Thai Tea Shortbread Cookies

Thai Tea Shortbread Cookies

What is Thai Tea?

Thai tea (and technically this is Thai iced tea as there are other types of Thai teas) is a black Ceylon tea with spices like star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. If you enjoy Chai – like I do, you may notice there is a bit of overlap with the flavors of these. While I don’t think they taste all that similar, I do think that if you enjoy Chai you will also enjoy Thai iced tea. One big difference is the color though, which food coloring is added to the tea, so when the cream or milk is added it turns into a lovely orange color it is famous for and what makes these Thai tea shortbread cookies that amazing color!

If you’d like to try a Chai inspired bake I recommend my Chai Spice Zucchini muffins

I usually buy this brand of loose leaf Thai tea. From what I’ve read, this is the type used in a lot of Thai restaurants. Which, it does taste pretty much the same, depending on the restaurant. It comes in a large bag that will last quite a long time. I usually will make a large batch of this when I make it and just store it in mason jars in my fridge. For the Thai tea shortbread cookies, you only need a tiny bit of tea though.

Now, I could enjoy one of these Thai iced teas daily. However, if there is a flavor I love I will always see if there are other ways I could enjoy it. A cookie was my first thought for a vehicle because they are sweet and it’s a tea best enjoyed sweetened. I decided on shortbread as the main flavor in a shortbread is kind of a buttery vanilla, which wouldn’t take away from the flavor of the tea. Something like a chocolate chip cookie base would probably have too many competing flavors and muddle them all.

The result was perfect. You could both bite into one and know it was definitely shortbread, and also definitely thai tea. Perfection if you ask me.

Additionally, these cookies are so gorgeous in color. If you have friends who enjoy tea, these will be a must bake!

Baking Tips

Chilling your dough can be annoying step, but it is integral – especially in shortbread. You want to make sure your dough is chilled to help prevent warm butter from melting and spreading in the oven. Butter is the main ingredient of these cookies and if it is too soft it can dramatically change the structure.

Sifting your flour and powdered sugar (along with your ground tea leaves) can also make a huge impact of the texture of these cookies. A good shortbread will feel like it just melts in your mouth. Well sifted ingredients help with that.

Thai Tea Shortbread Key Ingredients

  • Thai Tea – Traditional Thai tea is what I used to make these. You probably could attempt making them with black tea and spices but I don’t think they would have the exact taste you are expecting if you are familiar with the drink.
  • Butter – As always with shortbread, butter, and good butter at that, is key! When I make shortbread I always buy the best butter my budget allows. This doesn’t necessarily mean organic either, but you want something with a higher butterfat percentage.
  • Powdered sugar – So my previous recipe for this cookie used granulated sugar, and while it was good, this powdered sugar version I feel like has a much better consistency that leads to that more melt in your mouth texture.
Thai Tea Shortbread

Thai Tea Shortbread Cookies

4.85 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 12 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Total: 2 hours


  • ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
  • ½ cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Ground Thai Tea
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 120 g AP Flour
  • pinch table salt


  • Take loose leaf Thai tea and grind with pestle and mortar down to a fine powder. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger pieces. Do not skip this, you do not want these big bits that are hard, as they will get stuck in your teeth or add an unpleasant texture to the cookies.
  • In a small bowl add your sifted tea and water and mix together.
  • In a small bowl, measure out flour and salt and mix together. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add softened butter and powdered sugar and cream together until combined using a hand mixer.
  • Add in your tea with water and vanilla to your butter and sugar mix, and mix in until combined.
  • Add in flour and mix until dough just comes together. Remove dough and place on parchment paper. Shape into a log form, either cylindrical or squared off (or any shape really). Using the sides of the parchment can be helpful in getting shape. Once dough is formed, wrap in plastic wrap (I wrap the plastic wrap around the parchment as well). Chill dough for at least one hour, but up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice into quarter inch slices. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes for slightly softer (but still firm) shortbread or 15 min for more crisp shortbread.


If you have used a previous version of this recipe (pre 2023) and would like a copy of that version, please email me and I will happily provide.
    1. Hi Irma! I’m assuming you mean when I stated to add in the butter. I actually meant to cream in the butter, there isn’t any cream in the recipe 🙂 Hope that helps!

      1. Delphine says:

        Hello, I tried your recipe for Christmas but somehow, by “translating” the recipe in grams (I am in Europe) I think something went wrong. They melted a lot in the oven and did not appear to be baked at all. I removed them but they look nothing like your photo. Could you please help me ? I love thai tea so much, I would like to bake those cookies so much !

        1. Hi Delphine,

          This is one of my earlier recipes that wasn’t posted in grams. I’m adding that now, but here are the measurements in grams:
          113 g Unsalted butter
          65 g powdered sugar (I think its referred to as icing sugar in europe)
          1.25 mL vanilla
          4-5 g Thai tea
          15 mL water
          120 g All purpose flour
          pinch of salt.

          I would also make sure your dough has sufficiently chilled and is cold when it goes into the oven, that should also help prevent the cookies from spreading too much. Let me know if this is helpful! Good luck 🙂

  1. James says:

    5 stars
    When I looked over the few Thai Tea Cookie recipes online, I knew straightaway that this was the one to go with. And Tiffany proved me right! Her attention to detail is exceptional and left me with no big questions. In the end, these were a massive hit for friends. The cookies were gone in about 3 minutes!

    And here’s the Thai tea I found that a local restaurant uses: https://a.co/d/0XVV3Rn As of this writing, Amazon sells a 1-pound bag for just $8.49 — that’ll last forever!

  2. Pingback:Maple Shortbread Cookies

  3. Parker says:

    I just made these for the first time, they’re terrific!! I’ve just got two questions.
    If I wanted to punch up the spice flavor from the tea, could I just add a bit of star anise and cardamom?
    And do you have any suggestions for a glaze of some kind? I was thinking maybe just a dip in white chocolate.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them Parker! I think those would be good additions, maybe even a pinch of pepper. I also think a white chocolate glaze would go nicely, maybe just dip half the cookie in though? That’s probably what I would try! I’d love to hear how it works out 🙂

  4. Pingback:Thai Tea Ice Cream

  5. Pingback:Ted Lasso Shortbread Bars › Bread Baking Babe

4.85 from 13 votes (12 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating