If you are a fan of lemon desserts and enjoy buttery goodness such as gooey butter cake, you will adore these cookies. They’re soft and chewy, and have the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors. These cookies are easy to make and will melt in your mouth.
Lemon curd gooey butter cookies are a delightful twist on the classic gooey butter cookie. They’re made with cream cheese, butter, and lemon curd made from fresh lemon juice and zest. Resulting in a soft and chewy cookie with a creamy and tangy center that’s simply irresistible. I was speechless when I had it the first time and kept telling everyone that these will change their lives!
Why you will love them?
Firstly, these cookies have a texture that’s out of this world. They’re soft and chewy and have a gooey center that’s both creamy and tangy. The combination of the buttery cookie and the zesty lemon curd creates a flavor explosion in your mouth, and they are just so smooth!
Secondly, they’re incredibly easy to make, so you can whip them up in no time for a last-minute gathering or as a special treat for yourself.
Lastly, these cookies are versatile and the lemon curd can be swapped for any jelly or curd and enjoyed any time of the year.
Ingredients for Lemon Curd Gooey Butter Cookies
Here are the ingredients you will need to make these delicious lemon curd gooey butter cookies:
For the Cookies:
- Flour: All-purpose flour is the base of the cookies and helps to hold everything together.
- Cream Cheese: This ingredient adds a gooey texture and a delicious tangy flavor to the cookies. My favorite one is this brand.
- Butter: Unsalted butter preferable, adds richness and flavor to the cookies.
- Sugar: granulated white sugar, adds sweetness and helps to create a gooey texture, and keeps the cookie light in color.
- Eggs: add structure, leavening, color, and flavor.
- Vanilla Extract: This ingredient adds flavor to the cookies.
- Almond Extract: This ingredient is very strong so measure carefully. It adds a delicious flavor that goes well with the gooeyness of the cookie! I use this brand.
- Baking Powder: This ingredient helps the cookies to rise and become fluffy.
- Salt: Salt adds flavor and helps to balance out the sweetness.
- Powdered sugar: adds sweetness and a specific style to the cookie while preventing the cookie dough from sticking to your hands.
For the lemon curd:
- Egg yolks: add richness to the lemon curd.
- Sugar: granulated white sugar is the best option as it will easily dissolve in the liquid. Adds sweetness.
- Cornstarch: allows your curd to set better to be placed on top of the cookies while it is still a bit warm.
- Lemon Juice: Flavor flavor flavor! It’s what makes it a LEMON curd. Make sure it’s freshly squeezed for the best flavor. ALWAYS use FRESH LEMON.
- Lemon Zest: More flavor here. Lemon zest has a concentrated lemon flavor. Use the yellow part and avoid zesting the white part or it will become bitter.
- Butter: add at the end. Makes it smooth and glossy. Also helps with consistency when it cools.
Tips for making the best lemon curd gooey butter cookies:
- Soften the cream cheese and butter at room temperature before starting.
- Use fresh lemon juice and zest for the best flavor.
- Make the lemon curd before starting the cookies and let it chill in the refrigerator while you mix the cookie dough.
- Do not overmix the dough as this can make the cookies tough.
- Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to scoop the dough into balls and roll it directly into the bowl of powdered sugar. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Use a measuring spoon to create the prints on each cookie, press softly right after placing the cookies in your tray. You can use any rounded object to press on the cookies to create a well for the lemon curd. I used the 1 tsp size for approximately 1/4 cup of cookie dough.
- Use a wide enough bowl to place your and roll the cookies in it comfortably. A narrow bowl will make this task difficult as the cookie dough will start hitting the sides.
- Do not overfill the cookies with the lemon curd. As it bakes, the cookie flattens and the lemon curd will bubble a bit and rise. Too much lemon curd will overflow.
- Separate the cookies on the tray if making large cookies. They will spread a lot.
- Do not overbake. Bake the cookies just until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remember these are gooey butter cookies and they are meant to be soft.
- Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be very soft and may break if you try to move them. They also finish baking with the heat of the pan while they cool.
Lemon Curd Gooey Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100g
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp lemon zest about 1 large lemon
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2–3 large lemons) 60ml
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed into tablespoons 55g
Cream Cheese Gooey Butter Cookies
- 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 300g
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 113g
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 227g
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar 300g
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon curd
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar optional
- In a small saucepan whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until fully combined.
- Add in the lemon zest and gradually add the lemon juice while mixing.
- Heat on medium-low heat while stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture thickens. At first, the mix will be runny, but after a few minutes, the mixture will start to bubble and thicken very quickly. Remove from the heat once it coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the cold cubed butter. Mix until melted. The mixture will become very silky and glossy.
- Optional: if your mix has large lumps or if you would like to get rid of the lemon zest bits, run it through a strainer before moving on to step 6.
- Pour the lemon curd into a shallow heatproof container and let cool while preparing the cookies.
Cream Cheese Butter Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line one or two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the cream cheese and butter and beat together with the paddle attachment until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix to combine until fully combined.
- Gradually add in the sugar while the mixer is running at low-medium speed. Once incorporated, beat on medium-high for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides in between additions. Incorporate the vanilla and almond extracts.
- On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix or the cookies will turn out tough. The dough will be sticky so make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate it all.
- In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar to roll the cookies. Make sure you have room to roll the cookies inside of it.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough directly into the bowl of your powdered sugar and toss to coat.
- Place the cookies in the tray 2-3 inches apart and using the back of a measuring spoon create a round indent in the center of each cookie.
- Fill the indentations with lemon curd just until it reaches the top, the amount depends on the size of your cookie. Do not overfill or it will overflow when baking.
- Bake for 12 minutes or more for larger cookies *see notes below, or until the cookies have set and look light golden (they will flatten a bit) and the lemon curd will look bubbly.
- Remove the tray from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Bake the rest of the cookies with the remaining dough.
- Let cookies cool in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until the lemon curd is set.
- Dust the cookies with powdered sugar being careful not to cover the center of the lemon curd.
- Watch the baking time for these as it will depend on the size of your cookies. I made a small batch of extra-large cookies approx. 1/4 cup of dough (fit 6 in the cookie sheet and used a large cookie scoop) and they took about 16 minutes to bake. I made another batch of smaller cookies with the mini ice cream scoop (about 1.5 tbsp) and they were good within 12 minutes. Depends also on your oven if it runs too hot it may be less time so watch them at the 12-minute mark.