Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies - Elm Tea Leaf Company

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies are buttery and delicate. They are made with loose Earl Grey tea leaves which help balance the richness of these delightful cookies. Serve them with a cup of hot tea or a cup of coffee.

Plate of Earl Grey cookies with teacup of tea and stack of cookies in the back.

This Earl Grey Shortbread Cookie recipe is made by infusing loose tea leaves with butter so the moisture in the butter releases the earthy and bitter flavor of the tea. This makes these cookies unique and delicious. You can drizzle lemon glaze on the tops which adds a combination of sweetness and a balance of tartness to the cookies.

The next time you make cookies as a gift or for a bake sale these shortbread cookies are the ones you need to make. See below how you can wrap them up as a gift or table favor.

You’ll impress your friends and family with your incredible baking skills and they’ll never know how easy they are to make!

Ingredients for Earl Grey cookies

  • Butter
  • Earl Grey tea leaves
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt


Blend the butter and earl grey tea leaves together and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours, longer is fine. If you are running short on time, this step can be skipped and the tea can be added with the powdered sugar. Just note that the flavor may not be as strong.

As you can see there are many types of Earl Grey. Choose your favorite blend to add to your cookies. Who knows you may just create the next award-winning flavor.

7 Different Earl Grey Tea Bags

Once the butter has finished setting. Cream the butter and tea mixture and powdered sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer.

Add in the flour and salt. Continue to mix until a soft dough forms. The mix will be dry and crumbly at first but will come together.

Form a disk with your dough and wrap it in cellophane and place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the butter to harden up and make cutting the cookies easier.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s 1/4-inch thick.
Cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter.

Preheat oven to 350­° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Once the cookies are on the baking sheet, chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will keep the cookies from spreading and keep their shape.

Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 to 17 minutes or until the bottom edges are golden brown in color. The top of the cookie should still look pale.

Once cooled, whisk together the glaze ingredients and dip or drizzle the cookies as desired and place them on wax paper to set or a cooling rack.

Ingredients for Earl Grey Cookies
Earl Grey infused butter
Dough for Cookies
Cut out cookies
Cookies after baking on cookie sheet

Tips for success for Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

If you don’t have loose tea leaves or can’t find them, you can remove the leaves from tea bags and pulse them in a spice blender, food processor or use a pestle and mortar before adding them to the butter.

The recipe doesn’t call for a lemon drizzle, but you can make one using powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Just drizzle over the tops of the cookies or spread it with a knife to make a thin layer. It will take your cookies up a notch.

A fun and pretty option is to dip one side of the cookies in dark chocolate and allow it to set. You’ll have striking tuxedo cookies this way.

How to store

Keep the cookies in an air-tight container or zip-top bag on the counter for up to 3 days.

To freeze the cookies, make sure they are completely cool and then put them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

FAQs for these shortbread cookies

What is the difference between sugar cookies and shortbread cookies?

Most cookies are made with eggs and a chemical leavener, like baking powder. Shortbread doesn’t use either of those and instead uses mainly butter, flour, and powdered sugar.

How do you make shortbread cookies from scratch?

It’s very easy to make these cookies from scratch! Follow the steps in the recipe card below for a full description.

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Items Used in Baking


Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies are buttery and delicate. They are made with loose Earl Grey tea leaves which help balance the richness of these delightful cookies. Serve them with a cup of hot tea or a cup of coffee.


  • 2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter 
  • 2 TBS of Earl Grey Tea 
  • 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract 
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

Optional Drizzle

  • TB of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar


  1. Add 2 TBS of Loose Leaf Earl Grey Tea (or 4 teabags opened up) to softened butter and let sit for up to two hours. This gives the flavors a chance to infuse and blend
  2. Cream Butter, Vanilla Extract and Powdered Sugar in Electric Mixer.
  3. Add Flour and Salt and Beat until dough forms a ball.
  4. Form into a disk and wrap in cellophane.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove Dough and roll out to 1/4" thickness. Use a 2" round cutter.
  7. Place on a Cookie Sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  9. Place Cookie Tray in Refrigerator for an additional 15 minutes. This lets the butter chill so there is less spreading during baking.
  10. Bake 15-17 minutes and check for doneness.
  11. Let cookies cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
  12. Optional: Make the lemon drizzle (by mixing two ingredients to desired consistency) and either dip half the cookie into it, or drizzle back and forth.


Loose Leaf Tea will give the cookies a stronger taste. Using Tea Bags is very subtle.
Leaving the tea to infuse in the butter longer will give it a better flavor.

You can leave out the Vanilla Extract if you choose. It's in there for Vanilla Lovers.

If making lemon drizzle start with a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and a TB of Lemon and adjust for consistency and taste.

Chilling the cookies in between the steps before baking will ensure the cookies don't spread and keep their shape.

Cookies are done when they are pale on the top and have a light golden color on the bottom.

Nutrition Information
Yield 18 Serving Size 2
Amount Per Serving Calories 165Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 27mgSodium 67mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 0gSugar 6gProtein 2g
Stack of cookies in cellophane bag.
Earl Grey Cookies

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