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5 from 11 votes
Ridiculously Easy Lemon Thyme Shortbread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins

This lemon thyme shortbread is not only ridiculously easy to make, it's also crisp, buttery melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

Course: Cookies, Dessert, Dessert/Cookies, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Irish, Scottish
Keyword: Easy Lemon Thyme Shortbread, Lemon Thyme Shortbread, Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies
Servings: 12
Calories: 245 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
  • 1 cup very soft butter I use salted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • zest from one medium size lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sanding sugar Demerara, Turbinado or regular granulated sugar
  • fresh thyme leaves for garnish, if desired.
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease (I use baking spray) and then line an 8 or 9-inch cake pan (round or square) with parchment paper. (See Café Tips above in post regarding size of the pan.) Line a sheet pan with foil. Set both pans aside.
  2. Combine soft butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice and vanilla in a medium-large bowl. Stir for about 30 seconds until nice and creamy.
  3. Add the flour, thyme leaves and salt. Stir just until all of the flour is incorporated. The dough will be crumbly. Press the dough firmly into the prepared pan to create an even surface. Be sure there are no loose crumbs around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with the sugar.
  4. Place the cake pan on top of the foil lined sheet pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is a nice golden brown. (The smaller your pan is, the thicker your shortbread will be and the longer it will take to bake.)
  5. Invert the shortbread onto a flat plate. Place another plate on top and invert again so the sugared side is up.

  6. Slide the shortbread onto a cutting board and sprinkle with a bit more sugar, if desired. With a long, sharp knife, cut it into wedges (or rectangles or squares if using a square pan). Transfer pieces to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
  7. If you prefer your shortbread crisper, place the cooling rack with the cut pieces on a sheet pan and return return to the oven for 5 minutes then cool completely on the rack.
  8. Garnish when serving with a few more fresh thyme leaves, if desired.
Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.

Serves 10-12, depending on the size of pieces.

Nutrition Facts
Ridiculously Easy Lemon Thyme Shortbread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 245 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 233mg10%
Potassium 30mg1%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 500IU10%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.