Bursting with lemon flavor, Lemon Shortbread Cookies with Honey are the perfect accompaniment to a mug of tea or a cup of coffee. This twist on a classic makes for buttery cookies for a lemon lover. Makes 24 cookies.
I love baked goods with simple ingredients and am a lemon dessert lover.
In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say these easy shortbread cookies have the perfect amount of lemon flavor in them.
These buttery Lemon Shortbread Cookies make for a lovely treat for any day or the holiday season.
Why I love this recipe:
While I’ve never been to England, I’ve heard a lot about tea and biscuits. And in my opinion, this Lemon Honey Shortbread is everything you want in a tea time cookie.
The cookies are crunchy and perfect for dipping into your tea of choice.
They taste fresh with subtle lemon flavor. Truly, the hint of citrus adds something special to this classic shortbread cookie recipe.
They’re not too sweet, either.
And while the flavor is light with a hint of lemon, the cookies are dense enough to prevent you from eating them all in one sitting. (You know, in case that’s a concern of yours.)
These are slice and bake cookies, so we form them into a log before slicing. You will not need a cookie cutter.
More shortbread cookies recipes to try: Shortbread Brown Butter Cookies | Orange Raspberry Shortbread Cookies | Ginger Rosemary Shortbread Cookies | Toasted Pecan Shortbread Cookies | Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry-Orange Glaze | Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies
Love dessert? Swing on by my Dessert Recipe Index for more ideas.
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Sheet pan or a cookie sheet
- Silpat nonstick baking mat or parchment paper
- Glass bowl
- Hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
- Microplane or citrus zester
- Plastic wrap
- Sharp knife
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter— we’re using two sticks. Set it out the butter 30-45 minutes before you plan to make the batter so it blends easily.
- Honey—this is going to add a nice natural sweetness and flavor to the cookies, as well as the coating.
- Powdered sugar—also known as confectioners’ sugar. We’ll need this for the cookie dough. You may sift yours if there are chunks in it.
- Lemon zest—this adds the lemon flavor. Don’t skimp on it and zest it yourself from fresh lemons.
- All–purpose flour—we keep unbleached all purpose flour at our house, but you can use the regular kind, too.
- Kosher salt—I like to use a fine grain sea salt here.
Please note that we are not using lemon juice or lemon extract to give these cookies their flavor.
How to make Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Make the shortbread dough
Cream the softened butter and sugar with the honey and fresh lemon zest until light and fluffy in a large bowl. This will take a few minutes.
Sift the flour and salt on top of the butter mixture. Stir until the batter comes together.
Lie a piece of plastic wrap onto the counter. Dollop the batter into the center of the wrap. Seal, then roll into a log.
Transfer the log to the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour.
How to form and bake the cookies
Once the dough chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator.
Brush the outsides of the dough with the honey/water mixture until just barely wet, then sprinkle with raw sugar. You may also roll it on a plate if that is easier to coat the exterior.
Slice the dough into cookies.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2″ around each cookie.
Once all the cookies have been sliced and placed on their baking sheet(s), transfer them to the freezer for a 10 minute chill.
Once chilled, bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven. Keep an eye on them, as you’ll want to pull them when the tops are golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack before enjoying!
Frequently Asked Questions
That depends on your tastebuds, as well as the shortbread recipe! These Lemon Shortbread Cookies are crunchy.
YES! Definitely refrigerate the dough before baking the cookies.
Shortbread is a very basic recipe and oftentimes calls for a lot of butter, powdered sugar and flour. We’re adding a few more ingredients to this lemon shortbread recipe because we want more lemon flavor!
Quick tips and tricks for the best shortbread cookies:
- Have your ingredients at room temperature before making the dough. It’ll come together easier!
- Chill the dough! This is super important so that the shortbread doesn’t lose its shape.
- Scoot the cookies when you’ve removed them from the oven to help them have the perfect shape.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge!
More lemon cookies to try:
Here’s how you can make these cookies:
Bursting with lemon flavor, Lemon Shortbread Cookies with Honey are the perfect accompaniment to a mug of tea or a cup of coffee. This twist on a classic makes for buttery cookies for a lemon lover.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Raw sugar and honey/water mixture, for decoration
Make the cookie dough
- In a large bowl, cream the softened butter, honey, powdered sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
- Sift together the flour and salt, then add to the wet ingredients, stirring until the batter just comes together.
- Lie out a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.
- Dollop the batter into the center of the wrap. Seal, then roll into a cookie log.
- Transfer the log to the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Bake the cookies
- Once your dough has finished chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove the cookie dough log from the refrigerator.
- Brush the outsides of the dough lightly with the honey/water mixture (until just barely wet), then sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Slice the dough into 1/2" cookies.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2" around each cookie.
- Once all the cookies have been sliced and placed on their baking sheet(s), transfer them to the freezer for a 10 minute chill.
- Once chilled, transfer the baking sheet(s) to the preheated oven.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden.
- Let cool on a wire rack, then enjoy with a favorite cup of tea.
Please note that the total time does not include the chill time.
Recipe adapted from my Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies.
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Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.