Lemon Crème Brûlée Cookies

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Get ready to indulge in the most incredible lemon crème brûlée cookies you’ve ever tasted!

Imagine sinking your teeth into chewy, buttery lemon sugar cookies, each one topped with a luscious layer of rich and creamy lemon pastry cream, perfectly caramelized to create a crunchy sugar crust. It’s a lemon lover’s dream come true!

Here’s why you’ll absolutely fall in love with these lemon crème brûlée cookies:

  • They boast the perfect chewy texture, making every bite irresistibly delightful.
  • The lemon pastry cream is an absolute showstopper—it’s so creamy, so lemony, and utterly decadent.
  • Thanks to loads of lemon zest, both the cookie dough and pastry cream burst with vibrant lemon flavor.
  • And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance—the crispy caramelized sugar topping that adds the perfect finishing touch!

Got questions? I’ve got answers!

  • Wondering how to store these divine cookies? For best results, enjoy them on the same day you bake them. If you plan to serve them the next day, hold off on adding the pastry cream until just before serving. Store the sugar cookies in an airtight container, and when you’re ready to indulge, pipe on the pastry cream and brûlée the sugar.
  • Need a blow torch for the brûlée topping? Absolutely! An oven broiler won’t cut it—you’ll risk melting the pastry cream right off the cookies!

Pro Tips for perfection:

  • Properly measure your flour for the best results. Avoid scooping flour directly with a measuring cup, as it can lead to using too much. Instead, spoon the flour into the cup and level it off with a knife—or better yet, use a kitchen scale for accuracy.
  • When heating the pastry cream, whisk it constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  • For perfectly shaped cookies, use a circular cookie cutter to trim them right after baking.
  • When mixing your dough, beat the butter, sugar, egg, and zest until pale and fluffy to achieve the ideal cookie texture.

Ready to bake up a batch of these sensational treats? Let’s dive into the recipe!

Lemon Crème Brûlée Cookies

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Assembly 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 24 cookies


For the Lemon Pastry Cream:

  • 2 ¼ cups whole milk 540 ml
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar 225 g
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed (42 g)

For the Lemon Sugar:

  • ½ cup granulated white sugar 100 g
  • ½ tablespoon lemon zest

For the Lemon Sugar Cookies:

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled (344 g)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar 200 g
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (224 g)
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 15 ml
  • 2 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar for the brûlée topping (100 g)


For the Lemon Pastry Cream:

  • Heat milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming, then reduce heat to low.
  • In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, salt, vanilla, and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Gradually add heated milk to egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Transfer mixture back to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, stirring continuously.
  • Remove from heat, stir in butter, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge.

For the Lemon Sugar:

  • Combine sugar and lemon zest in a bowl, then set aside.

For the Lemon Sugar Cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, then mix in egg, vanilla, and lemon zest.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until dough forms.
  • Roll dough into balls, coat in lemon sugar, and flatten slightly on prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

Assembling the Cookies:

  • Pipe pastry cream onto cooled cookies, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and brûlée until golden brown.
  • Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy immediately for the best texture and flavor!

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