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Rose, Cardamom and Lemon Zest Cookies

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Beautiful and flavourful with a texture that melts in your mouth, these cookies are a treat to the senses. We all know rose and cardamom are a match made in heaven already, but with the addition of bright and grounding lemon zest, the entire flavour profile seems complete. I love adding citrus to florals because it enhances their flavour. Weather you are baking for Diwali, Christmas, or just for a delicious treat to share, these easy to make cookies are the perfect choice for those who want to add a touch of elegance to their baking repertoire.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 8-10 minutes per batch

Total time: 1 hour

Rose Cardamom and Lemon Zest cookies
Rose Cardamom and Lemon Zest cookies

With the festive seasons of Diwali and Christmas upon us, I cannot think of a better recipe to share than this one! It is bursting with flavour, easy to make and is so beautiful. It has made it to our 'must bake every year' list!

If you are preparing for Diwali and can bake cookies without a problem but the thought of making Barfi or Gulab Jambun feels daunting, then you have found the right recipe for you! These cookies taste just like Gulab Jambun with the texture of a cookie. A proud invention on my part I must add (pat on the back!) They also don't contain egg so if you want to eat them on Diwali and you know you need to stay vegetarian, you can rest assured these cookies will play their part in looking beautiful and deliciously ready to be devoured on that day.

If you are baking for Christmas and your usual recipes are getting old or you want to impress your family with a surprisingly delicious and different cookie, this ones for you so look no further! I can almost guarantee there will be a look of surprise in anyone who has been gifted these for Christmas.

Before we dive into the recipe, let's explore what makes these cookies stand out from the rest. Each ingredient in this recipe plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious blend of flavours:

1. Rose Essence: The subtle and sophisticated floral essence of rose brings a touch of elegance to these cookies. It's a flavour that's both timeless and unique.

2. Cardamom: This aromatic spice is my favourite and lends a warm, slightly earthy note to the cookies. It compliments the rose essence beautifully and adds depth to the flavour profile.

3. Lemon Zest: The fresh and zesty burst of lemon zest brightens up the cookies, balancing the other flavours and providing a refreshing citrus twist.

Now, let's get to the fun part – making these delightful cookies.

Rose CardRose Cardamom and Lemon Zest cookiesamom and Lemon Zest cookies
Rose Cardamom and Lemon Zest cookies

Rose, Cardamom and Lemon Zest Cookies

Prep time

30 mins

Bake time

10 mins per batch

Total time

1 hour



Cookie ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon crushed cardamom

1/2 teaspoon rose essence

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 tsp lemon zest

2 cups and 2 tbsp all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Icing ingredients

1 cup water

2/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

2 teaspoons meringue powder (optional but highly recommended)

1 inch cinnamon stick

7-8 cardamom pods smashed

1 tsp rose essence

1 cup icing sugar


2 tablespoons dried rose petals

1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachio's


  1. In a bowl, beat the sugar and butter until creamy, around two 2 minutes using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer or a hand mixer.

  2. Add the vanilla essence rose essence and lemon zest and beat again until combined.

  3. Pour in the flour and baking powder and bring the mixture together to form a dough.

  4. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes and at most 8 hours.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper..

  6. Cut the cookie dough into 4 equal pieces, working with 1 at a time (put the rest int he fridge). On a floured surface, knead the dough until it is workable but not too soft. Roll out and carefully cut the cookies using yoru desired cookie cuter. I used a snowflake cookie cutter. Place the cookies on a tray and repeat fior the rest of the cookie dough.

  7. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until the base of the cookie is ever so slightly golden. Note that the cookies will continue to brown on the tray so don't leave them in the oven too long! Allow the cookies to cool.

  8. For the icing, mix all the ingredients besides the icing sugar together in a small pot. Turn on the heat to medium and head the mixture until it comes to a simmer. Turn the heat tp medium low and simmer for 8-10 minutes until a runny syrup is formed.

  9. In a small bowl, add 9 tablespoons of the syrup to the icing sugar and mix with a small whisk until you get a runny icing, if it is not rummy enough add more of the suga syrup. At this point you can also add white food colouring if you have it to enhance thee colour, this is not necessary however! Now pour the icing into a small and narrow cup so it's easier to dip the cookies.

  10. Dip half of the cookie into the icing and place it on a parchment paper, then sprinkle the chopped pistachios and fried rose petals over the top. Repeat for all the cookies.

  11. Allow the cookies to dry for atleast 2 hours or until the feel the icing and it is no longer soft. Store in an air tight container and get ready to enjoy the compliments as they come flooding in, deservingly so!


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