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Lemon Shortbread Cookies w/ Lemon Pastry Cream

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies w/ Lemon Pastry Cream are a perfectly summery sweet treat! Easy to make and full of lemony flavor, these little lemon cookie cups would be delightful for your next wedding or baby shower, garden party, or weekend brunch.

Lemon shortbread cookie on a turquoise plate with a fresh raspberry

 I have a secret lover…

And it comes in the form of a lemon shortbread cookie.

These crumbly little confections melt in your mouth at first bite, seducing you to come back for another…and another…and another.

I’m a sucker for shortbread and adding fresh lemon juice, toasty little poppyseeds, and a sweet pastry cream make these lemon shortbread cookie cups one of my favorite summer treats!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

lemon shortbread cookies on turquoise plate with powdered sugar topped with a red raspberry

Lemon shortbread cookies with lemon pastry cream are the perfect little treats to make for special occasions like bridal or baby showers because they look elegant, but they’re easy to whip up.

To make the lemon shortbread cookies, you’ll just need to add a few simple things to a basic shortbread cookie recipe:

  • All-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • sugar
  • butter
  • fresh lemon zest & juice
  • Poppyseeds (optional)

I like to add in the poppyseeds because it gives them a bit of elegance and a tiny pop of pizazz.

I like to fill these lemon shortbread cookies with a super simple homemade pastry cream that can be made up to two days in advance and, if you want to make life even easier, you could always sub with an instant lemon pudding instead.

Seriously, there isn’t anything wrong w/ using a quick pudding for these cookie cups, but nothing will be homemade lemon pastry cream!

lemon shortbread cookies with lemon pastry cream with cookie cups in the background
Save some time and fill these lemon shortbread cookies w/ store bought instant pudding!

Lemon Pastry Cream

Topping these lemon shortbread cookies w/ a homemade lemon pastry cream takes these cookies from delicious to just plain phenomenal. Here’s how to whip it up:

  1. Whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and flour in a large mixing bowl. I love stainless steel bowls because they have much better friction than plastic bowls.
  2. Pour milk and lemon zest into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring to a low simmer. DO NOT BOIL.
  3. “Temper” your eggs, or slowly warm them up, by whisking in 1-2 small ladles full of the warmed milk into the egg/sugar mixture. You can then pour in the rest of the milk and whisk the mixture until it’s smooth and the sugar is completely dissolved. Again, I love metal whisks here.
  4. Return the tempered egg mixture to your saucepan, whisking constantly for roughly 5-6 minutes, until the mixture thickens pulls together, and forms into a silky soft custard.
  5. Remove from saucepan from the heat, beat in the butter, vanilla extract, and fresh lemon juice until well incorporated.
  6. Transfer to a small bowl and cover w/ a piece of plastic wrap, directly on the surface of the cream, to stop a skin from forming.
  7. Allow to chill for a minimum of 2 hrs before filling the cups.

Fill the cookie cups w/ the lemon pastry cream, top w/ a fresh raspberry then serve ’em up to friends and family.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies w/ Lemon Pastry Cream

Lemon Shortbread Cookies w/ Lemon Pastry Cream are an amazing summery sweet treat! Easy to make and full of lemony flavor, these little cookie cups would be delightful for your next wedding or baby shower, garden party, or summer brunch!
Print Rate
Course: cookies, Dessert, Party Food
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy party foods, lemon cookies, lemon pastry cream, lemon shortbread cookies, shortbread cookies
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 92kcal
Author: Slim Pickin’s Kitchen

Ingredients

For the Lemon Shortbread Cookies w/ Lemon Pastry Cream:

For the Lemon Pastry Cream:

Instructions

For the Cups

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Using a mixer or beaters, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Stir in juice and seeds.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold in flour 1/2 cup at a time, making sure to stir only until the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix. Continue to add flour until it is no longer sticky.
  • Dump dough onto a floured surface, pinch off a piece, roll it into a ball, and place in a greased mini muffin pan. Continue until you have 24 balls.
  • Using clean hands, gently press your thumb into the center of each ball, forming the dough into a little cup. If the dough sticks to your thumb, dip it in a little flour before you make each indention.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Let cool completely then fill w/ lemon pastry cream.

For the Lemon Pastry Cream:

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and flour. Set aside.
  • Pour milk and lemon zest into a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk 1-2 small ladles full of the warmed milk into the egg/sugar mixture to “temper” the eggs then pour the rest in and whisk until smooth the sugar is dissolved.
  • Return the mixture to the sauce pot and whisk constantly, about 5-6 minutes, until the mixture pulls together and forms into a custard.
  • Remove from heat, whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, and fresh lemon juice until well incorporated.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and cover w/ a piece of plastic wrap, directly on the surface of the cream, to stop a skin from forming.
  • Allow to chill for a minimum of 2 hrs before filling the cups.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SlimPickinsKitchen or tag #ministrymeals!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 1g

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5 Comments
  • Oh my. These look quite heavenly. Holy moley! Thanks Amber, I needed the sight of these on a Monday morning 🙂 xx

    • amber
      April 25, 2012

      Thanks! They are sooo good!