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Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread

4.5 stars, average of 21 ratings

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I’ve been playing around with native Australian ingredients lately. I’m amazed at the diversity and range of native spices that I can access that I never knew existed. If you can get your hands on some, try them out for yourselves, it’s a lot of fun!

 Lemon Myrtle has a fresh lemon and herb flavour. If you can’t get hold of any, substitute it with fresh lemon zest and fresh thyme for a very similar flavour profile.

I had a friend challenge me to create an “everything free” shortbread recipe lately and then she said that Lemon Myrtle was amazing in shortbread.

Right. If you know me, you know that I love a challenge. I had a fabulous tried-and-true low carb shortbread recipe, but it used butter. I decided to substitute the butter with coconut oil and then played around with the amounts until I was happy with the end result.

They’re not the prettiest shortbread you’ll ever see, but they taste incredible and have a lovely crumbly mouthfeel.

I’m now working on a Chocolate and  Wattleseed version, so stay tuned! Enjoy.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size shortbread cookie

Allergy information for Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free

Nutritional values (per serving, shortbread cookie)

Net carbs1 grams
Protein1.9 grams
Fat9.7 grams
Calories98 kcal
Calories from carbs 4%, protein 8%, fat 88%
Total carbs1.9 gramsFiber0.9 gramsSugars0.6 gramsSaturated fat4.5 gramsSodium2 mg(0% RDA)Magnesium24 mg(6% RDA)Potassium60 mg(3% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 22 shortbread cookies)


  1. Place the coconut oil in a heat proof jug and melt in the microwave. Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread
  2. Combine all of your dry ingredients into a bowl. Pour the coconut oil into the ingredients and mix well to combine. Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread
  3. Lay a sheet of cling film out on your work surface and place the shortbread mixture on it. This mixture is still quite crumbly at this point, so don’t panic.
  4. Very carefully, using the cling wrap to assist you, bring the dough together to form a brick or a round log. Place in the refrigerator for two hours until very firm. Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread
  5. Preheat the oven to 160 °C/ 320 °F (fan assisted), or 180 °C/ 355 °F (conventional). Unwrap the dough and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 5-10 mm slices. If your dough is still too crumbly, try placing it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. I know this seems fiddly, but trust me it’s worth it. Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread
  6. Place slices on a lined baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until browned. The shortbread will crisp up as it cools, so don’t be upset when you take it out of the oven and it’s still very soft. Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread
  7. When done, leave it to cool on the try for a little while and then transfer to a cooling rack. Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week, or freeze for up to 6 months. Low-Carb Lemon Myrtle Shortbread

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, shortbread cookie)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Almond flour (blanched ground almonds, almond meal)
0.8 g1.9 g4.8 g54 kcal
Erythritol (natural low-carb sweetener)
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Coconut oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g4.9 g44 kcal
Lemon zest (peel), fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Thyme, fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, shortbread cookie
1 g1.9 g9.7 g98 kcal

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Naomi Sherman
Creator of

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (10)

Hi Martina...any tips to make it crunchy and crispy?  Would adding some whey protein isolate help make is crispier? I also have a dough with the recommended amount of butter sometimes comes out wet and greasy. Given that almond flour is quite fatty ( almost 50%)  can I reduce the amount of butter in the shortbread? The non keto version of the same adheres to 2:1 ratio of flour and butter because regular flour is Low in fat. Your thoughts?

Hi Sonia, sorry for not catching this comment sooner! These are like biscotti so when you bake/dehydrate them, they become crispy. I wouldn't reduce the amount of oil used but it depends on the almond flour too. I noticed that some brands are more fine/less fatty than others. What we used is ground almonds which are quite fatty.
Another idea: I've had great results with flax meal. It will also make these cookies less crumbly. They are very absorbent and you will need to add some water to the dough. I can't give you exact amounts though - I'd need to try that. (I'd start with 1/4 cup flax meal and 1/2 to 3/4 cup water). Bake them at a very low temperature (130 C fan forced/ 150 C conventional or even less) until crispy (this can take up to an hour).

Thanks for getting back I add the recommended amount of flaxmeal and water to the rest of the ingredients? What about I need to add More?

That depends on how sweet you like them so you could add 2-4 just to keep the same sweetness. The truth is that Erythritol based sweeteners will also help this shortbread crisp up. Just give it several hours after baking and they will crisp up. They may be quite fragile fresh from the oven so it's best to let them cool down, undisturbed, ideally overnight.
I forgot to comment on the whey protein powder. That may also help because that will essentially replace the missing gluten, and again help the texture so they are less crumbly.

Please indicate alternatives to erithrytol. I find this gives me an upset stomach. If I am to use liquid stevia or powdered stevia, what would the quantities be? I love shortbread!

Hi Alexa, you can try stevia or monk fruit sweetener but I'm not sure how this will affect the texture. You might need to use 1-2 tablespoons of flax meal (plus 3 tbsp water per tbsp of flax meal) . It depends on the sweetener and what it's mixed with (be careful as some are a blend of erythritol and stevia/monk fruit). Other than that, use it to taste - start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste.

Delicious, but disastrous! However carefully I froze it I couldn't cut it into neat slices like yours, so after baking a load of chunks of lemon shortbread, I melted the remainder again and pressed it into some ring moulds and baked that way - perfect! Thanks for delicious and simple recipe. It'll be even quicker next time as I'll just use the moulds. I may even use my heart sweet-moulds for mini biscuits.

Hi Beverley, I haven't tried these cookies but I have some tips that may help. Try one of the following alterations (applies to recipes that are difficult to roll out):
1) substitute part for the almond flour with flax meal (add a splash of water if needed for the consistency)
2) add 1 tablespoon of psyllium powder (again, add a splash of water for consistency)
3) use 1 egg and reduce the amount of melted butter by 1/4-1/3 cup
I hope this helps!

Thanks Martina - I'll try one of those next time. They're still very tasty!

So next time I just pressed it into a tin and marked it like ordinary shortbread. Perfect. And didn't crumble when cut. Lovely recipe - so quick!