Lemon shortbread cookies are a classic treat loved by bakers and cookie enthusiasts alike. They combine the rich, buttery texture of traditional shortbread with a refreshing lemon zest that makes them irresistible. Whether you're a seasoned baker or trying this recipe for the first time, these cookies are sure to impress. Let's get started!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients List

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon (optional, for extra zing)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Dough

  1. Cream the Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the Vanilla and Lemon Zest: Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest until well combined.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and salt.
  4. Form the Dough: Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Be careful not to overmix; the dough should be slightly crumbly but hold together when pressed.

Shaping and Chilling

  1. Shape the Dough: Roll the dough into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter. If you prefer, you can also roll the dough into a flat sheet and use cookie cutters for shaping.
  2. Wrap and Chill: Wrap the dough log (or flat sheet) in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling is essential for the dough to firm up, making it easier to slice or cut into shapes.


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Slice the Dough: Once chilled, slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds or cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.
  3. Bake: Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Keep an eye on them to avoid overbaking.
  4. Cool: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Making the Lemon Glaze

  1. Prepare the Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. If you like a more intense lemon flavor, add the zest of 1 lemon.
  2. Glaze the Cookies: Once the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle the lemon glaze over the top using a spoon or a piping bag for more precision. Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Tips and Tricks

  • Variations: Add a teaspoon of poppy seeds to the dough for a delightful crunch and extra flavor.
  • Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They also freeze well for longer storage.
  • Serving Suggestions: These cookies pair wonderfully with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold milk. They also make great gifts when packaged in a decorative tin.


We hope you enjoy making and tasting these delicious lemon shortbread cookies! Don't forget to share your baking adventures and feedback with us in the comments below. For more delightful recipes and baking tips, explore other posts on our blog. Happy baking!

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