These fruity vegan lemon & lime shortbread cookies are easy to make and they have a wonderfully buttery flavour with a burst of citrus.
Shortbread is a traditional Scottish teatime treat.
Usually baked in a round, then cut into triangles or cut into fingers, this vegan lemon & lime shortbread is cut into cookies.
They are super easy to make and wonderfully buttery with a good flavour of citrus.
- 💭 What is shortbread?
- 💭 When was shortbread first made?
- 🍪 Mary Queen of Scots favourite biscuit
- 🍪 Shortbread rounds, fingers or petticoat tails?
- 👩🏻🍳 Is it easy to make vegan shortbread?
- 🍋 Is flavoured shortbread any good?
- 🍋 Vegan lemon & lime shortbread
- 📋 What you need to make lemon & lime shortbread
- 📖 Variations
- 🥣 Topping shortbread rounds
- ⭐ Why are vegan shortbread cookies so good?
- ⏲️ Storing vegan shortbread biscuits
- 🥞 More Scottish sweet recipes
- 📖 Recipe
💭 What is shortbread?
Shortbread is a Scottish biscuit, that is buttery and crumbly with a short finish.
It is traditionally made with butter, sugar, and flour, but no raising agent is added.
💭 When was shortbread first made?
First made in the 12th Century in Scotland, shortbread was rather different from the light and crumbly biscuit we enjoy today with a cuppa.
It was made with leftover bread dough and called bread biscuits or twice-baked biscuits.
The cooks sweetened the dough and baked it again.
The word biscuit actually comes from Italian and means twice-baked.
So that's where we get the term biscuits that we use here in the UK.
🍪 Mary Queen of Scots favourite biscuit
Hundreds of years later, in the court of Mary Queen of Scots, the chefs, who had French influences tweaked the recipe to something closer to the buttery biscuit we know today.
Mary loved her shortbread in petticoat tails, which was said to replicate the look of the decorated edge of a lady's petticoats.
They were baked in a decorated round, and then cut into triangles.
She also liked shortbread flavoured with caraway seeds.
🍪 Shortbread rounds, fingers or petticoat tails?
The style of shortbread you bake at home or buy can be in rounds (which are more like a cookie), fingers or petticoat tails.
Which you choose is a very personal choice and everyone has their own favourite.
I tend to make either shortbread fingers or shortbread rounds.
👩🏻🍳 Is it easy to make vegan shortbread?
It's super easy to make vegan shortbread.
Just substitute the butter with either vegan block butter, or you can use vegan spread (margarine), but you have to work quicker with that.
And, you would never know it's a vegan biscuit, as it's just as crumbly, buttery, and melt in the mouth.
🍋 Is flavoured shortbread any good?
Traditional Scottish shortbread is a thing of beauty and such a treat.
However, it's fun to change things up.
As I said Mary Queen of Scots loved shortbread flavoured with caraway seeds.
Growing up I loved shortie biscuits with raisins (fruit shortcake biscuits).
And I also love to make dairy-free shortbread cookies with chocolate chips.
🍋 Vegan lemon & lime shortbread
For a wee change, I like shortbread flavoured with citrus.
You can add orange, lemon or lime or a combination of all three.
But, do try this vegan shortbread recipe.
📋 What you need to make lemon & lime shortbread
Here are the simple ingredients you need to make these buttery, citrus biscuits.
- Plain flour - also known as all-purpose flour
- Cornflour - also known as cornstarch
- Icing sugar - also known as confectioner's sugar
- Vegan butter - or spread (margarine)
- Lemon - juice and zest
- Lime zest
- Salt - just a pinch
See the printable recipe card for full quantities, method, and notes at the bottom of this page.
You can easily tweak this recipe.
Here are a few ideas:
- Plain - skip the flavourings (lemon juice and zests)
- Vanilla extract - instead of lemon juice and zests
- Chocolate chips - in plain or vanilla shortbread
- Raisins - in plain shortbread
I'm sure you have some good ideas too.
🥣 Topping shortbread rounds
Shortbread is traditionally finished with a topping of sugar.
Icing sugar works really well on these lemon and lime shortbread cookies
⭐ Why are vegan shortbread cookies so good?
Just in case I haven't convinced you yet, here's why these dairy-free biscuits are so good.
- Easy and fun to make
- Buttery and crumbly
- Melt-in-the-mouth texture
- Dairy-free biscuits
- Good with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate
- Easy to adapt with different flavours
⏲️ Storing vegan shortbread biscuits
Once cool, store these vegan butter cookies in an airtight container or a cake or biscuit tin with a tight-fitting lid.
They will keep for 2-3 days.
Shortbread really is best when it's fresh.
🥞 More Scottish sweet recipes
Looking for more vegan Scottish treats? Try these:
Vegan Lemon & Lime Shortbread Cookies
- 175 g vegan butter (or spread/margrine)
- 125 g plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 60 g cornflour (cornstarch)
- 100 g icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 190 c / 170 c fan / Gas mark 5 and line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine with a hand whisk or an electric mix, or you could use a stand mixer, until soft.
- Add in the flour a little at a time, while whisking the butter. Use a spatula to remove the mixture from the sides of the bowl.
- Next, add the cornflour and sugar gradually.
- Finally add the lemon juice and zest, along with the salt, whisking until the mixture all comes together into a ball of dough. It may seem a bit dry, but give it time, it can take a few minutes. Remove it from the bowl, then gently knead the last dry bits in by hand. Do not overmix.
- On a lightly floured surface, sprinkle the dough with a little more flour, and roll to a thickness of about 5 or 6 mm. If you have trouble rolling it out smoothly, you can pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes, it may just be too warm.
- Using a cookie cutter (mine is 7 cm / 2 ¾ inches, but a little bigger or smaller is ok) or a floured glass (if you don’t have a cutter) cut as many rounds as you can. Transfer each cookie to a prepared baking sheet. You should have between 12 and 16 cookies.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges just begin to take a little colour, but keep an eye on them, you don’t want them to brown, they should be quite pale.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then move them onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cool dust with icing sugar.