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A stack of small, round lemon shortbread cookies with icing on a cooling rack. The cookie on top has a bite out of it.

Easy Lemon Shortbread Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 14 mins
  • Total Time: 54 minutes
  • Yield: 20
  • Category: Desert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Melt in your mouth shortbread cookies with tangy lemon glaze that are perfect for the holiday season and gifting.


For the Shortbread Cookies

  • ¾ cup plant-based butter, softened (175 g)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (120 g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (280 g)
  • 1 lemon, zested, about 1 tbsp

For the Glaze (Optional)

  • 12 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar


  1. Beat Butter and Sugar: To a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Use a hand-held electric mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attached, beat for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  2. Add Dry Ingredients: Add the flour, salt and lemon zest and start beating on low then increase speed to medium-high until you have a uniform dough. You may need to stop to scrape down the sides to ensure everything gets mixed in.
  3. Chill Dough: Form dough into a ball then either wrap in plastic wrap or transfer to a zip-top bag. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. The dough can also be made 1 day in advance and kept sealed in the fridge until ready to roll out and bake.
  4. Prepare to Bake: Preheat oven to 325 F and prepare two sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
  5. Roll and Cut Dough: Transfer half of the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or a lightly flower surface, keeping the remaining half of dough in the fridge. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into an even 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough into desired shapes using a cookie cutter or small drinking glass, or cutting into squares or rectangles. Once you’ve cut out as many cookies as you can, gather up the remaining dough, roll, cut and repeat until you’ve used up all the dough. You should get 17-20 cookies depending on the thickness.
  6. Bake Cookies: Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes until the edges and bottoms are just golden. The tops of the cookies will remain pale. While the first batch of cookies is baking, roll out the second batch. Roll, cut and transfer to a second baking sheet and keep them in the fridge until the first batch is out of the oven.
  7. Cool Cookies: Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Prepare Glaze: Mix together the powdered sugar and 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice until smooth. Start with 1 tbsp of lemon juice, then add more to achieve desired consistency. It should be creamy and spreadable but still thick.
  9. Glaze Cookies: Dip, drizzle or spread the glaze over top of the cooled cookies. For an additional topping, sprinkle more lemon zest over the cookies before the glaze sets. If you’re dipping the cookies, place a cooling rack inside of a baking sheet to catch excess glaze.


Weigh your ingredients. For best results, use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients to ensure accuracy and success!

Powdered sugar is the same as confectioners sugar or icing sugar.

Once the cookies have cooled completely, store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days. To freeze, layer in an airtight container with a piece of parchment or wax paper between layers. Freeze for up to 4 months.

Nutrition facts are for 20 cookies and include the lemon glaze. Without the glaze, each cookie is 124 calories if you make a batch of 20.


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 147
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 117 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g