Earl Grey Shortbread – A twist on a traditional favourite

Creating this recipe has truly been a work of love.

Part of our Christmas Traditions is to enjoy fresh, slightly warm, shortbread. For many years I used a Shortbread recipe from a highschool cooking class. When I was still working in the office, including project offices on large infrastructure projects, I would make shortbread and leave the cookies in a golden sleigh, for my colleagues to enjoy.

One of my former colleagues introduced the idea to add Chai Tea, to shortbread.  The idea of Chai Shortbread was much better than my end result;  so I started playing in the kitchen with a variety of different good quality Earl Grey teas.

I am so blessed to have a collection of tasters who have been part of the “Quality Team” as this recipe has evolved.

Thank you from the Denman Island Tea Company. Featuring recipes created by Sharon K. SummerfieldIn my search for a good quality Earl Grey I wanted a tea with a pronounced Bergamot flavour.  It was important to find a tea with the oil and not just the flavouring.  I started experimenting with many organic teas.  My Dad who worked for Murchies Tea and Coffee, for many years, was a key resource in searching out these teas.

I was delighted when I discovered the Cream of Earl Grey from The Denman Island Tea Company, on Denman Island, BC.  This is a small and local business that understands customer service.  When I received my first order they shared a handwritten thank you note and have continued to do so with each individual order.

As this recipe evolved I started to add orange zest to the Cream of Earl Grey and let this sit in the room temperature butter for several hours.  As the final product came together the gorgeous flavours of Bergamot and orange zest were celebrated in each bite.  This tasty shortbread is a beautiful combination of both tea and shortbread and a great addition to any luncheon or afternoon tea.

“Our Cream Earl Grey is indeed one of the most unique. Butter cream & bourbon vanilla float under a satin sheet of fresh citrus, while the rich estate black teas cover all like a warm fleece blanket.”  The Denman Island Tea Company

A few years ago I had the opportunity to participate in The ReKnew Countertop Cookbook.  My recipe for Earl Grey Gluten-Free Shortbread is included on December 13th, in the festive section.

Earl Grey Gluten-Free Shortbread

Recipe by:  Sharon K. Summerfield

Gluten Free Earl Grey Shortbread pdf


  • 1/4 cup organic Earl Grey Loose Tea*
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 2 tbsps orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Blended Flour*
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar

*I like the Denman Island Tea Company Cream of Earl Grey and the Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend.


  1. Place tea in a bullet or coffee grinder and blend the tea leave so they are a finer texture.
  2. Mix the tea, butter and orange zest.  Let this sit for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. Mix all ingredients together with a good quality mixer.
  4. Using gluten-free flour, take small handfuls of batter and knead the batter until it is no longer sticky.
  5. Roll batter on a floured surface.  Cut your cookies with your favourite cookie cutters.
  6. Place the cut out cookies on a prepared baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.  The shortbread should be a light golden colour.
  7. Once cookies are golden brown, remove from oven and cool on rack.
  8. I like to keep my cookies in the freezer.  This recipe makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies, dependent on the size of your cookies.

We hope you enjoy this recipe as an addition to your festive celebrations.  Wishing you the best of the season.

Be kind. Be patient.  Take good care.

Be nourished in all you do.


Photography Sharon K. Summerfield


Photo of Sharon K. SummerfieldAt The Nourished Executive we help leaders invest in wellbeing, with a holistic lens, to prevent burnout.

Our founder, Sharon K. Summerfield,  is a Wellbeing Coach,  Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Smart Growth Advisor, with demonstrated success in nurturing healthy employees and high performing organizations. 

We have a strong commitment to giving back, investing in local community creating space for all students to consider careers in construction, science, technology, engineering and math.



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