Life. Love. Food

Lemon and Iliki Short Bread Cookies

I love baking things that do not involve too much effort. Reason is simple- my baking game is the weakest thing on earth. But this year, I want to work on it. And for that, I am starting with the easy ones, whose technique I understand and whose ingredients are few- but kama kawa, with a twist of my own. Short bread cookies are stupid easy, and trust me when I say, if I can make them, so can you!
I felt very at peace making them, the process is short and simple, but the twist I added was using lemon zest and my favorite warm spice iliki. For some weird reason, on this day, I wished I was making them with my children. I do not know what was making me so broody while filming lol! Maybe the cuteness of the cookies? Maybe the inviting aroma? Maybe their unforgettable taste that I felt kiddies would enjoy? I don’t know. But what is for sure is, you too will love this recipe, enjoy baking my short bread cookies and eating them too.

PREP TIME: 40 Min    COOK TIME: 10 Min         MAKES: 20


2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of iliki (cardamom)
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract


I decided to use whole iliki for this. First step is to crack the pods open, and toasting the black seeds on an ungreased pan for about a minute. I then crushed them and set aside for use. Whole iliki is in any supermarket. They used to retail at 60 bob, but nowadays they cost about 300 bob a pack. But you can also purchase already ground cardamom for this recipe.

In your bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, iliki and lemon zest.

Once combined, add the flour bit by bit. It will at first look crumbly, but after further kneading, it will become a uniform ball. It will be soft, but rollable.

Divide the dough in two, roll it out about 1/4 inch thick on baking sheet, then place it in your fridge for about 30 minutes. We let the dough set for 30 minutes so that the shape of the cookies holds, and so that shaping them with your cutter is easier. I know Kenyans love short cuts, but please DO NOT skip this step. You need to set the dough if you want everything to be perfect in the end.

The short bread cookie dough set, but DO NOT let it freeze. After the time has lapsed, remove it from the fridge, cut out your cookies. I bought my cookie cutters from CarreFour for 400 bob a set, but you can use anything, even the rim of a glass- to cut out your cookies.

How cute do they look though?!

Once done, place them in your 190 degree preheated oven.

They should be lightly brown (mine nearly burnt- do not be like Kaluhi!!), and after 10 minutes, they will be ready. Rahisi, sindio?

How adorable do these look!!! I love them so much because they are perfect all year round. Now that it is still so hot, they would be perfect with some cold milk, and when the weather gets abit cooler, my lemon zest and iliki short bread cookies would be perfect with hot tea/coffee.

Not only are they so easy to make and with such few ingredients, but the flavor of the two main ingredients is amazingly delicious and so complimentary of each other! Try this out, if you have children, let this be part of your baking date! If you are yet to subscribe to my channel, please do- it’s free ;)))

Happy Thursday love!

Get your downloadable recipe here :))

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  1. Bee

    Hi ..the heat settings?up ,down or both ?Bee

    • kaluhiskitchen


  2. Chimita

    How many grams is a cup?

    • kaluhiskitchen

      google that. I do not know conversions offhead but GOOGLE does

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