Thyme & Lemon Shortbread | Vegful | Nadia Lim

These shortbread are buttery, delicate, crumbly and crisp and spiked with lemon and thyme. Read the tips below for making the perfect shortbread.


  • 175g plain flour
  • 1⁄3 cup caster sugar
  • 75g fine polenta or semolina
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2–3 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 175g cold butter, cubed (see tip)


  • The temperature of the butter is key — it must be cool or cold, not softened or melted, in order to get a flaky-textured shortbread.
  • Avoid overmixing as it will result in a tough dough.
  • It can help to put the (uncooked) shortbread in the fridge for about 15 minutes before baking to help create a crisp texture.

Serves: 6
Cook time: 20–25 Minutes

Recipes from Vegful by Nadia Lim. Available now.


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Combine flour, caster sugar, polenta/semolina, egg yolk, lemon zest and thyme in a large bowl. Add butter and use your fingertips to gently rub it in until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Bring dough together with your hands and shape into two balls. Wrap balls in clingfilm and refrigerate for five minutes to firm up a little.
  4. On a clean, dry, lightly floured surface, roll a ball of dough out to 0.5–0.75cm thickness. Use a cookie cutter (approximately 6cm diameter) to cut into rounds. Whilst quite delicate to work with, shortbread dough is very forgiving. So, if the mixture starts crumbling or breaking up, don’t fret as you can just press and patch it back together with your fingers — you can even add leftover bits of dough to help patch up cracked bits!
  5. Transfer to the prepared trays with the help of a metal fish slice or edge of a knife. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until shortbread is light golden around the edges. Swap the trays around halfway through cook time, so that the batches cook evenly.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes. Gently transfer shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely and let them crisp up. Store in an airtight container or cake tin — they will keep for a few weeks if they don’t get gobbled up before!