You just need three ingredients to make this Easy Shortbread Recipe – butter, sugar and flour! This old fashioned shortbread is buttery, crisp and delicious.
Since we all can’t do very much at the moment, I’ve been spending a little time reading old family cookbooks for inspiration. They are falling apart at the spine, but I can’t bear to throw them out – they are part of my family history.
I have to say, it’s been pretty amusing reading the footnotes I wrote at the side of each recipe when I was little – it’s pretty clear I’ve been obsessed with food since childhood! Let’s just say I must have had some pretty elaborate 1960’s style dinner parties going on in my head…..
While reading my Gran’s 1950’s Good Housekeeping cookery bible (which has definitely seen much better days) I came across this wonderful recipe for shortbread and it truly is a new favourite. It is buttery, crisp and light.
I know I already have a recipe for Scottish shortbread with cornflour and icing sugar, but I have to be honest and say I now prefer this recipe.
if you prefer a crisp shortbread, this is the recipe for you. Shortbread made with cornflour is meltingly light, but it does tend to go quite soft after a couple of days. This shortbread is still crisp and delicious after a good ten days of baking – I don’t know if it keeps for any longer than that because ours is all gone!
tips for making this easy shortbread recipe and commonly asked questions
When a recipe has so few ingredients, it’s crucial to use the best you can get your hands on. For me this means using proper block butter – no margarine or spreads please!
You can use salted or unsalted butter in this shortbread recipe. Personally I always use salted for shortbread and I still add a little pinch of salt to the dough. If you’re using unsalted butter, you might want to add a larger pinch of salt.
My shortbread dough is too soft to work with!
If your dough is super soft, it’s advisable to chill it for about 20-30 minutes. I usually cut the dough in half and chill one half while rolling out the other. You could also chill the cut out shapes for 15-20 minutes before baking – this prevents the shortbread from spreading in the oven.
The dough isn’t coming together!
If you’re making the shortbread by hand, it might seem like the dough is never going to adhere. Keep going – I promise it will! Using an electric stand mixer or hand whisk will make the job much easier.
How long does this shortbread keep for?
The shortbread will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight tin – possibly longer!
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- 250g salted butter, at room temperature
- 110g caster sugar
- 300g plain (all purpose) flour
- pinch of salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140Fan/325F/Gas mark 3. Grease and line a couple of large baking sheets.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Using an electric mixer will make a much easier job and save your arms from becoming sore. I believe this is a crucial step in making good shortbread, so do beat the mixture for a good 5 minutes or so.
- Weigh out the flour and stir in the salt, if using. Beat the flour into the butter mixture, 100g at a time, until you have a smooth dough. If you are making the shortbread by hand, this may take some time and it might seem like the mixture will never form a dough - but keep going, I promise it will. you might have to get your hands in the bowl and give the mixture a little knead.
- Cut the dough in half and roll one half out on a lightly floured work surface to roughly the thickness of a one pound coin. Cut the dough into shapes and place on the lined baking trays. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the shortbread is crisp and starting to turn a very pale golden around the edges.
- Leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Lightly sprinkle the warm shortbread with caster sugar.
Nutrition InformationYield 20 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 111Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 27mgSodium 87mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 0gSugar 6gProtein 0g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.