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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

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These lemon shortbread cookies are a delicious and zesty way to give flavor to your traditional buttery shortbread cookies. Packed with fresh lemon flavor these cookies are perfect all year long!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies on a wooden board.

Do you absolutely love shortbread?

If you just screamed “YES!” you’re going to love these lemon shortbread cookies!

These cookies are packed with lemon flavor mixed with the perfect buttery texture!

I like to use a mix of lemon zest and lemon extract to bring big-time lemon flavor to these cookies. The lemon zest brings in a light freshness and the extract pumps up the lemon flavor.

These cookies are simple, store well, and are packed full of flavor.

They are the perfect sunny cookie!

Ingredients to make Lemon Shortbread Cookies.

Ingredients for lemon shortbread cookies

  • Butter – The base of any good shortbread cookie is always butter! You can use unsalted or salted butter here. If you use unsalted butter make sure to add a pinch of
  • All-purpose flour – Can’t make a shortbread cookie without good old classic all-purpose flour! This helps hold the cook together.
  • Powdered sugar – Brings sweetness to the cookies as well as helps give the shortbread its classic crumbly texture.
  • Lemon zest – Gives fresh lemon flavor to the cookies.
  • Lemon extract – This gives the cookie a bit more lemon flavor.
  • Milk – Helps add moisture and texture to the shortbread.
A hand picking up a Lemon Shortbread Cookie.

Additions and adaptations

Love these lemon shortbread cookies but looking to add or change a few things?

Here are a few delicious ideas!

  • Swap lemon for orange for a bright refreshing citrus shortbread. You’ll use orange zest in place of lemon zest and orange extract in place of lemon extract. You can also do this with lime!
  • Add fresh herbs for even more flavor! Fresh thyme or minced rosemary work really well with lemon flavor.
  • For a classic pairing add in some food-grade dried lavender!
Lemon Shortbread Cookies on a wooden board.

Storage and leftovers

Shortbread cookies are super great at storage!

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days for optimal freshness. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If you’re looking for a longer storage option they can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Stacked Lemon Shortbread Cookies.

More lemon dessert recipes

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 10 cookies

These lemon shortbread cookies are a delicious and zesty way to give flavor to your traditional buttery shortbread cookies. Packed with fresh lemon flavor these cookies are perfect all year long!


  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter on medium speed using a hand or stand mixer until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the powdered sugar and lemon zest.
  4. Mix until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour. 
  6. Next, add the milk and lemon extract. 
  7. Keep mixing until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute.
  8. Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap.
  9. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. This will help make the dough easier to roll and cut. 
  10. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough until it is 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the cookies and place them on the baking sheets. I used a round cookie cutter and got 10 cookies.
  12. Place the sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill the dough. This prevents spreading. 
  13. Bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown, about 12-14 minutes.
  14. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and then store in a plastic container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies pin for Pinterest.

Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

Easy and delicious, this one is a keeper. I know I’m going to make it over and over again!

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