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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

You are going to love these easy lemon shortbread cookies. They are bright and refreshing, with just the right amount of sweetness. The best part is the vibrant lemon glaze on top!

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A stack of lemon shortbread cookies with a bow on top of the stack.

This lemon shortbread cookie recipe is perfect for brunch, afternoon tea, or a coffee date. Their dry, crumbly texture topped off with that intensely delectable iced topping makes them downright irresistible. 

I like to make these cookies in the spring or summertime, but they are just as good any time of the year. Whip up a batch of these lemony delights and watch the magic happen!

Ingredients needed to prepare lemon shortbread cookies.

How to Make Lemon Shortbread Cookies

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

Combining butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

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Adding lemon juice and lemon zest to butter and sugar mixture in a mixing bowl.

STEP TWO: Blend the sugar and butter together with a hand or stand mixer until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice, mixing until well blended. 

Combining flour and cornstarch in a small clear bowl.

STEP THREE: Combine the flour and cornstarch in a separate, medium mixing bowl. Set your mixer to medium or low and gradually add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated.

Combing wet and dry ingredients for cookie dough in a mixing bowl.

STEP FOUR: Chill dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

STEP FIVE: After chilling the dough, spread out a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and sprinkle it with flour. Prepare your rolling pin with a light coat of flour as well.

Rolling out cookie dough flat so it can be cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

STEP SIX: Separate out half of the dough and place it on the parchment paper. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is about ¼ inch thick. Cut out your lemon shortbread cookies using the cookie cutter of your choice and transfer them to the lined cookie sheet. 

Cut out cookies placed on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

STEP SEVEN: Place the cookies in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Repeat steps eight and nine with the remainder of the dough. Then, allow your lemon shortbread to cool as you make the glaze.

Ingredients needed to prepare a glaze topping for lemon cookies.

STEP EIGHT: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar, corn syrup, and lemon juice, stirring until well combined. To adjust the consistency of your glaze, you can add in a little bit of milk. Add it slowly, stir, and then decide if you need more. 

A batch of cookies that have been spoon glazed after baking.

STEP NINE: Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies. Set your shortbread aside and allow the glaze to harden for at least 2 hours. After that, serve and enjoy!

A batch of glazed lemon shortbread cookies on a wooden serving platter.

Tips For The Best Lemon Shortbread Cookies

  • Chill the dough. Do this for at least 20-30 minutes to keep your cookies from spreading out too much. 
  • Don’t overbake. Lemon shortbread will continue to cook once out of the oven, so take it out when the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. 
  • Use the highest quality ingredients possible. Every single ingredient contributes to the overall flavor and texture. 

Variations for Lemon Shortbread Cookie Recipe

  • Toss in some nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. 
  • Skip the glaze and try dipping your cookies in white or dark chocolate. 
  • Mix in another fruit extract like strawberry or coconut. 
  • Add some herby goodness with a sprinkle of lavender, rosemary, or thyme. 
  • Jazz up your cookies with some multicolored sprinkles on top.
A closeup view of a stack of glazed lemon shortbread cookies.

More Lemon Dessert Recipes 

Storing and Freezing Lemon Shortbread

Lemon shortbread cookies will last up to a week at room temperature when stored in an airtight container. Kept in the same container, you can extend the life of your cookies to up to 10 days when stored in the refrigerator. 

When stored in the freezer, lemon shortbread will stay fresh for up to a month. 

A batch of glazed lemon shortbread cookies on a cooling rack.

How Are Shortbread Cookies and Sugar Cookies Different?

Most shortbread cookie recipes, including this lemon shortbread cookie recipe, do not contain any eggs or leavening agents. Sugar cookie recipes, on the other hand, almost always include these ingredients. 

As a result, lemon shortbread cookies are drier, denser, and more crumbly than their sugar cookie cousins. 

Do I Have To Use Cookie Cutters for Lemon Shortbread Cookies?

As an alternative to cookie cutters, you can also make this lemon shortbread cookie recipe by forming the dough into a log, chilling it, and then slicing off rounds. 

A stack of lemon shortbread cookies with a bow on top of the stack.

Other Cookies Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 36 Cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

A batch of glazed lemon shortbread cookies on a wooden serving platter.

You are going to love these easy lemon shortbread cookies. They are bright and refreshing, with just the right amount of sweetness. The best part is the vibrant lemon glaze on top!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of Lemon Zest (approximately the zest of one lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons of Lemon Juice

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 1/3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add in lemon zest and lemon juice, and mix until blended.
  4. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine flour and cornstarch.
  5. Gradually add dry ingredients in to batter and mix on low to medium speed, until well combined.
  6. Chill dough for 30 min.
  7. Once dough has been chilled, place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and add a small amount of flour to the parchment paper.  Lightly flour a rolling pin as well.  
  8. Place half of the dough on the floured parchment paper and roll smooth to a ¼ of in thick.
  9. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out cookies and place them on the lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 8-10 min. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  11. While cookies are cooling, add powdered sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice into a medium size mixing bowl and mix until blended.
  12. Add milk a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  13. Drizzle glaze onto the cooled cookies with a spoon.
  14. Allow glaze to harden for 2 hours, then serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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