I’m not sure what prompted the Easter Bunny to decide it was no longer appropriate to hide eggs in our yard, but he must have corroborated with my Grammy—the year he stopped was the year we walked into Easter dinner to find our baskets filled with Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies.

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies. Easy recipe that uses lemon pie filling for the center

Although my sisters and I eventually outgrew the prefilled Easter baskets too (harsh realities of our 20s), I certainly believe that, at any age, everyone deserves a little springtime treat.

A fresh twist on classic jam thumbprint cookies, which in my family are rolled in crushed walnuts and filled with strawberry jam, lemon thumbprint cookies take the same lightly crispy, buttery shortbread and give it the springtime citrus treatment.

In celebration of a new season and the return of sunshine, let’s fill our baskets and pile our plates with bright lemon coconut thumbprint cookies.

Buttery Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies.

Buttery Thumbprint Cookies with easy lemon filling

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies – Simple and Elegant

The thumbprint cookie dough is a demonstration of beautiful cookie simplicity.

It’s only five ingredients, yet results in a richly flavored, melt-in-your mouth shortbread cookie base that’s the ideal vehicle for luscious lemon and sassy coconut.

Rather than fuss with making lemon curd from scratch, I used lemon pie filling. Feel free to swap in homemade lemon curd if you prefer.

Coconut, lemon’s tropical sidekick, is the perfect halo to surround our thumbprint cookies. Roll the dough into cute little cookie balls, dip in egg wash to ensure maximum coconut clinge-age, then set the coconut balls on a baking sheet.

Buttery Lemon Thumbprint Cookies rolled in coconut

Give each coconut cookie ball a Pillsbury Doughboy tummy poke to create a small indent, then fill with a baby spoonful of the lemon pie filling. It feels a little artistic, with the added reward of being delicious and edible.

In the oven, the shredded coconut toasts into a golden, lightly crunchy shell around the buttery cookie, and the lemon filling sets to a bright, glossy burst of citrus at the center. Every bite is like a fresh pop of spring.

Lemon thumbprint cookies next to a jar of lemon curd

How to Store Thumbprint Cookies

  • To Store. Store leftover thumbprint cookies in an airtight container for up to four days.

More Delicious Lemon Desserts

Buttery Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies. Delicious and easy!

Although I don’t think the Easter Bunny will be stopping by this Sunday, I’m more than content with lemon coconut thumbprint cookies as my spring treat spread.

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies. Easy recipe that uses lemon pie filling for the center

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Soft and buttery thumbprint cookies rolled in toasted coconut with bright lemon filling.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 18 mins
Total: 1 hr 8 mins

Servings: 16 cookies


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup canned lemon pie filling or homemade lemon curd


  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed, until just combined. Beat in the almond extract and salt. With the mixer running on low, slowly add in the flour, mixing just until the dough begins to come together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, then press and roll into a flat disk. Wrap with plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together the egg with 1 tablespoon water to create an egg wash. Sprinkle the coconut into a shallow bowl.
  • Once the dough has chilled, roll it into 1 1/4-inch balls. Dip each ball into the egg wash, then roll it in the coconut flakes. Arrange the balls on ungreased baking sheets. With the top of your finger (a tube of lip balm works well also), press a light indentation into the top of each cookie. Drop a scant 1/2 teaspoon of lemon filling into each indentation. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cookie edges are set and the coconut is golden. Transfer to a baking sheet and let cool.


Store leftover thumbprint cookies in an airtight container for up to four days.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Thumbprint cookies always make me think I’m eating so dainty. I feel like a lady. Lemon and coconut always are reminiscent of Easter…..gotta have that coconut. But these cookies would be perfect for a ladies brunch, Mother’s Day or a Wedding Shower. I thought I was too old to be planning those but apparently not! But you’re never too old for an Easter basket (Easter egg hunt, yes, Easter egg basket no.)

  2. Thumbprints are amazing! I really fell in love with them last Christmas. I can’t wait to try the lemon coconut version! :)

  3. Those cookies look SO delicious! Lemon and coconut go so well together, so I’m sure these taste amazing!! Pinned :)

  4. Why do we have to outgrow baskets of candy? Seems so unfair.
    These look amazing. Love the lemon in the middle. Little cookie baskets!

  5. Yay for lemon cookies! I’ve been so obsessed with lemon treats this year (ok, I’m always a little obsessed, but this year the obsession has reach a whole new level), and these look tart and buttery and delicious! 

  6. In our family, we still get Easter baskets (although now I have to share with my fiance!), and thumbprint cookies only really happen at Christmas. Ours are chocolate cookies, rolled in egg white and pecans, then filled with frosting and topped with an M&M. I think it’s high time we liberate them from Christmas cookie status and make these year round :)

  7. LENT is over today!!! I can FINALLY eat desserts again! Yay!!! Wishing I had these guys in front of me, because they encompass all the things I’ve missed about dessert. Plus, they’re pretty, and I like pretty things. :)

  8. These look fantastic – so bright and cheery! I certainly wouldn’t complain if the Easter bunny brought me a basket of these :)

  9. Oh how I love thumbprint cookies! They hold a special place in my heart! These look so perfect for Spring!

    Bright and happy!

  10. There’s nothing better than lemon and coconut! Love these thumbprint cookies, they look increible.

  11. These are delicious, Erin!  And so easy!  The crunch of the coconut and that pop of lemon, yum!  (I did use KAF white ww flour and unsweetened coconut tho. But no lip balm tools were deployed, just my thumb! ;) )  THANK YOU for another keeper!  Happy healthy Easter wishes from NC!

    1. Joanie, I’m so excited to hear that you loved these! Thanks for letting me know that unsweetened coconut and the white WW flour works too. I might try that myself next time :) Wishing you a wonderful Easter and thanks so much for leaving your cookie review. Enjoy every bite!

  12. Erin, I am also a firm believer that, at any age, everyone deserves a little springtime treat. I LOVE these lemon coconut thumbprint cookies!!! These are perfection!!! Wishing you a very happy EASTER and more Cadbury eggs and any egg, bunny shaped chocolates you can get! :) 

  13. I am trying to think when I finally didn’t get an Easter basket. I think I was in my 20’s also.
    Laughing. However these cookies are even better for those of us who are both lemon and coconut fiends. I often make thumb print cookies, but this is a wonderful version of them. I pinned it!!!!

  14. You’re right, who could refuse dark chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs? But then again, if I had to chose between Cadbury eggs or these cookies … it’d be a tough call. I love chocolate, but WOW! These cookies are great.

  15. Erin, These cookies look delicious! I wanted to let you know that they will be in a Christmas Cookie Roundup on my blog this week with a linkback to your site for the recipe. Happy Holidays! Joan-MyCookieClinic

  16. I would like to make these cookies for my sister’s birthday party.  Do you think I could freeze them for a week?
    They sound delicious!

    1. Hi Lynn, I’ve never tried freezing these so I can’t say for sure, but you could certainly give it a try! I would recommend wrapping them in waxed paper and putting them in a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible. I’d love to know how it turns out!

  17. I just made these cookies and they are fabulous! Coconut and lemon are my two favorite ingredients! The coconut gives it a nice crunch. I used a little too much lemon curd but they turned out great. Thanks for sharing the recipe! They’re a good summertime treat :) 5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to report back, Jana! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies.