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Home | Easy Scottish-Style Shortbread

Easy Scottish-Style Shortbread


Buttery Scottish shortbread is so good. It's the simplest cookie I can think of, but it's just so delicious that it's hard to believe there are only four simple ingredients involved. My kids often talk me into buying a box of Walker's shortbread at the supermarket and we demolished a large box intended for a souvenir as we waited for a flight home from England at Manchester airport one summer.

Making your own shortbread is easy, and so worthwhile. You can whip together a batch whenever the mood strikes you if you have all the necessary ingredients on hand: flour, butter, sugar, and salt. That's it. This homemade version doesn't have the cute shapes that you can get in the boxed kind, but it tastes every bit as good and has that same melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Try to use a European-style butter for this recipe; the higher fat content makes for a better shortbread. We used the kind made locally by Clover, but Kerrygold or other readily available brands will work great.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted European-style butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (the wrappers from your sticks of butter are perfect for this). Cut butter into cubes.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt, and butter. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers and work it until everything is thoroughly combined and the mixture clumps together. If it seems too dry keep working it until it clumps together. You can also do this in a food processor, but I think it's just as easy and less messy to do it this way.

Pour the dough into the prepared pan and press it down into the pan firmly until it forms a cohesive layer. You can smooth the top of the shortbread by covering it with a sheet of plastic wrap and pressing it with your fingers.


With a fork, prick rows of holes along the dough. This is too allow steam to escape and keep bubbles from forming as it bakes. You can also score the dough with a sharp knife to make it easier to cut when it comes out of the oven.

Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cut into bars with a sharp knife, then let it cool completely. When cool, remove from the pan and enjoy with a cold glass of milk or a nice cup of tea.