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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies are a shortbread thumbprint cookie recipe filled with lemon curd! The cookies are dainty and lemony with the extra bit of flavor from the poppyseeds, and then they’re filled with homemade lemon curd. These are easy, freezable, and perfect for the holidays…or anyone who loves lemon cookies!

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stack of thumbprint cookies filled with lemon curd on white plate

cover of crazy for cookies brownies and bars cookbook

This simple thumbprint cookie is a sneak peek into my new cookbook, Crazy for Cookies, Brownies and Bars! This recipe is from the Stuffed & Sandwiched chapter, which is full of sandwich cookies, filled cookies and thumbprint cookie recipes!

The book has 85 easy recipes – every one with a photo! Most of the recipes have tips and they all have storing and freezing information so you can bake ahead for events and holidays. PLUS – bonus recipes for things like lemon curd to make these cookies!

Learn more about the cookbook HERE.

PRE-ORDER it now on Amazon!

Classic Thumbprint Cookies with Lemon Curd

These little bite size cookies are a classic shortbread thumbprint cookie filled with lemon curd. The cookie has lemon zest for some extra flavor, along with poppyseeds and is filled with the curd before baking.

Dust these with a little powdered sugar and you have the perfect dainty cookie recipe!

Lemon Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies Recipe Video

stack of thumbprint cookies on white plate

Ingredients in Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Butter: Use unsalted butter to make these cookies and make sure it’s softened.

Sugar: Granulated sugar is what makes a traditional shortbread cookie nice and sweet.

Vanilla, Salt, Poppyseeds: For flavor

Lemon: You just need the zest for the cookies.

Flour: All purpose flour is the most important flour to use – be sure to measure it correctly.

Lemon Curd: From scratch or homemade, just make sure it’s cooled if you’re using homemade.

How to make Lemon Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.
  2. Mix in salt, vanilla, and lemon.
  3. Mix in the flour until dough forms, then mix in poppyseeds.
  4. Scoop 3/4 tablespoon size balls of dough and roll between your palms. Place on cookie sheet, about 2-inches apart.
  5. How to make the thumbprint in cookie dough: you can use your thumb, knuckle, the back of a wooden spoon, or the back of a 1/4 teaspoon.
  6. Fill each with lemon curd.
  7. Bake until light golden around the bottom edges.
stack of lemon thumbprint cookies on white plate

How to Serve Lemon Jam Cookies

These are great plain, but we love dusting them with powdered sugar for serving.

How to Store Lemon Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

stack of cookies on white plate

FAQ about making Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Are thumbprint cookies shortbread?

Traditional thumbprint cookies are actually a butter cookie with egg yolk. These are shortbread turned into thumbprint cookies.

How long to cook shortbread thumbprints?

These will bake at 350°F for about 11-16 minutes.

What kind of cookie is a thumbprint cookie?

These are a delicate shortbread cookie that almost melt in your mouth!

What’s the difference between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie?

Sugar cookies have egg and baking soda or baking powder and spread in the oven. These do not have any of those and they don’t spread much at all.

Should you fill thumbprint cookies before or after baking?

That depends on the filling. For these lemon cookies, or for traditional jam thumbprints, fill before baking. If you’re making thumb cookies filled with caramel or chocolate, you’d fill them after they cool.

Are butter cookies the same as shortbread?

No – the classic thumbprint cookie is a butter cookie, made with egg yolk and leavening. These don’t have either.

Other Favorite Crazy for Crust Recipes

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stack of thumbprint cookies filled with lemon curd on white plate

Lemon Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies

5 from 13 votes
Easy Shortbread Thumbprint cookies filled with lemon curd! These little bites are delicate and almost melt in your mouth – the cookies have lemon and poppyseeds and are filled with an easy lemon curd before baking.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes
Yield 28 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie


  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups (186g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons poppyseeds
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Curd from scratch or homemade
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting
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  • If using homemade lemon curd, make sure it’s prepared and chilled overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl using a hand or a stand mixer. Add zest, extract, and salt. Slowly mix in flour until mixture is combined. Stir in poppyseeds.
  • Scoop balls of dough that are about ¾-1 tablespoon in size. Roll between your palms to create a ball. Place on cookie sheet, 2-inches apart.
  • Use your knuckle or thumb, or the back of a ¼ teaspoon, to press an indent in the center of each cookie. Fill each indent with ¼ teaspoon of lemon curd per cookie.
  • Bake, rotating pans throughout baking, for about 11-16 minutes, or until the cookie is no longer glossy and bottoms turn light golden.
  • Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
stack of cookies on white plate

Easy Lemon Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies are a shortbread cookie with lemon flavor and poppyseeds filled with lemon curd. These EASY cookies are delicious and perfect for lemon lovers! These are from the new cookbook Crazy for Cookies, Brownies and Bars!

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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1 Comment

  1. These thumbprints are delicious and easy to make. 5 stars also to Dorothy’s cookbook. So many yummy looking recipes, including a (not on the website) Fruity pebbles cookie that everyone keeps asking me to make again and again.