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Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Lemon rosemary shortbread cookies are the perfect treat for when you want something sweet, but still light and delicate. These delightful cookies are perfect for any occasion or no occasion at all!

Lemon rosemary shortbread butter cookies on a wooden board.
Lemon rosemary shortbread cookies.

I just love these delicious lemon rosemary shortbread cookies. Made with just 6 ingredients, they are easy to prepare in under an hour. The texture is crisp on the outside but incredibly soft in the center with a wonderfully buttery flavor. 

One of my favorite things about this recipe is the buttery lemon zest, which really adds a nice zing to the shortbread. Another aspect of the recipe I love is the simplicity of the ingredients. But the show-stopper is of course the fresh rosemary! This is an ingredient that you don’t often see in a shortbread cookie, but it really balances out the sweetness of the cookie really well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!


The main ingredients in this easy-to-follow recipe are very basic. Flour, sugar, butter, and almond meal. The recipe for this tasty treat also requires lemon zest and finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves that are mixed into the dough just before it is baked.

How to make the BEST lemon and rosemary shortbread cookies

This recipe is super simple to make, but here are a few tips and key steps in the process:

  • Cream the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy. This step is key to getting the texture of the cookies to be light and airy. You want the creamed butter and sugar to be fluffy and almost white before you add the other ingredients.
  • Refrigerate the dough before baking. This will harden the butter in the cookie dough, and prevent the cookies from spreading too much during baking.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


Buttery and flaky, these cookies are fantastic for an afternoon snack with a tall glass of milk, your favorite coffee, or after dinner with a cup of tea.


These cookies are best enjoyed right after they are cooled.

Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container in a cool dry place. They should be good for 5 days.

Recipe card

Yield: 24 cookies

Lemon rosemary shortbread cookies

Lemon rosemary shortbread butter cookies on a wooden board.

How to make lemon rosemary shortbread cookies using fresh rosemary.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Prepare a baking sheet or pan by greasing or lining with baking paper. Finely chop the rosemary leaves (discard the stems).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift all-purpose flour into the creamed mixture and add the ground almonds, chopped rosemary and lemon zest.
  4. Knead until well combined.
  5. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes.
  6. Set oven to preheat to 360°F/ 180°C.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness.
  8. Use a knife to cut the dough into 2-inch squares, or use a cookie cutter to cut into cookies, re-rolling as needed to use up all the dough.
  9. Place cookies onto prepared baking sheet, lightly prick the top of each cookie with a fork, and place in the oven.
  10. Bake the butter cookies for approximately 10-14 minutes until pale golden.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a rack to finish cooling.

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