Vegan lavender-lemon shortbread

Make a big batch of these cookies for holiday gifts.

You can achieve tender, crumbly shortbread using coconut oil instead of butter, says New York City–based recipe developer Sarah Jampel. “Not only does the healthy fat achieve the melt-in-your-mouth texture, but it also imparts a naturally-sweet, nutty flavor,” she adds. These cookies, flavored with fragrant lemon zest and lavender, are easy to make in large batches—ideal for wrapping and gifting for the holidays. If you’d prefer to keep the recipe vegan, skip the egg wash, Jampel says, which is just for the glossy appearance.

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling
Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Makes about 24 cookies

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Photography and styling by Jenny Huang


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (½ cup) virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
Zest of 2 lemons
½ teaspoon culinary lavender, finely chopped or crushed, plus ¼ teaspoon for sprinkling
1 egg white, beaten (optional)
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut, for sprinkling


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, two tablespoons turbinado sugar, and salt.
Add the coconut oil, lemon zest, and ½ teaspoon of the lavender, and stir to combine into a smooth mixture. Use your hands to gather the dough into a rough ball, then transfer to a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper, then use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into an eight-to-nine-inch round slab, about ¼-inch thick. Transfer to the fridge and chill for one hour.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove and discard the top sheet of parchment paper and use the bottom one to slide the cookie round onto a large baking sheet. If you want your shortbread to be shiny, brush the slab with egg white. In a small bowl, combine unsweetened, shredded coconut, remaining teaspoon turbinado sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon crushed lavender, and sprinkle evenly over top of cookie slab. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the cookie is dry and the edges begin to brown.
While the cookie slab is still hot, use the parchment paper to slide it onto a large cutting board. Using a sharp, thin knife, cut the shortbread into desired shapes, without separating the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then go over the cuts with the knife and separate the shortbread into individual pieces. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.