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These sweet, crisp, buttery, classic Shortbread Cookies are so light that they practically dissolve in your mouth. They’re easy to make with 5 ingredients. |

Classic Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 cookies
  • Diet: Vegetarian


These sweet, crisp, buttery, classic Shortbread Cookies are so light that they practically dissolve in your mouth. They’re easy to make with 5 ingredients.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar, confectioners' sugar or granulated sugar


  1. Preheat to 325 F. Use butter to grease a 9-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer or hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium-low speed until combined and the dough starts to clump together. (Be careful not to overmix as this will cause the cookies to be too hard). The dough should be breadcrumb like and not too dry. It should be soft and slightly sticky, and you should be able to easily form it into a ball using your hands.
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and use a spatula (or something with a flat surface) to spread it out evenly and smooth the top.
  6. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut the dough into 2 columns, each 4.5-inches wide. Cut the columns crosswise into 8 rows, about 1 to 1.5-inches wide, and making sixteen 4.5-inch bars. You could also cut them into 3 columns and 8 rows to make twenty-four 3-inch cookies.
  7. Use a fork to prick a decorative pattern into the tops, inserting the fork about halfway down into the dough. 
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden. Let the shortbread sit for 5 minutes in the pan, then take a sharp knife and re-cut the cookies along the previous cuts. You an also re-poke with your fork if necessary.
  9. Carefully remove the cookies and transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


How to store: Once the shortbread cookies have cooled completely, carefully transfer them to a sealed plastic bag or tupperware lined with parchment paper and store at room temperature for up to 7 days.

How to freeze: Freeze shortbread squares between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

How to store and freeze cookie dough: Shape the shortbread cookie dough into a disc and wrap it tightly in plastic cling wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before baking. You can also transfer the wrapped dough to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes to one hour so that it becomes soft enough to pack into the baking pan.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Scottish

Keywords: classic shortbread cookies, shortbread, Scottish shortbread, traditional shortbread