The Perfect Shortbread Recipe

Shortbread is a classic cookie choice which is fantastic for many occasions.

Perfect Shortbread Recipe - Christmas Trees

Whether you want a lovely snack to enjoy with a cup of coffee, or you are hosting an afternoon tea for your friends, you will love this recipe for buttery, soft shortbread. 

This recipe is simple to follow, so you will be able to enjoy perfect shortbread every time. Keep reading to find out more. 

Looking for a quick, tasty sweet treat? Check out our Easy Slice Recipes

What Do You Need?

Firstly, to make this recipe you need a stand mixer, or a mixing bowl and an electric hand mixer. You also need a spatula and a rolling pin.

Don’t have a Stand Mixer? No Worries. This is an incredibly useful kitchen appliance and you can find out all about them here.

The dough will need to be rolled out on a flat surface. This could be your kitchen worktop, or wooden or quartz board.

Finally, you will also need baking trays, parchment paper and a wire cooling rack. 

Master our simple Perfect Buttercream Recipe and wow your friends at afternoon tea.

Tips And Tricks 

If you want to make sure that you make the perfect shortbread biscuits each time, follow these helpful tips and tricks. 

  • Butter – using room temperature butter will ensure that it mixes well with the other ingredients. 
  • Flour – sift the flour before adding it to the mixture to ensure that your shortbread dough has no lumps
  • Spatula – use a spatula to scrape all of the mixture from the side of the bowl to make sure that the ingredients are well mixed. 
  • Dust – dust the rolling pin, your hands and the work surface with a little bit of flour. This will prevent the dough from sticking and will make it easier to work with. 
  • Chill – if the dough is too warm it will be difficult to work with. If this happens, wrap it in cling film and pop it in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes and then roll it out. Placing the cut cookies in the refrigerator before you bake them causes the butter to re-solidify, helping the cookies to retain their shape in the oven. 
  • Water – the flour and the cold can cause the dough to dry out. If you work with dough that is too dry, then it might crack and this will make your cookies prone to breaking. If you are worried about the dough being too dry, simply add a few drops of water. 
  • Parchment – make sure that the trays are lined with baking parchment to stop the cookies from sticking to the tray. 
  • Cooling – don’t try to take the cookies off the tray straight away. They will be too warm, and they could bend and break. Leave them to cool for several minutes, then move them over to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Perhaps you follow a gluten-free diet? If so, try our Gluten-Free Almond Chia Scone Recipes

How Can You Customise This Recipe?

This is for a simple perfect shortbread recipe, but there are different adaptations you can make. 

  • Sugar – You can sprinkle the cookies with granulated sugar as soon as they come out of the oven if you want them to be nice and sweet. You can use a mixture of sugar and cinnamon if you want them to have a touch of warm spice. 
  • Flavour – Vanilla essence is used in the recipe, but you can use any kind of extract that you like to flavour the cookies. You can also add extra ingredients like dried fruit. You could try using almond extract and chopped glace cherries to create a bakewell inspired shortbread. Other popular shortbread flavours include lemon and poppyseed, and lavender. You can also dip your shortbread in melted chocolate and leave it to set. 
  • Shape – A simple way to put your individual stamp on these cookies is to use different shaped cookie cutters. You could make traditional shortbread fingers, round cookies, or various shapes like stars and hearts. Or even Christmas trees like we have!

Feel like letting someone else do the baking? Here are the Best High Teas in Sydney

The Perfect Shortbread Recipe

Recipe by Dylan Cole
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: DessertCuisine: Scottish


Prep time


Cooking time





Here’s the perfect shortbread recipe with a step-by-step guide to making with tender biscuits with buttery flavour and crumbly texture.


  • 125 g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

  • 60 g Granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

  • 180 g Plain Flour

  • 0.25 teaspoon Fine Salt


  • Add the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and cream together using an electric hand mixer. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer. The mixture should be smooth and creamy, and pale in colour. It will take around 3 minutes at medium speed. 
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk it into the mixture. Make sure you use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the side of the bowl and ensure that it is all incorporated. 
  • Next, add the flour and the salt. Turn the speed to low and continue to mix the ingredients until the flour is fully beaten into the mixture. It will form a rough dough. Continue to mix until the dough starts to cling together. 
  • Lightly dust your hands and your work surface with flour to stop the dough sticking. Scrape all of the dough together into a ball, then press it into a flat disc. Lay it on your work surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it is about half an inch thick. Make sure the thickness is even across all of the dough. If the dough is too soft and difficult to work with, wrap it in cling film and chill it in the refrigerator for half an hour before rolling it out. 
  • Once the dough is rolled out, cut out the cookie shapes using whatever cutter you choose. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving gaps in between each cookie to allow for spreading during cooking. 
  • Use a fork to poke holes in each cookie – this will allow the heat to escape as they cook to prevent bubbling. You can poke the holes in a pattern if you choose. Cover the tray with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will help them to keep their shape as they cook.
  • While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 335 degrees Fahrenheit. After 30 minutes of chilling, bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until they turn slightly golden in colour. Remove the tray from the oven and let the cookies cool for several minutes. You can then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe Video

Dylan Cole

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