the dough. Check the process images in the post for a visual guide.
  • Using Pre-made Lemon Curd: If short on time, you can use high-quality store-bought lemon curd instead of homemade. Opt for a brand with natural ingredients to closely match the fresh, tangy flavor of homemade curd.
Lemon curd shortbread cookies together.

Can I Make Lemon Curd in Advance?

Yes, lemon curd can be made several days in advance. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or glass mason jar for up to a week. This can help you manage your time when planning to bake the shortbread cookies.

How To Store Lemon Curd Shortbread

Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature one week.

Freezing Instructions: Place cooled cookies in an airtight container, either in a single layer or layered with parchment paper between each. Freeze for up to three months.

Thawing Instructions: To defrost, leave the cookies in their container in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature on the kitchen counter.

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x

Lemon curd shortbreads pin.


  1. Oh my lemon curd and any lemon meringue pies are my favorite desserts!!!!
    You have totally become one of my favorite place for almost clean eating desserts!!

    Thank you again

    1. Hi Christiane, thank you again! Cant go past lemon curd!! Thank you for your kind words, I really hope you enjoy looking through the recipes 🙂

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