Top mini shortbread cookie cups with a swirl of lemon curd to make these easy lemon bar cookie cups. They look as great as they taste—the tart lemon flavor pairs beautifully with the buttery shortbread cookie.
I love making my cookie cups look like cupcakes. They are so pretty. Don’t you think?
These lemon cookie cups were inspired by the popularity of our easy Millionaire’s Shortbread Cookie Cups that have a swirl of creamy Dulce de Leche caramel, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and a sprinkling of toffee bits on a shortbread cookie.
A few of my friends who tried those cookies suggested I make a variety of flavors using the shortbread cookies; they all thought lemon would be perfect. After making these lemon curd-topped cookies I have to agree.
With each bite, you will enjoy a crispy, buttery, shortbread cookie and creamy, tart lemon curd all topped with a sprinkling of sweet powdered sugar.
shortbread cookie cups
You’ll start by making shortbread cookies in mini muffin pans. It’s so easy. You simply stir together flour, powdered sugar, salt, and melted unsalted butter until it forms a ball.
For this recipe, I wanted the cookies to be a bit more tender than the crispy shortbread cookie recipe that I used to make the Millionaire’s cookie cups. I decided to use powdered sugar in this cookie recipe instead of granulated sugar.
The baked cookies are a bit softer than those made with granulated sugar but honestly, both taste very similar so you could use 1/4 cup of granulated sugar if you don’t have powdered sugar on hand.
To make cookie cups you will scoop the shortbread cookie dough into mini muffin cups and bake until golden brown, then cool, remove from the pan, and top with a swirl of lemon curd.
toppings: lemon curd & powdered sugar
To make a pretty swirl of lemon curd, spoon the lemon curd into a pastry bag fitted with a large 1M open star tip. Squeeze the bag allowing the lemon curd to flow out onto the cookie cup. Then, swirl the bag as you go around the cookie. As you begin to make a second layer, stop squeezing and lift the bag away from the cookie to form a nice tip.
To dust your cookies with powdered sugar (also known as confectioners’ sugar) simply spoon the powdered sugar into a fine mesh sieve and shake it over the cookies.
sprinkling on powdered sugar
Be sure to sprinkle the powdered sugar over your lemon-curd-topped shortbread cookies just before serving because the powdered sugar will melt into the lemon curd as it sits.
The sweetness of the confectioners’ powdered sugar balances out the tart flavor of the lemon curd. It’s a classic topping for lemon bars.
Plus it looks pretty too!