Easy Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cookies Almond Thumbprint

This is the best-tasting Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cookies recipe, using almond flour, cassava flour, cane sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, butter, and egg. The shortbread cookies have a rich butter flavor and are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. My quick and easy lemon curd is baked in the cookies, so they can be stacked and shared for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, brunches, and showers.

Lemon curd cookies on a piece of white parchment paper.

This is the best-tasting Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cookies foolproof recipe with almond flour and cassava flour. The soft lemon cookies are naturally sweetened with cane sugar with lemon zest, vanilla, butter, and egg. The mix of almond and cassava flour produce the perfect shortbread cookie with rich butter flavor that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

My quick and easy homemade lemon curd recipe will have lemon lovers drooling. These gluten-free lemon thumbprint cookies do not require a cookie cutter and have the curd baked into the center, so they can easily be stacked on a plate or in a gift box for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, brunches, and showers. If this is your first time making lemon curd, then this is the best lemon cookie for you! It’s one of our family’s favorite lemon desserts and the perfect treat to use fresh lemons during citrus season.

What is the difference between cassava flour and tapioca flour? Can I substitute them in cassava lemon cookies?

Cassava flour is made from the whole cassava root, while tapioca flour is just the starch and is commonly called tapioca starch. Cassava flour has a higher fiber content and a different texture. It’s not recommended to substitute tapioca flour for cassava flour in cookies directly. Tapioca flour is much starchier and will result in a denser cookie and is often substituted with arrowroot flour. 

Infographic explaining how to use tapioca flour and cassava flour in recipes
YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Almond Flour Lemon Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

  • You only need a few simple ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Lemon curd cookies on a piece of white parchment paper.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make the best-tasting lemon curd cookies with almond flour:

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Unsalted Butter: You can use coconut oil or a dairy-free butter alternative to make these cookies dairy-free.

Cane Sugar: You can also use coconut sugar, white sugar, or a sugar substitute like erythritol or stevia for a lower glycemic option.

Egg: To make these cookies egg-free, you can use a flaxseed or chia seed “egg” (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water, let sit for 5 minutes to thicken).

Almond Flour: Use almond flour, not almond meal. For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed flour or oat flour.

Cassava Flour: There are many different brands of cassava flour to choose from. Otto’s Cassava Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour are both excellent brands to use for best results. Cassava flour is the key ingredient in this recipe, so there’s no direct substitute that will give you the same texture and flavor. However, you can try using a gluten-free all-purpose flour mixture if you’re not specifically looking for a grain-free option. 

Lemon Zest: If you don’t have fresh lemon zest, you can use lemon extract or lemon juice for a similar flavor. Adjust the amount to taste.

Vanilla Extract: Other extracts like almond extract or orange extract can be used for a different flavor profile.

Baking Powder: You can use a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda as a substitute for baking powder if needed.

Almond Extract: You can use pure almond extract or imitation for additional flavor. You can also omit it if you are nut-free.

Powdered Cane Sugar: You can replace it with regular powdered sugar or omit it.

Lemon Curd:

Eggs: This recipe requires whole eggs to set properly.

Butter: Use vegan butter or coconut oil for a dairy-free version.

Cane Sugar: Substitute with coconut sugar, brown sugar, or regular sugar.

Fresh Lemon Juice: Lime juice or orange juice can be used as substitutes for lemon juice. I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice over store-bought bottled lemon juice for the best citrus flavor.

Tapioca Starch: This is also known as tapioca flour and is optional for a slightly thicker curd. Arrowroot starch, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch can also be used.

Lemon curd cookies on a piece of white parchment paper.

How to Make My Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Here are easy, detailed, step-by-step instructions for the best way to make these delicious lemon cookies. The instructions are also repeated in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 1: Make the Lemon Curd

Zest and juice two lemons.

In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, cane sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and tapioca starch. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes.

Adding lemon curd ingredients to bowl.
Stirring lemon curd in sauce pan.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is thoroughly melted. Pour the warm curd through a mesh strainer into another bowl to remove any scrambled egg bits and pulp. Then, store the curd in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to add it to the cookies.

Straining lemon curd through a sieve.
Straining lemon curd through a sieve.

Step 2: Make the Lemon Cookie Dough

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl of your stand mixer, food processor, or with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cane sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the wet ingredients, including egg, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon extract, and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients, including almond flour, cassava flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until a dough forms. Chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes or fridge for at least one hour.

Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls and roll them in powdered cane sugar. Place them on the prepared baking tray and press your thumb into the center of each cookie to create an indentation. Add a generous dollop of lemon curd into the center of each cookie.

Lemon cookie dough in a bowl.
Rolling the cookie dough ball in powdered sugar.
Adding lemon curd to the center of the cookies.

Step 3: Bake the Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust the cookies with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Enjoy your healthier lemon thumbprint cookies with fresh lemon curd!

Lemon curd cookies on a piece of white parchment paper.

Helpful Recipe Notes

Eggs in Curd: Often, only the egg yolks are used in curd. I include the entire egg, which helps the curd cook faster and results in a naturally sweeter curd with just enough sugar.

Butter Temperature: Make sure your butter is at room temperature for easier creaming with the sugar.

Cookie Texture: The chilled dough should be dry enough to roll in your hands without sticking. Add more almond flour if needed.

Lemon Zest: Use a fine grater or zester to get the lemon zest. Avoid grating the white pith of the lemon, as it can be bitter.

Thumbprint Indentation: Press your thumb gently into each cookie to create an indentation. If the dough cracks, simply smooth it out with your fingers.

Baking Time: Keep an eye on the cookies as they bake, as almond flour can brown quickly. They should be lightly golden brown when done.

Lemon Curd: Store any leftover lemon curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks. Stir well before using.

Room Temperature: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.

Refrigeration: If you prefer, you can store the cookies in the refrigerator for a slightly longer shelf life. They should last for about 1 week when refrigerated.

Freezing: These cookies can be frozen. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. They will keep well in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.

Separation: If you stack the cookies for storage, place a piece of parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.

What can I fill the thumbprint cookies with instead of lemon curd?
You can use any curd, jam or jelly, including raspberry jam, apricot jam, or strawberry jelly.

Can I add the lemon curd after the cookies are baked?
Yes, you can leave the thumb indentation empty before baking the cookies and then spoon or pipe in the lemon curd once the cookies have cooled. The only downside is that the tops of the cookies will be a little sticky, so you won’t want to stack them. But, they will still taste amazing!

Can I use a different sweetener instead of cane sugar?
Yes, you can use granulated sugar or a sugar substitute like erythritol or stevia for a lower glycemic option.

Can I make these lemon sugar cookies dairy-free?
Yes, you can use coconut oil or a dairy-free butter alternative to make these cookies dairy-free.

Can I make these cookies egg-free?
Yes, you can use a flaxseed or chia seed “egg” (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water, let sit for 5 minutes to thicken).

Can I use store-bought lemon curd instead of making it from scratch?
Yes, you can use store-bought lemon curd if you prefer. Just make sure to choose a high-quality brand for the best flavor.

Can I freeze the cookie dough?
Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough. Shape it into balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until solid, then transfer the dough balls to a freezer-safe container or bag. The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

Lemon curd cookies on a piece of white parchment paper.

Easy Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cookies Almond Thumbprint

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
This is the best-tasting Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cookies recipe, using almond flour, cassava flour, cane sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, butter, and egg. The shortbread cookies have a rich butter flavor and are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. My quick and easy lemon curd is baked in the cookies, so they can be stacked and shared for Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, brunches, and showers.
5 from 10 votes
Servings 24
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1-1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered cane sugar

Lemon Curd:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch

Instructions
 

Lemon Curd:

  • Zest and juice two lemons.
    In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, cane sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and tapioca starch.
    Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes.
    Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is thoroughly melted. Pour the warm curd through a mesh strainer into another bowl to remove any scrambled egg bits and pulp. Then store the curd in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to add it to the cookies.

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    In a large bowl of your stand mixer, food processor, or with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cane sugar until light and fluffy.
    Add the wet ingredients, including egg, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon extract, and mix until well combined.
    Add the dry ingredients, including almond flour, cassava flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until a dough forms. Chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes or fridge for at least one hour.
    Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls and roll them in powdered cane sugar. Place them on the prepared baking tray and press your thumb into the center of each cookie to create an indentation. Add a generous dollop of lemon curd into the center of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Dust the cookies with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Enjoy your healthier lemon thumbprint cookies with fresh lemon curd!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Butter Temperature: Make sure your butter is at room temperature for easier creaming with the sugar.
Cookie Texture: The chilled dough should be dry enough to roll in your hands without sticking. Add more almond flour if needed.
Lemon Zest: Use a fine grater or zester to get the lemon zest. Avoid grating the white pith of the lemon, as it can be bitter.
Thumbprint Indentation: Press your thumb gently into each cookie to create an indentation. If the dough cracks, simply smooth it out with your fingers.
Baking Time: Keep an eye on the cookies as they bake, as almond flour can brown quickly. They should be lightly golden brown when done.

Nutrition

Calories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 93mgPotassium: 10mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 138IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword almond flour, cassava flour, lemon curd, thumbprint cookies
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

15 Comments

    1. Hi Leslie, thank you for catching that! You need 1 teaspoon of tapioca starch. It helps to thicken the curd a little. You can also use corn starch if you don’t have tapioca. I updated the recipe 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    These are seriously the BEST! That lemon curd was so easy to make and so delicious, the cookies tender and buttery, they disappeared so quickly that I’ll have to keep making them 😂

    1. Haha…we have the same problem in our house…they don’t last long 🙂 Thank you for the review!

  2. 5 stars
    These cookies are to DIE FOR!!! I love lemon already and these made me love it even more. They’re like little lemon tarts in the form of a delicious cookie. Highly recommend!! 😄😄

    1. Haha…I know, right!? I could eat the curd with a spoon right out of the jar! Thank you for the review.

      1. 5 stars
        These are my new favorite thing, lemon curd has always felt unapproachable to me but this recipe was so easy to make! Will have to make it again, thanks Nicole 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I’m so excited to share this lemon curd cookie recipe with you! The almond and cassava flours are the perfect combination for a tasty shortbread style cookie. Please let me know how these turn out for you 🙂

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