shortbread recipe
Bread Recipe

Classic Shortbread Recipe – Easy & Buttery


Hello, I’m excited to share my classic shortbread recipe with you. Shortbread is a timeless treat that can be enjoyed just about anywhere and at any time. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create perfect and buttery cookies that are perfect for sharing with family and friends. In this recipe, I will walk you through the easy steps to create a batch of freshly baked homemade shortbread. So let’s get started!

For those looking for a quick and easy shortbread recipe, this is the perfect place to start! With minimal effort and time, something delicious can be created in your own kitchen. In this article, we will cover the ingredients needed, step-by-step instructions and tips for creating a successful bake every time, so you can enjoy traditional homemade shortbread without any added complications. Let’s dive right into it and make some scrumptious butter shortbread together!

Ingredients for Classic Shortbread

Shortbread is a classic buttery treat that requires only three simple ingredients.

Ingredient Quantity
Butter 250g
Caster sugar 125g
Plain flour 350g

That’s it! It’s important to use good quality butter for that rich and creamy flavour. You can also add a pinch of salt to enhance the taste.

Tip: It’s important to measure the ingredients accurately to get the right texture. Use a kitchen scale for precision.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Shortbread

Get ready to bake a classic shortbread recipe that will melt in your mouth! Follow these simple instructions to create the perfect crumbly and buttery texture.

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 150°C (300°F).
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Use an electric mixer for best results.
  3. Sift in the flour and cornflour and mix well until the dough comes together. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is well combined.
  4. Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough briefly until it becomes smooth. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can result in tough, dense shortbread.
  5. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a thickness of around 1cm (0.4in).
  6. Cut the dough into your desired shapes using a cookie cutter or a knife. Traditional shortbread is often made in the shape of fingers or rounds, but you can get creative with your designs!
  7. Place the shortbread onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, making sure to leave space between them.
  8. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the shortbread begin to turn golden brown. Be careful not to overbake, as this can result in a dry, crumbly texture.
  9. Cool the shortbread on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This will help them firm up and prevent them from breaking as they cool.
  10. Once cool, store your shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for several days, but they are best enjoyed fresh!

Follow these steps and you will have a batch of delicious homemade shortbread in no time. Enjoy with a cup of tea for the ultimate British treat!

how to make shortbread

Mixing the Dough

Now that all your ingredients are ready for this homemade shortbread, it’s time to mix the dough. The technique is crucial to achieving a smooth and crumbly texture that is essential to the perfect shortbread.

The first step is to soften the butter. You can do this by leaving the butter out of the fridge for a few hours, or you can microwave it for a few seconds. Be careful not to melt it completely.

Next, add the sugar to the softened butter and mix well until it forms a smooth paste. You can do this with a hand mixer, a stand mixer, or with a spatula and a lot of elbow grease.

Once the sugar and butter are mixed, it’s time to add the flour. Sift the flour into the mixture a little at a time, stirring well until all the flour is combined and forms a soft dough.

Tip: Be careful not to overmix the dough or it will become tough.

Once the dough is mixed, place it onto a piece of parchment paper and use your hands to form it into a flat disc. Wrap the dough in the parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up before rolling it out.

Ingredients for Mixing the Dough

Ingredient Quantity
Butter 225g
Caster sugar 110g
Plain flour 350g

homemade shortbread dough mixing

Rolling and Cutting the Shortbread

After mixing the dough, the next step in creating the perfect shortbread is to roll it out and cut it into your desired shape. The traditional shape is a circle or rectangle, but feel free to get creative and use cookie cutters to make different shapes.

To roll out the dough, lightly dust your work surface with flour and place the dough on top. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Remember to work quickly as you don’t want the dough to warm up too much.

Once the dough is rolled out, use a sharp knife or cookie cutter to cut the shortbread into your desired shape. Traditional shortbread is often cut into wedges, squares, or rectangles, but you can use any shape you like.

A pro tip for perfectly shaped shortbread is to dip your cutter or knife into a little flour before cutting. This will prevent the dough from sticking and give you a clean, sharp edge.

traditional shortbread cookies

Once your shortbread is cut, carefully transfer them onto a lined baking tray, making sure they are evenly spaced. Now, they are ready to be baked to perfection.

Preparing the Baking Tray

Before baking your shortbread, it’s essential to prepare the baking tray properly to ensure even and consistent baking. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your shortbread turns out perfect:

  • Choose the right tray: For classic Scottish shortbread, a metal tray is the most effective at conducting heat, producing a lightly golden brown crust.
  • Grease the tray: Apply a thin layer of butter or cooking spray to the tray to prevent the shortbread from sticking to the surface.
  • Use parchment paper: For fuss-free removal of the shortbread and easy cleaning, place a sheet of parchment paper on the tray before arranging the dough.

In conclusion, following these simple steps will help ensure that your shortbread recipe turns out perfect every time. Properly preparing your baking tray is one of the essential aspects of getting the most out of your homemade shortbread. With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to take one step closer to achieving that classic buttery and crumbly texture that’s characteristic of Scottish shortbread.

Baking Time and Temperature

After preparing your shortbread dough, the next step is baking, which is critical to achieving the perfect texture for your homemade shortbread recipe. Here are the recommended baking time and temperature:

Shortbread Recipe Baking Time Baking Temperature
Classic Shortbread 25-30 minutes 160°C fan/180°C/gas mark 4

To make sure your shortbread cookies are baked to perfection, use a timer and check the cookies for a golden and lightly crisp texture. Baking time may vary depending on the size of your cookies and the type of oven you have, so always keep an eye on them towards the end.

Remember, the baking process continues even after your cookies are out of the oven, so don’t be tempted to cut into them right away. Instead, let them cool on the baking tray for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

homemade shortbread

Cooling and Storage Tips

After your shortbread is baked to perfection, it’s important to let it cool down completely before attempting to store it. Placing warm shortbread in an airtight container can lead to dreaded moisture buildup causing the shortbread to lose its delightful texture.

When it comes to shortbread storage, always try to keep it in an airtight container to prevent any moisture from getting in. This will help to maintain the buttery, crumbly goodness of your homemade shortbread for longer.

For shortbread that needs to last more than a few days, try keeping it in the fridge. This will extend its shelf life and ensure it lasts even longer. Simply place the shortbread in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. However, be sure to take it out and allow it to come back to room temperature before serving to prevent any loss of texture or flavor.

Alternatively, shortbread can be frozen and stored for up to three months. Wrap the shortbread well in cling film or foil to avoid freezer burn and place it in an airtight container before freezing.

Remember to always store your shortbread away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause the texture of your shortbread to change, and can cause the butter to melt, leading to a less than optimal experience.

By following these simple cooling and storage tips, you’re sure to enjoy your homemade shortbread for longer.

Variations and Additions

While the classic shortbread recipe is certainly a treat on its own, it can also be transformed with a variety of delicious additions and flavors. Here are some suggestions to customize your shortbread:

1. Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Add semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips to your shortbread dough for an indulgent twist on the classic recipe. Sprinkle a few extra chips on top before baking for added texture.

2. Lemon Shortbread

Add the zest of one lemon to your dough for a zesty and refreshing flavor. You can also amp up the lemon flavor by adding a few drops of lemon extract.

3. Lavender Shortbread

Add dried lavender flowers to your dough for a delicate and floral flavor. Be sure to use culinary-grade lavender for the best results.

4. Almond Shortbread

Add chopped almonds to your dough for a nutty and crunchy texture. You can also experiment with various nuts, such as pecans or walnuts.

Flavor Additional Ingredients
Chocolate Chunk Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
Lemon Lemon zest or extract
Lavender Dried culinary-grade lavender flowers
Almond Chopped almonds or other nuts

Whatever variation you choose, be sure to follow the classic shortbread recipe steps for the best texture and flavor. Get creative and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

Looking for ways to enjoy your homemade shortbread? Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:

  • Serve with a hot cup of tea or coffee for a classic British treat.
  • Dip in chocolate for a decadent twist on the classic shortbread recipe.
  • Crumble on top of a fruit crumble or tart for added texture and flavor.
  • Make a shortbread ice cream sandwich with your favorite ice cream flavor.
  • Serve with a drizzle of honey or a dollop of jam for a sweet and tangy combination.

Experiment with different serving ideas to find your perfect combination. Shortbread is a versatile treat that can be adapted to suit all tastes and occasions.

Tips for Success

If you want to achieve the perfect texture and taste when making this easy shortbread recipe, follow these tips:

  • Use high-quality butter: The better the butter, the better the shortbread. Choose unsalted butter with at least 80% fat content for the ultimate buttery taste.
  • Chill the dough: After mixing the dough, chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This will help the dough firm up and prevent it from spreading too much during baking.
  • Don’t overwork the dough: Shortbread is all about the delicate balance of butter, sugar, and flour. Overmixing can cause the cookies to be tough and heavy. Mix the dough just until it comes together and then stop.
  • Use the right baking temperature: Bake your shortbread at 150°C for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown. It’s better to err on the side of underbaking than overbaking for a tender and crumbly texture.
  • Cut the shortbread before baking: Use a sharp knife or cookie cutter to cut the shortbread into your desired shapes before baking. This will help maintain their shape and prevent them from crumbling after baking.

With these tips, you’ll be able to make perfect shortbread every time!


As a professional copywriting journalist, I highly recommend this classic shortbread recipe for anyone looking to indulge in a timeless treat. With just three simple ingredients, creating buttery and crumbly shortbread has never been easier.

Follow the step-by-step instructions in sections 2 and 3 to create the perfect dough and shape your shortbread. Pay close attention to section 6 for tips on preparing your baking tray, and section 7 for guidance on achieving the right baking time and temperature.

Once your homemade shortbread is baked to perfection, make sure to let it cool properly and store it in an airtight container. You can also get creative by adding your favorite flavors and additions, as discussed in section 9.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a hot cup of tea, shortbread is a classic treat that never disappoints. So, grab your ingredients and start baking your own delicious shortbread today!


Can I make variations to the classic shortbread recipe?

Absolutely! The classic shortbread recipe can be customized with various additions and flavors. You can add chocolate chips, dried fruits, or even nuts to create your unique twist on this buttery treat.

How long can I store the shortbread cookies?

When stored properly in an airtight container, shortbread cookies can stay fresh for up to two weeks. Just make sure to keep them in a cool and dry place to maintain their crumbly texture and delicious flavor.

Can I freeze the shortbread dough?

Yes, you can! If you want to prepare the dough in advance, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to three months. When you’re ready to bake, simply thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight and proceed with the rolling and cutting instructions.

Can I use margarine instead of butter in the shortbread recipe?

While margarine can be substituted for butter in some recipes, it is not recommended for shortbread. The rich and buttery flavor is a defining characteristic of classic shortbread, so it’s best to stick with real butter for the best results.

Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?

Yes, you can use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand. However, keep in mind that salted butter may alter the overall taste of your shortbread slightly. If you do opt for salted butter, you can reduce or omit the additional salt called for in the recipe.

How thin should I roll the shortbread dough?

For classic shortbread cookies, it’s best to roll the dough to about a 1/2-inch thickness. This thickness ensures that the cookies maintain their crumbly texture while still being sturdy enough to hold their shape during baking.

Can I use a cookie cutter to shape the shortbread?

Absolutely! Using a cookie cutter is a popular method for shaping shortbread cookies. Choose your favorite shape, press the cutter firmly into the rolled-out dough, and carefully transfer the shapes to the prepared baking tray.

Why is it important to let the shortbread cookies cool completely?

Allowing the shortbread cookies to cool completely on a wire rack is essential for two reasons. First, it helps the cookies firm up and set, ensuring a crumbly texture. Second, it prevents them from becoming soggy by allowing any residual heat and moisture to escape.

Can I use parchment paper instead of greasing the baking tray?

Yes, using parchment paper is a convenient alternative to greasing the baking tray. It prevents the shortbread cookies from sticking and makes cleanup a breeze. Simply place a sheet of parchment paper on the tray before arranging the cookies.

Can I use a food processor to mix the shortbread dough?

Yes, you can use a food processor to mix the shortbread dough. This method can make the process quicker and easier. Just be careful not to over-process the dough, as it can result in a tougher texture.

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