Lemon Shiso Shortbread Cookies full of citrusy flavour with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Buttery, rich and perfect for holiday cookie boxes.

lemon shiso shortbread cookies on a wooden board



  • Sugar: To infuse the flavour of lemon and shiso better, granulated sugar is used for these cookies.
  • Lemon: We’ll need the zest of one lemon. Be sure to use only the outer part and not to zest the inner white pith. Lime or yuzu would also work great for this recipe!
  • Flour: Ideally cake flour, as it gives that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Shiso leaves: What makes these shortbread cookies unique! Shiso adds a distinct herby flavour to them that pairs wonderfully with lemon.
  • Unsalted butter: I use my homemade plant based butter but any butter can be used. If using plant based butter, please use the block butters and not the ones in the tubs.
  • Honey: The secret ingredient that adds a little moisture and crumbly texture to these cookies. This can be substituted agave.

How to make lemon shiso shortbread

  1. Grind the sugar, lemon zest and shiso until a sandy-like texture. This can be done in a suribachi (Japanese motor and pestle) or food processor.
  2. Process the sugar, flour and salt. Then pulse blend in the cubed butter.
  3. Roll the dough into a log and tightly wrap with plastic with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge.
  4. Coat the dough in sesame sugar mixture (optional step).
  5. Slice the log of cookie dough and sprinkle reserved shiso sugar. You can also place a fresh sugared shiso leaf on top for a different look.
  6. Place them onto a lined baking tray about 2 inches apart, and bake for 14 minutes.
  7. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking tray and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

How to Store Lemon Shiso Shortbread Cookies

Once the cookies have cooled, transfer to an air tight container and store at room temperature for 5-7 days. Shortbread cookies also freeze well! Place in a air tight freezer safe bag and remove excess air and freeze for up to 2 months.

lemon shiso shortbread cookies on a wooden board
What is the texture of these shortbread cookies?

They’re on the more tender side of shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth!

Can I make these gluten free?

I have only tested these with regular cake flour so I can’t guarantee they will come out the same, however feel free to experiment with an all purpose gluten free flour.

Enjoy!! If you make this Lemon Shiso Shortbread Cookies recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rating and if you decide to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I’d love to hear from you 😁!

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lemon shiso shortbread cookies on a wooden board

Lemon Shiso Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cookies 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Lemon Shiso Shortbread Cookies full of citrusy flavour with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Buttery, rich and perfect for holiday cookie boxes.


Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (50 g + 13 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1215 shiso leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp (150 g) cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp (1.75 g) salt
  • 1 tsp (6 g) honey
  • 7 tbsp (100 g) chilled unsalted butter, cubed


  1. Make the infused sugar: Using a suri bachi (motor and pestle), grind the sugar, lemon zest and shiso leaves until it feels like wet sand. Alternatively, this can be made in a small food processor. Reserve 1 tbsp of this shiso sugar. 
  2. Make the dough: Add the lemon shiso sugar, flour and salt to a food processor and pulse blend a few times. Add the cubed butter and honey and pulse blend until dough comes together.
  3. Roll & Chill: Form the dough into a log with plastic wrap, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours, or until firm (up to 5 days). 
  4. Prepare to bake: Preheat the oven to 340 F (170 C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper. 
  5. Optional step: Mix a course sugar with sesame seeds on a small baking tray or large plate and roll the dough into the sugar sesame mixture until coated. You can also add fresh candied shiso for a different look. 
  6. Slice the dough: Slice the log of cookie dough into 18 pieces (including the ends), and place on the baking tray about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with reserved shiso sugar.
  7. Bake: Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until the tops look cooked. 
  8. Chill: Remove form the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Serve & store: Once cooled, serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 1 week at room temperature or freeze for up to 2 months. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie

Keywords: lemon shortbread cookies, shiso cookies


About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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