Lemon shortbread recipe

(1716 ratings)

Our lemon shortbread biscuits are under 200 calories per portion and take under an hour to bake.

gluten free lemon-shortbread-rounds
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories197 Kcal10%
Sugar7.7 g9%
Fat10.5 g15%
Saturated Fat6.6 g33%
Salt0.28 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein1.1 g2%
Carbohydrates24.3 g9%
Salt0.28 gRow 7 - Cell 2

These lemon shortbread biscuits bake for 15 minutes and they are gluten-free.

Lemon cookies are great but these lemon shortbread are gluten free and take only 40 minutes to make from start to finish. To make this recipe you only need five ingredients, most of which you’ll likely already have in the cupboards! 


  • 250g gluten-free flour, eg, Doves Farm
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g butter
  • 90g caster sugar
  • Zested rind of 1 lemon




  1. Set the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Tip the flour and salt into a bowl and rub the butter into them. Stir in the sugar and lemon rind. Mix the ingredients until they start to bind together to form a dough.
  2. Shape the dough into a cylinder shape, about 6-7cm in diameter, and cut into rounds about 1cm thick. Place them on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they start to turn lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Top tips for making lemon shortbread

If you’d prefer an even sweeter flavour combination, try adding a handful of white chocolate chips to the shortbread dough. Continue reading our tips below if you’d like to discover how to make your shortbread keep their shape. 

How do you freeze lemon shortbread?

Once rolled into a log, wrap the shortbread dough in cling film. You can then slice off rounds as and when you want a biscuit. You will need to add a few minutes to the cooking time.

Should you chill shortbread before baking?

If you have time it’s definitely worth chilling your shortbread for around 30 minutes before baking. It allows the butter to re-firm and the flour to relax. It will stop the shortbread from spreading too much when they bake and so the neat circle shape will be maintained. 

What is the secret to making good shortbread?

Don’t overwork the dough otherwise your shortbread will be tough. Use good quality butter and ideally, chill before baking. 

It’s important to use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread into neat rounds. We like this one from WÜSTHOF. 

WÜSTHOF Classic Stainless Steel Cook's Knife, 16cm - View at John Lewis

WÜSTHOF Classic Stainless Steel Cook's Knife, 16cm - View at John Lewis 

According to food writer Jessica Ransom, a 16cm chef’s knife is a good versatile size that will fit most cook’s needs. This knife has a comfortable handle and the blade is crafted from a single piece of stainless steel to give it maximum strength and durability. Maintain the knife by sharpening it regularly and handwashing only. 

Try making our classic shortbread recipe if you prefer something simply. We also have a brilliant gluten-free lemon cake or this Mary Berry lemon drizzle cake is always one of the top recipes on the website. 

Food & Recipes writer

Sue McMahon is a former Food and Recipes Writer at GoodTo and Cooking Editor at Woman's Weekly. Her primary passion is cakes and Sue regularly travels the world teaching cake decorating. Her biggest achievement to date was winning the Prix d’honneur at La Salon Culinaire International de Londres beating over 1,200 other entries.