Buttery Lemon Shortbread Cookies with a Glaze

Buttery Lemon Shortbread Cookies with a Glaze are light and fresh with vibrant sweet and sour flavors that are surprisingly easy to create! Every bite is packed with a burst of lemon flavor and the shortbread has the perfect dense, buttery texture that will make this your new favorite cookie!

For more of the freshness of lemon with the amazing texture of shortbread, try Lemon Tart with a Buttery Shortbread Crust. It is an easy and delicious homemade fresh lemon curd in a buttery shortbread crust.

A stack of lemon shortbread cookies.

Buttery Lemon Shortbread Cookies with a Glaze

Warm summer days call for light and vibrant desserts that are both satisfying and refreshing.  Classic shortbread cookies are a tried and true choice with their melt-in-your-mouth buttery texture.  Now, by adding in the subtle lemon flavor and the sweet glaze, this classic cookie becomes perfectly bright.  Calling these the best cookies ever would not be an overstatement. They are heavenly!

Lemon shortbread cookies are perfect for any occasion because of their soft and sweet buttery texture and their inspired lemon zip.  Best of all these crowd-pleasing cookies are simple to make and the dough is easy to prepare ahead of time.  Make a couple of batches at a time and freeze some of the dough until you are ready to bake them.  You will be asked to make these over and over.  So, go ahead and pre-heat that oven and see for yourself how perfect this cookie really is!

Shortbread Cookie Ingredients:

Since this recipe requires no special equipment and all pantry staple ingredients, it makes a great beginner cookie.  Shortbread cookies are tried and true cookies and adding the lemon glaze makes these a new favorite version of a classic cookie!

  • Butter: Binding agent and adds moist, smooth texture and flavor.
  • Powdered sugar: Adds sweetness
  • Flour: Helps thicken the cookie.
  • Salt: Just a pinch to bring out the flavors and balance the sweetness.
  • Baking powder: Leavening agent that helps the cookies rise.
  • Flour: All purpose flour is best for these cookies.


  • Lemon juice: Whisk together with lemon zest and powdered sugar.
  • Powdered sugar: A bit of sweetness in the glaze
  • Lemon zest: This is where the lemon flavor really comes from.  Zest in fine pieces and add more or less according to how lemony you want your glaze.

Homemade Cookie Recipe:

Shortbread cookies are one of the easiest cookies to bake! They come together so fast and you will amazed how simple and delicious they are.

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix: In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer add the butter and beat until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, zest of lemon and juice of lemon.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add it to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Roll out dough: Add the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter cut out the cookies and lay them onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake: Place cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove and let cool.
  6. To make the glaze: In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice, powdered sugar, and zest of one lemon. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and place on a wire rack to set.

Steps to make lemon shortbread cookies.

Tips for the Best Shortbread Cookie:

This familiar dense shortbread cookie is so perfect with the unexpected bright lemon flavor.  My pro tips will help you achieve the BEST cookie ever are easier than you think!

  • Parchment paper: Lining your cookie sheet with parchment paper will save you so much time and help you create the perfect cookie. The parchment paper is naturally non-stick, so you do not have to use any sprays on your pan, and clean up will be so much simpler.  Moving your cookies off the tray and onto a cooling rack will be so much easier as well and your cookies will not crack or fall apart as you move them.
  • Use chilled dough: Once you prepare your dough, place it in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes before baking. Cooling the dough will keep your cookies from spreading out too much during baking.
  • Know when to take them out of the oven: Pull the cookies out when they start to turn to a light golden brown on the bottom or the very edges. They should no longer be white.
  • Add depth of flavor: Adding spices like rosemary or lavender creates an even more complex flavor in the cookie. Very finely chop these spices before adding them into the dough.
  • Presentation: Play around with different cookie cutters to make a festive display in star shapes or whatever coincides with your theme. Coloring the frosting with bright colors will also liven up any party!
  • Glaze: Apply the glaze while the cookies are still a little bit warm so the cookies don’t crack.

Storing Shortbread Cookies:

These cookies store very well and the dough can be made ahead too.  Keep some of this perfect dough in your freezer and pull it out as needed to bake a last-minute sweet treat!

  • Cookie dough: Roll dough into a log shape or cut go ahead and cut into cookies.  Then place them in the refrigerator or freezer.  If storing in already cut pieces, you will want to separate them with wax paper so they don’t stick together.  The dough will be good for 2 days in the refrigerator or 4-6 months in the freezer.
  • Finished cookies: Be sure your cookies are completely cooled, including the glaze before storing them.  Stack in layers with wax paper between each layer.  They will stay fresh at room temperature for about a week.

Close up on a stack of lemon shortbread cookies.

More Shortbread Cookie Recipes:

Buttery Lemon Shortbread Cookies with a Glaze

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 24 Cookies

Buttery Lemon Shortbread Cookies with a Glaze are light and fresh with vibrant sweet and sour flavors that are surprisingly easy to create! Every bite is packed with a burst of lemon flavor and the shortbread has the perfect dense, buttery texture that will make this your new favorite cookie!

To Make the Cookies:

  • 2 cups butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 cups flour

To Make the Glaze:

  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of one lemon

Nutrition Facts

Buttery Lemon Shortbread Cookies with a Glaze

Amount Per Serving

Calories 327 Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 10g50%

Cholesterol 41mg14%

Sodium 185mg8%

Potassium 59mg2%

Carbohydrates 42g14%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 10g11%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 473IU9%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 14mg1%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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