Lemon Shortbread Cookies


These cookies are sandy and crumbly, tart and lemony, and definitely addicting, especially if you’re a fan of lemon desserts.

I made these cookies to take to a party and loved them so much, I made another batch the next day. I love the rich buttery cookie, the crumbly sandy texture, and the tart lemon glaze. I dressed them up with a little sparkling yellow sugar.


They’re quickly to put together and easy to roll out. The dough does need to be chilled so it’s not sticky.

I like to roll out cookie dough on a Silpat. I also cover the dough with plastic wrap so I don’t have to add additional flour, which results in a really tender, totally scrumptious cookie. Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Icing
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • yellow food coloring, optional
  • yellow sanding sugar, optional


In a small bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch and salt and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until well blended.

Shape the dough in to a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour.

Preheat oven to 350º.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough in to desired shapes. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until lightly browned on the bottom about 10-12 minutes. Don't over bake. Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice and food coloring if using to create a thin glaze. Spread the glaze on each cookie and sprinkle with yellow sanding sugar before the icing dries, if using.


Don't miss out on a new recipe. Subscribe to Barbara Bakes by Email

Some of the links in my posts may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting Barbara Bakes when you shop!

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #BarbaraBakes.


    Leave a Comment:

  1. mark atkins says

    fantastic simple recipe.
    so easy to put together, and as a lover of citrus i used lemon and lime zest. just marvelous

  2. kate says

    YES! These are AMAZING!!! My children and I tried them last night to get ready for Easter and ate the whole batch! Flaky, Lemony, Buttery Goodness!!!

  3. Jen says

    I saw these cookies on Pintrest and had to try them. OMG they are amazingly good. My diet is officially on hold until they are all gone. :) thank you!

  4. says

    Hi Barbara. Just found your site through Susan and Create Amazing Meals – great to find you! These look amazing and, even thought I am finished my Christmas baking, I think I will make these jus for us!

  5. Barbara says

    Hello…nice name! :) I would like to make these and freeze for Christmas. Does the icing on the cookie freeze well or does it go runny when it thaws? Just wondering if you have ever frozen them? Thanks!

  6. Me says

    I didn’t have lemon, but had a naval orange in my fridge. I swapped that for the lemon zest/juice, and it was amazing! Can’t wait to try the lemon version. Thanks!

  7. Yvette N. says


    I made your Lemon Shortbread Cookies yesterday. The were absolutely delightful.
    I come from a long line of Lemon Lovers, and this recipe of yours just hit the top of my list!
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. AILUY says

    I am not sure which I love more lemon-everything or shortbread, any flavor. So these cookies are about as close as I can get to heaven around here. Do you think I can make them with margarine instead of butter, to keep them dairy-free?
    Thank you

  9. Peggy Clyde says

    My son will love these. His favorite foods are those with lemon flavor. Have you ever tried to roll out cookies with a little powdered sugar? I use powdered sugar with every cookie I roll out. The dough never gets too stiff like it does with flour. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  10. Amanda says

    I would like to try this recipe, but I am confused about the dried cranberries. It doesn’t say anything about them in the instructions, and it doesn’t look like the cookies have red spots in them.