Lemon and Basil Shortbread

Recipes, Sweet Treats

Baking. Isn’t it just wonderful? Not just for the obvious reason that you produce something sweet and yummy, but also because it means that you’ve created space for a little bit of spare time in your life. A little bit of time just for yourself. It’s like cooking, but utterly unnecessary and thus luxurious. The measuring, the kneading, the waiting: I find it all very meditative. This week I’ve baked lemon and basil shortbread and it’s divine.

For the recipe I’ve substituted the caster sugar that is used in traditional Scottish shortbread for confectioner’s sugar to alter the texture a little bit. Also, I’ve added a wee bit of salt, because my gran told me to always add a pinch to all cakes and pastries (And you should always listen to your grandma’s kitchen advice). I’ve decided to make the shortbread with butter, but I’ve seen intriguing vegan takes on the classic online. Here is one recipe with lemon, rosemary and olive oil, for instance. Or you could of course use margarine or experiment with vegetable oil.

As always: Tell me what you think of the recipe & what you’d do differently. Bon appetit and have fun baking! Yours, May

Lemon and Basil Shortbread


  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 100g confectioner’s sugar
  • 125g butter, chopped into cubicles
  • 2 hand full of basil leaves, chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven on 175°C
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead the dough with your hands. First it will be a little crumbly, but just keep on kneading!
  3. Roll the dough out on a work surface. It should be about one centimeter thick.
  4. Cut out the biscuits
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The shortbread will remain light-coloured and might be a little soft still when you remove it from the oven.
  6. Let the biscuits cool down and harden.

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