August 8, 2018

Cinnamon basil shortbread cookies

Platter of cinnamon basil shortbread cookies.

Sweet buttery shortbread cookies are infused with fresh cinnamon basil for a unique cookie. These cookies are a fun way to enjoy and highlight this fresh garden herb.

A lot of people see these cookies and think they are made with Italian basil plus cinnamon, but they are actually made with an herb called cinnamon basil. It's a pretty herb that reminds me of Thai basil or Holy basil. 

Cinnamon basil has a purple stem with green leaves. and it gets a purple flower later in the season. Its leaves are sweet and warm, and they definitely have a bit of cinnamon flavor to them. I added just a touch of Ceylon cinnamon to these cookies to enhance that warm flavor from the fresh herb. 

I like to try out some unique and different herbs in my herb garden each year and cinnamon basil is a favorite. I also like pineapple sage. If you see one and have the space in your garden, give it a try!

I love to include herbs in both sweet and savory dishes and meals. Shortbread cookies are an easy way to really highlight the flavors of an herb like this. The cookies are light and sweet and they allow the herb flavor to really shine.

Take my word for it - these cookies are delicious. And I mean it fully. They were like nothing we've ever tasted before. The flavor of the herb is so unique and works so well in a sweet application. My husband was floored by them - a simple shortbread, but filled with a sweet, delicate, slightly cinnamony flavor with a hint of herby basil taste. 

Plus these shortbread cookies smell so good! The aroma of fresh herbs and the aroma of buttery shortbread make for a lovely treat.

Cinnamon basil shortbread cookies on a place with a bite out of one cookie.

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Yield: 12-14 cookies

Cinnamon Basil Shortbread Cookies

Sweet buttery shortbread cookies are infused with fresh cinnamon basil for a unique cookie.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed cinnamon basil leaves, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Ceylon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour


How to cook Cinnamon Basil Shortbread Cookies

  1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the basil until well-combined. Mix in the salt through vanilla and then slowly mix in the flour until combined.
  2. Turn the dough onto a couple large sheets of plastic wrap. The dough will be crumbly as shortbread is. Try to bring the dough together and use the plastic wrap to form it into a log about 2.5-3 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough tightly and refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight (I like to refrigerate longer to let the flavors really permeate the dough).
  3. When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Slice the cookies into about 1/4-inch disks. If they fall apart or crumble a little, just use your hands to reshape. I like to cut off the ends and then roll them with any crumbs of dough and flatten into disk shapes for a couple extra cookies.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are just lightly golden. Let cool on the baking sheet for another couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I hope you give these cinnamon basil shortbread cookies a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Close-up of cinnamon basil shotbread cookies with some fresh herbs.

Check out these other shortbread cookie recipes: 

Honey Dandelion Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate-dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

Rosemary Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies 

Pistachio-Orange-Cardamom Shortbread Bars


  1. What a fun and creative cookie recipe! Wish I could grab one right now!

  2. Your cookies look great! I love shortbread cookies, but haven't heard of cinnamon basil. I will have to check it out, sounds good! Thanks!

  3. LOVE shortbread! And we have a ton of basil in our garden at the moment, so your timing with this recipe is perfect. Thanks!

  4. i'll have to look for cinnamon basil. sounds so unique!

  5. Cinnamon basil sounds so interesting - love this twist on traditional shortbread!

  6. That sounds like an yummy and interesting combo! I'll have to give them a try!

  7. I haven't tried cinnamon basil, but these look/sound super delicious! Will have to try them soon!


  8. I've never heard of cinnamon basil before - it sounds like a super interesting taste. This sounds like a great way to try it!

  9. What an interesting combo. I'll have to try that out.

  10. I don't think I've ever tried a savory shortbread, but I'm so curious to give cinnamon basil a tastes. It sounds like such a unique flavor profile.

  11. This is so unique- I bet your kitchen smelled awesome!

  12. I have never heard of a cinnamon basil combination before. What an interesting combination. I love both, so it would make sense to combine them.

  13. Such an interesting combo....I would have never thought of cinnamon and basil, but these sound delicious! PINNED!

  14. i need to obtain some cinnamon basil next year, for sure! what a great and unique way to use it!

  15. Making these now. At what point do you add the cinnamon?

    1. In the first step you add the salt through vanilla (which includes cinnamon. Enjoy!

  16. Could dried cinnamon basil be used instead of fresh?

    1. I don't see why not! I'd use less though as dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor.

    2. These cookies were delicious! At first I was unsure about putting all of that basil in, but the flavour was perfect! So unique! Fyi used the fresh cinnamon basil but I will definitely try it with dried once I harvest and dry the rest of the basil in my garden.

    3. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed them! Thank you and I hope the dried works well, too.

  17. Jennifer StewartJune 28, 2021 at 5:11 PM

    Love a good savory shortbread cookie. Fantastic flavor combination.

  18. Shortbread of any flavor is my favorite. So crumbly and delicious. Can't wait to try these.

  19. I have some basil that is calling my name! I am so excited to try this flavor combo! Sounds so tasty!

  20. I love shortbread cookies and your flavors sound amazing! Pass me a plate and I'll put on the coffee.

  21. I'm all about baking with herbs it gives them such a unique flavor!

  22. I have a pretty great basil crop right now in my redneck gutter I think I might just have to give these a try!

  23. These sound wonderful! I have never heard of cinnamon basil before but now I want to plant some!

  24. I just made these and they turned out great! My partner grows cinnamon-basil and I'm always looking for different ways to use it. (We often make a tea with it - using black tea, vanilla, and lemon). I followed the recipe as-is, chilled my dough for about 2-3hrs, and baked for 11mins :)

  25. I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks so much for the comment!


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