Lemon Shortbread Cookies

This lemon shortbread is all about delicious buttery cookies that melt in the mouth with a fresh lemony taste and flavor.

A stack of lemon shortbread cookies.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

If you love buttery shortbread and lemon, chances are you will love these lemon shortbread cookies. They melt in the mouth with buttery crumbs and refreshing lemon flavor. 

Just the cookies that you won’t be able to resist.

It’s such a good twist on the ever-popular traditional shortbread cookies. 

Rows of lemon shortbread cookies on a marble worktop.

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And if you need more ideas to use up your lemons, you can try this small batch lemon bars recipe by Homemade In The Kitchen, mini lemon tarts recipe by All You Need Is Brunch.

The Key Ingredients

Though you will see eight items in the ingredient list, in reality, you will only need seven things. Because from the lemon, you will get the juice and zest. 

So those seven items are butter, caster sugar, egg yolk, lemon, all-purpose flour (plain flour), ground almonds, and cornstarch (corn flour).

I suggest you use salted butter. The reason is the little salt in the butter will enhance the flavor of your cookies. 

Now, if you have a nut allergy or are not keen on using nuts in your cookies, you can substitute ground almonds with rice flour or semolina flour. 

Equipment You Need

  • Mixing bowl.
  • Spatula.
  • Handheld mixer.
  • Parchment paper.
  • Baking sheets.
  • Saran wrap/ cling film.

How To Make Lemon Shortbread Cookies

The method of making these cookies is rather old-fashioned but very easy. 

Firstly, you cream the salted butter and caster sugar until you get a nice pale and creamy mixture. Then you beat in the egg yolk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. 

Though I use a handheld mixer to do it, you can always use a hand whisk or a stand mixer. 

Once you get the mixture well stirred and blended, add the rest of the ingredients, i.e., flour, ground almonds, and cornstarch.

Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, you mix everything until all is combined and you get a soft dough. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes.

When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 180℃/ 356℉ at gas mark 4, and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Then, take the dough out of the refrigerator. Divide, shape, and roll the dough into cherry tomato-sized balls. Place them on the lined baking sheets well-spaced apart. 

Note here that you can always shape and roll the dough into a giant sausage and then cut it into thick slices. So you can save time. 

Using your thumb or the back of a spoon, gently press the cookie dough to slightly flatten it and leave a little dip in the center. It’s thumbprint cookie shape.

Bake the cookies at the gas mark 4/ 180℃/ 356℉ for about 25 minutes or until they are golden in color and firm to the touch. 

Before transferring the cookies to a wired cooling rack, make sure you leave them on the baking sheet for a few minutes. 

Five shortbread cookies with lemon flavor stacked together.

Variations of Shortbread Cookies

This lemon shortbread cookie recipe can be easily modified into other variations.

If you like vanilla flavor, you can replace the lemon zest with vanilla seed and lemon juice with vanilla extract. 

And if you like herby fragrance in your cookies, you can add half a teaspoon of dried thyme when you put the lemon zest in the dough. Other herbs like rosemary or lavender can be good choices, too. In fact, the latter one is quite popular these days. 

How Long Can You Keep The Cookies

The ready-baked cookies keep well in a tight-lidded cookie jar for up to two weeks. 

And the dough itself freezes well for up to two months. 

So you can prepare the dough in bulk and keep it in the freezer if you need to make a big batch of cookies for your busy festive seasons. Take the dough out the day before you plan to bake, and leave it in the fridge to thaw overnight. 

The top tip for preparing a big batch to freeze is to shape the dough into a large cylinder. Cover it tightly with saran wrap before freezing. When you want to bake the cookies, you can just cut the dough into thick slices. This way, you will save loads of time in shaping and rolling.

Bear in mind that once it has thawed, you must not refreeze the dough. And the thawed dough should be cooked and used within a few days. 

Shortbread cookies with lemon on marble worktop.

More Cookie Recipes

Thank you for checking this lemon shortbread cookie recipe. I hope you will try it soon. When you do, please let me know what you think about it in the comments below (leave a reply). I really appreciate it.

And before you go, don’t forget to check out my other easy cookie recipes that you may like.

Lastly, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. To sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Take care and all the best.

A stack of lemon shortbread cookies.
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5 from 4 votes

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

This lemon shortbread cookie is all about delicious buttery cookies that melt in the mouth with a fresh lemony taste and flavor. 
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Additional Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Sweets & Desserts
Cuisine: International
Servings: 40 cookies


  • Mixing bowls.
  • Spatula
  • Handheld mixer
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking trays
  • Saran wrap/ cling film


  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp salted butter.
  • cup caster sugar.
  • 1 large egg yolk.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.
  • Zest 1 lemon.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour/ plain flour.
  • 7 tablespoons ground almonds.
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch/ cornflour.


  • Cream the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl until pale in color. You can use a wooden spoon or a handheld mixer.
  • Add in the egg yolk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat again and mix well.
  • Fold in the plain flour, cornstarch, and ground almonds. Stir until all is combined and it comes to a dough. Refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 180℃/ 356℉ at gas mark 4 when ready to bake the cookies.
  • Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper/ greaseproof paper.
  • Take a small piece of the dough or about the size of a cherry tomato, and roll it into a small ball. Then place the dough ball onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is finished. Make sure you leave enough space between the dough balls. 
  • Bake them for about 25 minutes until they are golden in color and firm to the touch.
  • Once you take the cookies out of the oven, leave them on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack.


  • You can prepare the dough and keep it in the fridge for up to 72 hours before cooking. 
  • You can always shape the dough into a giant sausage and cut it into thick slices. So you can save time. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 49mg | Sugar: 2g


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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  1. Delicious! These were perfect with cardamom tea.

    1. Yes, I agree with you. Cardamom tea will be the best companion for this lemon shortbread cookie.

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