Indulge in Decadence with Irish Shortbread Cookies

One of the greatest pleasures in life is indulging in a delicious sweet treat. And what better way to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings than by trying out our recipe for Irish Shortbread with Currants? This recipe combines the buttery goodness of traditional Scottish shortbread with the tangy sweetness of dried currants and lemon zest.

At first glance, Irish shortbread may look similar to Scottish shortbread, but there are subtle differences that set them apart. The Irish version uses a combination of flour and semolina to create a unique texture that’s crumbly yet slightly crunchy. And when you add in the dried currants and lemon zest, it elevates this buttery treat to a whole new level.

Whether you’re enjoying a cup of tea on a rainy day or serving up dessert at your next dinner party, these shortbread cookies are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So why not give our Irish Shortbread with Currants recipe a try? You won’t regret it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Shortbread With Currants
Irish Shortbread With Currants

There’s something wonderful about the simplicity of Irish Shortbread cookies. These biscuits that originated in Ireland are perfect for every occasion, from afternoon tea to a cozy night in with friends. But what makes this recipe so special is the addition of dried currants, giving an entire new dimension of flavor to the traditional Irish Shortbread.

Why will you love this recipe? For starters, it’s incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients – flour, sugar, butter, and dried currants – all readily available in your pantry. The use of semolina and lemon zest sets it apart and adds a fragrant touch that will leave you wanting more. Plus, it’s soft and crumbly texture is undeniably addictive.

The dried currants used in this recipe provide a uniquely tart-sweet flavor and a delightful chewy texture. They also add another dimension to the traditional shortbread recipe that we have all come to know.

You can enjoy these shortbread cookies as a standalone treat or pair them with your favorite cup of tea or coffee. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try substituting the currants with red currants, caraway seeds or ginger for a slightly different flavor.

This recipe is not just an indulgent treat – it’s also incredibly versatile! You could bring them to potlucks or dinner parties and they would surely be a crowd-pleaser. Not only that but making these biscuits are no-frills and child’s play perfect activity for family bonding moments.

In summary, this Irish Shortbread With Currants recipe will take you to new heights while still maintaining its traditional irish roots. The taste and aroma are irresistible, making it hard not to finish an entire batch in one sitting! This cookie recipe is worthy of being passed down from generation-to-generation as it’s not only delicious but undeniably simple to whip up anytime.

Ingredient List

 Sweet and crumbly Irish shortbread, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee
Sweet and crumbly Irish shortbread, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee

Here is the ingredient list you’ll need to make a batch of these delicious Irish shortbread cookies studded with dried currants and lemon zest:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried currants

These simple ingredients are easy to find and do not require any special tools or kitchen equipment. The star of this recipe is, of course, the rich, high-quality butter which imparts a classic, comforting flavor to this traditional Irish treat.

The Recipe How-To

 Beautifully speckled with currants, these cookies will melt in your mouth
Beautifully speckled with currants, these cookies will melt in your mouth

Now that we have all our ingredients in line, let’s move on to the recipe how-to.

Step 1: Preheat the oven and line baking tray

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Step 2: Cream butter and sugar

Cream 1 cup salted butter and 1/2 cup superfine sugar together using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.

Step 3: Add the flour mixture

Sift 2 cups purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 8 tsp semolina into the butter and sugar mixture. Use a wooden spoon to combine and bring the mixture together.

Step 4: Add the currants and lemon zest

Fold in 1/2 cup dried currant and zest of 1 lemon, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Step 5: Roll out onto tray, Score dough, and refrigerate

Transfer the shortbread onto your prepared tray. Using your fingers, press it down evenly into a square about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the shortbread into your desired pieces, but don’t cut all the way through to make sure it doesn’t crumble later on. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 6: Bake and cool

Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool completely before cutting along the scored lines.

Enjoy this delicious Irish Shortbread with Currants recipe as a snack or with your afternoon tea.

Substitutions and Variations

 A traditional recipe with a twist that will impress your guests
A traditional recipe with a twist that will impress your guests

When it comes to making Irish Shortbread with currants, there are several substitutions and variations that can be made to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Dried Currant Substitutes: If you don’t have dried currants on hand, you can use other dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries or cherries.

2. Butter Variations: While salted butter is the traditional choice for Irish shortbread, you can also use unsalted butter or vegetable shortening as a substitute.

3. Flour Choices: If you want a lighter texture, you can replace some of the all-purpose flour with cake flour. Or, for a heartier version, you can use whole wheat flour instead.

4. Different Flavorings: For a twist on the traditional flavor of Irish shortbread, try adding caraway seeds or ginger. You could also add chopped nuts or chocolate chips if you prefer.

5. Lemon Zest: Lemon zest adds a lovely citrus flavor to the shortbread, but you could also experiment with other citrus fruits such as orange or lime zest.

6. Rum Soaked Currants: For an extra kick of flavor, you could soak the dried currants in rum before adding them to the dough.

Regardless of the changes you decide to make, remember to adjust the quantities accordingly and taste test along the way to make sure that your variation complements and doesn’t overpower the delicate flavor of Irish Shortbread with currants.

Serving and Pairing

 This recipe is so simple, you'll wonder why you haven't tried it sooner
This recipe is so simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it sooner

Irish Shortbread With Currants Recipe is such a versatile treat that it can be served in several ways, depending on your preference. Whether you choose to have it for breakfast or as a dessert for your afternoon tea, this recipe is perfect.

When serving this shortbread recipe for breakfast, it can be an excellent complement to a nice cup of tea or coffee. The buttery taste of the shortbread pairs perfectly with the unique and fruity essence from the currants. Better yet, add some butter or jam on top of the warm shortbread for a healthier breakfast option that will leave you feeling satisfied.

As much as Irish shortbread is delicious on its own, you can also serve it alongside some refreshing fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and apricots for added color and an extra crunch. Alternatively, pair this recipe with a cheese platter if you are hosting guests. The combination of sharp cheese and dry fruit flavors will make an excellent addition to any dinner party.

For those willing to try something different, this Irish shortbread recipe sits nicely with a glass of rum or whiskey. These spirits pair well with the sweetness and butteriness of the shortbread and currants while adding to its subtle warmth.

In summary, the serving options for Irish Shortbread With Currants Recipe are endless. Let your imagination run wild and experiment with different combinations until you find what works best for you.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready for your kitchen to smell like buttery heaven
Get ready for your kitchen to smell like buttery heaven

One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be prepared ahead of time, making it perfect for busy schedules or for get-togethers. The Irish shortbread cookies with dried currants can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

If you plan on serving the cookies later, you can make the dough and freeze it before slicing into rounds and baking. The frozen dough can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to bake, just let the dough thaw out in the refrigerator for a few hours before slicing and baking as directed. This makes for quick and easy preparation without compromising on flavor or texture.

Reheating these shortbread cookies is also a great way to enjoy them again. Just place them in a preheated 325°F oven for 5-7 minutes until they’ve warmed up and become slightly crisp again.

These Irish shortbread cookies with dried currants are perfect treats any time of the day, whether enjoyed with a cup of tea or as an after-dinner dessert. Make a batch ahead of time, store them properly, and have them ready whenever you need a sweet fix.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Take a bite and savor the rich, buttery flavor with a hint of fruity currants
Take a bite and savor the rich, buttery flavor with a hint of fruity currants

If you want to make sure your Irish shortbread cookies turn out perfectly, here are some tips to follow.

First, use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Use unsalted butter if possible and make sure it’s at room temperature before beginning. For an even richer flavor, consider using Irish butter. The same goes for the dried currants – choose plump, good-quality berries.

Next, don’t overwork the dough. Shortbread is meant to be a crumbly cookie, so overmixing will result in a tough texture. Once the dough comes together, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour before rolling it out.

Speaking of rolling out, make sure your work surface is lightly floured so the dough doesn’t stick. If you’re having trouble getting the dough to an even thickness, try using rolling-pin spacers or rulers on either side of the dough.

To prevent your shortbread from spreading too much while baking, prick the dough all over with a fork before baking. This will also give the cookies that classic shortbread look.

Finally, pay attention to oven temperature and timing. Shortbread can go from golden brown to burnt quickly, so keep a close eye on them in the oven. And don’t rush things – let the cookies cool completely before serving them to ensure they hold their shape.

By following these tips and taking your time with each step of the recipe, you’ll be on your way to making perfect Irish shortbread cookies every time.


Before you start baking, you may have some questions lingering about this Irish Shortbread with Currants recipe. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the ingredients, technique and servings that will help make your baking experience easy and enjoyable.

What is the difference between Irish shortbread and Scottish shortbread?

Scottish cookies have a unique texture and flavor compared to Walkers shortbread cookies because they contain vegetable shortening or a combination of butter and vegetable shortening as a main ingredient. This difference in recipe results in Scottish cookies being crisper, firmer, and crunchier.

What is the secret to good shortbread?

One of the essential steps in making great British cuisine is using high quality butter. It’s important to remember that if you’re using real butter, the brand doesn’t matter as much as the fact that it’s truly butter. Keep the ingredients simple to bring out the rich flavor of the butter. You can also add additional flavors to enhance the taste. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as it can lead to dry and crumbly results. Shape the dough to your preference, and then make sure to chill it before baking. Bake until the dough is golden brown, and add finishing touches as desired to elevate the dish.

What are common mistakes when making shortbread?

When making this dish, it is important to avoid ending up with a soggy bottom. This can happen if the mixture is pressed too thickly into the pan, cooked at a high temperature, or put into a non-metal pan that does not distribute heat evenly.

Why is Scottish shortbread so good?

To make a scrumptious Scottish shortbread, there’s no need for any extravagant ingredients or artificial flavors. The secret to a great shortbread lies solely in the butter used. The better the butter quality, the richer the shortbread’s flavor will be.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Irish Shortbread with Currants recipe is a perfect treat for any occasion. It is simple to make and uses ingredients that are easily accessible. The addition of dried currants and lemon zest make this recipe unique and flavorful, while the texture from semolina adds a delightful crunch.

Whether you are an experienced baker or just starting out, this recipe is a must-try. Once you take a bite of these delicious shortbread cookies, you won’t be able to resist having one more!

So next time you find yourself craving for a sweet treat, give this Irish Shortbread with Currants recipe a try. And don’t forget to share it with your friends and family!

Irish Shortbread With Currants

Irish Shortbread With Currants Recipe

This is another recipe my Gram serves with her high tea
Course Dessert
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, European, Kid-Friendly, Oven, Potluck, Sweet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 wedges
Calories 213.6kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 1/4 cup dried currant


  • preheat oven to 325.
  • sift the flour and salt into a bowl and mix in semolina.
  • beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest.
  • stir in flour mixture and currants.
  • work the dough with your hands til it clumps together.
  • mold into a flattened ball and place on nonstick baking sheet.
  • press the dough into 9 1/2 inch circle.
  • trim edges neatly and make indentations on edges with a fork and prick the surface all over top.
  • bake 35 minutes.
  • cut into 12 wedges.


Serving: 45g | Calories: 213.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.8g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 11.7g | Saturated Fat: 7.3g | Cholesterol: 30.5mg | Sodium: 126.2mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 7.6g

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