Granny’s Shortbread

Published by Amy

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Scottish Shortbread recipe for traditional butter shortbread, cut into circles and love heart biscuits.

If there’s one smell that takes me back to growing up in the home that housed Granny’s baking, it is shortbread. Alongside her Empire Biscuits, Shortbread is one of the recipes that Granny is best known for. Delightfully Scottish, these sweet buttery biscuits are what dreams are made of. And let me tell you, Granny has got the art of Shortbread mastered!

Possibly my favourite thing about Shortbread is just how versatile it can be. Be it cut into a variety of shapes; circles, fingers, petticoat tails, hearts…you can literally dress them up for any occasion! Or there’s the option of adding a little something extra; chocolate chips, ginger or Granny’s favourite of raisins soak in orange juice & drained, with some dark chocolate chips through them too. Shortbread can be dressed up (or down!) for whatever your needs. It’s even something that I have considered as wedding favours, when that day finally comes.

The best part about Granny’s Shortbread and what sets it apart from most other recipes is just how tried and tested it is. It’s crumbly, it’s buttery, it holds it shape and it’s oh-so sweet. Look no further folks, this is all the shortbread knowledge you will ever need!

"First time I’ve ever made shortbread. So many recipes about but I’ve tried other recipes from this site that have been great so went with this recipe. It didn’t disappoint."
Antonia
Stack of Scottish Shortbread, with a heart shaped biscuit at the front.
Scottish Shortbread recipe for traditional butter shortbread, cut into circles and love heart biscuits.

Granny's Shortbread

5 from 16 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180°c (160°c for a fan assisted oven) or Gas Mark 3 and grease a couple of baking trays with a little butter.
  • Cream together the butter & sugar in a large bowl until it becomes light & fluffy.
  • Sift in your flour & cornflour and mix to form a stiff dough. Tip the dough onto a floured worktop and gently knead until smooth.
  • Roll your dough to around 1cm thick and cut into your desired shapes. Transfer each shortbread to your pre-greased baking trays and prick each one with a fork on top.
  • Bake in your pre-heated oven for around 15-20 minutes until the edges of the shortbread are golden.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle a little sugar over each shortbread. Leave to cool on their tray for around 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tried this recipe?Tag @bakingwithgranny or use the hashtag #bakingwithgranny!
Scottish Shortbread recipe. Buttery Scottish biscuits. Simple to bake and delicious for all. Shortbread is a classic little cookie that everyone loves.

89 Responses

        1. Following this recipe it was so successful, I made 3 batches in one week. But I had to scale to the butter of 250g ratio to make life easier as in uk a block of butter is either in 250g or 500g.
          I am going to make many for our Christmas goody bags as well as the tablet I just made an hour ago, again, very successful. Most grateful for your kindly sharing these lovely recipes.

          1. If you’re in the U.K. you can use flora dairy free butter – unsalted. I use it and it works brilliantly, very “short” shortbread and good flavour. Am dairy free for milk allergy so this is the only way I get shortbread.

    1. I believe Cornflour is also known as Cornstarch out with the UK. Cornmeal is what is regarded as Polenta in the UK. Or so is my understanding!

      1. We had to order corn flour here in the US. Corn Starch is NOT corn flour or corn meal. Googled it to find out.

        1. In Canada, corn flour is yellow. Corn starch is white.
          Corn meal is so much courser than the corn flour and good for bread, muffins etc.

  1. These look so beautiful – I find it is easy to catch Shortbread but it is still really forgiving and will always get eaten. Yours is baked perfectly though. Thanks so much for joining in once again with #Bakeoftheweek x

  2. I love shortbread and yours looks delicious. Family recipes, are to me, the most precious. All the memories and love that are entwined in them. I shall certainly be trying these! Sammie

  3. Ooh these look gorgeous Amy. I’ve not had any homemade shortbread for quite some time for some reason, and yet I absolutely adore it. I really like the sound of Granny’s favourite – one I really must try.
    Angela x

    1. For best results with freezing, you’d be best freezing the dough and defrosting in the fridge over night before baking. Wrap the dough in cling fling and tin foil for freezing and it will keep fine for up to 2 months.

  4. Hi Amy,

    Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe.
    I bake Christmas cookies every year and I can say without hesitation that this has been my most sucessful batch yet.
    I doubled the recipe and counted more than 100 cookies in different shapes; angels, donkeys, stars, snowflakes & Christmas trees.
    I sprinkled a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon & pink glitter dust over them – they turned out sooo pretty and yummy.
    Have a look at my Instagram page, I posted an image @zydia.
    Thanks so much.
    Have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Oh for pities sake…buy a flipping set of scales! The blogger is British. We have to deal with your hugely inaccurate ‘cups’, so the least you can do is appreciate that the world does not revolve round the Americans, and either convert the recipe yourself or buy some cheap equipment.

        1. Hi Annie how can you possibly say well said to Barbara’s bad manners what a terrible attitude many times I have had to ask for help with measurements & weight’s &I am not from America what does it matter where you come from I’m Scottish living in Australia I sometimes do recipes from America don’t encourage bad manners

          1. Isobel agree.
            Bad manners demonstrates what a person is really light.
            Cups spoons whatever…Celsius Farenheit imperial cents shillings $ or £ weights and measurements etc… a cup of kindness goes a long way. Makes the best shortbread.

        1. I made this beautiful recipe today . My friend had a birthday and I saved a few for hubby and myself . I am 73 years old and this will be my go to shortbread for my family from now on . Thank you so much for sharing

        2. Good on you Karen What a terrible attitude Barbara had to that reasonable request what’s wrong with getting out of your comfort zone & offer to help out it doesn’t matter where we come from I’m with you #bekind

        1. Norma, you may be located in the states but the owner of this website is in Scotland! See the “uk” at the end of the URL? Surely, you are capable of doing the math like the rest of us Americans who find recipes on sites in countries that use the metric system. Is your name really Norma? “Karen” seems more fitting…. what a sense of entitlement you have!

          1. What is wrong with you lot in Scotland having such bad manners I’m Scottish living in Australia Does that make me a Karen? Because I ask for help ? Who care where you are born or what system is used replying in such a way is un called for showing kindness & patience does not cost anything , no wonder the world is in a mess we have lost common curtesy!!!!

      1. Dear Barbara what ever happened to manners ? Making such a rude comment was unnecessary What does it matter if it takes a bit out of anyone’s comfort zone to help out it’s no big deal Barbara . We should be all willing to help each other no matter where we come from take a chill pill Dear be kind it doesn’t cost anything

        1. 5 stars
          Oh honestly, I use loads of American recipes and wouldn’t dream of expecting them to include “English measurements “ You are commenting on here so obviously more than capable of using the internet? Google is a wonderful thing

          1. It was actually hard to find exact measurements for the equivalents— even with the converters, especially without having been able to actually taste the original recipe to see if the converted product was even close to the original. It was kind of Lyn to make that effort. I would be happy to do that for an English or Scottish baker if the roles were reversed!

      1. Good on you Lyn For helping out there should be more Lyn’s in the world willing too lend a hand thank you

      2. Thank-you so much for these measurements. Fortunately, after living in Scotland for two years, I do know what castor sugar and corn flour are—along with golden syrup and mince!! I would never disparage a British cook for asking me what the measuring cup equivalent in grams was!

  5. Oh my goodness these are simply amazing. I was looking for something quick easy and snacky and this was perfect!!! Thank you so much

  6. Oh my goodness these are simply amazing. I was looking for something quick easy and snacky and this was perfect!!! Thank you so much

  7. This looks amazing! My mum was Scottish, so this recipe reminds me of her! Definitely going to give it a whirl soon! Just discovered you via the #BIBS voting platform – good luck!

  8. Love this recipe ,,,
    As for conversions do what most people do look on the iinternet like we have to do to convert from USA cup

  9. The longer you allow the shortbread to sit, the richer it becomes. My 7th grade English teacher was from Scotland. She made these for class and gave out the recipe. She said she made these and allowed them to sit until the next Christmas. I tried, but I am too weak. All I could think about was shortbread cookies aging in my cubbard. That was it! They were gone!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made these biscuits lots of times and they are always well received! I use this recipe all the time- it’s the best!!! Sometimes I’ve added some chocolate chips and nuts. They are very nice!

    1. I’m sure you can – just press the shortbread into the pan nice and firmly, and cut lines in it before you bake it so it will be easier to break into wedges later.

  11. 5 stars
    My favourite shortbread. So easy to make and yummy! I like to add chopped up nuts and smarties.

  12. 5 stars
    First time I’ve ever made shortbread. So many recipes about but I’ve tried other recipes from this site that have been great so went with this recipe.
    It didn’t disappoint. Easy to follow. Mine needed to cook for around 10 mins longer but tasted amazing

  13. Delicious shortbread. Recipe was spot on. I kept mine in oven for a few more minutes to get quite brown as that’s my personal preference. A Scottish taste sensation!

  14. I don’t understand what the hell im doing- I’m following this to a t and still my dough is waaayy to soft to even handle let alone cut shapes from.

  15. Amy, the recipe says pre-heat the oven at 180c but then later it says bake at 160c, which temperature is it? Also could the cornflour be replaced with semolina or ground rice?

    Regards……Maria

  16. All I can say is 5 stars is not enough this recipe deserves a whole galaxy of stars ⭐️ . The bikkies are SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!! Melt in the mouth, eat 10 then go for a run… to justify eating the rest post run. They are just . Thank you !

  17. Hi, most shortbread recipes I have come across require you to put the dough in the fridge before baking – is there a reason this recipe doesn’t require it?

  18. Hello !! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely recipes!!! Can I decorate this biscuits with royal icing???

    Thanks!

    Liena

  19. I am a complete novice Baker have never made shortbread in my life and was look for a shortbread recipe that gave a good crunch to the biscuit. I have now made this 4 times as everyone loves it. I am going to try it with some coconut in it. Thank you

  20. 5 stars
    My mum’s recipe too,but her grannie used ground rice in it instead of cornflour. I have tried it. Makes it quite crumbly though. Tastes nice enough.

    Maybe your gran has heard of it?

    Also,for the last 34 years,I have tried every tablet recipe under the sun. I just can’t make it,until this one. Never goes wrong. Thanks

    1. 5 stars
      Oh, one thing I had to bake for 10mins longer than stated. When they came out of the oven they were still fragile. Great though once cooled.

  21. Hi, I was just curious using an average size cutter, how many biscuits do you get from the dough? Also saw the cups/grams conversation and thought this site can help it’s great you type in the ingredient and it converts it to American/Australian and British measures. https://m.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking/

  22. 5 stars
    Have been using this recipe for sometime now and always delighted with the result. In the summer we have them with cream and strawberries and in the winter enjoy them with whatever drink we are having. I dust with golden brown sugar. Thank you for sharing.

  23. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I followed ingredients to the letter but it felt way too soft from the start I couldn’t really get it into a dough when I cooked it it just lost it’s shapes and melted all over the pan. It was still delicious if flat so will try again but use less butter.

  24. 5 stars
    I bake this shortbread regularly. It’s loved by all the family and the grandchildren. Success every bake. Thank you.

  25. Hi this mixture was as dry as a stick! Too much flour so it was like sand. Trying to rescue with more butter. I can share a photo if needed.

  26. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Made exactly as instructed and kept fresh in a sealed tin for 3 days until all eaten. Thank you!

  27. 5 stars
    Oh Wow, this has to be the best shortbread I have ever baked, they are absolutely delicious, what a great easy recipe to make, can’t stop eating them ha ha
    Thank you

  28. Been making this since I was a wee lad about 60 years. Never used corn flour. Never had any complaints. Just saying.

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Hi! I'm Amy

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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.

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