Scrumptious Lemon Shortbread Recipe for Dessert Lovers

Greetings to all my fellow food lovers!

I am thrilled to share with you an exquisite recipe for English Lemon Shortbread Strips. As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I have handpicked this recipe for its rich and tangy flavor, perfect texture, and mouth-watering appeal.

It’s no secret that lemon zest and juice bring a refreshing flavor to any dish, but in this recipe, they take the center stage. The buttery and melt-in-your-mouth texture of the shortbread, combined with the zesty burst of lemony goodness, will undoubtedly leave you coming back for more.

This recipe originates from Scotland where shortbread is a beloved staple dessert. We’ve given it an English twist by adding fresh lemon juice and zest to create a delightful and aromatic treat. The best part? It’s effortless to make and only requires a few simple ingredients.

So let’s roll up our sleeves, gather our ingredients, preheat our ovens, and get started on creating this fabulous Shortbread Strips recipe. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

English Lemon Shortbread Strips
English Lemon Shortbread Strips

Picture biting into a buttery, crumbly shortbread strip and being hit with a burst of citrusy sunshine. That’s what our English Lemon Shortbread Strips recipe is all about. I promise that one bite of these zesty cookies will transport you to an afternoon in the rolling hills of rural England, sipping tea and nibbling on delicate treats.

What makes this lemon shortbread recipe so special? First, there’s the fragrant lemon zest and tart lemon juice that infuse every bite with a fresh, tangy flavor. Then there’s the classic buttery richness and crumbly texture that define shortbread. The English have been making shortbread for centuries, perfecting this simple yet exquisite cookie to be enjoyed on any occasion.

Oh, did I mention how easy it is to whip up a batch of these little delights? With just six basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry—butter, sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice—you’ll have fragrant strips of deliciousness in less than an hour. It’s simply a matter of mixing up the dough, patting it flat, cutting it into rectangular strips, then baking them until they’re lightly golden around the edges.

Plus, these versatile treats lend themselves to endless customization. Add a touch more lemon juice for extra zing or sprinkle on some sugar before baking for added crunch. The possibilities are endless! Whether you’re hosting a spring brunch or cozying up with a cup of tea on a winter’s day, these English Lemon Shortbread Strips are perfect for any occasion.

Ingredient List

Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the English Lemon Shortbread Strips recipe:
Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the English Lemon Shortbread Strips recipe:

Let’s take a look at the list of ingredients we will be using for our English Lemon Shortbread Strips.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (English Lemon Shortbread: Use 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of finely-grated lemon zest)
  • 4 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Make sure to use high-quality ingredients for the best results. Gently measure your flour and sift the powdered sugar to avoid any lumps in the dough. When zesting the lemon, avoid getting any of the white pith as it can add bitterness to the mixture.

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have gathered all of the necessary ingredients, it’s time to start making our English Lemon Shortbread Strips. Follow these simple steps for a flavorful and buttery dessert that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

First things first: preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) so it’ll be ready when you’re done mixing the dough.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Then, add in 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of lemon zest, and 4 teaspoons of freshly grated lemon juice. Mix all of the ingredients together until they are well combined and form a soft dough.

Step 3: Flatten the Dough

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and place the dough on it. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut your rectangular strips into whatever size you desire.

Step 4: Bake the Shortbread Strips

Place your shortbread strips onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until they turn golden brown around the edges.

Step 5: Make the Lemon Glaze

While your shortbread sticks are baking, it’s time to prepare your lemon glaze. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, adding more if needed for desired consistency.

Step 6: Add Glaze to the Shortbread Sticks

Once your shortbread strips have cooled down, drizzle them generously with the lemon glaze using a spoon or pastry bag. Top off with some freshly grated lemon zest for extra tanginess!

And voila, you’ve successfully made English Lemon Shortbread Strips. These treats are perfect for any occasion – afternoon tea or dessert after dinner.

Substitutions and Variations

 Sweet, tangy, and oh so buttery!
Sweet, tangy, and oh so buttery!

Now, I know you may not always have all the ingredients on hand or may want to switch things up a bit. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Lemon zest and juice: If you don’t have fresh lemons or just prefer a milder lemon flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice instead. However, make sure it’s pure 100% lemon juice with no added sugar or other flavors. You can also use lime zest and juice for a different citrus twist.

– Butter: While butter is essential for that rich and buttery flavor of shortbread, you can replace part of it with vegetable shortening for a lighter texture. Just keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different.

– Flour: This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but if you want to make it gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free flour blend instead. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour is an excellent option that works well in most recipes.

– Lemon glaze: If you like your shortbread cookies sweeter, you can drizzle them with a simple lemon glaze made from powdered sugar and lemon juice. Just mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice until smooth and pour over the cooled cookies.

– Lemon curd: For a decadent treat, spread some homemade or store-bought lemon curd on top of the cooled shortbread strips. The tangy and creamy lemon curd pairs perfectly with the buttery cookie base.

– Shapes and sizes: Who says shortbread has to be rectangular? You can cut the dough into any shape or size you like. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for special occasions or trim the edges to create a more polished look.

No matter what variation or substitution you choose, this English Lemon Shortbread Strips Recipe is sure to impress everyone who tries it!

Serving and Pairing

 A burst of sunshine in every bite.
A burst of sunshine in every bite.

The English Lemon Shortbread Strips Recipe is perfect for serving with a hot cup of tea, coffee or milk. They make for a delightful afternoon snack or an after-dinner dessert. The zesty lemon flavor of these cookies pairs well with other citrusy treats like lemon curd or lemon glaze, which can be drizzled over the shortbread strips for added sweetness.

For a more decadent dessert experience, try serving these strips with whipped cream or ice cream on top. The creamy texture and rich flavor of the whipped cream will complement and balance out the tartness of the lemon in these cookies. The buttery shortbread base is also a great match for light and fruity summer desserts.

These lemon shortbread strips are ideal for sharing as they come in rectangular strips that can be cut into smaller sizes. They make for beautiful finger food and look great displayed on a cake stand or a platter for guests to enjoy.

If hosting an English-themed party, these strips can also be paired with other British treats like scones, clotted cream, jam sandwiches, and Scottish cookies. Serve them up alongside your favorite British tea blend and make it a true authentic British experience!

Overall, these English Lemon Shortbread Strips are incredibly versatile and perfect for any occasion or event. Whether you’re serving them casually at home or presenting them as part of an elaborate dessert plate, they offer plenty of delicious possibilities!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect tea time treat.
The perfect tea time treat.

One of the best things about this English Lemon Shortbread Strips recipe is that it can be made ahead and stored for future enjoyment. If you ever find yourself with a sudden craving for something sweet and lemony, these shortbread strips will come in handy.

To make ahead, you can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply wrap the dough tightly in cling film and place it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to bake, simply slice and bake according to the recipe instructions.

When it comes to storing the baked shortbread strips, it’s best to keep them at room temperature in an airtight container. They will last for up to 1 week if stored properly. These delicious treats are perfect for gifting as well – just wrap them up in some colorful cellophane with a ribbon for a thoughtful and tasty present.

To reheat, simply pop them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 5 minutes until they’re crispy and warm again. Don’t have an oven? No problem! You can also reheat them in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Just be careful not to let them get too soft.

Whether you’re making these shortbread strips ahead of time, storing them for later, or reheating for a quick snack, they’re sure to bring a smile to your face with their buttery flavor and zesty taste of lemon.

Tips for Perfect Results

 When life gives you lemons, make shortbread!
When life gives you lemons, make shortbread!

Making a perfect batch of English Lemon Shortbread Strips requires attention to detail, patience and know-how. In this section, I’ll share some tips to help you achieve the best results possible.

1. Use freshly grated lemon zest and juice

For the best flavor, use freshly grated lemon zest and juice. The oils in the zest provide a bright citrus flavor that dried zest simply can’t deliver. Similarly, fresh lemon juice adds zip to the recipe that bottled juice simply can’t replicate.

2. Soften the butter properly

Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you start mixing it with other ingredients. Softening the butter properly is critical as it allows for even mixing and helps to create a smooth, creamy consistency in your shortbread strips.

3. Don’t overwork the dough

Shortbread is a delicate cookie, so it’s important not to overwork the dough as this can make the cookies tough and dry. Once you’ve added flour, beat until just combined, then use your hands to form rectangular strips.

4. Chill the dough before baking

Chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes before slicing into strips helps ensure that your shortbread strips hold their shape during baking. If you’re making multiple batches, keep any extra dough refrigerated until you’re ready to bake.

5. Use unsalted butter

Using unsalted butter ensures that you have complete control over how much salt goes into the recipe. Too much salt can easily ruin the delicate balance of flavors in these lemon shortbread strips!

By following these tips, your English Lemon Shortbread Strips will turn out perfectly every time!


Now that you know everything you need to make this delicious English Lemon Shortbread Strips Recipe, it’s time for some frequently asked questions. I’ve collected some common queries that can arise when making shortbread cookies and provided clear answers with tips and recommendations to ensure your success in the kitchen. Read on to find out more about how to make these sweet, tangy lemon treats a hit at your next gathering.

What is the secret to good shortbread?

As a seasoned chef in the realm of British culinary, I can offer you some valuable guidance on creating a mouth-watering butter-based dish. The first step towards getting the flavors right is to ensure that you choose high-quality butter. Always opt for real butter, regardless of the brand, as it guarantees the best taste. Simplicity is key when it comes to the ingredients, so stick to a few key elements to allow the flavors to shine through. Make sure to add a pop of flavor for a truly enchanting experience. Avoid overworking the dough and take care when shaping it to ensure that it holds its form during baking. Don’t forget to chill the dough before baking, as this crucial step yields delectably flaky and tender results. Lastly, take it out of the oven when it’s golden and finish it off with your preferred touches.

What is the difference between Irish shortbread and Scottish shortbread?

Scottish cookies possess a unique texture and taste compared to Walker’s shortbread cookies because of the addition of vegetable shortening or a combination of butter and vegetable shortening. This alteration in ingredients results in a crunchier, firmer and crisper texture of the Scottish cookies.

What are common mistakes when making shortbread?

When making a traditional British dish, it’s important to avoid the unfortunate result of a “soggy bottom” when cooking. This can occur if the batter is pressed too thickly in the pan, cooked at a high temperature, or prepared in a non-metal pan that doesn’t properly distribute the oven’s heat.

When making shortbread What must you not do?

When using butter, it’s important to ensure it is at the right consistency. If the butter is too hard, mixing it into the shortbread dough will be difficult and could lead to overworked dough. Overworked dough will produce tough shortbread, which is certainly not desirable.

Bottom Line

So there you have it, folks! My delicious recipe for English Lemon Shortbread Strips. I hope that my tips and recommendations have given you the confidence to make this delightful dessert in your own kitchen.

With its subtle lemon flavor, tender crumbly texture, and sweet glaze accents, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your baking repertoire. And the best part? It’s simple to make and requires only a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry.

So, why not give it a try? Follow my instructions step-by-step, experiment with substitutions and variations, and savor the delightful taste of these English Lemon Shortbread Strips.

Finally, if you enjoyed making this recipe and want to discover more traditional British desserts or Scottish cookies, check out some of my other articles. Happy baking!

English Lemon Shortbread Strips

English Lemon Shortbread Strips Recipe

Lemon is a flavorful compliment to this traditional shortbread recipe.
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword < 60 Mins, Christmas, Dessert, European, Lunch, Scottish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 30 COOKIES
Calories 112.9kcal



  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 1/4 cups flour


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated


  • HEAT OVEN TO 350°.
  • Combine butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel in large mixer bowl.
  • Beat at medium speed until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to low.
  • Add flour; beat until crumbly, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Press dough evenly into lightly greased 8-inch square baking pan.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly brown.
  • Cool completely.
  • Combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice in small bowl. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth.
  • Spread thin layer of glaze over cooled shortbread; sprinkle with lemon peel.
  • Let stand for 30 minutes to set.
  • Cut into strips.


Serving: 737g | Calories: 112.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.7g | Protein: 1.1g | Fat: 6.6g | Saturated Fat: 4.2g | Cholesterol: 17.3mg | Sodium: 57.7mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 5.4g

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