Soft, thick and full of fresh lemon flavor, these Shortbread Lemon Cookies are so good..and so different from crispy shortbread recipes. Wonderful served with some fresh berries!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
Why you’ll LOVE this recipe for Shortbread Lemon Cookies….let’s discuss!
- If you’re a lemon lover, this is your cookie.
- These cookies are thick, soft sugar cookies – unlike classic shortbread cookies – with a (big) hit of lemon.
- This is an easy recipe with simple ingredients- no cookie cutters or special equipment needed!
- Homemade cookies make a really nice dessert for all kinds of occasions, especially during the holiday season with a large bowl of fresh berries after a main dish like Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage, or substantial salad like Shrimp Salad with Lemon Ranch Dressing.
- Make these delicious lemon short cookies for gifting too.
Love shortbread? You’ve got to try these Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and instructions, just scroll down to the recipe card 🙂
- Flour mixture: 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.
- Confectioners Sugar: Just a half cup sifted, to work out any lumps for the lemon glaze that goes over the top. Also known as “powdered sugar”.
- Butter: Unsalted butter, room temperature, which is done by leaving it on the kitchen counter for 30-45 minutes to make it easy to whip with an electric mixer for best results.
- Fresh Lemons: 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 Shortbread Lemon cookie recipe is made in just one bowl!
Here’s all you do:
- Beat butter and the regular sugar with the lemon juice and one teaspoon of lemon zest into a medium-sized bowl.
- Mix on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until all the ingredients are incorporated and a bit fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sifted, dry ingredients to the bowl with the butter mixture and do a quick mix on medium speed… just enough to have the ingredients hold together like in the photo above.
- Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl
- Prep your baking sheet, add the shortbread dough, pat it down, bake, frost with lemon icing, cool, slice …..perfect cookies!
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.
- Tip! Set the tray on a cookie sheet (also called baking sheets) before putting in the oven for easy removal.
- 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 in a small bowl as directed makes a big difference in the final texture for the best cookies. 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.
- I didn’t use lemon extract or pure vanilla extract in these cookies because I loved them as is, but you could add a 1/4 teaspoon of one of them (not both) into your batter to amp the flavors up a bit.
- If you love all things lemon, these cookies are delicious served with a bowl of fresh berries and some hot tea. Have it for dessert with these easy recipes.
- This is the perfect cookie when you want a sweet treat.
- You deserve shortbread after eating a Superfood Salad or this Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts.
- People love this Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl which is so full of flavor and great textures…sometimes a sandwich is in order, and here’s a spin on the old standby.. Naan BLT with Sundried Tomato Mayo.
- Citrus Chicken Thighs are a great to serve to keep the whole citrus theme going, and Taco Pie with Crescent Rolls? Well, you’ll just have to try it to see how easy and good it is!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! The unbaked dough can be made, well- wrapped in plastic wrap 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.
Well-sealed in an airtight container, these cookies will keep for several days.
More Cookie Recipes:
- Triple Chocolate Cookies: Fudgy and rich tasting, almost like a brownie
- Ginger Pistachio Biscotti: A wonderful cookie for dunking in coffee or tea.
- Sweets Things: A round-up of favorite desserts…
- Hawaiian Shortbread Cookies: A buttery favorite with chocolate chips.
- 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!
- Old Fashioned Apple Cake Recipe: A favorite, tender cake recipe
If you’ve made these Shortbread Lemon Cookies, or any recipe on Studio Delicious, please rate the recipe and tell me about it in the comments below!
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Shortbread Lemon Cookies
- 1 cup Butter, unsalted, softened
- ½ cup Sugar, granulated
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated
- 2¼ cups Flour, all purpose, sifted
- ½ 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 coarse 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 ½" 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 ½" 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