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Lavender shortbread cookie recipe

Delicate and buttery, lavender shortbread melts in your mouth and is simple to make. They have a light floral and citrus flavor, the perfect crumbly texture, and they last for days. A bit of lemon zest really brightens up the flavor of these delicious cookies. These shortbread cookies require only 5 ingredients, and they can be made with fresh or dried lavender.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my lemon thyme shortbread and my lemon ricotta cookies. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my cookie recipes in one place.

Lavender shortbread cookies with fresh lavender flowers on the side.

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What you need to know

This simple recipe makes the most delicious lemon lavender cookie. Because butter is one of the main ingredients, spring for the good butter. I can tell you from personal experience that it makes a difference.

Shortbread cookies stacked on a brown cutting board, with fresh lavender flowers on the side.

The dough for these cookies is made in a food processor, but don’t worry if you don’t have one, I will give you instructions in the post for making the dough by hand.

You’ll need an 8×8 baking dish or cake pan to bake the shortbread in, or something similar in size. Lastly, you can use fresh or dried lavender. If you’re using dried lavender, make sure it is culinary lavender (not the stuff for potpourri), and that it is not expired. If your lavender is expired, the flavor will be dull, and you may not taste it.

Lavender shortbread cookies

Lavender and lemon shortbread are (almost) guaranteed to be a hit. These cookies are buttery and crumbly in the best possible way. Because they can be made with fresh or dried lavender, you can make them year round.

Shortbread cookies with dried lavender on a cutting board with a white background.

I love making extra special treats like this for Mother’s Day, or Spring holidays and occasions. They feel a bit gourmet with the addition of lavender. If you really want to make them special, dip a corner of the cookie in melted white chocolate, or dark chocolate, and place a few dried lavender buds in the chocolate.


Aside from the lavender, you probably have everything you need in your kitchen right now.

Ingredients for lavender shortbread cookies.
  • Butter – Normally, I use unsalted butter, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and went with my favorite Irish butter. It paid off, these cookies are perfectly buttery and delicious, plus it eliminates the need for salt.
  • Sugar – Adds sweetness to the lavender shortbread cookies.
  • Flour – Regular all-purpose flour is the backbone of this recipe.
  • Lavender – You can use fresh, dried, and/or lavender extract. More about that in the recipe notes.
  • Lemon zest – Lemon zest fills the cookies with a bright, citrusy flavor. Lavender is mildly citrusy, so it complements the lavender nicely.

How to make shortbread cookies

The dough for these lavender cookies comes together in a snap. No food processor? No worries, I have directions for you below.

Step by step photos showing how to make lavender shortbread cookie recipe.
  1. First, add the sugar, lavender, and lemon zest (if using) to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 20 – 30 times to break up the herbs and zest, and to distribute everything evenly.
  2. Next, add the flour, then the cold butter and pulse until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. You don’t want it to be smooth. It should look like crumbles.
  3. Press the mixture into an 8×8 pan. I like to use my flexible rubber scraper to get into the edges of the pan. I use it to scrape down the edges of the pan to make them level and it also helps to flatten the top. We want it nice and even.
  4. Finally, use a fork, skewer, or a toothpick to poke holes, or dock, the shortbread before baking. Do not skip this step. The holes allow steam to escape, preventing the cookies from puffing up, which gives the lavender shortbread the perfect crumbly texture.

After baking, cool slightly, then gently cut shortbread while still warm. Then, place on a cooling rack to cool completely before storing.

How to cut shortbread cookies.
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Escali Digital Food Scale
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This is the scale that I own and use daily. It is easy to use, plus it measures in pounds, ounces and grams.

Measuring ingredients by weight, ESPECIALLY in baking, is much more accurate than cup measurement.

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03/17/2024 02:11 pm GMT

Lavender shortbread FAQ’s

What flavor pairs well with lavender?

If you want to switch it up and make variations of this shortbread recipe, try swapping lemon for vanilla extract or ground ginger.

Why do you poke holes in the shortbread?

Making holes in the shortbread cookies allows moisture to escape, and ensures even baking.

Can I freeze shortbread cookies?

Yes. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Shortbread cookies on board with fresh lavender flowers on the side.

How to make shortbread cookies without a food processor

No food processor? No problem. You can still make this recipe with a couple of slight changes.

Start with very soft butter. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together with a handheld electric mixer or by hand. Then, add remaining ingredients and mix until a crumbly mixture forms.

Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.

Lemon lavender shortbread stacked on top of each other.

Variations and substitutions

  • For even more herbaceous flavor, add 2 teaspoons of rosemary.
  • Make a simple glaze from lemon juice and powdered sugar, and drizzle over the top.
  • Dip a corner of each cookie into melted white chocolate to dress them up.
Jar of dried lavender with fresh lavender flowers in front of the jar.

How to store lavender shortbread cookies

Store cookies in an airtight container for 10 – 14 days. If you live in a very humid climate, like I do, I’d suggest only a week at room temperature before moving them to the refrigerator.

Shortbread cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months, but the texture may not be the same when they have thawed. I’ve never had shortbread cookies last long enough in my house to freeze. LOL.

Helpful tools and equipment

  • Food processor – This is a newer version of the one I own. It’s a great size and works well for home kitchens.
  • Food scale – Weighing ingredients is a much more accurate way to measure than cups, and I highly recommend investing in a scale. This is the same one I own and it is a great price.

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Lavender shortbread cookies on brown wooden board.

Lavender shortbread cookie recipe

Cheryl Bennett
Buttery lavender shortbread melts in your mouth! It has a light floral and citrus flavor, the perfect crumbly texture and it's so easy to make!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Cookie recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 27 small cookies
Calories 117 kcal


  • Food processor
  • 8×8 baking pan


  • 2/3 c. sugar 133g
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lavender flowers Substitute fresh lavender for 2 – 3 tsp. dried lavender, or 1 tsp. lavender extract *see notes
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 cups all purpose flour 240g
  • 1 cup cold salted butter cut into cubes // 2 sticks // 227g


  • Preheat oven to 325°F // 160°C // Gas mark 3.
  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse together sugar, lavender, and lemon zest, if using, to break up the flowers and zest. Then, add flour and pulse to combine.
  • Add cubes of cold butter and pulse until crumbs form. The mixture should look sandy crumbles, it should not be smooth.
  • Add mixture to an ungreased 8×8 pan, and press dough down to flatten. (I like to use a flexible plastic bench scraper to clean up the edges and press the top of the dough flat).
  • Using a fork, skewer or toothpick, dock the dough (make holes in it) to let the steam escape.
  • Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, to ensure even baking.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and gently cut shortbread while it is still warm.
  • Place cookies on wire rack to cool completely.


A note on using lavender
Dried lavender has a stronger flavor than fresh lavender, just like fresh vs dried herbs. If your lavender doesn’t have enough oomph, you can put in a few drops of lavender extract to bump up the flavor.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 117kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 54mgPotassium: 13mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 214IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.5mg
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