Vegan Lemon Shortbread Cookies are made with easy vegan lemon curd and a buttery shortbread base, then drizzled with a simple icing. The perfect cookie for Spring and Summer!
These little lemon filled shortbread cookies are sure to brighten up your day! Perfect for bringing to Spring picnics plus they are simple to make.
You do need a batch of easy Vegan Lemon Curd, which only takes about 10 minutes to make. You won’t use it all for the cookies, so enjoy the leftovers on toast, scones, crepes or by the spoonful!
If you love shortbread, make sure to check out my Vegan Shortbread Cookies.
How to make them
First, prepare your lemon curd, a few hours before so it has time to cool completely. Overnight is even better!
Make the simple shortbread dough, then roll into balls and make an indent in the center like this:
Place on the pan, then fill with cooled lemon curd. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden underneath.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, drizzle the glaze over the tops. Let the glaze set, then enjoy!
- When making the shortbread cookie dough, it will appear crumbly, but should smush together when squeezed in your hands. You don’t want the dough to be too wet OR too dry, so add a tiny bit of almond milk if need, just so you can roll into balls without them falling apart.
- Always bake cookies in the center of your oven, not the bottom or the top rack. I only bake one sheet of cookies at a time to avoid burnt bottoms and undercooked tops.
- I haven’t tested them with gluten free flour, but a quality mix may work.
- Vegan buttery sticks (such as Earth Balance or Melt) work best for measuring, but the tub will work. It may be easier to measure 8 tablespoons instead of 1/2 cup for more accurate results.
Want more lemon desserts?
Vegan Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- 1 Recipe Vegan Lemon Curd
Shortbread Cookie Base
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbs) vegan butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almond milk, as needed *other non-dairy milks work as well
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons almond milk
- First, prepare Vegan Lemon Curd. You will want to make this a few hours before the cookies so it has time to cool and thicken, or make it a day or two before the cookies. You won't use all of it.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet (or line with parchment paper).
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour and powdered sugar together. Now add the vegan butter (softened) and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) on low-medium speed until mixed well. If the mixture is too crumbly to form into cookies, add a tablespoon of almond milk and mix in.
- The dough might look a little crumbly but should smush together when squeezed in your hands. If not, add a touch more almond milk, but not too much or the cookies will spread when baking.
- Shape the dough into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Gently indent the center of each cookie dough ball, making a place for the lemon curd to go. Place the cookies on the prepared pan.
- Fill the cookies with cooled lemon curd, then bake for 10-12 minutes. The bottom of the cookies will be slightly golden, but otherwise they will appear underdone. They firm up as they cool.
- Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and almond milk together until smooth. If too runny, add more powdered sugar until it's quite thick for drizzling. If too thick, add a tiny bit of almond milk and whisk.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, drizzle the glaze over the tops and allow the glaze to set for several minutes. Serve and enjoy!
- I haven't tested them with gluten free flour, though a good gluten free mix may work.
- Coconut oil might work in place of the vegan butter, but make sure it is softened, not melted or too hard.
- The cookies will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days, and a few extra days in the refrigerator. Store covered.
Hi Nora, thank you for all of your wonderful recipes. I’m wondering if you have ever tried this with Rise brand oat milk. I stay away from any nut milks due to my nut allergy. Thanks.
Hi Rachel. I have not tried that particular brand of oat milk, however, oat milk should work fine in this recipe. I’m glad you are enjoying my recipes! Happy baking!
Loves these cookies! Can the dough be made a couple of days ahead of time and refrigerated?
So glad you like them, Shelby! Yes, you can make the cookie dough and keep it in the fridge a few days ahead of baking. The cookie dough balls can also be frozen and stored for longer.
I doubled the recipe because when is 15 cookies ever enough, especially when you’re tasked with bring two dozen to an event? The notes indicate there would be plenty of your Lemon Curd (Hide the spoons! This is IN-CRE-DI-BLE!), so I made the single recipe, but even half would have been plenty to fill the 36 smaller cookies I made and the glaze could have been halved. The combination together though, was a magnet on the cookie buffet and more than a few people asked me for the recipe and, “Are these really vegan?” It was so wonderful to say, “Yes!” and recommend your site. Thank you so much for what will surely be Christmas gifts for some of our friends. (Hint: any chance you’re working on a Cranberry or Cran-Raspberry Curd for a red center? Langer’s 100% Cranberry juice would be my recommendation for a starting/starring ingredient.)
These cookies are the best! Even at altitide I didnt change the recipe just cooked a minute longer. I love the lemon curd too. I have made them 4 times in the last 2 weeks. My neighbor loves them and he was shocked they were vegan. Your recipes are the best. Thank you !
I am so happy to hear you, and your neighbor, are loving the cookies, Andrea! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! I appreciate you using my recipes, I love creating them! Happy cooking!
Hi Nora! I’m hoping to make a tea cookie (usually shaped into a square log, put in the fridge, then cut into slices) and was thinking about spreading your lemon frosting (from the fabulous lemon cake recipe) in between two cookies (after they’re baked and cooled). Do you think that would work with this recipe? Also, do you think it would be ok to add a little lemon zest to the cookie dough? Thanks so much!
Yes, I think that should work well. Sounds amazing!
Thank you, as always, for your quick replies and your fabulous, aka, always my go-to recipes!!
Quick question, can you mould the dough and then freeze it to be baked later?
These look delicious and can’t wait to try them
Yes, the dough can be frozen then baked later. Thanks!
Hi, do these freeze well?
Yes, they do.
Do you have metric measurements please
There is a metric button in the recipe card. Hope that helps!
These were so good and easy to make. I questioned for a minute weather it was a good idea to put the butter right in with the flour and sugar without creaming it first but, it worked fine. The lemon curd is SO GOOD! It reminds me of lemon meringue pie. Something I have missed for many years since becoming vegan. Thank you for another great recipe.
Isn’t lemon great? Especially this time of year! I’m glad you love the shortbread cookies! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review and comments!
Hi Nora! Lovely recipe. I was looking good brands of vegan butters. Which would you recommend for shortbread cookies.
I personally love Country Crock lately. But Earth Balance is good and many others too! Thanks, hope you love the cookies.
Just curious. Do you think this could be made as a square?
Like as bars? I’m not sure, probably but I haven’t tried it.
I think that would be fine, yes. Thanks!
Can I make this with caster sugar instead of powdered?
You might be able to, but it will change the texture to be a little grainy.
Can you use regular unsalted butter for your recipes instead of vegan?
It will work the same, they recipes just won’t be vegan any longer of course.
so so yummy and easy!! I just used strawberry rhubarb jam that I had made a couple days ago instead of lemon curd and they turned out great. Added a splash of almond extract to the icing for an extra touch 🙂 all in all the recipe took about 20 minutes total and was loved my family, even those who are nonvegan! will be a go to for a quick, yummy dessert!
Glad you enjoyed it!!
Soo good! And so easy to make. My lemon loving 8yr old (with dairy and egg) allergies LOVES these! I used the shortbread and filled with strawberry preserves for my 4yr old who doesn’t like lemons…friends who aren’t vegan had NO clue these were vegan. We made your lemon curd for them and it’s absolutely delicious! Another Nora hit!!
Great idea with the strawberry preserves! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the cookies and lemon curd!
Can this recipe be doubled?
Yes, it can!
Do these travel well? (I’m trying to bake things for a pinic)
Yes, they travel very well, they are sturdy little cookies.
I just made these and they are so yummy! Not too sweet and just the right amount of tartness. The shortbread itself is delicious and I could eat the lemon curd by the spoonful! ? It will be tough to keep myself from eating all of them. Great recipe!
Thanks so much! Appreciate the great comment!
Looks like I’m just baking my way through all your cookie recipes! These little shortbreads are so good. I did use a tablespoon of coconut milk in the dough. I also didn’t feel like making a lemon curd so I filled them with some raspberry jam I had on hand! For the icing, I used lemon juice instead of milk. Another great recipe, thank you!
Holy COW! These cookies are delicious. My glaze turned out awfully thin and honestly, they’re so good by themselves I don’t think I’ll bother with it next time. Plus, I use oatmilk and that gives it a funny, grayish color. Still unbelievably good. I was worried that the lemon curd was too runny but it firmed up while cooking. Speaking of that lemon curd, I made some plain toast with leftover french bread and dipped it in the curd to have with my coffee this morning. No butter or anything, just plain, white toast dipped into lemon curd. It was perfect! The bread was a nice balance for the sweetness and it was excellent with a strong cup of java.
Thanks so much for the great comment! So glad you enjoyed!
The batch of lemon curd goes a looooong way. I made these yesterday with plenty of curd leftover to make them again today! I use a small cookie scoop and make them bite size, I made about 20 cookies in each batch.. and still have more curd leftover lol!
Also, plan on eating them all. There’s really no other option. They are just that good. I might even like these more then the lemon bars!!!! (Probably because they are SO easy to make)
Thanks for the great comment!!
Nora, I LOVE your recipes! These look SO good. I’m SO glad lemon curd can be vegan:)
Thank you so much!! I appreciate the comment! I’m glad they can be vegan, too!
I cannot wait to try this recipe!, can I use oil or apple sauce instead of vegan butter?
I’m afraid the cookies will turn out very soft if you do that I’m afraid. Not quite sure how that would turn out!
Can you do the same with limes?
Sure, you could!