Lemon Shortbread

These crunchy lemon shortbread biscuits are made with tangy lemon zest and dipped in a lemon flavoured glace icing for a delicious, sweet-yet-tart treat.

lemon shortbread

I’m about to let you in on a highly regarded secret: I love lemon flavour.

Okay, maybe that’s the worst secret ever, since I profess my love for it at every single opportunity. I have added lemon zest to every baked good possible. Lemon cookies, lemon cupcakes, lemon cake, lemon scones, lemon pie, lemon Bakewell. You name it, I will add lemon to it and it will, in my opinion, be tremendously improved. Naturally the next item to receive the lemon zest treatment is shortbread and wow- it’s a winner!

After last month’s wholemeal shortbread recipe, I have re-discovered my love of shortbread. It’s an incredibly quick and easy recipe and so good at carrying flavours. So quick, it makes me wonder why on earth I don’t make it more often. It requires just a small handful of store-cupboard ingredients and can be whipped up on rainy days or lazy Sundays, or midweek evenings, or in a lunch break- whenever you may wish for it. Unlike last month’s recipe, I’ve switched back to white flour in this. I think it gives a lighter flavour to the biscuit, and whilst I was taken with the wholemeal shortbread, sometimes you want something simple.

Shortbread is such a great recipe to master, and I’d be a shortbread whizz if it weren’t for my inability to remember measurements off the top of my head. It can be used as a base for so many fun recipe ideas, such as millionaire’s shortbread, cake bars, cheesecake. It’s one of those special bakes in which waiting for it to cool completely is an essential step. Warm shortbread is far too soft and squidgy, and it doesn’t taste like proper crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth shortbread until it’s cooled.

I love shortbread when it’s crunchy, but crumbles everywhere. Sometimes I can find it a bit basic, though, which is why the added flavour in this lemon shortbread works so well. The sharp taste of the lemon pairs so well with the buttery biscuit.  In this recipe, I’ve sprinkled it with sugar and added a tangy lemon glace icing drizzle (you can dip it or you can drizzle!) and the sweetness from the sugar really offsets the lemon.

After such a successful lemon shortbread bake, I cannot wait to try experimenting more with shortbread. Watch this space!

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Lemon Shortbread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 biscuits

Lemon Shortbread

These crunchy lemon shortbread biscuits are made with tangy lemon zest and dipped in a lemon flavoured glace icing for a delicious, sweet-yet-tart treat.


  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 55g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 40g semolina
  • 140g plain flour
  • 4tbsp icing sugar
  • Lemon juice


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°c/375°c/Gas mark 5. Line a round 18cm tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until soft and fluffy. Sieve in the flour and semolina and stir until it starts to form into a dough.
  3. Tip all the mix into the prepared tin and press out evenly, pushing it into the edges of the tin. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it over, then prick with a fork in a decorative pattern.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until pale-golden brown in colour. Cool slightly in the tin then transfer onto a wire rack. Whilst it is cooling, cut into eight even sized triangles.
  5. Mix together the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make it into a smooth paste (about 3tsp.). Drizzle the icing along the edge of each triangle, then leave on a wire rack to set. ▪

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