Iced Lime Shortbread Cookies are tender, buttery, and filled with fresh lime flavor. Perfect for summer, these lime cookies only need five ingredients to make.
There’s nothing better than a quick and easy dessert recipe for summer. These lime shortbread cookies do the trick. Lightly sweet, filled with lime flavor, with a tender, buttery texture. These cookies are a must try.
If you’re a fan of lime sherbet, you’ll love these sweet lime cookies. Topped with a thin, easy to make glaze, the flavor is reminiscent of a bowl of lime sherbet.
The best part about this recipe? You only need five ingredients.
What you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioner’s sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
In the photo above, the confectioner’s sugar is divided into two containers, and salt is not technically counted as an ingredient in recipes. You’ll be using that lime throughout the entire recipe, with the zest in the dough, and more zest and lime juice in the icing.
My favorite part about shortbread cookies is the fact that the dough comes together with only three ingredients – butter, sugar, and flour. The rest of the ingredients are flavor enhancers only – vanilla, lime, and salt.
Tips for making shortbread cookies
The most common issue I hear from readers is regarding the texture of shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookie dough will be crumbly once you’re done mixing, but will hold together when pinched between two fingers.
Once the dough is pressed together into a tube and refrigerated, the dough will keep its shape before and after baking. Because there are no eggs or leavening agents in shortbread cookies, the cookies are tender, dense, and delicate.
Due to all of these circumstances, it is extremely important to accurately measure the few ingredients you’re adding to your lime cookies.
Baking and icing your cookies
Once your dough has been formed into a log, and chilled, it is ready to be sliced into cookies. Simply slice into 1/4″ cookies and place onto a lined baking sheet.
While your cookies are baking, go ahead and mix your lime icing. All you’ll need is confectioner’s sugar, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until the sugar is fully dissolved in the lime juice.
Your icing will look thin – this is what you’re looking for. This icing is very sweet – a little will go a long way! Use a knife or spoon to gently frost the top of each cookie with a thin layer of icing.
Allow your icing to dry and harden for several hours before storing your cookies.
Measuring flour for shortbread cookies
Shortbread cookies, because they need only a few ingredients, can be more finicky than your average cookie. While you may be thinking that less ingredients = easier, this is sometimes not the case!
The proper measuring of flour is especially important when making shortbread cookies. To properly measure flour, spoon your flour into the measuring cup, then level off with a spoon.
If you scoop your flour with a measuring cup, then shake it off until it’s level, or scoop and level with a knife, this will actually add extra flour to your cookie dough, causing it to be dry and crumbly.
How does your dough look? If it’s sticking to the bowl and hard to roll into a ball, you need more flour. If your dough rolls easily into a ball without sticking to your hands, it’s just right.
Iced Lime Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla and lime zest and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk) together flour and salt. Add dry ingredients* to butter mixture and mix until a dough forms. Dough should easily roll into a ball, but not sticky, and not crumbly.
- Shape into a long, round tube about 2 inches thick and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies barely begin to brown around edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from sheet to cool completely.
- While cookies are cooling, combine confectioner's sugar, lime juice, and lime zest. If too thick, add more lime juice 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Once cookies have cooled completely, ice cookies with a knife and set on a cooling rack for one hour until set.
- Your cookies will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container. To help keep cookies fresh, you can place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread slice as needed.
- You can keep raw cookie dough in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cookie dough and baked cookies freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen dough to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
More shortbread cookie recipes
- Mint Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie Dippers
- German Browned Butter Shortbread Cookies
- Birthday Cake Shortbread Cookie Bites