In general, I am a fairly adventurous eater.  I will try almost anything once.  It hasn’t always been so, but Mom was right – my taste buds have definitely changed since I was a kid.  However, one thing I have had a bear of a time getting on board with has been floral flavorings.  I think my aversion a few years ago started when a friend was traveling to Paris and I begged him to bring me back a macaron.  He did, and I was so excited to try it.  It was pink as can be and so lovely, until I bit into it and promptly spit it out.  It was rose flavored and oh, that is just really not my thing.  Ever since, I have been basically unwilling to try floral accents of any kind.

When thinking of ways to make use of my recent Meyer lemon bounty, I recalled that lemon and lavender are a classic flavor pairing.  I was definitely wary, associated lavender much more with my yoga studio and lotions than anything else.  But curiosity got the best of me, so I tried it, albeit somewhat hesitantly.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I really enjoyed this pairing.  The lemon and lavender are nicely balanced – both are present without overpowering, and they combine to give such a unique flavor that I found these shortbread absolutely irresistible.


1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Zest of 3 lemons, divided
1 tsp. culinary lavender buds, ground or very finely chopped
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar


  • 01

    To make the dough, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the zest from 2 of the lemons and the ground lavender.  Beat on medium-high speed until well blended, 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla extract and salt.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour until a dough comes together.  Form the dough into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until slightly firm, 30-60 minutes.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, combine the zest of the remaining lemon with the granulated sugar.  Rub together with your fingertips until evenly mixed and fragrant.  Unwrap the chilled dough and place on a lightly floured work surface.  Roll out to ¼-inch thick.  Sprinkle the top of the dough generously with the majority of the lemon sugar mixture, and go over lightly with the rolling pin to press the sugar into the top of the dough. Cut out rounds, squares, etc. as desired and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Re-roll dough scraps as desired and cut additional cookies.

  • 03

    Bake 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies are just set.  Let cool on the baking sheets a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Helena Mouta

    Good for you! I actually absolutely detest the scent of roses, but love lavender. I have even made a lavender jelly that I often pair with lemon cookies to make beautiful (the jelly is a bright pink/purple) and delicious thumbprints. This shortbread must be equally delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

  • Kim | Just For Clicks

    Here in Indy it feels as though Spring will never get here! So I’m definitely craving citrus and sunshine! I’m planning a coffee with GirlFriends and can’t wait to try these for them… though think we may need tea to compliment. :-) Bring on Spring!!!

  • I have some lavender left from last year’s harvest that I need to use up. Will be trying these soon – just lovely! :)

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    I also had a bad experience with floral-flavored foods. I was in Wisconsin for a trip growing up and a family friend with us purchased rose mints. I tried one and they were definitely for me! Just the thought of those makes me want to wash my mouth out!

  • Kinsey Drake

    Oh my goodness those look scrumptious! I also love the pairing of meyer lemons and lavender and during citrus season I always whip up a batch of my meyer lemon lavender cookies with browned butter. As a California girl, it’s great to have a meyer lemon tree in my backyard for spontaneous baking! I will have to make these shortbreads soon.

  • Gina Wolff DaMetz

    Those look wonderful! I’ve always wanted to try lavender in cookies or cakes. My question is, how hard is it to find culinary lavender? And where do you find it? If I could find some, I would be all over these for this Spring!

  • Brittany’s Pantry

    Great food styling, Annie!

  • Molly

    Excellent! My sister gave me a bag of lavender from a trip to Provence this Christmas, and I felt sort of disheartened by the recipes I found online for lavender cookies. I know I can trust this one!:)

  • I love lavender and lemon for some many reasons! And what a great way to use up some of those beautiful lemons!

  • Nancy

    I’ve been wanting to combine these two flavours for a long time! These cookies look lovely.

  • annieseats

    I ordered mine on Amazon because the stores in my area aren’t likely to have it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Whole Foods or a similar store carried it, though.

  • Anne van Oppen

    Organic culinary lavender can be ordered from Local

  • Gina Wolff DaMetz

    I wondered about Whole Foods. I may have to go check there. Thanks!!

  • Megan

    These look delicious!! I was turned on to lavender by my 8 yr old son, who came across a recipe for grilled lamb chops with lavender sea salt (Michael Symon Carnivore). He wanted to try it and we all liked them. Actually it’s our favorite way to prepare lamb now. Check it out if you want to try a savory dish with lavender.

  • Liz N.

    Feb. 27th is my mom’s birthday! She’ll be thrilled to see this recipe. It’s the perfect pairing for her two loves, lemons and flowers! I’ve never used lavender in baking and can’t wait to experiment with this combination. Sadly, all my lemons are used up!

  • Looks amazing! Perfect alongside afternoon tea. I love lavender in baked things – I imagine it to be fantastic with lemon shortbread!

  • I am definitely not big on the floral stuff either, so totally with you there. I have no desire to ever feel like I’m eating perfume…ever. But….these look totally worth a try! And if you say they’re not TOO much like eating a bouquet, then I believe you!

  • Cara

    These are absolutely delicious! First time baking with lavender and I’m really impressed. I used French lavender from Williams-Sonoma spice section and it worked well. Thanks for the great recipe :)

  • Tricia Loy Kritikos

    I have actually been wanting to make some ever since I read that Duchess Catherine craved lavender shortbread during pregnancy. Lol.

  • annieseats

    Wow! That’s a much more sophisticated pregnancy craving than my craving for Wendy’s :)

  • Tricia Loy Kritikos

    Ha! Or mine for cheese pizza chased with zofran. ;)