Shortbread Cookies

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Easy Shortbread Cookies are the best Christmas cookie recipe! Crumbly, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread dough made with just butter, sugar, and flour.

Butter Cookies are an easy classic Cookie Recipe that no holiday dessert tray would be complete without. These classic shortbreads are even easier to make and just as essential this holiday season!

Shortbread Cookies in baking pan, sliced


These 3 ingredient shortbreads are the easiest cookie to make for the holidays! Festive, classic Christmas cookies with no chilling or rolling out dough, and no need to cut-out shapes or use cookie cutters. Simple, melt-in-your-mouth cookies from the mixing bowl to your cookie tray in less than an hour.

This Shortbread Cookie recipe is as easy as one-two-three! A classic shortbread cookie recipe is one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour and bake it until it’s just starting to turn golden. Since there are no eggs in this recipe, you don’t have to worry about under-baking your cookies. They will firm up as they cool, so you want the shortbread soft when you remove from the oven.

Shortbread Cookies in baking pan before baking

These buttery crumbly Shortbreads are sure to be your new favorite cookie! They are perfect for dunking in a cup of hot tea or coffee, or you can dress them up for a cookie exchange. For a simple decoration, you can sprinkle the cookies with granulated sugar or sparkling sugar right from the oven. Once they have cooled, dip your cookies in Chocolate Ganache or frost with Sugar Cookie Frosting and top with festive sprinkles.

Shortbread Cookies last for weeks at room temperature, but you do want to be careful when storing them so they don’t crumble. Use parchment paper between layers if you stack the cookies, and don’t store them in a plastic bag unless it’s laying flat. You can chill the dough for up to a week before using, or freeze for up to 3 months and bake from frozen. Simply slice the cold dough into rounds or freeze in a disposable baking dish.

Shortbread Cookies in baking pan

Difference Between Scottish Shortbread and Classic Shortbread

The biggest difference between a Scottish Shortbread and this Classic Shortbread Cookie recipe is the sugar used. Some Scottish Shortbread Cookie recipes use a mixture of brown sugar or confectioner’s sugar with the granulated sugar. These Traditional Shortbreads are made with white sugar only.


Tips for Making Shortbread Cookies

  • Pricking the top of the dough before baking keeps it from bubbling up while the cookies bake. It also adds that signature shortbread pattern!
  • You can use a cookie press instead of a baking dish to make festive, easy cookies. Cut your cookies about 1/4 inch thick onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and chill before baking so they don’t spread. They are done when the edges just start to turn golden.
  • Don’t overmix the flour into the butter-sugar mixture. Shortbreads are a dense cookie with no leavening agent so you don’t want to loose any of the air you created by creaming the butter and sugar.

Shortbread Cookies in stack

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  • Chocolate: Replace 1/4 cup all-purpose flour with unsweetened cocoa powder to make Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.
  • Mix-Ins: Fold in chopped pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, slivered almonds or other dried mix-ins. Try orange zest, cranberries, and slivered almonds for a tasty Christmas Shortbread!

Shortbread Cookies in stack

  • Brown Sugar: You can substitute half the white sugar with brown sugar, or use a mixture of brown sugar and powdered sugar.
  • Flavoring: Add 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract to give your buttery cookies a vanilla flavor or almond flavor. You can add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, or Pumpkin Pie Spice for easy holiday flavor.



  • Serve: Shortbread Cookies can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. If it is humid, line your container with a paper towel to absorb moisture.
  • Store: Refrigerate Shortbread Cookies in an airtight container, with parchment paper between layers, for up to 1 month. Enjoy cookies at room temperature or warmed up.
  • Freeze: You can freeze baked Shortbread Cookies for up to 3 months. To keep cookies from sticking, freeze for 1 hour on a parchment lined cookie sheet before transferring to a sealed container. Leave at room temperature uncovered to thaw. 

top-down view of Shortbread Cookies in stack

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Shortbread Cookies

5 from 1 vote
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Easy Shortbread Cookies are the best Christmas cookie recipe! Crumbly, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread dough made with just butter, sugar, and flour.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking pan with baking spray.
  2. Add butter and sugar to a stand mixer and cream on high speed for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

  3. Lower speed to the lowest setting and add in the flour slowly until just combined.
  4. Press into baking pan then poke with fork.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes (you do not want the cookies to brown).

  6. Cool about 10 minutes then cut into squares while still slightly warm.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Amount per serving: 183 calories, Calories: 183g, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 355g, Calcium: 6g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies collage

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  1. What a fantastic recipe.thank you so MUCH.I will definitely try making these and I plan to use the cocoa
    Chocolate shortbread cookies sounds awesome.