Back to Scottish Shortbread

Print Options


Card Sizes

Scottish Shortbread Recipe

Scottish Shortbread Recipe

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. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min./batch + cooling YIELD:48 servings


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


  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3-3/4 cups flour; mix well. Turn dough 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 3x1 in. strips. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with fork. Bake until cookies are lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Cool. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie: 123 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 62mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Reviews for Scottish Shortbread

Sort By :

Average Rating
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2017

"I make this recipe every year to put them on gift trays and it’s not uncommon for these to be the favorite on the tray. They are perfectly sweet, and I usually drizzle chocolate on half of them for the kids. If you’ve tried them and they’re not turning out right, I can only assume that you’re not following the directions precisely, or that you aren’t using real butter. The texture and flavor is perfect every time i make these. I just follow the directions. Five stars for sure."

Reviewed Dec. 24, 2017

"Exactly what I was looking for. I was worried by the reviews that complain about them being bland, but realized that the recipe (unlike most) has no salt and does not call for unsalted butter. If you're using unsalted, make sure to add some in."

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2017

"Wow are these amazing! So buttery and they literally melt in your mouth. I will for sure be adding this recipe to my Christmas cookie baking list. My sons and I added some sprinkles to make them a bit more festive."

Reviewed Dec. 6, 2017

"normally i am used to sweet recipes turning out too sweet, so I always use less sugar than the recipe says...not this time, I added much more sugar than the recipe called for and also two tablespoons of maple syrup...and in the end they still did not turn out to be very sweet...also, with all the butter, you'd expect the taste to be much more buttery than it not bad, but rather flat taste...gonna look for a more flavourful recipe ;)"

Reviewed Feb. 12, 2017

"I had to cook these longer than the recipe called for. I found these to be good but not great. I did add a pinch of salt. I am glad I did. They are not as sweet as I would like."

Reviewed Dec. 23, 2016

"This is the easiest shortbread I've ever made and it was unspeakably delicious.

I used a medium brown course granulated sugar, which gave it a nice texture. Salted Butter, NoName AP flour - all basics.
I have lipped cookie sheets so I simply rolled the dough out inside of them, turned them out on a floured surface and cut scores with a rolling cutter, then pricked with a fork. I didn't separate them, I baked them touching and they came out fine; separated easily without crumbling.
But this means no brown edges, so it's a question of presentation. The dough is easily worked and would be ideal for press forming into wooden molds if you have them. ( cookie molds)
They will crumble, though. Don't just throw them higgledy-piggledy into a ziplock bag as I did. You could easily create a block of cookie strips and have an easier time wrapping them.
BTW, there were none left over for gifting. I suggest doubling the recipe, at the very least.
Keep this in mind as a tart crust! They are definitely sturdy enough, and the base flavor would complement most tart fillings; even a simple jam filling would be wonderful.
If I were to vary this at all, I think I'd substitute part of the brown sugar with maple syrup. I'm sure that would be delicious."

Reviewed Nov. 23, 2016

"Perfect Shortbread cookie, I love shortbread cookies these are way better than any store bought shortbread cookie. I only added a tsp of vanilla to this exact recipe It's easy and delicious They aren't bland they have the perfect amount of sweetness for a shortbread cookie. I definitely will be making this recipe a lot. I had to drizzle some chocolate on top of some for the kids they really don't like shortbread cookies but will eat these with the chocolate. Oh I also chilled the dough before working it."

Reviewed Aug. 16, 2016

"Very good. I like this better the recipe we used when I was a child. I make them smaller though--1 inch by 2 inches. These expand more than my old recipe did so I can't put them as close on the cookie sheet."

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."

Loading Image