Who doesn’t love a classic, melt-in-your-mouth Shortbread Cookie? This recipe is as simple as it is delightful, using just four ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. These shortbread cookies are a timeless treat that everyone will adore, perfect for tea time, as a sweet snack, or even as a thoughtful homemade gift.

Light golden, buttery shortbread cookie sprinkled with sugar on a floral plate

There’s something truly special about the aroma of freshly baked homemade shortbread wafting through the air. The warm, buttery scent and the delicate texture of the shortbread make it a delicious treat that’s hard to resist.

If you enjoy it plain or with a cup of tea, there’s no denying that homemade shortbread is a true delight for the senses. It’s a classic treat that’s been enjoyed for generations, and it’s not hard to see why.

From the tender crumb to the rich, buttery flavour, every bite is pure bliss. In fact, it’s hard to beat the satisfaction of biting into a piece of warm, homemade shortbread fresh from the oven. So, let’s bake some!

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Why You Will Love These Easy Shortbread Cookies

  • Only Four Ingredients – these cookies are a breeze with just butter, icing sugar, cornflour, and flour.
  • Deliciously Buttery – the high butter content gives these cookies their classic rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Versatile – perfect for any occasion, from casual gatherings to elegant tea parties. You can easily adapt this recipe with add-ins or chocolate.
  • Easy to Make – straightforward, this recipe is great for bakers of all levels.
close up of a broken shortbread cookie. Beautiful and crisp texture inside

Ingredients For Easy Shortbread Cookies

  • Butter – softened at room temperature for that rich, classic shortbread taste.
  • Powdered Sugar – also known as icing sugar, adds just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Cornstarch – to make the cookies extra tender. It is also known as cornflour in New Zealand, the UK, and Australia.
  • Flour – plain flour forms the base of the cookie dough.

This is an ingredient overview. The recipe card with ingredient amounts is at the bottom of this page.

Variations

  • Add Lemon Zest for a citrusy twist.
  • Dip in Chocolate after baking for a decadent touch.
  • Sprinkle with Coloured Sugar before baking for a festive look.
  • Incorporate Nuts or Dried Fruit into the dough for added texture.

Try these simple Christmas Shortbread Cookies for a festive gift!

How to Make Easy Shortbread Cookies

Preheat Oven to 150°C (300°F).

1. Cream the Butter and Sugar. In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.


2. Sift in Dry Ingredients. Sift in the cornstarch and flour, mixing until just combined to form a dough.


3. Shape and Cut. On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a rectangular log about 20cm long x 6cm wide x 4cm high. Cut into 1cm thick slabs and slice these in half lengthwise to make 2cm x 6cm rectangles (to get roughly 30 cookies). Prick each cookie 3 times with a fork.

This is half of the cookie dough (I put the other half into the freezer for later).


4. Chill. Place on a lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking.

5. Bake. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, then turn the oven temperature to 130°C (250°F) for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. They will be crisp and pale.

Optional: Sprinkle with caster sugar when hot out of the oven.

6. Cool. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

How to Store Shortbread Cookies

Room Temperature – Shortbread cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Freezing – You can freeze the dough or baked cookies for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. Before freezing, wrap the dough or cookies tightly with plastic wrap or aluminium foil to prevent air from getting in. This will help to prevent freezer burn and maintain the flavour and texture of the baked goods. When ready to use them, simply thaw the dough or cookies in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours before baking or serving.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t overwork the dough. Mix until combined to keep the cookies tender.
  • Mix in the icing sugar slowly to avoid a dust cloud.
  • Watch the oven as shortbread cookies should be lightly golden, not browned.

Looking For More Easy Dessert Recipes? Try These

Light golden, buttery shortbread cookie sprinkled with sugar on a floral plate

Shortbread Cookies {4 ingredients}

By Makyla Ata
Who doesn’t love a classic, melt-in-your-mouth Shortbread Cookie? This recipe is as simple as it is delightful, using just four ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. These shortbread cookies are a timeless treat that everyone will adore, perfect for tea time, as a sweet snack, or even as a thoughtful homemade gift.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
30

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup 2 tbsp 250g butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Oven to 150°C (300°F).
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Sift in the cornflour and flour, mixing until just combined to form a dough.
  • On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a rectangular log about 20cm long x 6cm wide x 4cm high. Cut into 1cm thick slabs and slice these in half lengthwise to make 2cm x 6cm rectangles (to get roughly 30 cookies). Prick each cookie 3 times with a fork.
  • Place on a lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes, then turn the oven temperature to 130°C (250°F) for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. They will be crisp and pale.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. If you want, sprinkle them with caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven while they are still hot.

Notes

  • Don’t overwork the dough. Mix until combined to keep the cookies tender.
  • Mix in the icing sugar slowly to avoid a dust cloud.
  • Watch the oven as shortbread cookies should be lightly golden, not browned.
  • Nutrition

    Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 101mg | Sugar: 5g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    6 Comments

    1. I love shortbread cookies! My mom and I would already have a pack (store bought) in her pantry and we enjoyed them with hot tea. I wish she was still here so she could try then fresh from the oven when I make these. Thank you for bringing back a sweet memory

      1. Hi Melanee, what a beautiful memory of your mum. This is such a beautiful reminder of the wonderful, simple pleasures in life. I hope you enjoy your homemade shortbread cookies. Take care, Makyla x

      1. Hi Deb, I haven’t tried this recipe with almond flour so I’m not able to say if it would work. A all-purpose gluten free flour would work though. Thanks, Makyla

    5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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