Lemon Ginger Shortbread

Photo: mjcockerill instagram

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about


Appears in

Cooking for Christmas

Cooking for Christmas

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1978

  • About

For many years we spent New Year with friends in Scotland. After the clock had struck twelve we used to wrap up and set out to first-foot in the few neighbouring cottages under the moor. At each cottage we were offered a piece of Black bun and some shortbread, which were often helped down with a home-brewed and extremely potent liqueur. In Scotland, it is traditional to have shortbread in the house to offer to friends throughout the festive season. You must hide this away in a tin or it will get eaten up too quickly! If you like you can use wholemeal flour which will give a nuttier taste and texture.


  • 8 oz (250 g) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 oz (125 g) icing sugar
  • grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 6 oz (175 g) plain flour
  • 2 oz (50 g) cornflour
  • 3 oz (75 g) ground rice
  • 2 rounded teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoons) ground ginger
  • caster sugar


Put the butter, the icing sugar and the grated lemon rind into a bowl and cream them together with a whisk. This doesn’t need to be done very thoroughly Mix the flour, cornflour, ground rice and ginger together in a bowl and the gradually whisk them into the creamed butter and sugar. Using floured hands gather up the dough, divide it in half and press it quickly into two buttered 8-inch (20 cm) sandwich tins. Prick all over with a fork. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 2/300°F/150°C. Bake the shortbread on the bottom shelf for 60-70 minutes until it is a pale golden colour. Cut the shortbread into pieces in the tins while still hot. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave until almost cold before carefully taking out with a spatula.