Buttery, Flakey Shortbread with Lavender and Lemon Zest

Buttery, flakey shortbread is absolutely delicious.  This is a treat where you don’t mind tiny crumbs finding their way down your front. While delicious plain, shortbread is also an oh so tasty canvas for both sweet and savory flavor combinations. During  our move to the new house, I realized I had a bag of ground lavender hidden away, so I took the opportunity to combine a hint of the purple flower with the zing of fresh lemon zest.  This combination is all about summer, and anything with lemon is a win-win.  I will caution that it’s important to use the lavender sparingly, less is definitely more! 

A basic recipe I swear by is from King Arthur Flour, and other than some basic staples, all you need is a bowl and a mixer.   Keep some of these flavor options in mind when you bake a batch: dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with toasted coconut or sandwiched with nutella or some wonderful fruit preserves; or, venture out on the wild side with these savory taste ideas: cracked black pepper and rosemary, or parmesan and thyme.

Buttery, Flakey Shortbread with Lavender and Lemon Zest

A great cookie that can be made sweet or savory This is one recipe, where salted butter is recommended, because there is no liquid and it's difficult to evenly distribute salt granules throughout the dough. When using savory flavors, I tend to air on the side of less is more so not to have an overpowering taste in your mouth. This recipe asks that you bake the shortbread in a round pan, but if you want decorative edges, you can use a tart pan.

 Prep Time 15 minutes

 Cook Time 35 minutes

 Total Time 50 minutes


  • 8 oz 2 sticks salted butter, cooled at room temperature

  • 4 ounces confectioner's sugar powdered sugar

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 tbs lavender ground

  • 1 1/2 tbs lemon zest

  • 8 1/2 oz All-Purpose Flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 300*F and grease two round 9-inch cake pans.

  2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla, then slowly add the flour. Add both the lavender and lemon zest. The dough may seem a bit dry but will come together. if you find it doesn't come together, you can add up to 1 tbs of water until it does. This is supposed to be a stiff dough.

  3. Divide the dough into two parts and press each part into the prepared pans, making sure the tops are smooth. If you find the dough sticking to your hands, you can use the back of a measuring cup or plastic wrap to help shape the dough into the pan.

  4. With a fork, prick the dough so that steam can escape as the shortbread bakes. You can do this in a random pattern or you can use your fork and prick even rows or used to make the dough into pieces.

  5. Bake the shortbread until a golden color comes across the top and a deeper brown along the edges, 35 minutes.

  6. Remove the shortbread and immediately turn it out to clean the work surface. Using a serrated knife or pizza wheel, cut the shortbread into 12 wedges. *Do this while still warm, if the shortbread is cooled, when you cut it, it may crumble. Move the pieces to wire rack to cool.

  7. If you wish to drizzle or dip pieces into melted chocolate, wait until the cookie is cooled.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from King Arthur's Flour