If you're a big-time lemon dessert lover, then these Lemon Shortbread Cookies are a must-make treat! They are melt-in-your-mouth, buttery soft cookies packed with the perfect amount of lemon flavor and topped with a simple lemon glaze and a sprinkling of lemon zest. They're so good, you simply won't be able to eat just one!
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This easy lemon shortbread cookies recipe is adapted from my popular chocolate chip shortbread cookies! They seriously could not be any easier to make, they taste absolutely fantastic, and your friends and family will love them!
6 Reasons Why You'll Love This Easy Lemon Shortbread Cookies Recipe
- Made with fresh lemon juice and zest from just one small lemon.
- Thick, buttery soft cookies that melt-in-your mouth.
- Requires only 8 ingredients!
- Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies (when made with a 1 tablespoon-size cookie scoop).
- No eggs needed and can be made with plant-based butter too!
- Perfect as-is or with a simple lemon glaze and a sprinkle of lemon zest.
The Key Ingredients in Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Here's what you'll need to make these iced lemon shortbread cookies.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Light Brown Sugar
- Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice
- Vanilla Extract
And that's right...there are zero eggs needed to make this shortbread cookie recipe! Skipping the egg, gives you a nice, slight crisp and crumbly texture when you bite into these buttery chocolate chip shortbread cookies.
Here's How to Make Them!
Below is a brief overview of how to make these melt-in-your-mouth lemon shortbread cookies. For the full recipe, see the recipe card below!
- Whisk the dry ingredients together. All-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. I recommend doing this in a separate bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients. This includes the unsalted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Scoop and roll the cookie dough into balls. I used a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop.
- Flatten the tops of each cookie. I used the bottom of a pint glass that I kept coating in all-purpose flour to keep the cookies from sticking to the glass.
- Bake the cookies. 300ºF for 15-20 minutes. 18 minutes worked well for mine. While one baking sheet of cookies bake, I like to keep the cookie dough in the refrigerator. Let them cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- Dip the tops in the lemon glaze. Place them on a wire cooling rack with a sheet of parchment paper underneath to let any extra glaze drip off.
- Storage. Keep the lemon shortbread cookies stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 4 months if you keep them in the freezer.
3 Quick Tips for Making the Best Lemon Shortbreads
Number of lemons. You will need 2 small lemons (around 200 grams total), 1 for the cookies and the other for the glaze. If you're planning to skip the lemon glaze, you will only need 1 small lemon.
Chilling the dough. If baking these cookies on smaller cookie sheets, one at a time, I recommend keeping the cookie dough stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake the next batch.
In my kitchen, when it gets warmer, I find the dough tends to spread more during baking if just let out at room temperature while making several batches.
Lemon Glaze. You can easily enjoy these lemon shortbread cookies without the lemon glaze—which is just made up of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a little milk—but OH. MY. GOD. are they ever good with it. Seriously.
Lemon Shortbread CookiesAuthor:
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
- Lemon Zest (from 1 small lemon)
- 1 ½ tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ tablespoon Milk
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set to the side.2 cups All-Purpose Flour, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the unsalted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until well blended.1 cup Unsalted Butter, ¼ cup Granulated Sugar, ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar, Lemon Zest (from 1 small lemon), ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract, 1 ½ tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, gradually adding in the whisked dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Adjust oven rack to the 2nd level position (just above center), preheat oven to 300ºF, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Using a spoon or a 1 tablespoon-size cookie scoop, roll the cookie dough into balls. Place roughly 1 ½ inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. You can also use a 1 ½ tablespoon-size cookie scoop which will yield slightly fewer cookies.
- With the bottom of a glass, gently press down on the tops of each cookie to flatten slightly. I recommend dipping the bottom of the glass in some flour so the cookies won't stick to the glass.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 300ºF or until the edges are a light golden brown. For reference, mine baked for 18 minutes. If baking these cookies on smaller cookie sheets, one at a time, I recommend keeping the cookie dough stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake the next batch.
- The cookies will still be very soft—let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 5-10 minutes first before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk until well combined. Using a spoon, drizzle some lemon glaze over each cookie. You can also dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze. Let any extra glaze drip off, then enjoy!1 cup Powdered Sugar, 2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice, ½ tablespoon Milk
- Store cookies at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Lemon shortbread cookies can also be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months. Place them in a well sealed container separating cookies with a layer of wax paper.