Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies (gluten-free, paleo)


This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe

These lemon curd thumbprint cookies are gluten-free, grain-free and paleo-friendly. You’ll love the cookies, but the lemon curd may have you swooning.

Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Gluten-free, grain-free and paleo.

I’ve realized this week that extreme heat makes my brain stop functioning. Or, at least I’m gonna blame my lack of new recipe creation on the heat. At my parent’s place, which is in the Antelope Valley (i.e. Mojave Desert), it’s been 102-108 degrees all week! Completely sweltering. And it makes me want to do nada except stay indoors where there’s respite from the heat. The only silver lining, if there is one, is that’s it’s a dry heat, so at least I’m not sticky on top of it. That would be really bad.

But here’s the problem. I have all these awesome ideas for new recipes, scattered on electronic notes and private Pinterest boards, yet I sit in front of my computer and accomplish a whole heck of a lot of nothing. The day comes to an end (at 8pm it’s still 80+ degrees out) and I’m like, “yep, didn’t accomplish a darn thing today.” Except for some emails and web surfing, where I get lost in the circling web vortex. It’s like, “hey look, squirrel!” Ughh, I need to snap out of it. What do you guys do when you’re stuck in a mode of non-motivation?!

Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Gluten-free, grain-free and paleo.

Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Gluten-free, grain-free and paleo.

Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Gluten-free, grain-free and paleo.

On top of new recipes, I also need to write my city guide for Lisbon, which I really want to share with you, especially as I’ve already sifted through the 7,000+ photos (the hardest part). I did share some Portugal videos with my parents this week and had to crack up that half of my iPhone videos were shot vertical, instead of horizontal (making them virtually impossible to watch). The culprit? Snapchat brain! Ha!

Needless to say, I’m thankful that I still have (or now had) one recipe left over in the coffers – these lemon curd thumbprint cookies. And it’s a delish recipe to have just lying around, huh?

They’re bright and citrusy and I’ll say this to warn you (though, not really) – you’re gonna want to spoon the lemon curd straight into your mouth. I did. In fact, I debated even making the cookies originally because all I wanted to do was eat the lemon curd. The good news is that you’ll have plenty of lemon curd leftover, so top it on gluten-free toast or cassava crepes. Oooh, that just gave me an idea for lemon curd cassava crepes, wrapped up like cannolis. Cute little lemony tubes. Can that be a thing?! Hmmm…perhaps my recipe motivation is coming back after all.


Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Gluten-free, grain-free and paleo.

Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Gluten-free, grain-free and paleo.

Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Gluten-free, grain-free and paleo.

(gluten-free, paleo) Lemon curd thumbprint cookies. Almond flour cookies filled with the most delicious lemon curd.

Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies (gluten-free, paleo)

4.57 from 16 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Author: Lisa Bryan


These lemon curd thumbprint cookies are gluten-free, grain-free and paleo-friendly. You’ll love the cookies, but the lemon curd may have you swooning.


Lemon Curd

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp butter or ghee


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


  • Whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, zest, honey and salt in a small pot. Place the pot on moderately low heat, whisk continuously and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Transfer to a jar and place in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together all cookie ingredients. Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough, evenly spaced, onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Use your thumb to create an indentation in the cookie. Fill the indentation with a dollop of lemon curd.
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook as the cookies will not change color much, but they will brown on the bottom. Cool for 10 minutes.

Lisa's Tips

  • You will likely have leftover lemon curd to enjoy.
  • These will stay good on the counter for a couple of days, loosely covered. Don't store them in an air-tight container, as they'll go really soft due to the moisture level in the cookie.


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 217mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 19.1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free thumbprint cookies, Lemon cookies, lemon curd, paleo thumbprint cookies, thumbprint cookies
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

More Lemon Recipes To Love:

Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

Lavender Lemonade

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Cake

Meyer Lemon Coconut Macaroons

You May Also Like

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Another flawless and so easy to make recipe!!!

    We were invited to friends’ for sushi tonight and were in charge of bringing dessert. We made these lemony beauties and some almond joy bites (from your book) as we thought having bite sized desserts would be great after sushi. Our friends loved them, so did we, and we have leftover lemon curd to spoon into our mouths… I mean on toast 😋 But just in case we want to be reasonable, can the lemon curd be frozen? Thank you Lisa :-)5 stars

    1. Awesome, you picked two great recipes to take! And yes, I can understand wanting to spoon that lemon curd right into your mouth. ;) But yes, it can be frozen!

  2. Made this today, it was tasty; however the cookie part was very soft, I ended up adding three tablespoons of coconut flour and it worked some, next time I will add some xantham gum to see if it hold up better. I used your lemon curd and it is delicious4 stars

  3. As always, your recipe is to die for. The cookies are incredibly tasty, such a delicate balance between sweet and sour. I have a ton of lemon curd left but I am very happy about it :D Thanks, Lisa!5 stars

    1. Hi Juli – the nutritional information will always be per serving. In this case, it’s for one cookie.

  4. These cookies are perfectly delicate, tangy, and refreshing! Such a nice treat for Spring, Easter, birthday treats, or Summer picnics!5 stars

  5. They tasted pretty good right out of the oven and then cooled. But I stored them in an airtight container overnight and they were a soggy mess.
    I loved all your recipes that I’ve tried but this one was a no go for me.3 stars

    1. Hi Donna – that’s a good point about storage. When you store baked goods that use honey or maple syrup as the sweetener, then can become softer when stored in a sealed container due to the extra moisture content. These will stay great for a few days out on the counter though! I’ll be sure to add that note above. :)

  6. Okay, I just juiced my lemons and the three lemons had 1 1/2 cups of juice in them! This seems extremely excessive for lemon curd, but amazing for three lemons! About how much juice should I expect to use for your lemon curd recipe? Thanks!

    1. Oh wow, that’s are some big juicy lemons for sure! The average lemon has about 3 tablespoons of juice, so for three lemons that’s about .6 of a cup, a little over 1/2 a cup. Hope that helps!

  7. Are the poor ratings deleted? This recipe didn’t turn out at all for me, and all the people in the comments who agree magically don’t have recipe ratings by their comments.
    The lemon curd tastes AMAZING, even thought it didn’t harden. It also came out with enough curd to make 3x the cookie dough.
    The cookie didn’t turn out at all. It’s a crumbly, chewy, dough-y mess, and we followed the recipe exactly. I didn’t mind the flavor, but it’s not anything like a cookie or crust. It hardly cooked at all.
    I’d suggest making the curd, but don’t bother with the cookie part.2 stars

    1. Hi Bee – I’m sorry you didn’t love this recipe. I don’t delete ratings, but it sounds like something definitely didn’t go right with your cookie dough. The lemon curd is not supposed to harden, it stays soft as well. And as I mention in the recipe card, you will have leftover lemon curd as it’s difficult to make it in small batches. But I’m glad you loved the flavor of that!

    1. Hi Albina- You will still need to zest lemons, so I think it would be better just to use the juice from the zested lemons since you already have it!

  8. I made LEMON CURD COOKIES. They turned out delicious! The best part they are not very sweet.5 stars

  9. Do You have An “Eggless Lemon Curd” Recipe by Chance?I have An Egg Allergy. Thank You ♡♡♡5 stars

    1. Hi Diana – I haven’t tried this recipe with egg substitutes yet. But, you might be able to use applesauce, mashed banana, or flax seed in this.

      1. Hi Katelyn – I’ve never tried freezing these. If you try, let us know how it turns out!

  10. A friend gifted me with a large bag of lemons and this is the first recipe that came to mind. Your diligence in testing recipes never ceases to amaze me (reading some of the comments helped, too). My cookies came out perfectly. The one part I didn’t follow was where you said to wait ten minutes for the cookies to cool. Delicious!5 stars

    1. Hi Alan- I’m so thrilled to hear this recipe was the first to come to mind after getting your hands on some lemons!

  11. These cookies did not turn out at all. They won’t stay together and took a lot of time to try to fix the recipe.

  12. Yours look great, I dont know where I went wrong with mine.. they are like soft cake and the curd leaked into them. Maybe because I didn’t sift my almond flour or maybe my lemons were too big.. either way it was quite an experience.5 stars

    1. Hi Adrienne – if you had an extra large lemon, that could have definitely caused the cookie portion to stay softer. You could always just add more almond flour next time as well, if you feel they’re a bit too soft. :)

  13. I have made these cookies and love them. I am going to attempt to make this as a lemon filled crostata – like a jam filled Italian crostata. I will use the cookie dough as crust and put into a tart pan rather than make into cookies. I will probably prebake for a little bit and then add the lemon curd for last part of baking. Wish me luck and happy holidays! ;)5 stars

    1. Hi Sheryl – A lemon filled crostata sounds amazing! Let me know how it turns out :) And happy holidays to you and your family!

  14. I want to make this, but am curios as to how much lemon juice and zest you get from your lemons. We don’t always get great lemons here in Michigan, so three lemons may not produce much juice.

    1. Thanks for the info, these were great. My husband wants just the lemon curd. I used about a half cup of lemon juice, two tbsp lemon zest and coconut oil in place of butter. Awesome!5 stars

  15. They are wonderful cookies, but I have a LOT of lemon curd left.  How long will it keep in the fridge?  Can I freeze it?5 stars

  16. After completely cooling these yummy cookies, stored them in a Pyrex glass baking pan with a sort-of air tight top….the cookie part got soft….but was not that soft before storing.  Perhaps loosely covering would prevent the softness?  

    The nutrition info shows 232 kcal….please clarify if that is per cookie?  

    Thank you! 4 stars

    1. Hi Janis – The nutrition is calculated for the whole recipe, but you most likely had leftover lemon curd so it’s not exactly per cookie. And yes, storing them loosely will help to prevent them from getting soft.

  17. Fabulous recipe. I only need to be sure I let the curd thicken more on the stove. Like your other comments, I also agree that the curd tastes amazing all by itself. I made these for my mom who is a lemon !over. She should love these little jems. I would like to make two more dozen with what’s left over of the curd. Two thumbs up!

  18. I Do t know why they didnt turn out like incthe picture’ to begin with the curd was not hard in 8-10. Minutes in the cookie. It was soft? second the cookies were un cooked and broke easily even after being cooled. I used butter. Im disappointed maybe i missed something. Also when the curd was cooking i was adding the butter one at a time and stirring it.

    1. Sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you Asaria! It sounds like you may have needed to cook the curd a little bit longer for it to harden. And for the cookies, perhaps you needed to cook them longer as well. All stoves/ovens cook slightly different, so it’s always best to adjust the times based on what you see. :)

  19. I love the flavors, but I’m unsure about whether the curd is cooked through enough. I took it off the flame when it started to thicken, then mixed in the ghee (I used coconut oil, 5 Tbsp), but there are white bits in it, which I’m guessing are cooked bits of egg white. Should we have blended the eggs with a stick blender, before adding to the other curd ingredients before cooking on the stove top, to avoid the white chunks? I hand-whisked. (Sorry, I’m new to curds ? ) Also, for the remaining curd in the fridge, is that OK to eat, or does it need further cooking, like the curd on the cookies received? Regarding the cookies, it was quite a struggle to get them into shape – kept sticking to my fingers (delicious problem to have, I know). I used convection bake and I’m still learning how to adjust for that – I should have cooked lower temp, for slightly longer time, I guess, because mine came out slightly toasted on the edges but somewhat raw on the bottom and in the middle. Luckily, there is so much curd left over, I’ll be able to whip up my next batch with only the cookie portion to prepare! Thanks for this yummy recipe. It should be a big hit with my lemon-loving extended family on the weekend! 5 stars

    1. You can use a hand whisk, but it sounds like your heat may have been a little too hot. If you cook it on low and stir continuously you shouldn’t get any white bits. :) You can definitely eat the remaining curd or top it on toast like jam. And yes, you may have to make adjustments for convection baking as I use standard baking. Hope your next batch comes out a little better! :) x

  20. turned out great! make sure you let them cool before touching them because they are still malleable 

    1. So happy you liked them! And yes, great point about letting them cool first. :) x

  21. I couldn’t get the curd to set – it stayed very watery…..
    Any suggestions, because these look awesome!

    1. Oh, bummer! Did you use all the same ingredients (eggs, lemon juice/zest, honey, salt)? It stays fairly thin until it hits that magic custard conversion point (which can be different depending on your stove temp)…then it thickens quickly. How long did you whisk it for?

      1. Over 5 minutes for sure as the ghee was not blending well. Then I gave up and left it in the fridge overnight thinking maybe more time setting…anyway – I put the cookie mix in ramekins like pie crust and poured the liquid in and baked. It puffed up a bit and then kinda melted into the cookie mix. I’m a great chef – horrible baker. Tastes great, just looks nothing like your cookies ;)!

      2. It sounds like you added the ghee before it thickened. The key is to add all the ingredients except the butter or ghee, let it thicken, then add the ghee that after. If you added the ghee early, that would have likely prevented it from thickening. And yes, it’s a good thing that recipe fails still tastes great…because I have A LOT of them as well. Lol. ;) x

      3. This is hilarious. My husband is laughing so hard. (He bakes, I don’t). I totally missed that step putting in the ghee afterwards. He just asked me – how many times did you read that recipe before you started? I said, once when I looked for ingredients. He rolls his eyes and tells me baking requires reading it 8 times before you even start – make sure you have ALL your ingredients and tools and steps ready. Oops. Thanks for replying – we’ll try again and I’m sure they’ll be awesome!

      4. Haha – too funny! And your husband is totally right in reading the ingredients 8 times (though I usually screw that up as well). ;) Hope your second try turns out better! And happy holidays! x

    1. Hi Karen – I haven’t personally made it with a substitute, but I think coconut oil or a dairy-free margarine would work as well. If you make it with a swap, let me know how it turns out! :)

  22. Hang in there! No rush on sharing recipes/guides/posts – don’t get overwhelmed. You always put out great content, so just do it whenever it works best for you, stress-free :) Very happy you shared this Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookie recipe – wowza, so refreshing and a perfect, decadent summer treat!

    1. Aww, thanks Liz! And there’s just something about meyer lemons and summertime. :) x