Buttery crisp, mildly sweet, easy to make these shortbread originates from Scotland and requires minimal ingredients. Baked in large rounds resembling sun and cut into wedges, this was traditionally served during Christmas and New year. Shortbread was an expensive luxury back during 12th Century and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year.

This was originally baked with Oats flour, sugar and butter/shortening, by 18th century, this got changed completely to APF, sugar and butter. The other alternative style which was later adopted was to bake them in square/rectangular tin/tray. Here they are sliced into finger shape. You can either bake them in wedges or finger shape as desired

Over the years, flavors were added in to this shortbread, it was originally prepared with flour, mix of caster and icing sugar with butter and salt. The rice flour here lends the crisp grainy texture to this shortbread. Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments also called as “Petticoat Tails”; individual round biscuits ; or a thick rectangular slab cut into finger shape

Shortbread and Shortcake aren’t one and the same. Shortbread uses butter while you can use vegetable fat etc for Shortcake and additionally shortcake requires baking powder. Do not substitute butter in this dish for that’s the key to this recipe and none of the ingredients can be substituted for then it will no longer be the classic Scottish shortbread


*You can use brown sugar or caster sugar in this dish. Do not overbake, they should be pale golden brown on top so depending on oven, time might slightly vary

**I have used vanilla extract for additional flavour, you can skip it or add it. Additionally candied peels/nuts/ginger etc can also be used for additional taste

***Skip salt if using salted butter. If you desire shortbread to be sweeter , you can slightly increase the amount of castor sugar

***Rice flour makes this shortbread crisp. You can also use Oats flour to add in the authentic taste

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 35 mins Total time: 40 mins

Servings: 3-4


1 cup = 240 ml

  • 1 cup/120 g All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp rice Flour/oats flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – optional
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar/Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 110 g soft unsalted butter

Steps to prepare

  • Add both the flours and salt in a bowl and mix well. Keep it aside
  • In a bowl, add butter and sugar
  • Blend this mixture until creamy for 6-7 minutes
  • Do keep scraping the sides while blending
  • Add vanilla extract and blend well. In addition , you can add candied peels, fruits, nuts etc for additional taste. This is a complete optional step
  • Gradually and slowly add dry ingredients
  • Mix until it comes together to form a dough
  • Transfer this mixture onto greased baking dish, you can use cake pans/baking trays or pie dish as desired
  • Dust palms with flour. Now with palms, spread the dough evenly and smoothly
  • Prick the top with fork, this will allow steam to pass and ensure even baking
  • I have also done wedge slices, this is to help in ease of slicing it post baking , this is optional step. Marking the dough helps in easy slicing post baking. I have shown both wedges and finger shortbread in the video
  • You can also do designs on top of shortbread if desired
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes in preheated oven at 160 deg cel until top is pale golden brown , dark brown towards edges and crisp
  • Allow to cool slightly, you need to slice the shortbread while it’s still warm
  • Now cool them completely and store in airtight container.
  • It tastes best when served next day, will remain fresh for 2-3 weeks
  • Serve with cup of Tea
Classic Scottish Shortbread

Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

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