Lemon Bar Cookie Cups Recipe | Barbara Bakes (2024)

Published by Melissa on | Updated | 238 Comments




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These Lemon Bar Cookie Cups are easy to make, and easier to serve than lemon bars. If you’re a lemon bar lover, you’ll love this cookie cup version.

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups Recipe | Barbara Bakes (1)

While searching for fun new cookie recipes to try, I saw several lemon thumbprint cookie recipes, and I couldn’t resist turning them into cookie cups. Cookie cups are fun to make, easy, and the possibilities are almost endless. After I tasted one of my lemon cookie cups, I realized it tasted like a lemon bar.

These Lemon Bar Cookie Cups are a sweet, slightly crumbly cookie filled with tart, silky smooth lemon curd, dressed up with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

I based this cookie on the Fudge-Filled Toffee Pecan Sandies recipe and filled it with homemade lemon curd. Of course, you could also use store-bought lemon curd, but this lemon curd is so fabulous you really need to give it a try.

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups Recipe | Barbara Bakes (3)

This luscious, best-I’ve-ever-tasted Lemon Curd recipe is from FineCooking.Com and their foolproof method is really unique. You cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl, slowly beat in whole eggs, then add the lemon juice, and finally, thicken it in a pan on the stove.

It is satiny smooth and you don’t need to worry about accidentally having bits of cooked egg white in your curd that need to be strained out.

The Lemon Curd recipe makes more than you’ll need for the cookies. But it will keep in the refrigerator for a week, or it freezes well and will keep in the freezer for 2 months. I made a double batch of lemon curd and plan to make mini lemon pies next week.

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups Recipe | Barbara Bakes (4)

Update: this has become one of my most popular recipes on Pinterest, so I updated it with some new pictures and a new collage for Pinterest and a video to show you how easy they are to make.

If you haven’t tried this one yet, you really should. It’s one of my all time favorites too.

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups Recipe | Barbara Bakes (5)

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4.42 from 187 votes

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups

These Lemon Bar Cookie Cups are easy to make, and easier to serve than lemon bars. If you’re a lemon bar lover, you’ll love this cookie cup version.

Cook Time12 minutes mins

Total Time12 minutes mins

Course: Cookies

Servings: 48 cookies

Calories: 104kcal

Author: Barbara Schieving


  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour*
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda*
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ½ cup sugar*
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar powdered sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup lemon curd recipe below
  • powdered sugar for decorating optional

Lemon Curd

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  • Prepare lemon curd.

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.

  • Combine the flours, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar in a small bowl and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the oil, egg and extracts. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and stir until combined.

  • Drop one tablespoon dough (I used a #50 scoop) into each cup of a greased mini muffin tin or lined with mini cupcake liners. Bake for 8 minutes.

  • Remove from oven and using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 4 minutes, or until cookies are firm and lightly browned on the sides. Remove to wire racks to cool.

  • Sprinkle the edges of the cookies with powdered sugar.

  • Lemon Curd

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until well combined. Add the eggs and yolks and beat for 1 min. Add the lemon juice and mix until blended – the mixture will look lumpy.

  • In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it melts. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.(Once it was completely melted, mine thickened and reached 170º in just a few minutes, so watch it closely.)

  • Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.



  • I made the following high altitude adjustments for the cookies: added 2 tablespoons flour, reduced baking soda to ¼ teaspoon, and subtracted 1 tablespoon sugar.
  • Lemon Curd recipe slightly adapted from from Fine Cooking


Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 58IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.3mg

More lemon dessert recipes you might like:

Lemon Doodle Cookies, Barbara Bakes
Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake, Barbara Bakes
Lemon Blackberry Chess Pie, Barbara Bakes
Lemon Lovers Trifle, Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen
Lemon Jello Cake, Sweet Basil
Lemon Whippersnaps, Mom On Timeout

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About Melissa & Barbara

As of June 2022 Melissa Griffiths now is the one adding recipes. So think of it as Barbara Bakes, and Melissa too! Melissa and Barbara have been blogging friends for over 10 years and when Barbara was ready to retire and spend more time with her family, Melissa took over the site. Read more...

Reader Interactions


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  1. Elaine

    Lemon Bar Cookie Cups Recipe | Barbara Bakes (8)
    Overall, I liked the flavor of these cookies. However, after following the instructions to a tee, the dough was way too soft to do anything with it. Even after it was refrigerated for several hours. I ended up adding almost another half cup of flour. After putting the dough in my muffin tins, I refrigerated the cups for about 40 minutes. I filled the cups with my lemon curd then baked them. The cup baked up over the sides of the wells and many baked right into the next one. I’ll try them again in the bring for my future daughter-in-laws wedding shower.


  2. Ginger

    The flavors are great. My only issue is the bottom of the cups are never baked through. I even bake it longer the recipe states. Any suggestions?


  3. Nusrat

    Lemon Bar Cookie Cups Recipe | Barbara Bakes (9)
    I just made this and found the directions and layout easy to follow (it’s an involved process, so there are understandably multiple steps and ingredients). The results are perfect and looked amazing!! Thank you for sharing something reliable and repeatable🙏🏽


  4. Dinna

    Can the cups be frozen?


  5. Cindy Straut

    Can you use a regular size cupcake pan? If yes, what is the bake time?


    • Melissa Griffiths

      I haven’t tried it but I bet you would have to at least double the cooking time. Will you let us know if you try it?


  6. Beth Shaeffer

    Can I make them ahead and freeze? I read previously that you said you can freeze the crust but I was curious if you could freeze the completed cookie?


    • Melissa Griffiths

      I haven’t tried freezing them filled – they don’t last that long at my house lol. My concern is that the lemon curd would weep after freezing and thawing and sog out the cookie. They mention at the bottom of this post https://www.diys.com/lemon-curd/ that after thawing some separation may occur and it may need to be stirred to return to its original consistency. So I’d recommend freezing them separately so the cookie doesn’t get soggy from the moisture in the lemon curd. That being said, if you make a batch and have a couple you want to freezer test on, you sure could. I’d love to know how they turn out for you!


  7. Nicola

    Hi, can you substitute almond flour for the AP and whole wheat flour combo? Would the measurement be the same?


  8. Marsha

    I had a quick question. When you remove from the oven should you leave them in the muffin tin on the rack for a few minutes so they can firm up slightly before you remove? Or on the opposite side of that question, how long is too long before you remove? (Can you tell I’ve had issues in the past – grin?) Thanks


    • Barbara Schieving

      Hi Marsha – it really depends on how firm they are in the muffin tin. If they are too tender to remove from the tin then let them firm up for a while in the hot muffin tin, or give them a little longer cook time. If the cookies are firm, then you’ll want to remove them from the muffin tin right away so they don’t get too done. Every oven cooks just a little bit differently.


  9. Clare

    How can can u keep the mini lemon cups


    • Clare

      Typo, how long can u keep the mini lemon cups


      • Barbara Schieving

        Hi Clare – if you’re not eating all the lemon cups right away, you’ll want to refrigerate them. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for several days. They also freeze well if you need to keep them longer. Enjoy!


  10. Anna

    It’s too bad you don’t include whether its 350 degrees fahrenheit or celcius. Some people outside the US read this too, y’know. And when no specification is added, people tend to use their usual unit system. And trust me – this baked on 350°C is not recommended. Always the same, it makes me sick… such a disappointment.


    • Barbara Schieving

      Hi Anna – I’ll update posts with the F symbol during future updates – thanks for the suggestion. However, a typical Celcius oven doesn’t have a 350 setting, so it’s doubtful that anyone is going to think it’s 350 degrees Celcius.


    • Dano

      Go away Little common sense would do wonders smh


    • Halfbaked baker

      You should know that 350 degrees celcius would be 662 degrees faranheit. No such temperature in a no commercial oven.


  11. Karla Y Clunie

    Can you use mini cupcake liners instead of spray for the muffin tin?


    • Barbara Schieving

      Hi Karla – yes, others have used mini cupcakes liners and it worked well.


  12. Patti R

    Have you tried baking them in a silicone mini muffin pan?


    • Barbara Schieving

      Hi Patti – I haven’t, but I assume it would work well with this recipe.


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