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Shortbread fingers stacked on white surface

Lemon Shortbread

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 sticks 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


This Lemon Shortbread is a glorious mix of butter, flour, sugar and lemon zest. It has a nice zing cutting through the buttery amazingness!



  • 3/4 cup (175g) unsalted butter, at room t°
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (175g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1/2 cup (70g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoon granulated sugar, for topping


  1. Have ready a 9-inch (20x20cm) square pan, lined with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl mix soft butter with powdered sugar, salt and lemon zest. 
  3. Mix well so there are no lumps.
  4. Add flour in 2 parts, mixing with the spatula until it is smooth, well combined and no dry spots remain. 
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, scattering small amounts on the bottom. 
  6. With your hand, lightly pat the dough until it covers the whole surface. Make sure the edges are covered. 
  7. Make it as even as possible, but relax because it will not be very smooth. 
  8. Refrigerate the whole pan, covered in plastic wrap, for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. 
  9. Preheat oven to 325°F/160*C.
  10. Bake shortbread for 40-45 minutes, until top is dry, it has puffed a little and is beginning to color. 
  11. You can leave a couple more minutes if you want a more golden shortbread. Just don’t let it dry out.
  12. Let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack and carefully cut into sticks or squares o triangles with a smooth bladed knife. 
  13. Let cool completely, lift off the pan with the aid of the parchment paper and carefully break each piece. 
  14. Keep in airtight cookie jars or tins.


Dough: once you have it patted in the pan, the unbaked shortbread can be kept for 24 hours in the fridge, or frozen for up to a month, always well wrapped. Bake directly from the freezer. 

Make-ahead: shortbread keeps well for several days in airtight tins or jars. 

Flavorings: use other citrus, add a teaspoon of your favorite spice, glaze after baked, add a tablespoon of ground nuts to the dough.

Keywords: lemon shortbread