Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

4.62 from 67 votes

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These lemon cheesecake thumbprint cookies melt in your mouth. This recipe is one of those recipes that you will need to make double or triple of because it’s THAT good. 🍋

Why You’ll Love Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

These lemon cheesecake thumbprint cookies are also ideal for anyone who cannot tolerate 🥚 eggs as they are completely egg-free. The dough takes 5 minutes to whip up so these cookies are easy enough for anyone who is not even a baker. They’re only 5 ingredients, which you probably already have on hand. I can honestly say that this is one of those cookie recipes that you cannot get enough of. This cookie will most likely be the first cookie to disappear off the table.

How to Prepare Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

🥣 Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer and bowl to cream butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes until smooth.

🍋 Add sugar and lemon extract and mix until smooth. Then add flour, and mix until a sticky dough forms. Scrape down the sides to fully incorporate any remaining flour.

🧊 Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

🥄 Remove dough from the refrigerator, use a small ice-cream scooper to portion the cookies, rolling each in a touch of flour to prevent sticking.

🍓 Place rolled cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten each with your thumb, creating an indent, and add a teaspoon of preferred jam/preserve to the center.

🔥 Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the lemon cheesecake thumbprint cookies for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are light and golden brown.

❄️ Allow the cookies to cool completely and optionally dust with icing sugar. They can be stored at room temperature for up to a week.

Nonna’s Tip 🍋

You MUST refrigerate the cookie dough for at least one hour and you have to use a touch of flour to roll each one as they will stick. 

Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies Variations and Substitutions

These Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies have a few tricks up their sleeves! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try one of these changes!

  • Try adding a decorative topping like chopped nuts or a sprinkle of coarse sugar for holiday decoration.
  • I have not tried this recipe with gluten-free flour, but feel free to experiment with a gluten-free 1-1 replacement and let me know how it goes!
  • Instead of lemon extract, you could try almond, vanilla, orange or another you have on hand.
  • Feel free to experiment with different jams or preserves, for example, you could use strawberry, raspberry, apricot or even marmalade.
  • You could try dairy-free or vegan alternatives to the butter and cream cheese if you or your guests have allergies.

Other Holiday Recipes

More Holiday Cookies

Looking for an even fancier-looking cookie? Try my puff pastry cookies.

Common Questions

What type of jam or preserves should I use?

Feel free to use any jam or preserve you enjoy. I love fig or apricot but you are more than welcome to use any you have on hand.

What if I Don’t have Lemon extract?

The lemon extract is optional so don’t worry if you don’t have any on hand. You can also use pure vanilla extract, or almond extract, or leave them plain. Or, if you don’t have pure lemon extract, but still want the flavor, you can also use the zest of a lemon in the recipe.

Is it optional to refrigerate the dough?

You MUST refrigerate the cookie dough for at least one hour and you have to use a touch of flour to roll each one as they will stick. 

Can I freeze this dough?

Feel free to freeze the cookie dough tightly wrapped for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and shape as usual. 

can I make these with cold butter and cream cheese?

The cream cheese and butter must be softened in order for the cookies to bake correctly.

Do I have to use salted butter?

You can use salted or unsalted butter. I have made them with both and both results are delicious. 

can I use gluten-free flour?

Feel free to try these cookies with a gluten-free 1-1 flour if you are gluten-free. I haven’t tried this, but please let me know if you make any substitutions and leave it in the comments below so that everyone can learn from you!

Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

Lemon Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

This cookie will most likely be the first cookie to disappear off the table. These lemon cheesecake cookies are ideal for anyone that cannot tolerate eggs as they are completely egg-free. The dough takes 5 minutes to whip up so these cookies are easy enough for anyone that is not even a baker.
4.62 from 67 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 Cookies
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup cream cheese, (120 grams) softened
  • ½ cup white sugar , (110 grams)
  • 1 stick softened salted butter , (114 grams)
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon extract , optional if you don’t have any on hand
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour , 120 grams + 2 extra tablespoons for rolling the balls
  • 18 teaspoons jam, I used fig preserve

Instructions 

  • In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together for about 2 minutes or until smooth. You can also use a hand-held mixer and a bowl as well.
  • Once creamy, add the sugar and lemon extract and mix until smooth. Add in the flour and mix until a sticky dough forms. If there’s any flour on the sides, you can scrape it down and mix again until fully incorporated.
  • Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. After an hour, take out the dough, remove the plastic and use a small ice-cream scooper to scoop out the cookies. I scoop each cookie, roll it in a touch of flour as it will stick to your hands if you don’t.
  • Repeat this step for all 18 cookies. Place each rolled cookie onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press each one down with your thumb to make an indent. Add a teaspoon of any jam/preserve you like to the middle.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and bake until the edges are light and golden brown. This should take 13-15 minutes depending on the oven.
  • Let them cool completely and optionally dust with icing sugar. These are perfectly stored at room-temp for up to a week.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 22mg, Potassium: 23mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 85IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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36 Comments

      1. 5 stars
        Love Love Love these!!
        These are DELICIOUS!! I looked at some other Lemon Thumbprint Cookies but this one caught my attention because of the ingredients. I did find upon my 2nd try that 2 hours or more resulted in shaping the dough into balls was not sticky. I used apricot preserves and it did not run.

  1. 5 stars
    Awesome cookies. Tried them for our annual cookie cook off with my adult boys. We have doing a baking day every Christmas. It is now one of our top cookies to put on the list. We have been baking together for over 30 years. It is an annual tradition for family, friends and hopefully it will continue with grandchildren. Thank you for sharing. Picture to follow.

    1. Hey Ceci! Yes, lemon curd would definitely also work 🙂 Sounds like a delicious substitution – let me know how it turns out!!