How to Make Shortbread

Updated: Apr 2, 2022
By Aisha Zakari
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Shortbread, as the name implies is a finger food to munch in every now and then. This shortbread recipe can be made with just a few ingredients that are mostly lying in your pantry. Let’s get baking.

What is Shortbread?

Shortbread is a traditional Scottish snack with a recipe of one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. Shortbread doesn’t contain any leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda but mainly just 3 ingredients. Isn’t that interesting?


2 ½ cups of flour
1 cup (227g) of cold temperature butter (not margarine)
½ cup of sugar

Procedures for Preparation of Shortbread

STEP 1: In a bowl, add butter and sugar.

STEP 2: Cream this together using an electric mixer for around 5-7 minutes until it becomes creamy, light, soft, and fluffy. Then;

STEP 3: Add in the flour and mix this together till the mixture looks like crumbs. Set the mixer aside.

STEP 4: Lightly grease a baking tray, transfer the dough into it. Now, use your hands to spread it around the edges of the tray.

STEP 5: The dough will be crumbly but you should be able to press it easily along the edges of the tray. Be careful when pressing.

STEP 6: Using a fork, poke in holes and sprinkle sugar all over the top of the dough.

STEP 7: Now, preheat the oven to 350F to help bake this shortbread recipe. Then;

STEP 8: While preheating, place the baking tray into the fridge for 20 minutes before finally baking.

STEP 9: Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges get brown and not the top. The edges alone should be brown.

STEP 10: You can cut out the edges and enjoy just the insides but if you like the crunchy brown sides, enjoy. You can still sprinkle more sugar on the top while it’s still warm.

How to Serve Shortbread

Shortbread can be served over tea, a cup of warm milk, or a cup of coffee. You can also enjoy this by drizzling over Caramel Sauce or chocolate sauce

Occasion(s) to Serve Shortbread Best

This recipe can be enjoyed over breakfast with friends, family, loved ones, and even as a couple. It can also be made for Christmas, birthdays, or any other occasion to entertain guests.

How to Store Shortbread

Shortbread recipe can be stored in metal tins, air-tight containers, or Ziploc bags for at least 10 days in the refrigerator. If you want them to last longer, freeze them.

Nutritional Value of Shortbread

This sweet tooth delicacy is packed with calories and consuming more than 2-3 may just make you add in weight. But if you’re lucky and do not add in weight no matter what you eat, you can enjoy this snack. But be careful with your teeth too.


Shortbread recipe are very light and easily digestible as they are finger-licking and easy to munch on. You can also cut out your own desired shapes and enjoy this any day and anytime. Let us know in the comment section when you give this recipe a try.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is shortbread made?

Shortbread is made from flour, sugar, and butter. These ingredients are mixed till crumbs are formed and then they are baked in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Can you make shortbread without an electric mixer?

You do not need an electric mixer to whip up this delicacy at home but be ready to put your hand to work. Whisk or beat the butter and sugar together till light, creamy and fluffy.

Should butter be cold or room temperature for shortbread?

Cold temperature butter is preferable when making a shortbread recipe so as to prevent the dough from being greasy and difficult to roll. Have your butter sit in the refrigerator for around 20 minutes.

Why is my shortbread not crispy?

There are many reasons why this may be happening to you. It could be the temperature of the oven is not set right, the dough was pressed out or too dry, insufficient butter and maybe overbaking. Be sure to measure your ingredients correctly and follow the right procedures.

Are shortbread cookies the same as butter cookies?

No, they are not. Butter cookies are lighter and softer in appearance whereas shortbread is dense.

How long does shortbread take to harden?

Simply put it in the fridge to chill for at least 15-20 minutes till it hardens.

Why are there holes on shortbread?

Not only do the holes beautify the shortbread, but it also helps in evenly distributing heat and making baking easy.

What is the difference between Scottish shortbread and regular shortbread?

There’s no difference between both shortbreads as the procedures and ingredients are all the same.

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