Deliciously Buttery Scottish Shortbread Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen, where I will share with you one of the most iconic and beloved treats in all of Scotland: The traditional Scottish shortbread. This crumbly, buttery treat has been enjoyed for centuries by people from all walks of life, and today, I am honored to share with you a simple yet delicious recipe to help you create your own batch.

Over the years, shortbread has become a symbol of Scottish hospitality and is often shared with guests as a sign of generosity and warmth. Made with only three basic ingredients – flour, sugar, and butter – this sweet treat is as humble as it is delicious.

But don’t be fooled by its simplicity; Scottish shortbread is one of the most challenging treats to perfect. With just a few simple tweaks in ingredient ratios or mixing techniques, it can quickly turn from a delightful crumbly treat into a flat, dense lump.

But worry not! The recipe I will be sharing with you is easy-to-follow and delivers fantastic results every single time. So let’s roll up our sleeves, preheat the oven, and get ready to make some mouthwatering Scottish shortbread!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Simple Scotch Shortbread
Simple Scotch Shortbread

Are you looking for a recipe that is easy-to-make, buttery and crumbly at the same time? Then, you are in the right place, my dear friend. Let me introduce to you my Simple Scotch Shortbread recipe that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

This recipe is the perfect combination of three basic ingredients: flour, sugar, and butter. The traditional Scottish shortbread cookies that come out of this recipe are a classic and a staple in every household across Scotland. And why wouldn’t they be? Walkers Shortbread, one of the most popular shortbread brands in Scotland, has been using this recipe for generations.

What is the secret behind their buttery and flaky texture? It is all about using quality ingredients, and most importantly, using the right amount of each ingredient. In my recipe, I used unsalted butter and added a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness. Moreover, the use of rice flour gives it an extra crisp texture that melts in your mouth.

If you think making shortbread cookies requires fancy kitchen gadgets or special skills, think again. This recipe only requires three simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry: flour, sugar, and butter. With basic kitchen equipment such as a mixing bowl, whisk or wooden spoon and parchment paper, you can make these delicious Scottish Butter Cookies in no time.

In addition to its simplicity, this recipe is easily customizable to suit your taste buds. Feel free to add vanilla extract or brown sugar to give it an extra kick of flavor or shape them into bars for a different presentation.

So why not bake up a batch of these classic Scottish shortbread cookies today? They’re perfect for an afternoon snack paired with tea or coffee or as an elegant dessert served with fresh berries and cream. This Simple Scotch Shortbread recipe will transport you straight to Scotland by just taking one bite! What’s not to love about that?

Ingredient List

 Deliciously buttery and crumbly
Deliciously buttery and crumbly

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this classic Scottish shortbread recipe:

Basic Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated or caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Traditional Scottish Shortbread Ingredients:

  • Butter: You should use high-quality unsalted butter as it is one of the main ingredients.
  • Flour: Two cups of all-purpose flour is enough to make traditional shortbread but you can also use half of a cup of rice flour for a firmer texture.
  • Sugar: Granulated or caster sugar works best in this recipe. You can also use brown sugar or powdered sugar.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt will enhance the flavor and balance out the sweetness.

Easy Scottish Shortbread Recipe Ingredients (2):

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Variation Ingredients (3):

You can experiment with different flavors by incorporating these ingredients:
Vanilla Extract: Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to enhance the flavor.
Brown Sugar: Substitute half of the granulated sugar with brown sugar for a richer and deeper flavor.
Other Flavors: You can add citrus zest, cocoa powder, or even lavender to create unique flavors.

Whether you’re using basic ingredients or trying out some variations, making Scottish shortbread is easy with just these few ingredients.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee
Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee

Now that you have all your ingredients ready, it’s time to start making your Simple Scotch Shortbread!


Before getting started, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.


In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature and ½ cup of sugar until smooth and fluffy. This should take about 3-4 minutes using an electric mixer.

Adding the Flour

Slowly add in 2 cups of all-purpose flour along with a ½ teaspoon of salt to the bowl. It is recommended to do this in stages, otherwise the mixture may become too thick. Continue to mix it well until it forms a dough-like texture.

Rolling the Dough

Flour your work surface and roll out the dough until it’s about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut out desired shapes or sizes.

Final Preparations

Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet and use a fork to prick each cookie with several holes. This will help prevent air bubbles from forming while baking.


Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Allow them to cool down for a few minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack.

And that’s it – your Simple Scotch Shortbread recipe is complete!

Substitutions and Variations

 A classic British treat
A classic British treat

When it comes to making scotch shortbread, the recipe is quite simple and doesn’t allow for a lot of substitutions. However, there are still some variations you can make to put your own twist on this traditional Scottish treat.

For starters, you can experiment with different types of butter. While traditional Scottish shortbread calls for unsalted butter, you could also try using salted butter for a subtle twist on the classic taste. Alternatively, you could switch out the butter entirely and use margarine or a vegan alternative.

In terms of flour, you can use either plain or all-purpose flour in your shortbread recipe. You could also try incorporating rice flour into the mix for a crumblier texture or gluten-free option.

To add some extra flavor to your shortbread, consider adding in some brown sugar instead of white caster sugar. This will give your shortbread a slightly caramelized taste that pairs perfectly with a cup of tea.

If you want to take things up a notch, you can also try making shortbread bars instead of cookies. Simply press the dough into a baking pan and bake until golden brown. This makes for an easy and tasty treat that’s perfect for sharing with friends and family.

No matter what variations you choose to make, always remember to stick with quality ingredients to ensure the best results possible.

Serving and Pairing

 This recipe uses only 4 ingredients
This recipe uses only 4 ingredients

What better way to enjoy a freshly baked batch of Scottish shortbread than with a cup of tea? This sweet and buttery treat pairs perfectly with a warm cup of Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or even a fragrant herbal tea like chamomile.

For an extra indulgent experience, serve your shortbread with a side of fresh berries, whipped cream or a drizzle of chocolate. These additions will complement the simplicity and richness of the shortbread to create a well-rounded dessert.

If you’re looking for something more savory, try serving Scottish shortbread with a sharp cheese like cheddar or a tangy goat cheese. The contrast between the sweet, buttery cookie and the bold flavors of the cheese is truly sensational.

Another great way to enjoy this classic Scottish delight is to crumble it up and sprinkle it on top of ice cream as a crunchy topping. You can also mix it into parfaits or use it as a base for cheesecake crusts.

No matter how you choose to serve or pair it, there’s no denying that Scottish shortbread is one delectable treat that can stand on its own as well as with other foods. So go ahead and let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Simple enough for beginners to try
Simple enough for beginners to try

When it comes to shortbread, it’s always advisable to make and store them ahead of time for a tastier, more crumbly texture. To make-ahead scotch shortbread, prepare the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to three days. This will give it enough time for the flavors to meld and will help the dough hold its shape better.

Once your shortbread is baked and cooled, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature, where they can last for up to two weeks. For longer storage periods, keep the cookies in the fridge or freeze them in airtight containers or plastic bags for several months. Make sure that when storing, you add a layer of parchment paper or aluminum foil between each cookie layer.

Reheat your shortbread when needed by letting them thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before consuming. You may also heat your shortbread in an oven preheated to 300°F (150°C) for five minutes to refresh their crumbly texture.

It’s best to avoid reheating shortbread cookies multiple times as it may cause them to become brittle, and lose their melt-in-your-mouth texture.

With these tips and storage instructions on hand, you’ll always have buttery and delicious scotch shortbread on hand – whether it’s for an afternoon tea, dessert with friends or a quick snack with coffee.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't overwork the dough for the best results
Don’t overwork the dough for the best results

Creating perfect Scottish shortbread involves using quality ingredients and following the recipe closely. However, there are a few tips that can help you make the best shortbread possible.

Firstly, it’s important to cream the butter and sugar together until they’re light and fluffy. This is the key to creating that classic buttery flavor that is so emblematic of Scottish shortbread. Be sure to use room temperature butter, so that it’s soft enough to cream thoroughly.

Secondly, sift the flour and rice flour together before adding them to the mixture. This will help to create a smoother texture and ensure that the flours are well-combined.

Thirdly, chill the dough before baking. This will help it to firm up and prevent spreading in the oven. It also makes it easier to handle and shape the dough into bars or individual cookies.

Fourthly, consider adding a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness of the sugar in your recipe. A little bit goes a long way in enhancing the overall flavor profile of your shortbread.

Fifthly, if you’re making traditional Scottish shortbread bars or cookies, prick them all over with a fork before baking. This will prevent air pockets from forming during baking and keep them from puffing up too much.

Lastly, pay attention to baking times and temperatures. Overbaking your shortbread can result in a dry and crumbly texture. Aim for a light golden color and remove from the oven promptly. Once you’ve removed your shortbread from the oven, allow it to cool completely before serving or storing.

By following these tips, you can create perfectly delicate, buttery Scottish shortbread every time you bake.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Simple Scotch Shortbread Recipe is the perfect treat for any time of day. With just three basic ingredients – flour, sugar, and butter – you can create delicious and buttery shortbread that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

From a traditional Scottish recipe to an easy variation, these shortbread recipes are perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re serving them as a special dessert or simply enjoying them with a cup of tea, you can’t go wrong with the classic taste of shortbread.

So why not give this Simple Scotch Shortbread Recipe a try? With its easy-to-follow instructions and delicious results, it’s sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire. And who knows? You may just discover a new love for all things Scottish!

Simple Scotch Shortbread

Simple Scotch Shortbread Recipe

This recipe is so simple, even I can make it.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beginner Cook, Christmas, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Easy, European, Scottish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 wedges
Calories 365.6kcal


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour


  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add flour a little at a time.
  • Divide mixture in half and knead each piece 5 minutes or more.
  • Gently roll out into a circle, place on a baking tray and prick all over with a fork.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cut into 8 wedges and lightly sprinkle with sugar.
  • Leave to cool.


Serving: 577g | Calories: 365.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.4g | Protein: 3.5g | Fat: 23.3g | Saturated Fat: 14.6g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 164.1mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 12.6g

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