Key Lime Cookies Recipe

Key Lime Shortbread Cookies

Tender, tangy key lime cookies that will absolutely melt in your mouth! Slice and bake makes them extra easy!

20 min. prep time
80 cookies
35435 Ratings



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh Key lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated Key lime zest


1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated Key lime zest
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice


Freshly grated Key lime zest, if desired


Combine flour, powdered sugar and cornstarch in bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until creamy. Add flour mixture and all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until dough forms.

Shape dough into 2 (10-inch) logs on lightly floured surface. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 350°F. 

Reshape logs, if necessary. Cut into 1/4-inch slices with sharp knife. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Place powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon lime zest in bowl. Gradually stir in enough lime juice for desired glazing consistency. Spoon or brush glaze on top of cookies. Let stand until glaze is hardened.

Recipe Tip

Read more about this recipe on Recipe Buzz® Blog.

Nutrition Facts (1 cookie)

Calories: 40

Fat: 2.5g

Cholesterol: 5mg

Sodium: 20mg

Carbohydrates: 5g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Protein: <1g

Recipe #12860©2003Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

Disaster. Didn't hold it's shape. I reviewed the recipe and knew I had a good creamed dough. I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour for the second half of the double batch and had better results. Not a fan of the cornstarchy taste.
Amazing! So good and so easy! Love them!
Amazing cookie. Easy to prepare and a delicious cookie. I had no problems and followed the recipe as given. Thank you for a new favorite.
I followed this recipe to an exact and my cookies just melt in your mouth.

very disappointed - they fell apart!
Test Kitchen Comment


Hi Cathy, sorry to hear you had issues with these cookies. Sometimes shortbread can be a tricky thing - it's important to beat the dough until it fully comes together and isn't crumbly. This can take a while, especially if you're using a hand mixer. We would suggest beating a bit longer until the dough holds together. Hope this helps!
Posted April 06, 2015
I have a key lime tree and wanted to try something other than pie. These cookies were a hit with my family and friends - the entire batch disappeared with people taking them home after a holiday dinner. I watched the timing closely and baked a couple minutes longer - til they were just starting to get brown on the edges. With careful handling, they were fine, and I also froze a second batch, which worked well too.
I've made these a number of times since I have a key lime tree. Always get raves and requests for the recipe.
I'm very surprised at the bad reviews of this recipe. I've made these a few times and they are divine! I use regular limes because key limes are just too expensive but other then that I follow the recipe and they turn out wonderful! My 10 year old love them!
Easy to make. I brought them to a Outlander party and they were a hit. I served the icing on the side for people to drizzle on their cookies. I decreased the cornstarch by half and increased the sugar and flour to compensate.
I make shortbread with rice flour instead of cornstarch, none of that off flavor and gives you plenty of crispy crumble. Love the lime instead of lemon.
As others said, disaster. Crumbled immediately, had a very cornstarchy taste. Flavor otherwise would have been good. I thought about adjusting recipe based on what others said but wanted to try it. They all went in the garbage, and they were meant as holiday basket gifts. Boo!
Test Kitchen Comment


This shortbread cookie is very delicate and crisp. It is very important to have the dry and wet ratio of ingredients at the correct ratio needed. Sometimes just a little more liquid would help the cookie to stick together a little more.
Posted January 09, 2014
I have made this recipe as written and have very good results. I get asked for the recipe whenever I make it. Easy recipe as well. The cookies are more fragile than a chocolate chip but not too fragile. I take them to work and family gatherings with no problems.
After reading about the issues with the cornstarch, I cut the amount in half, making up for the rest with the flour. The cookies turned out to still have a nice texture this way, and although they were still a bit fragile, they didn't break with careful handling. This is a very nice cookie, not too sweet and with good flavor. I made the glaze a little on the thin side, and put in additional lime zest. I found that instead of drizzling or brushing, it was easier to scoop up the glaze with a large spoon and dip the top of the cookie in it, turning to distribute and allowing the bowl to catch any drips. The amount of glaze in the recipe made far too much - I think I have enough left over for a second batch! :)
I've made many dozens of these shortbreads and they are divine. The only time I've had crumbling problems is when the cookies hadn't been cooked quite enough. I returned them to the oven for an extra 3 minutes and they were then perfect. It is important to stand by when baking these, too long in the oven is just as detrimental as not long enough. My cookes are not corn floury in taste and u certainly do not need more sugar or salt. The glaze is what brings out the subtleness of the lime flavour in the cookies.
I work at a school and ever one love them.
I used 2 c flour in lieu of cornstarch(i read the post about the fragile cookies) , increased to 1c powdered and added a tsp of lemon extract. I also left zest our of glaze because it was tart enough. Everyone is begging for more. Great recipe!
I love this recipe. Some people complained about the bland flavor but I wonder if they used poor ingredients. You must use a good quality butter (Land O Lakes is my preferred choice) and fresh key limes is important too. Remember, shortbread is typically not a real sweet cookie. The only alteration I made was to add a little more powered sugar to stiffen to the dough so I could shape it more easily. The glaze is wonderful! I was concerned about the amount of cornstarch but again, these cookies turned out great; texture, the combination of sweet & tart. Great cookie!
I felt the cookies had a corn starchy texture and taste.
I made the cookies ...turmed out just like the directions...very well...
a tip: stay near the cookies dont let them brown dark...they should be light just like the photo...I burnt some of my cookies and the taste does effect it. The glaze turned out fine too.
I followed the recipe except for zesting (Didn't have anything to grate the peels) but the glaze was tart enough to make up for lack of zest. These cookies turned out beautifully - melt-in-your-mouth, easy, and simple prep. The glaze was also easy and incredibly delicious. Big hit with my family! This recipe's a keeper.
The amount of cornstarch causes these cookies to literally disintegrate.
They bake up beautifully but cannot withstand handling. I don't think
Land 'o Lakes tested this recipe before putting it on the website.
Bland -- recipe needs more powdered sugar, a dash of salt, vanilla and more lime or lemon juice.
I think the cookie recipe is much tastier with 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp less cornstarch,
1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 3 tablespoons citrus juice. I would not make the original recipe again.
Easy to make and very tasty.
I liked the concept but the dough wasn't stiff enough to roll, and I thought they came out with a funny, off flavor, probably due to the cornstarch. (Other shortbread recipes I've used don't include that.) I would make the glaze to use on a tastier shortbread cookie, but overall I'm disappointed to have used a whole cup of butter (costing over $3 where I live) on this recipe.
Excellent recipe. Easy to make and delicious.
I thank you for including Gluten Free recipes on your website to help Celiac families like ours.

I think you might be able to add this to your Gluten Free Recipe list if you used 1/2 cup sorghum flour; 1/2 cup millet flour; 1/2 cup tapioca flour in your recipe instead of the general purpose flour.
This is a great cookie...I had to use regular limes though as we don't have key limes available here.
These are very light and tangy sweet. I stuck the raw logs in the freezer for 20 minutes because I am impatient and didn't want to wait 2 hours for them to harden up in the refrigerator. Worked out great and I was snacking on my cookie in less than an hour. Husband said, "wow, these are good cookies!" My 10 year old son wasn't into it at all. He is Mr. Picky though. Great cookie! Thanks!
I have made this cookie three times and they are so good. I gave my co-workers some and they hunted me down for more. I even make them for Christmas.
Made for my husband who is a die hard Key Lime fan. These cookies were melt in your mouth fantastick! Brought to a party, and recieved many compliments. Will make again, but probably in a quadruple batch. YUM
Tis is the most wonderful perfect cookie for any occasion. It has such a nice flavor. I would imagine it would also be tastey using lemon instead of lime.
I am involved in a cookie exchange every year and this is first recipe that I have repeated. They are a great hit with the family. And are very easy to make, seeing I usually make about 10-12 dozen each year.
Great recipe! Makes a tender, delicate cookie. The balance
of the not-to-sweet cookie and the icing makes for a
delicious treat! I have even rolled the dough flat and used
cookie cutters for shapes, etc.
So delicate and light. Subtle flavor in cookie, great tart
punch in glaze! Very important to cut the same size. Will
definitely make again!
I have made this cookie several times. Very easy to make, the flavors are extremely delicious. The second you pop it into your mouth the lime flavors hit and then the taste of butter to finish. I've never had someone say they didn't like this cookie.
Even the nuns next door wanted this recipe when I
dropped off a plate full! Easily a top-ten.
Served them at a cocktail party. Everyone RAVED!!

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