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Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies

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

That formula, plus just a bit of lemon zest and culinary lavender, gives you a crisp, buttery, and bright lemon lavender cookie that you can scale up or down as much as you want. Or keep the shortbread dough in the freezer and bake one or two whenever you need a cookie.

Baking ratios

I’ve always known that pound cakes are made with a pound of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. But I didn’t know that many other baking recipes also start from standard ratios.

lemon lavender cookies with lavender blossoms and lemon half.

I learned that quick breads and muffins are based on the same ratio from Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio when I was working on my kale and cheese quick bread. Next I used the power of ratios to create my orange poppy seed waffles.

Shortbread cookies follow yet another ratio. That’s 1 ounce of sugar, 2 ounces of unsalted butter, and 3 ounces of flour. There are no eggs in shortbread cookies. But knowing the formula for shortbread cookies means that there are an infinite number of flavor combinations you can create yourself.

Tips and tricks

Making the lemon lavender shortbread dough

To make the lemon lavender cookie dough, cream room temperature butter together with the sugar, lemon zest, and dried culinary lavender (Panels #1 and #2 below).

Tip from the wise quacker: when you’re making shortbread cookies, cream your butter and sugar only until they’re mixed well. You don’t want “light and fluffy” here, or the air you incorporate will cause your cookies will puff when baked.

Then add the vanilla extract (Panel #3).

6 panels showing the steps in making lemon lavender shortbread cookies.

Add the flour (Panel #4 above) and mix. The cookie dough may be very crumbly (Panel #5). But wrap it in plastic wrap and knead it gently until it comes together into a disk (Panel #6).

Rolling and cutting the cookies

Shortbread cookies need a quick chill in the fridge to make them easier to roll out on your lightly floured countertop.

One thing that’s beautiful about these lemon lavender shortbread cookies is that you can cut them into whatever you shape you desire. Or, you can shape the dough into a log, store it in the freezer, and cut off slices to bake whenever you like. Unbaked shortbread cookie dough can be kept in the freezer for 3 to 6 months.

lemon lavender cookie dough rolled and cut into fluted circles.

Baking the cookies

Lay the cutout cookies on a cookie sheet close together, but not touching. Shortbread cookies won’t spread much with baking, especially if you chill them first.

unbaked lemon lavender cookies on a cookie sheet.

Bake until they are just light brown in color.

baked lemon lavender shortbread cookies on a cooling rack.


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.

Variations and substitutions

So now you know the secret to creating a shortbread cookie, the sky is your limit! Here are some shortbread cookie variations I’ve been dreaming about. Scale up or vary your flavorings as desired.

  • Toasted pecan
  • Orange poppy seed
  • Rainbow chips
  • Rainbow food coloring (see pic below)
  • Linzer cookies using an almond shortbread cookie filled with raspberry jam

Related recipes

Browse the uglyducklingbakery cookie archives for such deliciousness as blackberry swirl cheesecake brownies, caramel chip chocolate cookies, Nutella blondies, or these ube crinkle cookies.

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

Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Scottish
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Servings: 15 cookies
Calories: 110kcal
These lemon lavender shortbread cookies are literally as easy as 1-2-3 to put together. And the aroma will perfume your home as the lemon lavender cookies bake.
Print Recipe


  • 2 ounces (57 grams or 4½ tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (113 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender flowers
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 ounces (170 grams or 1⅓ cup) bleached all purpose flour plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • teaspoon 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 just until mixed well. You don't want to cream until they are light and fluffy (see text).
    2 ounces (57 grams or 4½ tablespoons) granulated sugar, 4 ounces (113 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender flowers, zest of one lemon
  • Add the vanilla and mix for one minute.
    ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Add the flour and salt and mix. The dough may or may not clump together.
    6 ounces (170 grams or 1⅓ cup) bleached all purpose flour, ⅛ teaspoon 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 ¼ to ⅓ inch, and cut it into rounds or other shapes.
  • Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. They do not need much spacing, but do not crowd them. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before baking.
  • Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your lemon lavender cookies and how long they were in the freezer. The cookies should be slightly firm and the edges 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.


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 189IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

This recipe was originally posted on April 29, 2021. It was last updated on April 8, 2022.

What’s next

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

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two lemon lavender cookies on a plate.


    1. Hi Christine. Thanks for the question. I use dried culinary lavender blossoms in these cookies. You *could* use extract, but lavender extracts vary in their potency, so I’d start with just a small amount. I’ll clarify this in the instructions! Joanne

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