Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies Recipe

If you’re looking for a unique, delicious cookie recipe, look no further than this lemon basil shortbread! It’s buttery, crisp, bright, and absolutely packed with flavor from freeze-dried basil and lemon zest. A delicious cookie for summer, or a fun addition to your holiday cookie repertoire.

To flavor these shortbread cookies, we use Litehouse® Freeze-Dried Basil and plenty of lemon zest. To evenly incorporate the flavor, we pulse the zest and basil with sugar, which flavors the sugar and makes it easy to add to both the cookie dough as well as the top of each cookie.

Litehouse® Freeze-Dried Basil is perfect in this recipe. Its bright color looks lovely in these cookies. It adds a delicate herbaceous flavor that cuts through the butter and the sugar and pairs perfectly with acidic lemon juice. These cookies would also be great with another freeze-dried herb like mint or thyme! And no – the flavor is not overpowering. It’s just enough herb flavor to make the cookie a bit more interesting than your standard shortbread!

Lemon zest is the key ingredient in these cookies. It adds a much more intense flavor than lemon juice, so don’t skimp on it! We use a microplane grater to zest our lemons.

Garnishing Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies

When it comes to the remaining cookie ingredients, they’re pretty standard for shortbread. Bob’s Red Mill® All Purpose Flour is our go-to for any baked good, and especially cookies. It always produces perfectly crisp cookies with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth interior. So good!

Butter is of course another key ingredient for shortbread. Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature before using, otherwise you’ll have a hard time getting it to incorporate evenly with the other ingredients.

You can make these lemon basil shortbread cookies into just about any shape. We use a circular cookie cutter, but feel free to use any shape you’d like! You can also slice into simple rectangles if preferred.

Either way, be sure to top off each cookie with a generous sprinkle of lemon basil sugar before baking. It makes for the most delicious crispy topping and adds an extra punch of flavor!

Basil Lemon Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Serves 2 dozen cookies | Finish in 1 hour 35 minutes

These buttery shortbread cookies are flavored with bright lemon zest and Litehouse® Freeze Dried Basil for a cookie that’s sweet, light and so satisfying! They’re easy to make with just seven basic ingredients and can be made into just about any shape.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Litehouse® Freeze Dried Basil
  • Zest of two lemons
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill® All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Add sugar, basil and lemon zest to a small food processor and pulse until well mixed.
  2. Set aside ½ cup of the infused sugar for topping the cookies.
  3. Add softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ½ cup sugar and salt and continue mixing until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl once or twice to make sure the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and cornstarch. Add the flour mixture to stand mixer in two additions, mixing at low speed until just combined.
  5. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead until it comes together. Press the dough into a rectangle, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 325˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a clean work surface. Place parchment paper on top and roll dough into a large rectangle, about ½ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into cookies.
  8. Place remaining ½ cup lemon basil sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Press the top of each cookie in the sugar, then transfer to baking sheet with 1 inch of space between each cookie.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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