We love the quick and easy fruit pizza recipe using a sugar cookie crust, but these Sugar Cookie Lemon Fruit Cups might just take over as the new favorite. A light lemon pudding, cream cheese filling is perfect with fruit!
A simple sugar cookie is pressed down in the well of a muffin tin, baked to a soft and chewy cookie and then pressed gently in the center to create a cookie cup. A simple cream cheese, lemon pudding and whipped cream filling is then made and piped into each cup to be sprinkled with fresh berries. The sweet cookie, tangy lemon filling and juicy berries in our Sugar Cookie Lemon Fruit Cups is the perfect spring and summer dessert, especially for an easy dessert to take to parties and BBQs.
Summer desserts are easily my favorite. Cade leans heavily towards ice cream and chocolate, while I lean towards pie and fruit. Clearly summer was made for me, and not for my waistline. While the world teases about getting rid of their winter body it’s the summer recipes I can’t stop eating.
Yes, summer is full of fresh fruits, vegetables and recipes, but too much of a good thing is real and I can’t turn anything down in the summer.
Oh, you brought Italian Pasta Salad to the BBQ? I’d better sample it.
And look at you, you brought Razzleberry Pie, I mean, can’t let that slip by without a few slices.
On and on, I move through the BBQs, picnics and potlucks. Heck, I don’t even need an event, I’m so inspired by all of the color and freshness of summer I make things just because I want to.
That’s exactly how these Sugar Cookie Lemon Fruit Cups came about. There wasn’t a pool party or holiday, nope, I just couldn’t get the idea out of my mind.
Can Cookie Cups be Frozen?
Sugar cookie dough freezes well in a sealed ziploc bag. We like to use this cookie scoop, place the dough mounds into the bag and freeze, laying flat until hard. Sugar cookie dough will keep in the freezer for up to 45 days.
- What if you want to freeze baked sugar cookies in cup form like for this recipe?
Sugar cookie cups can be frozen if you don’t want to do the dough but they will dry out faster. Freeze only after being completely cooled. Place in a sealed container or bag in single layers on a flat surface in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Where to Buy Cookie Cups
I’ve looked and looked but have yet to see actual cookie cups sold anywhere. It’s best to just make them, and if you need a shortcut, just use store bought sugar cookie dough.
How to Make Sugar Cookie Cups from Scratch
If you aren’t in a hurry and are interested in how to make sugar cookie cups from scratch, our sugar cookie bars recipe is the perfect one to start with.
To make cookie cups you’ll want to use a muffin tin. It’s the easiest way to shape the cookie cups and not have them crumble or end up misshapen.
We like to spray a little nonstick spray in each well just to ensure easy removal.
The cookie dough should NOT be formed on the inside of the well, but instead just pressed into the bottom. The entire cookie will rise up and you can press down the center leaving the raised sides.
How to Remove Cookie Cups from a Muffin Tin without Breaking Them
Allowing the cookie cups to cool completely is the most important step of making cookie cups. If the cookies are still warm when you attempt to un-mold them the cookie edges will tear away from the bottom.
Once the cookie has cooled for about 8-10 minutes, run a butter or pairing knife around the edges of the cookie cup so that it loosens from the pan. Allow the cookie cups to cool completely at this point.
When you notice that the cookies have cooled completely, and yes putting them in the fridge is acceptable, but not until you’ve loosened the edges as you don’t want the cold air to shrink the cookies too much, gently slide the knife around them again and then tilt the knife a little at one edge and gently lift the cookie cup out.
If the cookie cup isn’t coming out, remove all cookie cups then run the knife around that edge again. Place your hand over the cookie cup, barely touching it with your hand. Turn the pan over so it loosens the bottom and falls into your hand.
What to Fill Cookie Cups With
Cookie cups can be filled with chocolate, marshmallow creme, cheesecake filling, or any custard or frosting. You can add chopped candy bars, fruit, or even chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows for a s’mores version.
If you think it up, it will probably work!!
Can the Lemon Filling be Frozen?
This lemon filling has cream cheese and whipped cream, and whenever dairy is involved freezing often leads to separation. Because of this, it’s not a great idea to freeze the lemon filling, but instead should be made fresh any time you want to enjoy it.
Can You Use Frozen Fruit?
Ahhhh, but it isn’t always easy to get your hands on fresh fruit, so during the winter or if you live in an area without fresh berries, can you use frozen fruit?
Frozen fruit should be drained well before you use it and make sure you sample it as frozen fruit is often not as sweet as fresh fruit.
Fruit Pizza RECIPES
Looking for more fruit pizza recipes? Fruit pizza is one of my favorite desserts from childhood, so make sure you try my Mom’s Fruit Pizza, Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza, Fruit Pizza the Quick Way, Berry Fruit Pizza Pie, Breakfast Fruit and Yogurt Pizza, or a healthy version of Quest Bar Fruit Pizza.
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Sugar Cookie Lemon Fruit Cups
- 1 Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe * see note for a shortcut
Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe
- 8 ounces of Cream Cheese softened
- 1 Small Package Instant Lemon Pudding
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream* see note
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar divided
- Yellow Food Color Gel
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
- Blackberries Strawberries (chopped), raspberries, and/or blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a muffin tin, or a mini muffin tin.
- Press a scoop of sugar cookie dough into the bottom of each muffin cup. No need to press it up the sides, it will grow on its own. *SEE NOTE
- Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of muffin well. Once the dough is starting to turn golden, especially around the edges and the tops don't look wet, remove from the oven and gently place on the counter to cool.
- Using a tart shaper or end of a rolling pin or back of a spoon, press down in the center of each cookie to create a well in the center.
- Meanwhile, using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the pudding and beat again.
- Add the lemon extract and a squeeze of yellow gel, beat again.
- In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fold 1/2 of the whipped cream and powdered sugar into the pudding mixture.
- Add remaining whipped cream and fold, adding more yellow food color gel if needed.
- Fill a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner cut off. Pipe the filling into each cooled cookie.
- Top with fruit and serve!
- You can purchase sugar cookie dough and just combine two to three of the dough sections for each fruit cup or one for each mini cup.
- If you'd like to use cool whip instead of the heavy cream, use 1/3 cup less powdered sugar in the recipe and use 1 Cup of cool whip instead. Use remaining powdered sugar in the filling.
- If you are making dough from scratch, press a scoop into one well and then do a test bake. If the edges don't come up high enough, add more dough on your next round.
- These fruit cups can be made 24 hours in advance.