These shortbread cookies are buttery and melt-in-the-mouth delicious! They’re also so easy with only four simple ingredients.
Shortbread cookies are the best cookies ever! There’s nothing quite like having one of these (or two or three) with a cup of tea or coffee.
And these cookies are so easy you don’t even need a mixer!
How To Make Shortbread Cookies
Full instructions and measurements can always be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Simply add some all purpose flour, white sugar and salt to a mixing bowl and mix together.
- Then add in some butter. If the butter is slightly softened, this helps, but if not, you can go ahead anyway! Just slice up the butter a bit so that it’s not in one big piece.
- Use your hands to mix the butter in with the dry ingredients, crumbling it together until the whole mixture is crumbly.
- Then gradually press on it until it forms into a big ball of dough.
- Move the ball of dough onto a baking tray (spray with non-stick spray first if you think it might stick) and form your dough into a square log shape.
- Place the entire baking tray with the log shaped dough roll on it into the fridge and let it chill for 30 minutes. It will get super hard and firm and become really easy to slice.
- Slice it into around 16 slices. If you get a few more that’s okay too, but don’t slice it too thin.
- Place the cookies onto a parchment lined baking tray.
- Bake for 16 minutes at 350°F. They will be ever so slightly browned on top (and a little more on the bottom).
- Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before enjoying!
All Purpose Flour: Make sure you measure the flour correctly using the spoon and level technique as if you accidentally use too much then that will compromise the texture of these cookies.
Softened butter: Using softened butter makes this a little faster, but I’ve made these cookies even when I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge to let it soften. As long as you cut the butter into smaller pieces that are easier to break up into the dough with your fingers, then it will work either way.
White Granulated Sugar: A lot of recipes use powdered sugar for shortbread cookies but I’m a big fan of using regular white granulated sugar for these as it creates the most delicious texture.
Keep an eye on them while baking: If your oven temperature is a little higher than you think it is then these can over-brown quite fast. So keep an eye on them while they’re baking. They need to be very lightly browned on top.
Make Them Dairy-Free
If you switch the regular butter for a dairy-free alternative like Earth Balance then you can make this recipe dairy-free. It’s ideal if you use a stick version of vegan butter that is also very firm when refrigerated. This is so that when you form the dough into a log and then chill it, it will also get very firm and hard so you can easily cut it into slices.
If the only vegan butter/dairy-free margarine you have available to you is a soft tub style butter then you can also use it, but you will not be able to slice the dough as easily as it won’t firm up the same way. In this case you can roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies, or alternatively, roll the dough into balls and flatten with a fork. The cookies won’t look the same but they will be equally delicious.
These cookies are great to make ahead as you can store the dough in the fridge for 3 days before baking as well. So make the dough up to the point of forming it into a log shape and then just leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
Storing and Freezing
Keep them stored in an airtight container at room temperature where they will last for at least a week.
They are also freezer friendly for up to 3 months.
More Cookie Recipes!
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Simple Oatmeal Cookies
- Almond Butter Cookies
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Butter Lightly Salted, Softened
- Add the all purpose flour, sugar and salt to a mixing bowl and mix together.
- Add in softened butter and use your hands to mix it into the dry ingredients until crumbly.
- Gradually form into a ball of dough.
- Transfer to a baking tray (spray with non-stick spray if it might stick) and use your hands to form the dough into a log shape.
- Place into the fridge to chill and firm up for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Use a sharp knife to cut the log of cookie dough into around 16 cookies. Place them evenly on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until very lightly browned on top.
- If you didn’t remember to take out the butter in time for it to soften then you can still go ahead with these cookies. Just cut the butter into smaller pieces. It will just take a few minutes longer to get the butter properly mixed in with the flour and sugar.
- Keep an eye on these cookies as they bake as they can very quickly over-brown or burn. They need to be just very lightly browned on top and they’re done.
- Prep time is for hands on time only and does not include time spent chilling in the fridge.
- The cookie dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking.
- Keep cookies stored in an airtight container at room temperature and they will stay good for up to a week. They are also freezer friendly.