Scottish Shortbread Recipe
Scottish Shortbread Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Scottish Shortbread Recipe

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Meet the Cook: Scottish settlers first came to this area over 150 years ago. My mother herself was Scottish, and - as with most of my favorite recipes - she passed this on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and as gifts. When I entered Scottish Shortbread at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. As long as we have been married - and that's 54 years - my husband and I have lived on a farm. We are retired, and we have five grown children. -Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min./batch
MAKES:48 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min./batch
MAKES: 48 servings


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Nutritional Facts

2 cookies equals 123 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3-3/4 cups flour and mix well. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Roll to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut into 3-in. x 1-in. strips. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with fork. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Yield: about 4 dozen.
Originally published as Scottish Shortbread in Country Woman July/August 1995, p29

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Reviewed Mar. 23, 2016

"I love this recipe! I have made this shortbread a couple of times and have sent to friends who rave about them. Right after piercing with the fork, I sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top before baking. It just adds a little more sweetening on the top! Thank you!"

Reviewed Feb. 19, 2016

"I read the reviews. I was so excited to bake these cookies. I LOVE shortbread.

I was so disappointed. These are so bland and dry. I even tried variations. Nothing I did changed the shortbread.
I'm sorry but these are not good at all to me."

Reviewed Feb. 17, 2016

"I would like to start by saying I usually NEVER leave a review. I read them but don't leave them. I create an account JUST so I could give credit to this recipe. I have tried about 13 different variations with shortbread. Playing with amounts, ingredients and temperature. This recipe was hands down the BEST I've ever made. The texture was flaky and delicate. The flavor was buttery and sweet with a hint of vanilla. I rolled them thin, cut them out and pricked them with a fork. Cooked them at 315 degrees for 18 minutes. They were absolutely perfect, and exactly what we were trying to re create. Thank you!"

Reviewed Jan. 20, 2016

"Everyone loves them & can't believe it' takes only 3 ingredients to make."

Reviewed Jan. 1, 2016

"This was excellent shortbread! Coming from a Scottish family we have shortbread for every holiday and I made this version for Hogmanay (New Years). Some don't think it's "real" shortbread if rice flour and castor sugar isn't used in the recipe. Many people will use about a 1/2 cup of rice flour and 4 cups flour. Castor sugar is somewhere in between white sugar and powdered sugar (you can make this in a food processor using white sugar). However, many don't have these ingredients on hand and shortbread is just flour, sugar, and butter (and a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter), so why not mix it up? Not everyone's recipe for any dish is the same and this is a great shortbread. My shortbread was done after 18 minutes (ovens vary just as recipes do). I will definitely be making this easy and tasty shortbread again."

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