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The sweetest Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies. Lightly sweetened, buttery shortbread cookies hinted with lemon and vanilla, and finished generously with a sweet lemony glaze. These are easy, fun, so pretty, and so very delicious! The loveliest (most romantic) cookies to bake up any time this month.

overhead photo of Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

Question…what’s your take on Valentine’s Day?

Do you want my honest, bah humbug opinion? I think it’s simply a made up holiday that some genius created to make an extra buck or two on romantic cards, fancy jewelry, and chocolates. Yes, those are my thoughts. Probably because that’s been my dad’s mantra ever since I was a little girl.

I know, I know. So depressing, right? I guess that’s kind of life growing up with all boys (1 dad, 5 brothers). However, on a more positive note, my dad did always follow that comment with kind of a sweet one. He said, you need to show someone you love them in little ways every day. Not just on the one day that’s become commercially synonymous with love.

Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookie dough

Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookie dough

Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookie dough with cutouts

close up photo of roses

All that said, I still have an appreciation for Valentine’s Day, just like most every other girl out there. I love more the concept of Valentine’s Day. The flowers, chocolates, and sweets in general, that are such a huge part of the day. And I respect that it celebrates love of all kinds. Meaning, if you’re single, you should still embrace V-day! My grandma was my one shining knight when it came to Valentine’s Day. No matter how far apart we were, she’d always send my mom and I some kind of v-day gift. Most often it was a cute card, some chocolates, and a fun stuffed animal. Nothing big by any means, but she always made Valentine’s Day fun.

Since my grandma passed, I want to carry on that tradition with my little sister, Asher. She never got to experience very many of those sweet cards and gifts. So this year I’m baking cookies, and on the hunt for the best cheesy Hallmark stuffed animal I can find. If you have ideas for me, let me know!

side angle close up photo of Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

While I might still be on the hunt for the perfect stuffed animal, I have the cookie part all figured out.

Enter these dainty, romantic, lemony, shortbread cookies, that are truly just as precious and delicious as they look. Normally, I’m all about chocolate desserts. But as I slowly started to envision these cookies in my head, I knew they’d be cookies that I would come to love. Both for their pretty looks and their buttery sweet deliciousness.

overhead close up photo of Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

Like any other shortbread style cookie, these are really, really simple.

You need just five simple ingredients, butter, sugar, lemon, vanilla, and flour. If you want to be on the fancier side, some dried rose petals and a blood orange are great additions. But they’re completely optional…though very delicious.

Creaming together the butter, lemon, and roses (if you’re using) is the key to a good shortbread cookie. You want the butter to be light and fluffy, and both the lemon and rose petals to infuse the butter. This process takes a minute or two. But then all that’s left to do is add the flour, roll the cookies, chill, and bake.

Honestly, these are some of the simplest cookies, but yet still so delicious.

Oh and my other trick? Salted butter. I’ve always used salted butter. It’s what my mom baked with when I was growing up. The extra touch of salt is especially delicious when making extra buttery cookies. I know it may not be traditional, but trust me, it’s what you should use.

side angle photo of Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

For the glaze, I did a simple Meyer lemon glaze. I colored it with a couple drops of blood orange juice, which gave the glaze the daintiest pink color, exactly what I wanted. With food coloring you tend to end up with these unnatural neon like colors. But the blood orange juice works so perfectly to create a light shade of pink.

To decorate, I actually just shredded real roses. Yes, roses are edible, but make sure to use orange roses or culinary roses. Just cut using a sharp knife and sprinkle them over the cookies. Like I’ve said before, flowers are my “sprinkle” of choice.

These are obviously great for Valentine’s Day, but honestly? I’ll be making them year-round. I already have plans to recreate them for my brother’s wedding this September. The sister-in-law to be has already put in her request. Can’t blame her, these do kind of scream “wedding cookies”.

Good news for me? These cookies are so easy. Good news for everyone else? They’re delicious, and well…oh so lovely!

overhead photo of Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

If you make these lemon rose shortbread cookies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Lemon Rose Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 20 about cookies
Calories Per Serving: 1079 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Lemon Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer (or regular) lemon juice
  • 1-2 drops blood orange juice (optional)


  • 1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest, dried roses, if using, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the flour and beat until combined, and the dough forms a ball.
    2. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you're using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut out the cookies using a heart shaped cookie cutter or your favorite shape. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place in the freezer, freeze until firm, about 10-20 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the dough.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 12-14 minutes or until just lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
    4. To make the glaze. In a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth and drizzly. If needed, thin the glaze by adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until drizzly. Stir 1-2 drops blood orange juice if a pink color is desired.
    5. Dip the tops of cookies into the glaze, letting the excess drip off. Transfer to a wire rack and decorate as desired with fresh roses. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
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  1. 5 stars
    Can I freeze these cookies? Also, should I freeze them plain and then glaze them before I need them? Or will they be ok to freeze glazed?

    1. Hey Rue,
      I would freeze them without the glaze:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  2. I make these all the time and they are a sought after favourite on both sides of my family.

    What is especially great is that it’s easy to make these vegan instead (there’s a lot of vegans in my partner’s family). Just switch the butter out for a dairy free butter. When making them vegan though you really need to keep the kitchen cool because the dough will melt as you work on it.

    1. Hey Moss,
      I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Merry Christmas! 🎁🎄

  3. I loved these cookies, they are so beautiful! However, I had trouble with the dough being too crumbly and not forming a ball. I was able to work it and added some more lemon juice to ge a bit more liquid and then worked the dough with my fingers to press it together. I am looking for an idea of what else to do because the dough was so crumbly, therefore a bit crunchy, for the next time I make these cookies?

    1. Hey Karen,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, so sorry to hear they were crumbly! Was there anything you may have adjusted in the recipe? Next time, I would slowly add some water to the dough to see if that helps at all. Let me know! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I love your recipes. I’m a big fan and these cookies were so good! I had a problem with the glaze (and this is something I’ve noticed with other icings made with powdered sugar so I’m wondering if you can help). Anytime I use powdered sugar, my icing tastes chalky, or soapy. I was hoping it wouldn’t happen with this recipe, but it did! I followed it exactly (only changing the blood orange to unsweetened cranberry to color it). Does this potentially have to do with the brand of powdered sugar, or am I not mixing enough? I don’t have an electric mixer so I do mix everything by hand…

    I still gave 5 stars because the actual cookies were incredible!

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Hmmm I would say it sounds like you need to mix it more! xxT

  5. I am excited to make these for valentines day! While I couldn’t find rose petals, I did find some dried lavender. Lemon Lavender is never a bad idea. 🙂

  6. Love your recipes. Used this recipe for Christmas cookies this year. The dough was a little crumbly but added a bit of milk and that helped bring it together. I split my dough into two, and baked one. How long do you think the uncooked dough can last in the fridge until I make the second batch?

    1. Hi there,
      I would say no more than a few days. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Another recipe which came to the rescue! We ran out of cookies and had to come up with a quick solution for treats! These turned out amazing! For decor, I pierced them with a toothpick and used a ready made creepy fuchsia-coloured glaze and scary pumpkins.
    Thank you so much Tieghan! It’s great to know I can always turn to your recipes with confidence!

  8. My daughter is a front line worker in Canada. I made the shortbread but with sprinkles for Easter. I’m packing them in fancy bags for her to give to her coworkers.
    Thanks for the recipe however my decorating skills are not as impressive as yours. Lol.

    1. Hey Kathy,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    I made these for Valentines Day and they were a huge hit! I didn’t use any rose petals but they were still pretty and delicious. I shared some of the cookies with my neighbors – and even the one who went to culinary school said they were awesome. He especially liked how crispy the cookies were. My favorite part was the tart but sweet icing! I also thought the dough was easy to work with – which is not always the case with cut-out cookies. This one is a keeper!

      1. I’m seriously picky about sweets and would rather go without than have anything that isn’t 100% delicious. Thus, this is the only cookie I bake for literally any occasion, bc they are so dang pretty on top of that flavor! **FYI to my newbie tribe: You HAVE TO use cold butter for the batter to come together right away.** I couldn’t get a blood orange this time, so I tried using the juice of tart cherries and it came out much pinker, but the flavor was still pretty similar to the blood orange! I do prefer the original color, but it was still a big win and my kids liked the extra vibrancy 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I made these for Galentines last weekend. So beautiful! I decorated them with more dried rose petals since I had so many left over. Everyone I gave some to raved about them, and I thought they were super tasty myself.
    I used chilled, cubed butter, since the recipe didn’t specify, and measured my flour out with a gram scale. The dough was difficult to work with when I tried rolling it out initially, but once I chilled it for about 30 min I could work with it, though it was slightly crumbly. I just chilled between roll outs and it was fine. Just some tips in case anyone else is having trouble. Thank you for the beautiful recipe!

  11. Hi! These cookies are so beautiful! I would love to try a vegan version for my daughter-in-law. Do you think using Earth Balance or some kind of vegan butter would work?