Rose Scented Shortbread

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This Rose Scented Shortbread has a delicate floral scent that’s perfect with a cup of tea. I first made these delicious cookies for a wedding.

Rose-scented shortbread. Perfect for tea time!

It wasn’t the first marriage for either the bride or groom. In fact, both of them are in their 80s. At 82, my mom is got re-married after being widowed for over 3 years. She’s married an “older” gentleman of 85. But you’d never guess by looking at either of them. Mom is planning on retiring from her full-time job as a psychologist, and will finally “settle down”. But, I suspect neither one will sitting back and knitting or whittling though. (As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)

Rose-scented shortbread. Perfect for tea time!

It was a simple gathering of immediate family. We celebrated with a luncheon and homemade cake by the bride. I wanted to make a little something to place at each place setting, so I decided on rose scented shortbread, with just a hint of floral overtones. Shortbread is my favorite cookie of all time.

Unpretentious, shortbread has to be the perfect cookie in its simplicity of ingredients. Just flour, butter and sugar come together to make melt-in-your-mouth crumbly perfection. Add just one more ingredient, say an egg, and you no longer have shortbread. Because there are only a few ingredients, this is the time to splurge on the very best butter you can afford. You’ll taste the difference!

Rose-scented shortbread. Perfect for tea time!

Because I love shortbread so much, I’ve gotten wild and crazy with it, and added Lavender, switched the sugar, and made Brown Sugar Walnut Shortbread. And I’ve even taken it the savory direction, and made Rosemary Cheddar Shortbreadwhich is the perfect nibble for a cocktail party. Don’t be frightened away by the “rose”. This shortbread is delicate in both texture and flavor.

Rose-scented shortbread. Perfect for tea time!

Baking with Rose Petals

Culinary rose petals add just a hint of color and texture and rose water just a slight floral overtone without over-powering the cookie. They’re also delicious in these meringues as one of the components of Eton Mess.

I used a heart-shaped cutter, but you can also cut it into the more traditional rectangles as well. I made a few changes to my original shortbread recipe, which also has step-by-step photos.

Rose-scented shortbread. Perfect for tea time!
Sprinkle warm shortbread with rose petal sugar.

Make sure you purchase culinary rose petals which are safe for consumption. I purchased mine at Cost Plus World Market, but you can also find them here, as well as the rose water.  

Rose Scented Shortbread make a gift

A sweet gift for a bridal or baby shower or wedding. I put one cookie in a cellophane bag tied with pale pink ribbon. If you’re looking for more rose scented desserts, these gorgeous Raspberry Macarons with rose water would be a lovely addition to a bridal or baby shower dessert tray.

Raspberry macarons.

rose shortbread

Rose Scented Shortbread

Delicate Rose Scented Shortbread is perfect with a cup of tea! If using a scalloped cookie cutter, chill both before cutting, and before baking to help the cookies retain their shape.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine English
Servings 24
Calories 120 kcal



  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add sugar and rose water, and rose petals, scraping down sides.
  • Mix flour and salt together. Add flour all at once, and mix just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  • Using your hands, pat into a cookie sheet, or use a rolling pin and roll to about 1/2" thick. If using a cookie cutter, chill dough about 30 minutes, until firm, so it will hold its shape.
  • Cut out shapes and place on cookie sheet. Chill again until firm.
  • Bake at 300 degrees F. for about 20-25 minutes, until pale and barely golden. Check at 18-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with rose sugar if desired. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • To make rose sugar, put 2 Tablespoons sugar in food processor with 2 teaspoons rose petals. Pulse until petals are finely chopped.
  • Store shortbread in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 1gCalories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 122mgPotassium: 13mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 236IUCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Rose Scented Shortbread
This Rose-Scented Shortbread has delicate floral overtones and is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.


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  1. These are stunnnnning. And congratulations to your mom! These cookies reminded me of when I was first cooking for friends, before I officially catered, and for my girlfriend’s wedding I made rose cookies with a sugar cookie refrigerator type dough. But the rose leaves were rolled into the dough log, so when the cookies were cut you could see the rose petals. They were so pretty! I love your rose and sugar combo, tho.

  2. What a gorgeous idea to add these beautiful rose hearts as place settings, Cynthia. They sound absolutely delicious. Congratulations to you Mum! And good on her for “settling down” finally after her job. She sounds so full of life!

  3. 5 stars
    These are my new favorite. A perfect combo of sweet, salty, and floral. I did do the rose sugar on top and they are very pretty. So happy I found this recipe!

    1. It was about 2 inches by 2 1/2″. You can use any size cookie cutter…just bear in mind the thickness of the dough. The thicker the dough, the longer you’ll need to bake it. I judge by the edges.

  4. I suppose you could reduce it a little bit, but salt is important in any baked good as it balances the sweet and actually makes it sweeter. I haven’t heard anyone say that they were “caramel” tasting! I’m surprised as they are a delicately floral cookie. I do have a brown butter shortbread cookie that’s dipped in caramel too!

  5. 4 stars
    Hi I love this recipe however found it to salty. 1 1/4 teaspoon of salt is what it says and I double checked thinking it was me misreading. I ended up have to make another half batch and mix the two together to cut down on the salt. Is it suppose to be 1/4 teaspoon not 1 1/4?
    All in all wonderful simple recipe!

    1. I am so sorry! You are correct. I must have doubled the amount. It should be 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. But please make sure you are only using kosher salt as table salt is too salty.
      Thank you for bringing the error to my attention.

4.88 from 8 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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