Lemon buttercream frosting is sandwiched between two buttery lavender shortbread cookies to make these elegant Lavender Lemon Sandwich Cookies. Perfect on their own or paired with a lavender oat latte, these floral 6-ingredient cookies are sure to become a new favorite.
- Tangy lemon cream sandwich cookies
- What are sandwich cookies?
- Easy lavender lemon sandwich cookie ingredients
- How to make lavender lemon sandwich cookies
- Tips for baking the best shortbread
- Lavender Shortbread Method
- The Importance of Chilling
- Baking Shortbread to Perfection
- Flavoring Shortbread
- Frequently asked questions
- Looking for more bright and summery desserts?
- Lavender Lemon Sandwich Cookies
- Frequently asked questions
Tangy lemon cream sandwich cookies
These Lavender Lemon Sandwich Cookies are a simple, yet elegant summer treat. The lavender shortbread cookies are easy to make with a few pantry staples and culinary lavender, and the silky swiss meringue lemon buttercream in between is light and tangy. Not only are they tasty, but they look lovely as well!
Lavender can be a flavorful and unique addition to cakes, cookies, drinks, and other treats. Take my lemon lavender sour recipe for example! Just like rose petals or lilac petals, baking with culinary grade flowers may seem intimidating at first but can add distinctive elements and help all of your treats stand out.
There’s so much to love about these sandwich cookies. Not only are they unique, but the delicate floral element is perfectly balanced among the tart lemon and rich butter. It’s the perfect dessert to serve at showers, garden parties, Easter, and so much more!
What are sandwich cookies?
Sandwich cookies are a type of dessert made by piping frosting or filling between two thin cookies (kind of like macarons). These cookies can come in a variety of flavors and textures, with the most popular combination being a rich vanilla cream sandwiched between two crunchy chocolate cookies.
Easy lavender lemon sandwich cookie ingredients
- Culinary lavender - Make sure the lavender you buy is labeled, "culinary grade lavender". This means that the particular variety has been bred to cook with and will taste sweet and slightly citrusy. Other varieties of lavender aren’t always safe to eat, like the kind that’s harvested for the aromatic oils.
- All purpose flour - Creates the crumbly, tender base for the lavender shortbread cookies.
- Unsalted butter - You need lots of butter for both the shortbread cookies and buttercream. It’s the key to tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookies!
- Sugars - Powdered sugar adds a light sweetness to the lavender shortbread while granulated sugar helps stabilize the lemon buttercream.
- Eggs - The yolks add richness to the cookies while the whites give the frosting a lovely fluffy texture and shiny gloss.
- Lemons - Both the juice and zest are used to flavor the buttercream.
How to make lavender lemon sandwich cookies
You’ll have a great time making these cookies. The shortbread is easy to prepare and can even be frozen for later, and the swiss meringue buttercream is impossibly bright and velvety smooth! Try the recipes for yourself:
To make the lavender shortbread cookies:
Step 1: Make the shortbread dough. Pulse the powdered sugar, unsalted butter, egg yolk, salt, ground lavender buds, and flour together in a food processor until the dough just comes together.
Step 2: Chill and shape the dough. Split the dough in half and shape each half into a thick disk. Wrap the disks in plastic and place them in the fridge to chill and set. Afterward, roll out each disk and cut out circles using a cookie cutter.
Step 3: Freeze and bake. Place the shortbread circles on a lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes. Afterward, bake the cookies until they’re just barely starting to brown.
To make the swiss meringue lemon buttercream:
Step 1: Heat the eggs and sugar. Add the granulated sugar and egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Move the bowl back to the stand mixer and whisk until medium peaks form.
Step 2: Add the butter and eggs. Mix in one butter knob at a time before slowly incorporating each egg.
Step 3: Add the flavor. Once the buttercream turns glossy and smooth, add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Step 4: Assemble the sandwich cookies. Pipe the lemon buttercream on one lavender cookie and place another on top to create a sandwich. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for baking the best shortbread
- The secret to the best shortbread cookies is to not overbake them - Once they’re in the oven, watch the cookies very carefully. You’ll know they’re done when the bottoms are just barely starting to brown.
- Do your best not to overwork the dough - The best shortbread cookies should be a bit crumbly.
- Never used a double broiler to make buttercream before? No problem! Fill a pot ¼ full with water and bring it up to a gentle simmer. Place the bowl with the sugar and egg whites over top without letting it touch the water. The heat from the steam will melt the sugar.
Lavender Shortbread Method
Shortbread has always been one of my favorite treats - they're characteristically not very sweet and there are so many different flavors that you can incorporate to jazz them up. There are only six ingredients needed for this recipe - here we will be using lavender as our primary flavoring agent!
In general, when making shortbread, the first step is to combine all ingredients other than your flour and your flavoring together and mix. By waiting to add your flour until the last minute, you are avoiding the potential of the dough getting over-mixed and the gluten overdeveloping. If this happens, your shortbread will end up quite tough rather than tender. I prefer using a food processor for this stage as it helps to cut your softened butter into the dough evenly, and very quickly!
Within this recipe, you will pour your lavender and flour mixture into the food processor and pulse until the dough comes together. Separate the dough into two portions and shape it into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and start the process of chilling your dough.
The Importance of Chilling
I’ve seen a number of shortbread recipes where the recipe requires your dough to chill overnight so the shortbread solidifies, yet I prefer to remove my dough from the fridge and roll it out once it’s slightly cool to the touch. You should only have to chill the dough for about 20 minutes after mixing before you are ready to cut your dough.
Once you have cut your shapes, it's important to place your cookies in the freezer. This freezing process helps to solidify the fat in your dough prior to baking. Since shortbread is primarily made of butter, freezing the dough before baking prevents your shortbread from spreading in the oven so that they retain their crisp shape!
Baking Shortbread to Perfection
Another trick to successful shortbread cookies is to make sure you do not over-bake them! Tender, buttery shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth is your goal. Making sure your oven temperature is set accurately is imperative. I am a huge advocate of purchasing an oven thermometer in order to make sure that your oven temperature is accurate. While baking, if you start to see even the slightest browning near the bottom or top of your shortbread, it's time to remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
The flavor of shortbread cookies can be modified and adapted easily! Here's a few ideas to get you started:
- Brown Butter
- Ground Nuts
- Lemon Zest
- Grapefruit Zest
Frequently asked questions
Swiss meringue is made from butter, sugar, and egg whites whereas regular buttercream is made from butter, powdered sugar, and the flavor of your choice (like vanilla extract or raspberry sauce).
I find that the texture of swiss meringue is incredibly smooth and velvety, and the flavor is not overly sweet. Regular buttercream, while still very smooth and creamy, has a heavier texture and is rich in flavor.
Chilling the cookie dough in the fridge and flash freezing the cut cookies for 20 minutes in the freezer are both crucial steps. The cold temperature will help solidify all of the butter in the cookies and prevent them from spreading too much in the oven.
Most lavender is safe to eat. When adding lavender to your favorite recipes, you want to make sure that you’re using a food-grade variety. Some other types aren’t safe to eat or will leave your food with an overly perfumey flavor.
Food-safe lavender can be purchased at many specialty grocery or health food stores and easily ordered online.
Keep the assembled sandwich cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Yes! Freeze the raw, cut cookies on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a sealed ziplock bag and freeze. You could also roll the cookie dough into a log, wrap it in plastic, and freeze. Whenever you’re craving lavender shortbread, just slice a few rounds off the log and bake!
Looking for more bright and summery desserts?
- Strawberry Tartlets with Cream Cheese Filling
- Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
- Rosemary Shortbread
- Lemon Poppyseed Old Fashioned Donuts
- Yuzu Raspberry Macarons
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try this sandwich cookie recipe, please share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Lavender Lemon Sandwich Cookies
- Mortar & Pestle
- Cookie Cutter
- 1 Cup + 2.5 Tbsp (142 g) Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp (255 g) Unsalted Butter , room temperature
- 1 Egg Yolk
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Culinary Lavender
- 2⅔ g (326 g) All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup (120 g) Egg Whites
- 1¼ Cup (240 g) Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ Cups (360 g) Unsalted Butter , room temperature
- 1.5 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 3 Lemons, zested
- Combine all ingredients, other than your flour and lavender, in a food processor and pulse until smooth.1 Cup + 2.5 tablespoon Powdered Sugar, 1 Cup + 2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, 1 Egg Yolk, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Using a mortar and pestle, grind up the lavender buds ever so slightly and add them to your weighed-out flour.1 tablespoon Culinary Lavender
- Pour flour mixture into the food processor and pulse until the dough just comes together.2⅔ g All-Purpose Flour
- Separate the dough into two portions and shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and set in the fridge for about twenty minutes.
- Remove the disks from the fridge once they've slightly firmed. Taking two pieces of parchment paper, place one piece of parchment below the dough and one on top. Roll out your dough to ¼ inch and cut into circles using a cookie cutter.
- Freeze shortbread for at least 20 minutes until frozen, and preheat the oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the cookies for 11 minutes, making sure that you take them out of the oven before you see and browning start to occur.
- Allow your cookies to cool on a cooling rack while you start the buttercream
- Add your sugar and egg whites to the bowl of your stand mixer and place over a saucepan of boiling water.½ Cup Egg Whites, 1¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- Make sure that your bowl is not touching the hot water! Your goal is to simply whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved, then attach your bowl back to the standing mixer - the temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using the whisk attachment, whisk mixture starting at a low speed and gradually increase speed until medium peaks form - this should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Once you've developed medium peaks, switch to using a paddle attachment. Slowly, start adding your butter in half-inch cubes and continue mixing.1 ½ Cups Unsalted Butter
- When you've reached the point where the buttercream is glossy and smooth, turn the mixer speed back to low. Add the vanilla extract, zest and lemon juice and continue mixing until combined.1.5 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, 3 Tbs Lemon Juice, 3 Lemons
- Pipe the buttercream in between two shortbread cookies and place in the fridge in an airtight container….then enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
- What’s the difference between regular buttercream and swiss meringue buttercream? Swiss meringue is made from butter, sugar, and egg whites whereas regular buttercream is made from butter, powdered sugar, and the flavor of your choice (like vanilla extract or raspberry sauce). I find that the texture of swiss meringue is incredibly smooth and velvety, and the flavor is not overly sweet. Regular buttercream, while still very smooth and creamy, has a heavier texture and is rich in flavor.
- Do you have to chill the cookie dough? Chilling the cookie dough in the fridge and flash freezing the cut cookies for 20 minutes in the freezer are both crucial steps. The cold temperature will help solidify all of the butter in the cookies and prevent them from spreading too much in the oven.
- Is lavender safe to eat? Most lavender is safe to eat. When adding lavender to your favorite recipes, you want to make sure that you’re using a food-grade variety. Some other types aren’t safe to eat or will leave your food with an overly perfumey flavor.
- Where can you buy food-safe lavender? Food-safe lavender can be purchased at many specialty grocery or health food stores and easily ordered online.
- How do you store sandwich cookies? Keep the assembled sandwich cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- Can you freeze shortbread cookies? Yes! Freeze the raw, cut cookies on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a sealed ziplock bag and freeze. You could also roll the cookie dough into a log, wrap it in plastic, and freeze. Whenever you’re craving lavender shortbread, just slice a few rounds off the log and bake!
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