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Shortbread Tea Cookies For Your Next Tea Party

Learn how to make delicious shortbread tea cookies using some basic ingredients you probably already have on hand. These tea biscuits are good with tea (of course) but also coffee or ice cream!

Shortbread Tea Cookies

I come from a family of five children and we’re all very close. I think that’s what happens when you grow up in a large family and you have to come up with a lot of activities on your own!

My parents were good about encouraging imagination and creativity (and maybe they just wanted some alone time?) so we spent a lot of time doing crafts, playing games, baking, and more. I pretty much had my Home Economics degree by the time I was 10!

One thing we loved to do as children was set up a tea party. My mom would let us bake a very simple shortbread cookie recipe as part of our party. I’m not sure that they tasted very good in actually, but I have the fondest memories of those tea cookies!!

We always paired our tea biscuits with a delicious tea beverage and we’d dress up to attend. We’d pick different names each time and use different accents . . . we’d crack each other up! It was so fun pretending to be someone else from a different time. Ah – being a kid.

Black tea cookies

My niece Maria is finally at the age where she can start baking and I decided to was time for us to make tea cookies – though this time I created a new recipe from scratch and added a special ingredient: Lipton Iced Tea!

Yes, not only are these tea cookies, but there is actual tea in the cookies. They are delish. Although they are technically tea shortbread cookies, they’re also great with coffee. So don’t limit yourself.

You’ll infuse the cookies with vanilla to add that perfect touch to the recipe. You’ll love the rich taste and sweet flavor!

Note: while this is a great summer recipe, it’s also perfect for Christmas. Think cookie exchange recipe! You can use holiday tea, and they make a great gift.

vanilla, confectioner's sugar, flour, two sticks of butter, sugar, and tea

Shortbread Tea Cookie Recipe


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large or 2 small bags of Lipton Iced Tea
  • 1/4 cup decorator’s sugar (optional)

Tips and tricks for this recipe:

  • Don’t skip chilling the dough, however tempted you are. With shortbread cookies it is particularly important because the butter firms up. Then when they are baking, it slowly melts. Your cookies will turn out light and flaky, with less spreading.
  • Cold ingredients should be at room temperature (in this case, butter) but don’t leave out too long. You want the butter softened but not melted.
  • Let your pan cool between batches of cookies (it helps to have two pans in rotation). This keeps the cookies from spreading a lot.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar together separately makes sure they really incorporate before adding to other ingredients. It prevents over mixing because you can’t overbeat the butter and sugar!
  • If the shortbread dough feels dry when you pull it out of the fridge to form cookies, add one or two teaspoons of water until you can work with it.
  • swear by USA Pans. They are my absolutely favorite and cook baked items so evenly.
  • Check the cookies regularly through the baking process and go by how they look versus the time on the recipe. The edges should be golden brown and set.
  • These cookies should stay fresh for approximately five days at room temperature after baking. You can store them in the fridge for a bit longer, and freeze them up to three months.

Since these cookies are made to go with tea, I’ll give you my vanilla tea recipe as well. You can make it hot or cold.

Vanilla Black Tea


  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 bags, Lipton Black Tea – Family Sized
  • 2 -3 tbsp vanilla syrup
  • 6 cups ice cubes


  1. Place 4 cups of boiling water over two tea bags in a heatproof pitcher.
  2. Brew 3 – 5 minutes and then remove the tea bags.
  3. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of vanilla syrup, depending on the sweetness you prefer.
  4. Stir in 6 cups of ice cubes until melted and then refrigerate.
  5. Pour into glasses with ice.
tea cookies recipe

I’m IN LOVE with this tea biscuits recipe! I’m going to have a tea party with my little niece and teach her this family tradition (that her father used to participate in!) and I’m going to give the rest of the tea cookies away to my neighbors as gifts.

Get the printable recipe below.

Yield: 24 cookies

Shortbread Tea Cookies


Learn how to make delicious shortbread tea cookies using some basic ingredients you probably already have on hand. These tea biscuits are good with tea (of course) but also coffee or ice cream!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 small bags of Lipton Iced Tea
  • 1/4 cup decorator's sugar (optional)


  1. Add dry ingredients (except the decorator's sugar) to a large bowl and mix. Cut open the teabag(s) and add in. Combine thoroughly.
  2. In a stand mixture with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and mix.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients from the large bowl into your stand mixture with the paddle going. It will be dry and crumbly at first but then it will moisten and come together. Mix until just combined and do not overbeat.
  5. Form the dough into a circular log and roll in decorator's sugar if you like. Cover with wax paper.
  6. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes but preferably an hour. You can chill for up to 24 hours.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Slice the tea biscuits log into 1/4 inch cookies and place on your cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Leave for a few minutes and move to a cookie rack to let cool completely.


Note: if your cookie dough seems dry and is just getting caught on the stand mixer attachment, you can bring it out of the bowl and hand mix it. Sometimes that's just easier!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

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Thanks for checking out my tea cookies recipe! I’m thinking you might want to also try these delicious cookie recipes:

Almond Flour ShortbreadApple PieApricot Dark ChocolateBacon Chocolate ChipBrownie Chocolate ChipBuckeyeButterscotch Chocolate ChipButterscotch PopcornCaramel AppleChocolate Chip (Air Fryer)Chocolate Chip PuddingChocolate Chip SandwichChocolate CrinklesChocolate MarshmallowChocolate Mint SandwichChocolate ThumbprintChristmas ButterChristmas LinzerCircus AnimalCotton CandyEaster M&MFunfettiGinger MolassesHeath BarLemon Blueberry ThumbprintLemon Cream CheeseLemon ShortbreadNutella StuffedOatmeal Chocolate ChipPaleo ShortbreadPeanut Butter BlossomsPeppermint FrostedPeppermint PuddingRed Velvet ThumbprintReese’s PiecesRitz S’moresRoloSnickersJam Thumbprints (Classic)VanillaWhite Chocolate CranberryWhite Chocolate Snickerdoodles


Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Great recipe of shortbread tea cookies, definitely gonna give a try.

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