Soft, thick and full of fresh lemon flavor, these Lemon Shortbread Cookies are so good..and so different from crispy shortbread recipes. Wonderful served with fresh berries!
Why you’ll LOVE this recipe for Lemon Shortbread Cookies….let’s discuss!
- You may already have some of these ingredients on hand ….every day things like butter, two sugars (regular and powdered) a little flour and a fresh lemon. Yay if you do!
- I made this cookie recipe during the early days of lock down, and cant’ stop thinking about them because they’re SO GOOD.
- While some shortbread is crispy, this one is thick and soft with lemon zest and juice and a tangy, sweet icing drizzled on top. Gives me chills just thinking about it!
- This is an easy recipe, therefore it deserves it’s own bullet point 🙂
- Homemade cookies make a really nice dessert for all kinds of occasions, especially with pretty bowls of fresh berries after a main dish like Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage, or substantial salad like Shrimp Salad with Lemon Ranch Dressing. I recently had this after a lovely brunch of Zucchini Potato Frittata too. Yum!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and instructions, just scroll down to the recipe card 🙂
- Flour: Just regular All-Purpose flour here, but we’ll sift it first for an extra fine crumb.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar works, but my favorite is Baker’s Sugar which is easy to find in most well-stocked grocery stores.
- Powdered Sugar: Just a half cup sifted, to work out any lumps for the lemon glaze that goes over the top.
- Butter: Unsalted is best, and softened, which is done by leaving it on the kitchen counter for about 45 minutes to make it easy to whip with an electric mixer.
- Fresh Lemon: We’ll use some juice and zest for the inside and the top, both add wonderful citrus flavor to this recipe.
Bonus points that this cookie recipe is made in just one bowl!
Here’s all you do:
- Add the butter, regular sugar, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest to a medium-sized bowl.
- Mix on medium high with an electric mixer until all the ingredients are incorporated and a bit fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sifted flour to the bowl and do a quick mix on low speed, just enough to have the ingredients hold together like in the photo above.
- Prep your baking pan, add the dough, pat it down, bake, frost with lemon icing, cool, slice and serve!
How to Prep the Baking Pan
To prep the cookie dough in the pan, here’s all you do:
- Use a 9″ round spring form pan with a removable bottom. Lightly spray it with non-stick baking spray as extra insurance to remove the cookie round when it’s cool before slicing.
- Dump the dough directly from the mixing bowl into the prepared pan, then pat it gently with your fingers.
- No need to press too hard, this is a thick, soft shortbread. A light touch does the trick!
- In the photo above, the left side isn’t patted down, the right side is. Easy!
Next, Bake and Frost
- After the shortbread comes out of the oven, let it cool for about 30 minutes, then mix together the icing ingredients and spoon over the top. You can see from the photo I left a about a 1/2″ edge around the sides.
- Let it set for about 30 more minutes, then slice and serve!
- Unsalted butter works best with this recipe.
- Sifting the ingredients as directed makes a big difference in the final texture. The shortbread will be tender, the icing will be smooth.
- To soften your butter before using, set it out on the counter for 20-30 minutes prior to starting the recipe. You should be able to make a light indentation in it with your finger and you’re good to go.
- Lemon Shortbread Cookies are a wonderful dessert after a casual lunch or dinner. Maybe something like Superfood Salad or Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts.
- People love this easy Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl and this spin on the traditional, Naan BLT with Sundried Tomato Mayo.
- I’ve given these cookies as gifts with a basket of fresh strawberries, which looks nice and is loved by all recipients. 🙂
FAQ’s for this Recipe
Yes! The unbaked dough can be made, well-wrapped and frozen for up to 60 days. Just let it defrost for 30-40 minutes, then press in the prepared pan and proceed as directed.
Yes! It’s no problem to double this recipe, and no adjustments are needed, except to use a second baking pan. You could also use a 9 x 13″ baking pan size for a doubled recipe.
If that’s the case, I would recommend using a non-stick pan that’s been sprayed with non-stick baking spray, or lined with parchment paper, and then sprayed with baking spray. Leave some parchment paper hanging on the sides like a sling, about 3″, to easily lift the cookies out when cooled.
Let the iced cookies cool for about 30 minutes, then cut them using a sharp chef’s knife. I carefully wipe the crumbs off the knife after every slice using a thick, soft, clean kitchen towel. Also, don’t let the cookies cool much longer than 30 minutes before slicing. You want them lightly set, just enough to slice.
More Cookie Recipes:
Triple Chocolate Cookies: Fudgy and rich tasting, almost like a brownie
Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies: Everyone has a favorite, and this is mine
Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies: An absolute keeper, the flavor of these is exceptional!
Peanut Butter and Jam: Another favorite cookie, SO good!
White Chocolate Snowflake Cookies: So pretty and delicious!
If you’ve made Lemon Shortbread Cookies, or any recipe on Studio Delicious, please rate the recipe and tell me about it in the comments below!
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup Butter, unsalted, softened
- 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated
- 2 1/4 cups Flour, all purpose, sifted
- 1/2 cup Powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed z
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9" inch spring form pan with a removable bottom by spraying it lightly on the bottom and sides with non-stick baking spray. Add the softened butter to a medium-sized bowl, as well as the sugar, fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest. Beat this mixture at medium-high speed with an electric mixer, scraping down the sides occasionally with a spatula, until its creamy and combined, 2-3 minutes. Add the sifted flour to the bowl, and beat at low speed with the mixer until it resembles course crumbs, just 1-2 minutes. Place all of the loose dough in the spring form pan, then lightly press it down with your clean fingers until its patted together and set. No need to press down super hard, just pat it lightly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are very lightly browned, remove from oven and cool completely. For the lemon glaze, place the powdered sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and whisk until all lumps are removed. Cool the shortbread completely, about 30 minutes, then spread the lemon glaze over the top, leaving about a 1/2" around the edge. Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest over the top. Let it stand until the glaze is set, about 30 minutes. Cut into approximate 2 1/2" slices to serve.
- Unsalted butter works best with this recipe
- Sifting the all-purpose flour and the powdered sugar for the icing makes a big difference in the final texture. The shortbread will be tender, the icing will be smooth.
- Make sure the butter is softened before using, just set it out 20-30 minutes prior to starting the recipe. You should be able to make a light indentation with your finger.
- The unbaked dough can be made, well-wrapped and frozen for up to 60 days. Just let it defrost for 30-40 minutes, then press in the prepared pan and proceed as directed.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
Source: Studio Delicious, adapted from Land O’Lakes