Traditional All Butter Scottish Shortbread Recipe

Luxury Scottish all butter shortbread fingers on tartan tea towel
All Butter Shortbread. Diana Miller / Getty Images
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
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Look no further for a quick, irresistible and delicious Scottish Shortbread recipe. Shortbread is one of the most famous Scottish biscuits and eaten traditionally around Christmas and an essential part of a traditional Scottish New Year (Hogmanay). But let's be honest this tasty treat is far too good for once a year, so why not eat it year round?

The success of a 'shortie' - a familiar name for shortbread - is to handle the dough with care. Do not pound or knead heavily, and make sure your hands and the dishes you use are cold. The resulting shortbread will then be light and crumbly with a dense buttery taste. Too warm and the crumb will not be the same. 

Choose the method you prefer for 'rolling' out the dough. You can either roll with a pin which creates a lovely shortbread, but it will be plain or, for a lovely pattern, press directly into a baking tin or a shortbread mould if you have one.


What You'll Need

  • 225g (8 oz)  butter
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • 110g  (½ cup) caster (fine) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 225g  (2 cups) plain (
  • all-purpose )flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g  (3 ½ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)

How to Make It

Scottish Shortbread Recipe

  • Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter, salt and sugar. until light and fluffy and pale in colour. This can take at least 10 minutes. You don't have to do this by hand, you can use an electric mixer if you have one and this will be much quicker.
  • Mix together the flour and cornflour /corn starch and sieve into the bowl of butter and sugar. Mix quickly and thoroughly to bring all the ingredients together,  but do not over mix as you will risk the danger of making the shortbread warm and thus a poor crumb.
  • Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and bring knead lightly and quickly to form a loose dough. then either:-
  • Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1 cm / ¼" thick. Prick the surface all over with a fork. Cut into desired shape or rounds using cookie cutters. Place the Scottish shortbreads on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 25 mins or until pale brown and crisp. Sprinkle the warm Scottish shortbreads with fine sugar and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  • Grease a Swiss roll tin 23 x 33cm / 9" x 13" with butter. Press the dough into the tin and press with your fingers to level the surface, prick all over with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. With the shortbread still in the tin, cut into squares or fingers, leave to cool for 15 minutes then carefully remove to a wire cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight tin or box.