Lilac Shortbread Cookies

Lilac Shortbread Cookies

Lilac Shortbread Cookies combine the rich and crumbly buttery dough and a delicate subtle floral aroma. They are also moderately sweet.

Lilac Shortbread Cookies
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Hello everyone. Happy Monday. No kidding. It is happy today. Why? Because I am back to my lilac recipes!

In case you missed it, last week I posted something different for a change. Please feel free to check this Chive Pesto and this Potato Chive Soup.

Lilac Love

However, it’s time to get back to lilacs. Oh lilacs, that’s my new love #SorryLavender. I will get back to you one day. Promise. (I didn’t specify which year, though lol) You won’t believe how many photos with the lilacs in the background I styled! Also, you won’t believe how many lilac-infused recipes I tried! Spoiler alert: a lot. Luckily, the lilac season in Nova Scotia is almost over, otherwise I won’t be able to stop. Even though I am loving this lilac kick, I would still like to share some luscious salads, tasty bruschetta, and refreshing ice cream this season, too!

So far I have shared these recipes:

Lilac Syrup

Lilac Martini Vermouth Cocktail

Blueberry Oatmeal with Lilac Syrup

This time we are not going to use lilac syrup. But I strongly encourage you to make some for our next lilac endeavors!

Lilac Shortbread Cookies

Back to these Lilac Shortbread Cookies. When I was thinking how to incorporate the lilac flavour into the recipes, the most obvious idea was lilac sugar. However, lilac sugar takes a week to make, and I didn’t have any patience to wait.

As the result, I came up with the idea to infuse the butter! So, the idea is very simple. To simmer the butter with plenty of lilac florets for a few minutes. We don’t need to make brown butter, as it will interfere with the delicate floral flavour, but we intensify its aroma, too. Then leave it alone for an hour or so, until solidified. And melt it again – do discard the solids! (You will loose a bit of the butter itself, too.)

The recipe is easy-peasy. Just mix up all the ingredients until pliable cookie dough. While your oven is preheating, I would recommend to chill it out. The cookies are not extremely sweet – just like we love. Indeed, they are barely sweet. Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking (More sugar – less flour.)

Flavour and Décor

The flavour is very subtle. I would not say you could absolutely detect the lilac flavour. More like an abstract floral flavour. But it’s delightful! If you make some glaze, that will bring in more flavour! Of course, the cookies will be sweeter, but with the moderately sweet biscuits, that’s a nice balance – even with the glaze they are not overly sweet. Besides, the glaze adds a nice smooth finish and also a little bit of the purple hues. That’s lovely, too.

As you can see, I tried making floral ornaments by incorporating some lilacs into the dough prior to baking. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed. They turn brown, and they don’t introduce any flavour whatsoever. Personally, I would just stick to either plain or glazed cookies.

If you lucky to have lilac sugar, please go ahead and use it instead of the regular sugar. Lilacs are not lavender, it’s extremely hard to overpower the dish with their aroma.

So I hope you like these Lilac Shortbread Cookies. If you make it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share you photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen. Also don’t forget to make some lilac syrup as you might want to have for my upcoming recipes!

Cheers for now.

Lilac Shortbread Cookies
Lilac Shortbread Cookies

Lilac Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: Dessert

ab. 20

Prep time


Cooking time


Butter Infusing


Chilling / Glaze Setting



Lilac Shortbread Cookies combine the rich and crumbly buttery dough and a delicate subtle floral aroma. They are also moderately sweet. The cooking time doesn’t include making the lilac syrup.


  • Lilac Shortbread Cookies
  • 1 and 1/2 cup butter, cubed

  • 2 cups lilac florets (no green parts or leaves), firmly packed

  • ~ 2 and 1/2 cup cake flour

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

  • 3 tbsp. corn starch (or more flour)

  • a small pinch of salt

  • Glaze:
  • ~1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1-2 tbsp. lilac syrup


  • In a small saucepan combine the butter and lilacs. Melt and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Don’t allow the butter to brown! Cool until the butter is solidified, for about 1 hour then melt again and discard the solids using a sieve mesh. There will be about 1 and ¼ cup of the melted butter. Slightly cool it before using.
  • Combine the melted butter with the sifted flour, starch, powdered sugar, and salt. As always, you might need to incorporate less or more flour. The dough will be pliable, soft, moderately moist to the touch, could be slightly crumbly on the edges – but still easily forms the dough. If you feel like the dough is too soft, I wouldn’t recommend adding too much extra flour. Instead pop it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  • Working fast, roll the dough out. You don’t need to sprinkle it with extra flour – if the dough is a bit sticky, roll it out on some parchment paper plus lightly dust the rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut out the cookies. Arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet using some space (about 1,5 cm) between them. Place the sheet in the refrigerator while preheating the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (~165 degrees C).
  • Bake the cookies, depending on their size, between 12 and 15 minutes. Personally I preferred cookies to be pale (As browning would affect already subtle floral aroma), but that’s up to you. Remove from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes (They’re super crumbly when hot) then transfer to a rack to fully cook.
  • If desired, you can cover the cookies with the glaze. Just simply combine and whisk in a small bowl the powdered sugar and syrup, adding more dry/wet components to reach the desired consistency. The suggested amount would be enough for 1/2 to 2/3 cookies, so you might want to increase it (Or leave some of the cookies plain.) Garnish with a few lilacs if desired and let the cookies set for about an hour. Enjoy!

31 thoughts on “Lilac Shortbread Cookies

  1. Judee says:

    Such an interesting and beautiful looking cookie. Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers but I have never eaten them. You are enlightening me to new possibilities with flowers. Thanks

  2. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says:

    I am definitely crowning you the Lilac King! Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly come up with a better lilac recipe than the last one, you go and do it again… and again! These cookies are just gorgeous, Ben!!! And, I’d be willing to bet they taste even better than they look! I’ve really gotta find me some lilac, because I need these cookies in my life!

  3. Laura says:

    Ben, these cookies are so beautiful! I love how you decorated and styled them, just gorgeous! Also, I think the way you infused the lilac flavor is brilliant! Our lilac season is over now, but I will have these cookies on my list to try next lilac season!

  4. Jeff the Chef says:

    It’s interesting, what you had to say about incorporating the florets into the dough, because before I had gotten to that part of your post, I had already noticed that you’d done this, and I really liked it! I noticed that they’d browned, but I think that the browned ones look really nice in contrast to the purple ones you sprinked into the glaze. So yes, I don’t think I’d like the brown ones on their own, but in combination with the ones that you glazed, I think they’re gorgeous. Also, the color of that glaze = spectacular!

  5. David @ Spiced says:

    Wow, what a great idea to infuse the butter rather than the sugar – and it speeds up the whole process, too. Perfect! These cookies are truly stunning, Ben. Like I could see these for sale in a bakery. I’m a big fan of shortbread cookies, and I could be willing to munch on a couple of these cookies…you know, for research purposes. :-)
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Coca Cola Pound CakeMy Profile

  6. Marissa says:

    You are knocking me out with these lilac recipes, Ben. These shortbread cookies are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve always loved lavender shortbread, so I know I’d love these.

  7. Aarthi says:

    These cookies looks fabulous, what an brilliant idea to flavor the cookies with Lilac flower, I am sure it must have tasted yum! Awesome recipes, and blog!

  8. Liz says:

    These are beautiful cookies! I grew up with lilac bushes lining the north side of our back yard. They were so fragrant when they blossomed every spring.

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