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Nov 20, 2018

Easy Slice and Bake Lemon Shortbread Cookies

These easy slice and bake lemon shortbread cookies possess the crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture of traditional Scottish shortbread.

Easy Slice and Bake Lemon Shortbread Cookies

The dough for these lemon shortbread cookies takes just 10 minutes to measure and mix. Once you've mixed the dough, you wrap it and refrigerate or freeze it, where the dough sits ready to slice and bake when you have a cookie emergency.

You make these lemon shortbread cookies by mixing the dry ingredients with cold butter cut into small pieces with a stand mixer until you get a buttery crumb. Then you add the vanilla and lemon juice and mix until you get large clumps of dough.

Easy Slice and Bake Lemon Shortbread

Once you've created the dough, you form it into square sided logs and refrigerate them to be sliced and baked later.

If someone told me I had to choose one style of cookie that is my favorite and would be the only type of cookie I could make/eat for the rest of my life, it would be shortbread.

For one thing, shortbread cookies don't include any baking powder or baking soda, so there is less chance of anything going haywire. You pretty much place the shaped dough on the baking sheet, bake them, and they emerge in about the same shape.

Second, you can add anything to shortbread cookies, including chocolate chips, so I could "sort of" live without chocolate chip cookies. Sort of.

You can also dip them in chocolate. I'm pretty sure that won't break the rules.

P.S. If you want to get fancy, you can call them sablés and feel all French!

Slice and Bake Lemon Shortbread Cookies

What are your favorite shortbread cookies? 

I can't answer that question. That would be like choosing my favorite color. However, here are some of my favorites. 
  1. Demerara Shortbread Cookies: These are simple and complex at the same time. They also have an amazing salty sweet hint of caramel. 
  2. Crystalized Ginger Shortbread Cookies: These cookies are totally elegant and sophisticated. Their flavor is very "grown up." 
  3. Espresso Chocolate Sablés: Proof that you can still enjoy chocolate chip cookies even if you are limited to shortbread. 
  4. Cornmeal Sablés: Pretty much cornbread in cookie form. 
  5. Vanilla Bean Sablés: Check out the flecks of vanilla in these cookies! 
  6. Toffee and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies: Filled with toffee bits and dipped in chocolate, these cookies will melt your heart. Who doesn't love a Heath Bar? 
Lemon shortbread cookies

There are two ways to make these cookies: 

  1. First, the easy last minute way: Make the cookie dough, refrigerate it, slice it, and bake it. 
  2. Second, the easy last minute way, plus a second step to take the cookies to a new level: Make the cookie dough, refrigerate it, slice it, bake it, and then drizzle the cookies with a lemon glaze. You will have to let the lemon glaze dry, but it's worth the extra step. 

Easy Slice and Bake Lemon Sablés

This month, the Creative Cookie Exchange members, hosted by Stacy of Food Lust People Love, are offering Easy Last Minute Cookie recipes. 

cookies, shortbread, lemon, dessert
cookies, dessert
Yield: 36 cookies

Easy Slice and Bake Lemon Shortbread Cookies Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups/185 grams unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup/85 grams cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup/25 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup/225 grams/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 32 cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Optional Glaze
  • 1 cup/100 grams powdered sugar
  • zest of one medium lemon
  • Enough lemon juice to create a glaze, about one medium lemon


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt. Add half of the butter pieces and the lemon zest and mix with the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes on medium, until you have a crumbly mixture. 
  2. Add the rest of the butter and mix until the flour is just fully incorporated, about one minute. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix until the dough comes together in large clumps, about 45 seconds. 
  3. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a log, about 5 inches long. Press the sides of the log with your hands to create squared 1 1/2 inch sides. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. You can also freeze the the dough for up to 2 months (defrost frozen dough in the refrigerator for three hours before slicing). 
  4. When ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  5. Slice each log into 1/4 inch slices, and place the dough on the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. 
  6. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for about 25 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack. 
  7. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to four days. 
Optional Glaze
  1. Mix the powdered sugar with the grated lemon zest and then whisk in enough lemon juice to make a drippy glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and let dry until hardened. 
You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I'm a fan of shortbread too, Karen, especially when flavored with citrus. Love the square shape and the drizzle!

  2. I agree with you, Karen, shortbread is the type of cookie that I could eat every day and never tire of! Your lemon version looks wonderful!

  3. we are huge shortbread lovers!

    and anything lemony makes me happy too... so these are perfection!

    1. Awww. Thanks!! I'm with you all of the way.

  4. It is easy to see why shortbread is a favorite as these look amazing, as do the ones you linked to. Sometimes the most delicious baked goods are those with simple, good quality ingredients that speak for themselves.

  5. These shortbread cookies looks amazing!! I'm pinning them to make!!


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