This recipe for Earl Gray Shortbread made with almond flour makes tender gluten-free shortbread cookies flavoured with Earl Gray tea. They're topped with a simple lemon glaze. These cookies make a beautiful addition to a holiday cookie assortment and they're a favourite for Easter and spring celebrations, too!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
Shortbread cookies are deliciously soft and buttery . . . but they're made with wheat flour! These gluten-free Earl Gray shortbread cookies are made with almond flour instead. They're every bit as delicious as the traditional melt-in-your-mouth shortbread you may have grown up with!
If you love shortbread as much as I do, you'll also love these other recipes for almond flour shortbread. Take your pick or try them all!
🛒 Ingredients for Earl Gray Shortbread
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. But before we get to the full recipe, here are a few notes about some of the key ingredients.
- almond flour: blanched, finely ground almond flour. I use either the Kirkland Brand from Costco or Bob's Red Mill Superfine Almond Flour. Use the scoop and sweep method for measuring flour. Scoop roughly two cups, sift it, then scoop again, levelling it with a knife scraped across the top of the measuring cup. The most accurate way to measure almond flour is with a digital scale. Two cups of almond flour weigh 192 grams or 6.8 ounces.
- butter: unsalted is best for baking. It must be softened, but not melted, as I've explained below.
- confectioner's sugar: also known as icing sugar or powdered sugar. Using confectioner's sugar makes a light, melt-in-your-mouth cookie.
- salt: just a hint. If you have to use salted butter, omit the extra salt in the recipe.
- vanilla extract: pure
- Earl Gray tea: use 1 tablespoon of Earl Gray tea leaves, or simply cut open a tea bag.
- lemon zest: a small amount adds so much flavour to these almond flour shortbread cookies!
- For the lemon glaze: confectioner's sugar and fresh lemon juice
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this recipe perfectly. You'll find complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
This is a quick and easy recipe for gluten-free shortbread cookies. You can either make slice-and-bake cookies or drop cookies. Here are step-by-step instructions.
- Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat well for 2 minutes.
- Add the almond flour, salt, vanilla, tea leaves, and lemon zest and beat to thoroughly combine.
- To make slice-and-bake cookies, place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a log about 8 inches long.
- Chill for 2 hours or even overnight, then slice and bake.
- Alternatively, you can scoop the dough with a cookie scoop, flatten the balls slightly on a baking sheet, and bake. If you don't chill the dough, the cookies will turn out slightly larger and flatter, but they still hold their shape and are delicious this way. Your choice!
- Cool completely. To add a lemon glaze, dip the cookies, one by one, face down into the glaze.
- Return the cookies to the baking rack and sprinkle with lemon zest. Let the glaze set before storing the cookies in an airtight container.
🔁 Possible Variations
There are three ways to make this gluten-free shortbread recipe.
roll-slice-and-bake shortbread. Roll into a log, chill in the fridge for 2 hours until firm, then slice and bake. I use a cookie cutter with a fancy edge to trim the cookies.
drop cookie. Roll the dough into small balls, flatten slightly and bake.
cut-out cookies. Form the dough into a square inside a resealable bag, chill, then slice into rectangles or squares. If the dough has been chilled thoroughly, you can even use a cookie cutter.
Using a basic shortbread recipe and changing the flavours is an easy way to create several different cookies with one recipe!
You may not have started with softened butter, or it may not have been beaten long enough.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
Be sure to start with softened butter.
Creaming butter and sugar forms air pockets that fill with steam while the cookies are baking, resulting in a tender crumb and airy texture.
What does softened butter look like? It should be firm enough to hold its shape, but when you poke it, it should leave an indentation. You can pick up a piece in your hands and it will be pliable.
If you've forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time, (and who hasn't done that?) the best way to soften it is to leave it unwrapped on the counter at room temperature for at least 30 to 45 minutes.
You can also use this quick hack: Heat a glass or a measuring cup of water in the microwave, pour out the water and cover the butter with the warm glass. The heat and steam from the glass will warm the butter to gently soften it.
If you just can't wait, microwaving it is possible, but it is usually not a wise choice! It only takes a few seconds to turn butter from rock hard to melted. So if you must, you can try microwaving it for 8 - 10 seconds, no more, or you'll regret it!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
These Earl Gray shortbread cookies make a beautiful addition to a holiday cookie assortment. They're also pretty cookies to serve for Easter, Mother's Day or spring parties.
⏰ Storage Instructions
To store: These cookies will stay fresh for 3 days at room temperature.
To freeze: You can freeze them in layers with a sheet of parchment paper in between. Stored in an airtight container, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
🗒 More gluten-free cookies and bars
Looking for new holiday cookie ideas? See 12 Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies and Bars.
When you make this gluten-free Early Grey shortbread recipe, please leave a comment and a star rating below. I love hearing from you! Thanks in advance. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
Almond Flour Earl Gray Shortbread
- 2 cups almond flour, blanched, superfine ground
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teabag Earl Gray tea
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest, divided, 1 teaspoon for the batter, 1 teaspoon for garnishing the glazed cookies.
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Preheat oven to 350° F. if you plan to bake the cookies right away. If using the slice-and-bake method, wait until the dough has been chilled to preheat the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium bowl, cream softened butter and sugar together.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
- At this point, you can roll small balls of dough in the palm of your hand, then flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Cookies made this way will spread a little more than those made using the slice-and-bake method.
- To make slice-and-bake cookies, place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a log approximately 8 inches long. Roll in the wrap to make it round. Chill for 2 hours or longer. You can freeze the dough at this point, if you'd like.
- Slice the chilled log into cookies ¼ inch thick. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F. for 8 - 10 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes until firm, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the lemon glaze while the cookies are cooling. Add lemon juice to confectioner's sugar a teaspoon or two at a time until you've reached a slightly runny consistency. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze then place them on a rack, grate a little lemon zest on top and allow the glaze to set.