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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

lemon shortbread cookies

If you love the taste of lemon, these cookies are tart and lemony and melt in your mouth that you just cannot eat only one!

I made these cookies last June when my son was still living in Switzerland and came to visit us for a few days.  I made them the day before he left so that he could take some with him and share them with his room mates, but by the next day the three of them were eating them and there were much less than I expected for him to take with him.

cutting the cookies

I was google searching for cookies when I found this one at The Joy of Baking.    As Stephanie Zarowski says, these shortbreads are traditionally a Christmas cookie made with just four ingredients, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. They are a rich cookie with a delicate buttery flavor. These cookies freeze very well so they are the perfect cookie to make for the holiday season.

I adjusted the recipe as I wanted to make a lot of cookies and just made a few minor changes to the recipe, adding lemon zest, as I love the taste of lemon.  I used self raising flour merely because I did not have all purpose flour and added some corn flour, as she suggested.   After cutting the cookies and putting them in the baking tin, I sprinkled them with a little sugar on top.

making cookies

After they were baked I still thought that something was missing, as the taste of lemon was not very noticeable, so as I had more butter I decided to make a lemon butter cream to give them an extra lemon taste. These cookies were perfect and melted in your mouth.

Lemon shortbread cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Makes: 64 double cookies


  • 360 grams butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (preferably from organic non waxed lemons)
  • 160 grams icing sugar
  • 500 grams self raising flour
  • 80 grams corn flour (starch)

Lemon Buttercream:

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 1 tsp citrus or vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 160 grams icing sugar, sifted


  1. In the bowl of your mixer cream the butter until smooth. Add the lemon zest and icing sugar and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy (about five minutes). Reduce speed and gently fold in the flour and corn flour until fully incorporated. Remove to your working surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill for about 30 minutes until firm.
  2. Preheat the oven at 180°C (350°F).
  3. Roll out half the dough between sheets of cling film and using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Add any scraps of dough to the remaining dough and roll out as before and continue until all the dough is used.
  4. Line the baking tin with parchment paper and place the cookies, leaving a gap between each cookie so as not to stick together when baked.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Remove to a wire rack to cool and continue baking the remaining.
  7. Put all the filling ingredients into a bowl and beat together with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
  8. When the cookies have cooled, spread the filling on one of the cookies and sandwich with a second.

Lemon Cookies

If you have missed my previous post, there is still time to leave a comment and win a very useful kitchen gadget.


This recipe goes to Cinzia of Cindystar, for her event Baking under the Christmas Tree.


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

signature Ivy




Other relevant recipes:

Kourabiedes (Greek Christmas Shortbread Cookies)

Melomakarona (Greek Honey Cookies)

Almond Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Orange flavoured Almond and Pecan Cookies

Bitter Chocolate Ginger Cookies

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29 Responses

  1. X'mas time is the cookie time! Lemony shortbread cookies are not only great for the holidays, but also wonderful for daily consumption!

  2. They look great Ivy. I think I had a cookie overdose though 😉

  3. You can never get too many cookie recipes! They look beautiful Ivy! Nice touch with the lemon butter cream.

  4. I love lemon desserts!!!! Those cookies sounds delicious and look really cute!

  5. I love short bread cookies and the picture has made me drool….I would love to try them.

  6. I am a great fan of short bread cookies and they look delicious too. Happy Holidays Ivy.

    – Siri

  7. The lemony flavor sounds excellent and I love the cute flower shapes!

  8. Lovely cute cookies. I am sure my children would have done exactly the same.

  9. Yay for lemon! Great job for your shortbread

    I love The Joy of Baking… so many great recipes there! 🙂

  10. oo,ivy ,i love cokies with lemon!these are so delicate!

    • Très réussis. Bravo!!
      Je t' aurais bien pris un ou deux biscuits au passage.
      A bientôt.

  11. Your cookies look delicious and your son is very lucky !

  12. These look gorgeous Ivy – I love citrus flavoured cookies.

  13. Melt in mouth cookies!!

  14. It really does make life easier if treats freeze well doesn't it?

    I love the idea of adding lemon! I have never had lemon shortbread before.

  15. These cookies look wonderful !

  16. These look so dainty. I think I may have been tempted to color them yellow though!

  17. These sound fantastic! I love lemony cookies, and the lemon butter cream sounds just delicious.

  18. Cookies lok perfect and pretty!

  19. I love shortbread cookies and the addition of lemon must make them a real treat.

    Have a wonderful Christmas with friends and family and please remember to save some of your amazing food for me, LOL.

  20. What tasty looking cookies! Happy Holidays to you and your family, Ivy!

  21. The lemon cream sounds so good Ivy. I love the tart lemon paired with the sweetness. Merry Christmas!

  22. I lovel emony cookies and these look fantastic!
    Kala Xristougenna Ivy kai Eutixismeno to Neo Etos!

  23. I love shortbread at Christmas time and the addition of lemon taste sounds perfect!

  24. They look so great Ivy….lemon cream sounds delicious!

  25. ap269

    YUM!!!! Will be made soon! I love lemon.

  26. These are easy to make and wonderful

  27. Mysore

    You can never get too many cookie recipes! They look beautiful Ivy! Nice touch with the lemon butter cream.

    Mysore magazine released.visit http://www.mysore.educhamps.com

  28. Claudia Petrati

    Amei as receitas, fiquei muito feliz de tê-la encontrado;