Earl Grey Orange Cookies Are the Ultimate Teatime Treats

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Don’t you just love homemade cookies?

Overhead shot of Earl Grey tea cookies on a brown wood surface with a cup of tea and saucer painted with pink flowers, printed with orange and white text.

There are a lot of people who claim they don’t have time to cook. They have kids or they work too many hours or they are just too busy, in that vague way we like to use when our high-pressure schedules finally work to our advantage, providing an excuse to get out of anything we don’t want to do.

Homemade cookies flecked with pieces of black tea and orange zest are scattered on a brown wood table, with a white porcelain teacup and saucer and a gathered cloth in the background.

But these cookies won’t take longer than an episode of your favorite TV show to assemble, after which you pop them in the freezer.

What could be easier?

Overhead shot of cookies on a brown wood table and saucer, with a white porcelain teacup, decorated with pink flowers.

When you find a free moment (really, whenever you feel like it), pull out the frozen log. Let it thaw a bit, slice it up, and arrange the portioned dough on a baking sheet in the oven.

Bake for about 15 minutes, and you’ve got something pretty amazing.

Tea cookies are scattered on a brown table and the side of a saucer, with a cup full of orange-hued tea. The cup and saucer are white porcelain, painted with delicate pink flowers.

Buttery and sweet, with the unmistakable punch of Earl Grey flavor (from black tea and bergamot, which is a type of orange oil), these shortbread cookies get credit for being the first Martha Stewart recipe I ever tried and loved, after which I’ve never looked back.

Martha Stewart’s Cookies available in Paperback and Kindle from Amazon

I say this (and mean it!) about a lot of cookies, but you truly can’t eat just one Earl Grey shortbread cookie.

A white porcelain teacup and saucer, painted with pink flowers, with two cookies on the side, and more on the wood background, with additional mugs and a gray cloth.

For one thing, they’re small, at least the way I roll the logs of dough. So it’s okay to eat more than one!

Silpat silicone pan liners are perfect for cookie baking – read our full review here.

But also, the beautiful dough, dotted with crumbled bits of tea, sends this fragrant citrus smell out of the oven. One bite in, and the flavor proves addictive.

A woman's hand with dark red manicured nails dips a cookie into a cup of tea.

I’m telling you – however you choose to spend your time over the next few days, let these cookies be a part of it.

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A white porcelain teacup filled with orange tea and a matching saucer, painted with pink flowers, with Earl Grey cookies on a brown wood surface.

Earl Grey Orange Cookies

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 15-20 cookies 1x


Sweet and citrusy, these Earl Grey orange cookies are a delightful baked good that’s ideal for bringing out at teatime.


  • 1 1/2 cups einkorn all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon loose Earl Grey tea leaves (or about 3 bags)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest


  1. Combine flour, sugar, tea, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add vanilla, water, and butter to the food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a firm dough. It will take a little bit of processing to come together, about 2-3 minutes or 50-60 pulses.
  3. Turn the dough out onto the counter and form it into a solid log that’s about 6.5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 375˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone pan liners.
  5. Slice into discs 1/3 inch thick with a knife that’s been run under hot water, gently reshaping the discs into rounds if they flatten or become misshapen as you cut them. Place on prepared baking sheets about two inches apart.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, rotating the sheets halfway through baking.
  7. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.

It’s really important to crush the tea leaves thoroughly if you are using a loose leaf variety in particular, so you won’t have big, wiry pieces in the cookies. You could use a food processor, an electric spice grinder, or a blade type coffee grinder, but I prefer putting the tea in a plastic baggie and mashing it with a rolling pin or a hammer, or grinding it in my mortar and pestle.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: tea, Earl Grey, orange, cookie, holiday baking

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Cube Butter, Zest Orange, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Cube the chilled butter and set it back in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it, to keep it cold.

Zest an orange until you have enough citrus zest for this recipe. And save that remaining fruit for another use!

Prep the tea if necessary, by removing it from the bags and grinding any large pieces in both bagged or loose varieties. I prefer to use a flavorful, high-quality Earl Grey like this one, available from Plum Deluxe.

Loose leaf Earl Grey black tea with yellow and plue flower petals, in a spoon and spilling onto a white background.

Creme Brulee Earl Grey Black Tea, 1 oz., available on Plum Deluxe

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Step 2 – Make Dough

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, tea, and salt. You could also experiment with using regular flour and granulated sugar for this recipe if you like. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

Overhead shot of a dry flour mixture in a white and clear plastic food processor, on a dark brown wood surface.

Pulse a few times until combined.

Add the vanilla extract, water, and butter to the food processor.

Overhead shot of a flour mixture topped with cubes of chilled butter in the canister of a food processor, on a dark brown wood background.

Pulse again until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

Several clumps of a firm, tan-colored dough are at the bottom of a clear and white plastic food processor, on a dark brown wood surface.

With my equipment, this took about 2-3 minutes or 50-60 pulses. This may vary, depending on the size and power of your appliance.

Step 3 – Shape and Chill

Turn out the the dough onto a clean work surface, and form it into a solid log that’s about 6 1/2 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.

A log of cookie dough is resting on a shiny piece of plastic wrap, on a dark brown wood surface.

If you want to make smaller cookies you can make a longer, thinner log. Just remember that you will need to adjust your baking time accordingly.

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

A log-shaped piece of cookie dough is wrapped tightly in plastic, and is resting on a dark brown wood table.

If you won’t be baking these the same day, dough can be stored in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. Just let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

Step 4 – Slice and Bake

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone mats.

Using a hot knife, slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick slices. If the dough flattens out a bit while you are cutting it, be sure to reshape the log as you go along, as well as any misshapen discs.

Four slices of cookie dough are arranged on an orange and tan Silpat silicone pan liner.

Place the portioned dough on the baking sheets, and space them about 2 inches apart. For this batch, I had 8 arranged on each sheet.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The cookies should be golden brown around the edges when they are done.

Remove to wire cooling racks to cool completely.

Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Host a Holiday Tea Party

One of my family’s favorite traditions is hosting a holiday tea party for all the ladies in the family. We gather around around the table or in the living room at someone’s home to enjoy sweets and tea together during the festive season.

If you need another reason to celebrate, gather your own family and friends together around a table full of tea and treats. All you need is boiling water, a variety of teas, milk, sugar, and a variety of desserts and finger sandwiches.

A white porcelain teacup filled with orange tea and a matching saucer, painted with pink flowers, with Earl Grey cookies on a brown wood surface.

All I can say is, make sure you have these lovely morsels on the table as well. They’re not to be missed!

If you love the taste of Earl Grey and love cookies, you may also want to check out this version. And can you believe it’s possible to make a homemade tea-flavored lemon curd as well?

If cookies are your thing, be sure to check out all of our recipes or try some of our favorites such as:

What’s your favorite type of tea? Tell us in the comments below. Be sure to come back to rate the cookie recipe once you’ve tried it as well!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Clarkson Potter and Plum Deluxe. Originally published December 15, 2008. Last updated: November 8, 2022 at 12:58 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

11 thoughts on “Earl Grey Orange Cookies Are the Ultimate Teatime Treats”

  1. once again your pix are amazing. 🙂 you really ought to go into sales, you’re selling these beauties like crazy! alas, i am not an earl grey tea fan, but i’m thinking we could substitute a different kind of tea??
    i love that these cookies are easy to assemble and can be thrown into the freezer for later baking.

  2. oooh, so funny. i was going to make this cookie from that book (but i chose another one instead). glad that they are tasty and i love your description. mmm.

  3. mmm…
    your photos and the way that you talk about food really inspires me.
    I’ve told my husband about you…I never want to cook for myself the nights that he works late but I do now bc of you.

  4. Lan: You don’t like Early Grey? Have you tried it with a bit of cream and sugar? So good! But, if you’re truly not a fan, I’d say trying another tea would be brilliant. In fact, I did something with a lemon-chamomile tea this weekend, along with lemon zest… it wasn’t quite as good in my book, but it wasn’t bad either. Let me know if you try something.

    Kickpleat: I’d love to hear what you made. That book has the best cookies anywhere.

    Amy: Lady Grey!? Why have I never heard of this? I need to try it! As far as the cookies, I’d think it’s worth trying–do let me know if you do!

    Maggie: Yeah, couple them with a fresh cup of tea, and it’s heaven. Hope you and your fiance enjoy them!

    Chessa: What a completely lovely thing to say. Thank you so much!

  5. These cookies are my cup of tea! Really! Earl Grey is my favorite tea of all time. I will have to bookmark this as it is perfect for those cold months to go with my many cups of tea! Thanks for sharing.


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