Vanilla Citrus Sandwich Cookies

Vanilla citrus sandwich cookies are the ideal spring treat! Sweet and buttery, with the perfect balance of rich vanilla and bright citrus, you’ll love these golden shortbread cookies filled with citrus buttercream.

Vanilla Citrus Sandwich Cookies

With a double dose of citrus in both the shortbread cookie and the buttercream filling, the vibrant sandwich cookies are the ideal canvas for your favorite citrus flavors (I used a blend of Meyer lemon and tangerine zest, free free to use any blend of citrus you love).

Vanilla Citrus Sandwich Cookies

Topped with a generous sprinkling of sugar, pack a platter of these cookies for your next picnic and enjoy!

Vanilla Citrus Sandwich Cookies
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Vanilla Citrus Sandwich Cookies

Vanilla Citrus Sandwich Cookies

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes (includes chilling time)
  • Yield: 16 sandwich cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Vanilla citrus sandwich cookies make the best treat! Sweet and buttery, you’ll love these golden shortbread cookies filled with citrus buttercream.



  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 1 Tbsp citrus zest
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (for sprinkling)


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp citrus zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp citrus juice


  1. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until combined; add vanilla bean paste, citrus zest, and salt and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour just until incorporated and dough begins to come together in large pieces. Scrape dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and wrap well. Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough to just shy of 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured board. Use a floured 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter to cut out cookies. Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut until you have a total of 32 cookies. Place cookies on baking sheets, sprinkle with sugar, and chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 14 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden and edges are set. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. For the filling, combine butter, salt, citrus zest, and vanilla in a mixer bowl until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and citrus juice on low speed until incorporated, then on medium speed until light and airy. Transfer filling to a piping bag.
  5. To assemble the sandwich cookies, pipe about a tablespoon of filling in the center of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to adhere. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.


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Keywords: Vanilla, Citrus, Shortbread, Sandwich Cookie

Vanilla Citrus Sandwich Cookies

More sandwich cookies you’ll love:

Funfetti Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
Berry Cream Sandwich Cookies
Strawberry Cream Sandwich Cookies

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  1. I want to make these and substitute fiori de Sicilia in place of the vanilla..I think they would become even lovelier! Have you tried that?

  2. There are no liquids in this other than butter and vanilla. Am I reading that correctly? My dough is very dry and not sticking together. Also, when do I add in the citrus juice for the buttercream? It doesn’t say in the instructions. Thanks!

    1. Hi Desiree! That’s right – the cookies are a shortbread dough, so just the butter and vanilla. The butter should be at room temperature before starting. If you’re having trouble bringing the dough together, you can add a tablespoon or two of milk or heavy cream. The citrus juice is added to the buttercream in Step 4. Hope that helps! 🙂

    1. Hi Carolyn, yes you can freeze these cookies. After they’re assembled, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze them for 1 hour, then transfer to a freezer bag. Let them thaw at room temperature before serving.

  3. Oh Laura, another amazing lemon recipe – my favourite flavour of all!