Shortbread Cookies

Recipe for True Scottish Shortbread
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3 cups sifted flour (plain/all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 pound salted butter, softened
6 tablespoons sugar (castor or superfine)
pinch of salt if using unsalted butter


Set oven to 400°F. 

Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flours together and add salt if you’re using unsalted butter. Ideally, sift the dry ingredients a couple times. Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Add the sifted ingredients and mix by hand until you have a soft dough. Be careful not to knead and overhandle or the shortbread won’t have as delicate a taste.

Shape into medium-thick, round cakes the size of a saucer, place on cookie sheets, prick with a fork, and flute the edges.

  • Or, press into a large circle about 8 to 10 inches across and about ¾ inch thick. Mark out 16 ‘slices’ with a knife (just don’t cut all the way through) and put this on the cookie sheets. Or you can use any round cake pan. Prick dough with a fork and flute the edges with your thumb and forefinger.
  • Or, instead of a large circle, you can press the dough into squares and smaller circles the size of a saucer.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight cookie tin or container.

Reader Comments

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I have been baking Scottish

I have been baking Scottish Shortbread for over 50 years, and never, ever, baked it at 400 degrees! My Scottish grandmother's recipe says "bake in a slow oven". I bake mine at 350
and it turns out perfectly.


You can use semolina instead of rice flour.this is good biscuits for vegans has no egg.


Anyway to make a soft shortbread cookie?

shortbread recipe question

1.) are there acceptable alternatives to rice flour?

Scottish Shortbread

Rice flour? Wondering if Rice flour is an ingredient in "true" Scottish Shortbread?

Scottish Shortbread

I make a similar recipe and use the food processor. It’s sandy but then I pat it on the cookie pan. Make a double recipe one at a time.

scottish shortbread

May not be Scottish but I add 1 T ground cardamom for amazing flavor.

I make, "Scotch Cake's",

I make, "Scotch Cake's", every year, right after Thanksgiving. I don't allow mine to, " brown", at all. Pale in color. The secret to the BEST flavor is to HIDE them in a cool, dark place and let them AGE!! Without the aging you just DON'T have the amazing flavor. Bring them out at Christmas.

Have never seen a shortbread

Have never seen a shortbread recipe baked at 400 degrees as this recipe indicates. Is this correct ??

Yes, Laura, 400 degrees is

The Editors's picture

Yes, Laura, 400 degrees is correct. Enjoy!