This Classic Scottish Shortbread is only four ingredients and bakes up into fantastic crispy, buttery shortbread cookies that are absolutely perfect with a cup of tea! If you are looking for a savory shortbread, try this Parmesan shortbread.
How to Make Scottish Shortbread
Traditional Scottish shortbread is not something I have really tackled before since my family has always eaten my Grandma’s Whipped Shortbread. That changed with this recipe. These are so snappy, crispy and buttery that I will definitely be making them all winter long, I wasn’t lying when I said they are amazing with a cup of tea. Forget the famous tinned and boxed shortbread’s, these shortbread cookies are ten times better.
Preheat your oven to 350 °F
Cream together your butter and brown sugar completely. Add in the icing sugar and combine until smooth. Add in the flour slowly, with the mixer on low – this is not whipped shortbread after all- until the dough is completely mixed together.
Roll the dough until it’s a 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes as desired. Pierce the top of each with a fork two or three times.
Bake on parchment lined sheets at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.
Remove and cool on sheets for several minutes, then remove and cool completely on baking racks.
Tips and Tricks for Making Shortbread
- I think what a lot of Scottish shortbread recipes are missing is the silky smoothness of icing sugar, that’s what helps make whipped shortbread so yummy. A lot of recipes use cornstarch to give it that silky texture, while I found I prefer to use a sugar to do that job.
- I wanted another layer of taste in there. Vanilla was out for sure because then they taste too much like a sugar cookie and it overpowers the classic butter taste that shortbread is known and loved for. So a bit of brown sugar adds a little bit of taste dimension to these. You will be surprised what that little bit of brown sugar adds!
- The serrated edged cutter is a classic shortbread shape for a good reason, the little points get even crispier than the rest of the cookie and are my favourite part! I thrifted my cutters, you can easily find these anywhere. I also preferred the rectangle shape- because bigger, of course. They did actually bake up nicer I thought.
I didn’t want to mess with tradition too much, so I wanted to have the correct amounts of everything in there and still be a “classic shortbread”. Too much icing sugar and they would just be the same as whipped. Too much brown sugar and they would lose the buttery flavor. I think this ratio nails it because not surprisingly, they were a hit. These disappeared SO fast and they are dangerously easy to make.
Happy Baking everyone!
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Classic Scottish Shortbread
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Total Time
- 30 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup of salted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 2 cups of flour
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F
- Making sure that there are no lumps in your brown sugar ( this can lead to lumps in the cookies that don't melt) cream together your butter and brown sugar completely.
- Add in the icing sugar and combine until smooth.
- Add in the flour slowly, with the mixer on low - this is not whipped shortbread after all- until the dough is completely mixed together.
- Roll the dough until it's a 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes as desired. Pierce the top of each with a fork two or three times.
- Bake on parchment lined sheets at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned.
- Remove and cool on sheets for several minutes, then remove and cool completely on baking racks.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
This is my favourite shortbread recipe. I made traditional rounds and sprinkled them with coarse sanding sugar before baking. I have added chopped dried sweetened cranberries as well, also delicious.
Favorite shortbread cookie recipe we’ve tried. Don’t try to shortcut the beating process and you’ll have crisp, airy, melt-in-your mouth cookies. I’ve been topping them with coarse salt and dipping them in chocolate to wrap up as gifts, but the basic recipe is still my favorite.
Just put my third batch of these in the oven. Excellent recipe! My husband loves them so much he helps me bake❤️
I want to make Scottie dog shaped shortbread do I have to puncture with a fork if I do any suggestions. Thank you
This is the absolute best recipe!
Hello! Should the cup of butter be cold or room temperature???
help! what did I do wrong? I have a melted mess on my cookie sheet! I’m in Southern Alberta (altitude should be ok) but I used a silicone baking mat instead of parchment paper…
Hi! Would these work in a cookie press?
What type of brown sugar?
Diane Platz says
I’ve been looking for something else (whipped shortbreader too!). Going to give these a try. Thanks for posting!
Deb McKay says
Thanks for posting this. I too only make whipped shortbread because, well really there is nothing better 😉 But I like your reasoning/ description of flavors for this and may just add it to my list this year.
The Kitchen Magpie says
We were all surprised that we liked it so much! Nothing will ever match whipped shortbread but it was so much fun cutting shapes with the kids and it tastes MUCH better than sugar cookies!