My Iced Lime Shortbread Cookies are tender, buttery, and filled with fresh lime flavor. Great for summer, this slice and bake recipe only needs five ingredients to make.
When I think of summer, I often dread turning on the oven. I’ll make an exception for my Iced Lime Shortbread Cookies. These tender and buttery cookies only need five ingredients, one of which is a lime. Fresh lime is a must in this recipe, because all of your flavor comes from the lime zest in the dough and icing. These cookies are popular for barbecues, pool parties, or any summer get together. They remind me of lime sherbet, which is the perfect summer treat!
What you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioner’s sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
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. Everything else is there for flavor only – vanilla, lime, and salt.
I have several popular shortbread recipes here at The Toasty Kitchen. Shortbread has become one of my favorite cookies, partially due to the ease of preparation. No leavening agents, no eggs, no special ingredients. Check out my Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie Dippers, it’s one of my all-time favorites!
I have had a few comments about the amount of flour in my shortbread recipes, and issues with it being too much/little. This depends on a few factors. First, it depends on how you measure your flour. 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 be between 5 and 6 ounces of flour. If you spoon your flour into the measuring cup, then level with a knife, it may be as little as 4 ounces of flour. The USDA states that 1 cup of flour should be 5 ounces, right in the middle. If you are packing your measuring cup with extra flour, you may be adding too much to your cookies. The only way you can know for sure is if you have a kitchen scale and can measure your flour.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, or even if you do, I suggest the following when baking. Reserve 1/2 a cup of the flour in this recipe. Mix in the first two cups. 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.
How do you know you’ve added too much flour? Your dough will be overly crumbly and doesn’t come together in a ball or log shape. In this case, you may need to adjust your measurements of butter and sugar, adding a small amount at a time of each until your dough comes together. Reserving some flour will prevent this from happening.
The simple icing on these cookies is made from confectioner’s sugar, lime juice, and lime zest. That’s it! Once your cookies have cooled completely, add your icing using a knife. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for at least 1 hour. Your icing will harden and the cookies can be stacked for storage.
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.