Lemon Lavender Cookies

Lemon Lavender Cookies

These lemon lavender cookies really are as easy as 1-2-3. That’s because those are the ratios (by weight) of the sugar, butter, and flour in this lemon lavender shortbread cookie recipe.

I first discovered Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio when I was researching my kale and cheese quick bread. And the power of ratios was reinforced with my orange poppy seed waffles, which I was able to create at some ungodly hour of the morning even before I had drunk my coffee.

So now you know the secret to creating a shortbread cookie. One ounce of sugar creamed with two ounces of softened unsalted butter. Plus three ounces of flour. Scale up and vary your flavorings as desired.

The other thing that’s beautiful about these lemon lavender shortbread cookies is that you can cut them into whatever you shape you desire. They don’t spread much at all with baking.

lemon lavender cookie dough that has been rolled and cut out into five fluted circles

FAQs about these lemon lavender cookies

Can these cookies be frozen?

Yes. Shape the unbaked dough into a log and slice off rounds for baking as you desire. The frozen dough will keep, double wrapped and in a freezer bag, for up to 6 months.

Could I ice these lemon lavender cookies?

Of course. I would use a simple icing made of confectioner’s sugar stirred with a squeeze of lemon juice. Dip the tops of the cookies into the icing and then re-invert while the icing dries.

Do I really have to weigh my ingredients?

No. But if this post doesn’t have you running out to buy a kitchen scale, I don’t know what will.

If I am vegan, can I substitute something for the butter?

Yes, vegetable shortening would work in these.

Is shortbread the same as shortcrust pastry?

No, these are two different things. Short crust pastry is often made with none to little sugar and is intended to be crumbly.

Lemon lavender cookies ready for baking

Possible variations

Ruhlman’s book gives a couple of handfuls of variations. The sky is your limit. Here are some shortbread variations I’ve been dreaming about.

  • Toasted pecan
  • Orange poppy seed
  • Wilton’s Rainbow Chip Crunch Sprinkles (see pic below)
Shortbread cookies with rainbow candy coated sprinkles cut into three different shapes of leaves

Lemon lavender cookies

Servings 20 cookies
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • 2 oz (57g, 4 1/2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 4 oz (113g, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp culinary lavender
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz (170g, 1 1/3 cup) bleached all purpose flour
  • tsp salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, cream the sugar, butter, lavender, and lemon zest on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
    2 oz (57g, 4 1/2 tbsp) granulated sugar, 4 oz (113g, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, 1 tsp culinary lavender, zest of one lemon
  • Add the vanilla and mix for one minute.
    1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Add the flour and salt and mix. The dough may or may not clump together.
    6 oz (170g, 1 1/3 cup) bleached all purpose flour, 1/8 tsp salt
  • Pour out the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and knead gently until the dough just starts to come together. Once it does, put it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to about 1/4" to 1/3", and cut it into rounds or other shapes.
  • Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. They do not need much spacing, but do not crowd them. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before baking.
  • Bake for ~20 min, depending on the thickness of your lemon lavender cookies, until the cookies are slightly firm and the edges are just slightly brown. They will become firmer as they cool.
  • Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.


If your kitchen is very warm when you are rolling these out, you might need to cut out your cookies and then put your dough scraps back in the fridge for a bit before you roll the dough out a second time.

What’s next?

If you make these lemon lavender cookies, please share a pic. If you feel empowered to take the ratio and create your own cookie, please comment and let me know!

Browse the uglyducklingbakery cookie archives.

Love lemon? I’ve got a variety of recipes including:
One pot pasta with ricotta and lemon
Blackberry and lemon loaf cake
Elderflower Tom Collins

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two lemon lavender cookies on a plate

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