Scottish shortbread recipe

(1362 ratings)

Scottish shortbread has never been easier to make than with this simple recipe. Shortbread is full of sweet, buttery flavour and is perfect

scottish shortbread
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories149 Kcal7%
Sugar5.9 g7%
Fat8.8 g13%
Saturated Fat5.5 g28%
Salt0.21 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein1.5 g3%
Carbohydrates16 g6%
Salt0.21 gRow 7 - Cell 2

We love creamy, Scottish shortbread dipped in our cup of tea.

North of the border, Scottish shortbread in a tartan tin, is the ubiquitous tourist souvenir and while it definitely makes for a luxury gift, it’s also surprisingly easy to make yourself. Buttery Scottish shortbread is a firm biscuit that delivers a delicious, melt-in-the-mouth crumbliness. The recipe dates back to the 12th century and later became a firm favourite of the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots, whose French chefs refined the recipe and gave it the distinctive petticoat tail shape, still popular today. Tradition has it that a decorated form of shortbread was crumbled over a bride‘s head on her wedding day as she crossed the threshold of her new home. Sounds like a recipe for divorce, if you ask us.


  • 350g plain flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250g butter
  • Caster sugar, for dusting
  • 2 x 23cm round sandwich tins, buttered and base-lined




  1. Set the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Put the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the bowl. Work the mixture until it forms a ball (do not beat the mixture). The mixing may take a while.
  2. Divide the mixture into 2 and put a portion into each tin, pressing it into an even layer.
  3. Use the handle end of a fork to flute around the edges of the tins, then use the prongs to prick over the surface.
  4. Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for about 30-40 mins, or until the mixture is a pale golden colour.
  5. Remove the shortbread from the tins and cut into petticoat tails, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Dust with caster sugar before serving. (Not suitable for freezing).

Top tip for making Scottish shortbread

Woman's Weekly cookery editor, Sue McMahon, suggests putting all the ingredients in a food processor if you want to to make this quickly and whizz until it starts to bind together.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies