Lemon Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Prep 10 mins
Cook 14 mins
Total 24 mins
Post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

These whipped shortbread cookies are light and buttery in texture and taste, it’s almost like they almost melt in your mouth! These Lemon Whipped Shortbread Cookies are the perfect classic holiday cookie with a great lemon twist! 

Lemon Whipped Shortbread Cookies

These Lemon Whipped Shortbread Cookies are crumbly, buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread cookies with a surprise lightness from the perfect light burst of lemon zest. Not only are they crazy easy to make but they’ll just have you coming back for one more bite over and over again. 

You’ll find that these cookies can easily be made with a handful of simple ingredients and that they take less than 30 minutes of time from start to finish. If you’re having a craving for sweet lemon cookies, you won’t have to wait long for these to bake up and enjoy! 

Looking for more sweet citrus cookies? Check out these Orange Whipped Shortbread Cookies and Key Lime Cookies!

Up close image of shortbread cookies on a baking sheet with a tea towel.


Sugar cookies and shortbread cookies have similar ingredients, however they look and taste quite different.

Sugar cookies are going to be a little crispier on the edges and softer centers when cooked. This can be partly because of the ingredients used and partly because of the size. Sugar cookies can also be made soft and chewy, like my favorite Soft Sugar Cookies.

Shortbread cookies are a denser, thicker cookie and are made with more flour. They are a thick, crumbly cookie with a very buttery taste.

Sugar cookies tend to also taste a bit sweeter and can be found with toppings, icings and decorations on top as well. While shortbread, even whipped shortbread cookies, are usually served plain.

If you are looking for more shortbread ideas, try out my Almond Tea Shortbread CookiesMalted Shortbread or Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies.

Ingredients for shortbread cookies in bowls on a marble countertop.

Ingredients Needed

All you need are the few simple ingredients listed below to make these Lemon Whipped Shortbreads. You probably already have most of them on hand already!

  • Butter
  • Powder Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon Zest 

How do you zest a lemon?

Zesting a lemon is actually very easy. You need to have a zester (thank you, Amazon!) and you just gently rub it back and forth on the outside rind of the lemon. Make sure you clean the outside of your lemon first!

Zest the lemon, with the zester, until you get to the white underneath, then stop. You do not want to grate any of the white pith that lies right underneath the yellow peel, because it is very bitter.

Dough for whipped shortbreads with a spatula and lemons.

How to Make These Lemon Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Preheat: Preheat the oven to 325°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Mix: In a large bowl beat the butter and powdered sugar for 3 minutes, until light and airy. Beat in the flour, cornstarch, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest, until well combined. Dough will be very soft.

Shortbread cookie dough balls with cornstarch on a marble countertop.

Roll: Dust your hands with cornstarch, then form the dough into balls about 1 tablespoon in size and roll into a ball.

Flatten: Place on the lined cookie sheets, leaving a little room for spreading. Dip a fork in cornstarch (to prevent sticking) and press the tongs of the fork on top of each cookie to flatten slightly.

Shortbread cookie dough in a ball being flattened with a fork.

Bake: Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the tops look just set. The cookies will not brown but will be done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a cookie cooling rack to finish cooling.

Overhead image of lemon whipped shortbread cookies on a cookie sheet with lemons and a blue tea towel.

Why is there cornstarch in this cookie recipe?

The added cornstarch in this homemade cookie recipe actually helps to give them their soft texture. When you combine cornstarch and flour into a mixture, the cornstarch can help to make the baked good lighter and fluffier. (and it’s not grainy at all, either!) 

Do you have to flatten these cookies before baking? 

You don’t technically have to, but it’s good to so that they get baked entirely all the way through. It’s harder for a thick cookie to get evenly baked so this is why it’s nice to use your fork and flatten them before popping them in the oven. 

These Lemon Shortbread Cookies are going to be a hit, no matter what! No one can deny this tasty lemon flavor! 

Lemon whipped shortbread cookie broken in half to see the inside.
Baking Tips

Tips for Making The Best Lemon Whipped Shortbreads

  • Let your butter fully soften before making cookies. If you don’t, the butter will not evenly combine. Leaving you with uneven cookies.
  • When you zest the lemon, make sure you do not get any of the bitter white pith (located right under the yellow lemon peel) in your zest.
  • Don’t forget to dip your hands and fork into cornstarch or they will stick and cause a mess.
  • Watch the baking time. You want these cookies to just be starting to brown right at the edges. The tops will still look under cooked. Pull them out and let the cool on the cookie sheet and they will fully set up! You don’t want to over cook these whipped shortbread cookies, or they will dry out.

How do you store these Lemon Whipped Shortbreads once baked?

All you need to do to store them is let them cool completely and then transfer them to an airtight container for up to 1 week! …although I highly doubt that they’re going to last that long!

You can also freeze these whipped shortbread cookies easily to enjoy at a later date. Just let them come to room temperature before serving.

Lemon whipped shortbread cookies on a white plate with lemon zest and a blue tea towel.

Head on over to Dixie Crystals to get the full recipe I developed for them by clicking the button below:

Post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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I did get the recipe & am looking forward to baking today & will write a review. Thank you!


Yummy looks

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For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.