Lemon Bar Cookie Cups


Delve into the zesty world of citrus delight with our irresistible Lemon Bar Cookie Cups. Combining the classic flavors of tangy lemon bars with the convenience of handheld cookies, this recipe is a must-try for any dessert enthusiast. Perfect for parties, afternoon treats, or just satisfying your sweet tooth cravings, these delectable delights are sure to become a favorite in your repertoire. Let’s dive into how to create these mouthwatering Lemon Bar Cookie Cups that will leave everyone craving for more.


  • For the Cookie Base:
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the Lemon Filling:
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Additional:
    • Powdered sugar, for dusting
    • Lemon zest, for garnish


  1. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line with mini cupcake liners.
  2. Cookie Base: In a mixing bowl, cream together ½ cup of softened unsalted butter and ½ cup of granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Gradually add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix until a dough forms.
  3. Assembly: Scoop about a tablespoon of dough into each mini muffin cup. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of each cup, forming a small well in the center.
  4. Baking: Bake the cookie cups in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Lemon Filling: In a small saucepan, combine ¾ cup of granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 2 large eggs, ⅓ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Finishing Touches: Once the lemon filling has thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Spoon the lemon filling into the center of each cooled cookie cup.
  7. Chilling: Refrigerate the filled cookie cups for at least 1 hour, or until the filling is set.
  8. Garnish: Before serving, dust the tops of the lemon bar cookie cups with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness and garnish with a small twist of lemon zest.

Serving and Storage Tips:


  • Serve these Lemon Bar Cookie Cups as a delightful dessert at parties, gatherings, or as a special treat for family and friends.
  • For an elegant touch, plate the cookie cups on a decorative tray and sprinkle additional powdered sugar over the top just before serving.
  • Pair these tangy treats with a cup of hot tea or a refreshing glass of lemonade for the ultimate citrus experience.


  • Store any leftover Lemon Bar Cookie Cups in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To maintain their freshness and flavor, place a piece of parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking.
  • If you prefer to freeze the cookie cups, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • When ready to enjoy, simply thaw the cookie cups in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. If desired, reheat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes to restore their crispness before serving.

Follow these serving and storage tips to ensure that your Lemon Bar Cookie Cups stay fresh and delicious for whenever you crave a burst of citrusy sweetness.

Variations of Recipe:

1. Raspberry Lemon Bar Cookie Cups:

  • Replace the lemon juice and zest in the filling with fresh raspberry puree for a burst of fruity flavor.
  • Top each cookie cup with a fresh raspberry or a dollop of raspberry jam for added sweetness and visual appeal.

2. Coconut Lemon Bar Cookie Cups:

  • Add ½ cup of shredded coconut to the cookie dough for a tropical twist.
  • Garnish the filled cookie cups with toasted coconut flakes for an extra layer of flavor and texture.

3. Blueberry Lemon Bar Cookie Cups:

  • Fold ½ cup of fresh blueberries into the lemon filling for a pop of color and juicy sweetness.
  • Sprinkle a few additional blueberries on top of each cookie cup before serving for an eye-catching presentation.

4. Lime Coconut Cookie Cups:

  • Swap out the lemon juice and zest with fresh lime juice and zest for a tangy variation.
  • Mix ½ cup of toasted coconut into the cookie dough for a hint of tropical flair.

5. Orange Creamsicle Cookie Cups:

  • Substitute the lemon juice and zest with fresh orange juice and zest for a sunny citrus flavor.
  • Fill each cookie cup with a spoonful of vanilla pudding or whipped cream for a creamy contrast to the tangy orange filling.
  • FAQsand freeze until solid. Transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag and store for up to 1 month. Thaw before filling with the lemon mixture.


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

  • Yes, you can certainly use store-bought lemon curd to save time. Simply spoon the lemon curd into the cooled cookie cups and proceed with chilling as directed.

2. Can I freeze the cookie cups before filling them with the lemon mixture?

  • Yes, you can freeze the baked cookie cups in advance. Once cooled, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag and store for up to 1 month. Thaw before filling with the lemon mixture.

3. Can I make these cookie cups ahead of time for a party?

  • Absolutely! You can make the cookie cups and lemon filling ahead of time. Store the unfilled cookie cups in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Store the lemon filling in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Fill the cookie cups with the lemon filling just before serving.

4. Can I use margarine instead of butter in the cookie dough?

  • While margarine can be used as a substitute for butter, keep in mind that it may affect the flavor and texture of the cookie cups. Butter contributes to the rich flavor and buttery texture of the cookies, so using margarine may result in slightly different results.

5. Can I make these cookie cups gluten-free?

  • Yes, you can make gluten-free Lemon Bar Cookie Cups by using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in place of regular flour. Be sure to check that all other ingredients used are also gluten-free.

6. Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice?

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor in the lemon filling. However, if you don’t have fresh lemons on hand, you can use bottled lemon juice as a substitute. Just be aware that bottled lemon juice may have a slightly different flavor profile.

7. How do I prevent the cookie cups from sticking to the muffin tin?

  • Make sure to grease the muffin tin generously with non-stick cooking spray or line it with mini cupcake liners before pressing the cookie dough into each cup. This will help prevent sticking and ensure easy removal after baking.

8. Can I use a regular muffin tin instead of a mini muffin tin?

  • While mini muffin tins are ideal for creating bite-sized cookie cups, you can use a regular muffin tin if that’s what you have on hand. Keep in mind that the baking time may need to be adjusted slightly, and the yield will be fewer but larger cookie cups.

9. Can I substitute lime juice for the lemon juice in this recipe?

  • Yes, you can swap lime juice for lemon juice to create Lime Bar Cookie Cups. The tangy lime flavor will complement the buttery cookie base beautifully.

10. Can I add a layer of meringue on top of the lemon filling?

  • Absolutely! After filling the cookie cups with the lemon mixture and chilling them, you can pipe or spread a layer of meringue on top. Torch the meringue with a kitchen torch for a golden finish, creating a delightful twist on classic lemon meringue pie.


With their buttery cookie base and vibrant lemon filling, these Lemon Bar Cookie Cups are a delightful treat that will brighten any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply indulging in a solo snack session, these bite-sized delights are sure to impress. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to savor the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors in every bite. Enjoy!

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