Lemon Bar Cookie Cups

Lemon bar cookie cups are the perfect bite-sized treat for any citrus lover. Combining the classic tangy flavor of lemon bars with the delightful texture of a cookie cup, this dessert is sure to impress at your next gathering or satisfy your sweet tooth at home. Not only are these lemon bar cookie cups visually appealing, but they also pack a punch of vibrant, zesty flavor that is refreshing and satisfying. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the steps to create these delicious treats that blend the sharpness of lemon curd with a sweet, buttery cookie crust.


For the Cookie Cups:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (134 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Lemon Filling:

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) lemon juice (freshly squeezed for the best flavor)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


Step 1: Prepare the Cookie Cups

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour and salt until the dough comes together.
  4. Take a small piece of dough and press it into each muffin cup, forming a small cup shape. Make sure to create a reasonably thick layer on the bottom and sides to hold the filling.

Step 2: Bake the Cookie Cups

  1. Bake the cookie cups in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are just beginning to turn golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. If the centers have puffed up, you can use the back of a teaspoon to press them down gently.

Step 3: Prepare the Lemon Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and flour. Add the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice, whisking until well combined.
  2. Pour the lemon mixture into each partially baked cookie cup, filling them nearly to the top.

Step 4: Bake Again

  1. Return the muffin tin to the oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until the lemon filling is set.
  2. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Step 5: Serve

  1. Once cooled, dust the lemon bar cookie cups with powdered sugar. This not only adds a lovely visual touch but also complements the tartness of the lemon.
  • Ensure your ingredients, especially butter and eggs, are at room temperature to achieve a smooth, even bake.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice is preferable for the filling as it provides a fresher, more vibrant flavor than bottled juice.
  • Watch the baking times closely, as oven temperatures can vary. You want a firm but not overcooked cookie base.


Lemon bar cookie cups are an excellent alternative for anyone who loves traditional lemon bars but wants something a bit different. Their individual serving size makes them ideal for parties, picnics, or as a delightful addition to any brunch table. With their crumbly cookie crust and creamy lemon center, these treats are sure to become a new favorite.

These delightful lemon bar cookie cups offer a unique take on traditional desserts. Their mix of textures and flavors will entice any dessert aficionado and could become the centerpiece of your dessert table. Try this recipe today and bring a touch of zesty sweetness to your dessert repertoire!

Serving Suggestions:

  1. Presentation: Arrange the lemon bar cookie cups on a serving platter for a visually appealing display. You can sprinkle extra powdered sugar on top for a decorative touch.
  2. Accompaniments: Serve alongside a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast to the tangy lemon flavor.
  3. Garnish: Add a small twist of lemon peel or a sprig of fresh mint to each cookie cup for an elegant finishing touch.
  4. Pairing: These lemon bar cookie cups pair well with a cup of hot tea or a refreshing glass of iced tea for a delightful afternoon treat.

Storage Tips:

  1. Room Temperature: Store the lemon bar cookie cups in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. Ensure they are completely cooled before storing to prevent condensation.
  2. Refrigeration: If you prefer a chilled treat, you can store the cookie cups in the refrigerator for up to one week. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.
  3. Freezing: Lemon bar cookie cups can also be frozen for longer-term storage. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
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By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your lemon bar cookie cups remain fresh, flavorful, and ready to enjoy whenever the craving strikes. Whether serving at a gathering or indulging in a sweet treat at home, these tips will help you make the most of this delightful dessert.

1. Can I use store-bought lemon curd instead of making the lemon filling from scratch?

Yes, you can use store-bought lemon curd as a convenient alternative to making the lemon filling from scratch. This can save time and simplify the preparation process. Simply spoon the lemon curd into the pre-baked cookie cups and proceed with the final baking step to ensure everything is heated through and the flavors meld together.

To ensure your cookie cups remain tender and not too hard or crunchy, be careful not to overbake them. Keep an eye on them during the initial baking of the crust; they should be just turning golden. Also, using exact measurements for ingredients and following the recipe precisely will help maintain the right texture.

Absolutely! Lemon bar cookie cups can be made a day or two in advance, which makes them perfect for parties, gatherings, or events where you want to prepare desserts ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If desired, freshen them up with a light dusting of powdered sugar just before serving.

4. What other variations can I try with this recipe?

This recipe is quite versatile, allowing for numerous variations:

  • Flavor Variations: Try adding other citrus flavors like lime or orange, either in combination with or instead of lemon. You can mix citrus zests into the dough and use corresponding citrus juices in the filling.
  • Toppings: Before serving, consider adding a topping such as a raspberry, a slice of strawberry, or even a drizzle of chocolate or caramel for an extra special touch.
  • Crust Variations: Substitute part of the all-purpose flour with almond flour or ground nuts for a different flavor profile in the cookie crust.

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