Easy Shortbread Cookies

These easy Shortbread Cookies only have three ingredients, and require just a few minutes of prep time. You will love how they melt in your mouth!

Shortbread is a unique texture that’s so crumbly and flaky, and melts in your mouth every time. If you love this classic shortbread cookie recipe, you need to try Brown Sugar Shortbread and White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies!

stack of shortbread cookies

3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

If you love cookies that are rich and buttery, but not overly sweet, then you have got to try homemade shortbread!

Butter is the star in these cookies, so don’t use any substitutions or you will not get the same results. Make sure you are using a high quality butter for best flavor.

I use salted butter in all my baking, but if you are using unsalted butter, you will need to add ¼ tsp of salt to the cookie dough. It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it really makes a difference in the taste of the final product.

This recipe is pretty basic (and only requires THREE ingredients!!), but I am sharing a few tips to help ensure that it turns out perfectly every time.

trick for rolling out shortbread dough

How to Make easy Shortbread Cookies

DOUGH. Start by beating your softened butter until it is creamy, then beat in the powdered sugar. Stir in the all purpose flour just until it is well incorporated.

ROLL. You can roll it out on a floured counter, but this trick from The Flavor Blender makes it much easier. Place your dough in a gallon sized ziplock bag and press it with your hands to squeeze out as much air as possible.

Zip the bag close. Roll the dough out inside the bag, squeezing out any air and rezipping as needed. You will end up with a perfectly square piece of dough that is an even thickness. Perfect!

how to cut out butter shortbread cookies


CUT. Cut the sides of the bag and peel it open. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into rectangles. I used a ravioli cutter to get the pretty edges. I washed a ruler and used it as a guide to make sure I got perfectly straight lines.

BAKE. Next use a spatula to transfer your cookies onto ungreased baking sheets. Place the pans of dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake your cookies for about 15-18 minutes, or till the bottom edges are barely starting to turn light brown. Let cool on pan for several minutes, then remove to cooling racks.

how to bake shortbread cookies

Tips For Making and Storing

Why powdered sugar? It’s all about texture with these cookies! Powdered sugar combined with butter makes the perfectly crumbly and flaky texture that melts in your mouth. Regular sugar is too grainy, and brown sugar is for chewiness, which isn’t what we want.

If your cookies spread in the oven, it means the butter in the dough got too warm. That’s why it’s important to keep the cookies in the fridge while the oven is preheating—at least 10-15 minutes.

Let your cookies cool completely (at least a couple hours if you can!) before eating them. Unlike a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, these shortbread cookies do NOT taste the best straight out of the oven!

To store your shortbread cookies, put them in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag for 2 months.

shortbread cookie broken in half

shortbread cookie drizzled with chocolate and sprinkles

These shortbread sticks are perfect for dipping in hot chocolate or coffee, but you can cut them into different shapes if you prefer.

We like shortbread cookies best drizzled with a bit of chocolate, and of course it is always fun to add some festive sprinkles for the different holidays!

For more holiday cookies, try:

Easy Shortbread Cookie Recipe

5 from 8 votes
These easy Shortbread Cookies only have three ingredients, and require just a few minutes of prep time. You will love how they melt in your mouth!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 28
Calories 153 kcal
Author Lil' Luna



  • Beat butter till soft and creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat till smooth.
  • Stir in flour till mixture is well combined; press dough together till it forms a ball.
  • Flatten dough and place in a gallon sized ziplock bag, close the bag tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough 1/4" thick inside the bag. It will form a perfect square inside the bag!
  • Carefully cut away the sides of the bag. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into rectangle shapes.
  • Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets about an inch apart. Place pans in the refrigerator.
  • While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes or till the bottom edges are barely turning light brown.
  • Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks.
  • If desired drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate.

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About Kara

Hi! I'm Kara from Creations by Kara, and I'm addicted to creating pretty and yummy things. I love sharing home decor ideas, DIY projects, tasty recipes, and simple tips! I hope that I am inspiring women everywhere to use their creativity to build a better life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I hope my cookies turn out sometimes my cookies are like flat saucers once it was because I forgot the eggs and the other not sure

  2. 5 stars
    While this recipe is amazing (and easy to make / few ingredients recipes are just perfect for quarantining times), I got wondering about the fact that the cuisine is listed as American. Shouldn’t it be Scottish, or at least British? Is there any substantial difference between this and the original? Thank you very much!

    1. I don’t know how much of a difference there is between this recipe and the original because there are so many different original recipes floating around. One of the recipes does trace back to the days of Mary, Queen of Scots from the mid-16th century. It has been said that Mary was very fond of Petticoat Tails which is a thin, crisp, buttery shortbread that was originally flavored with caraway seeds.

  3. I see in the pictures that you have pierced the top of the shortbread with a fork. Is that necessary and what does it do for the shortbread?