This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

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!

If you love these Easy Shortbread Cookies, try our classic Shortbread Cookies or Butter Cookies!

A pile of easy shortbread cookies freshly baked and cooled.


3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies are rich and buttery, but not overly sweet.

Today’s recipe is an easy version of our classic Shortbread cookies.

We love these cookies because:

  • They’re simple! They only require 3 ingredients (butter, powdered sugar and flour)!
  • Delicious. So butter-y and yummy – we all love the flavor.
  • Great for plates. We love to make these around Christmas (one of our go-to Christmas Cookies) and especially love that they are great for gifting.

They have a higher butter to flour ratio than sugar cookies or butter cookies. They are also denser than a Sugar Cookie, but more crumbly than a Butter Cookie.

Ingredients

  • Powdered sugar. It’s all about texture with these Shortbread Cookies! Powdered sugar combined with butter makes the perfectly crumbly and flaky texture that melts in your mouth.
  • Butter. Use real butter in this recipe, using anything else will not give the same texture or buttery flavor.
  • Flour. We use all-purpose flour for these cookies.

Making simple Shortbread Cookies

  1. WET INGREDIENTS. In a medium bowl, cream butter until soft and creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  2. DRY INGREDIENTS. Stir in flour until the mixture is well combined; press the dough together to form a ball.
  3. SHAPE. Flatten the dough and place it in a gallon-sized Ziploc 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 rectangular shapes.
  4. CHILL. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets about an inch apart. Place pans of cookie dough in the refrigerator.
  5. BAKE. While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes until the bottom edges are barely light brown.
  6. ENJOY! Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks. If desired, drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate once cooled completely.
Poking easy shortbread cookies with a fork before baking.

Recipe Tips

  • Flavor. For a little variety, add some spices to the dough such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Or add in a splash of vanilla extract or lemon or orange zest for extra flavor. 
  • Decorate. 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 or even top with a few mini chocolate chips!
  • Crumbly dough. Shortbread dough is typically a little dry and crumbly, but if the dough is too crumbly, add just a little more butter until it reaches the desired consistency. 
  • Shaped cookies. Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting it, use a cookie press or roll and shape with a cookie cutter. Chill the dough on the pan in the fridge for 15 min before baking.
  • Spreading cookies. If cookies spread in the oven, it means the butter in the dough was too warm. It’s important to keep the cookies in the fridge while the oven is preheating (at least 10-15 minutes).
Easy Shortbread Cookies baked on a cookie sheet.

Storing Info

STORE. Cool Easy Shortbread Cookies on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

FREEZE cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag for 2 months.

Make ahead of time. Premade easy Shortbread Cookies dough can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic followed by aluminum foil for up to 3 months before baking.

Just keep in mind that once the dough is thawed it shouldn’t be frozen again. 

A pile of freshly baked easy shortbread cookies.

For more holiday cookies, try:

4.99 from 63 votes

Easy Shortbread Cookie Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
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!
Servings: 28
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 48 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Beat butter until soft and creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Stir in flour until the mixture is well combined; press the dough together to form a ball.
  • Flatten the dough and place it in a gallon-sized Ziploc 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°F. 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 87mg, Potassium: 17mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 304IU, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!


About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

So Easy & So Yummy

Get my cookbook!

My new cookbook is the ultimate resource for feeding your friends and family with 200+ simple recipes including videos, tips & more!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




26 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe the simplicity is amazing along with the taste Wow. I just made them first time & I put dough in the zip lock bag rolled out then refrigerated over night. So I went to bake them following recipe i even placed cookie sheet back into friidge before putting in the oven too Well my cookies turned out flat. Is it possible the dough was too cold? That doesnt make sense but I cant figure it out? Why they still spread out flat? Anyone with suggestions much appreciate it. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. Do you have any tips for people who want to make this gluten free? If I sub with like almond flour or other gf-flour, should I be using more butter to bind it?

    1. You know, I haven’t ever made these gluten free. But I think if you swapped for a gluten free all purpose flour, you could try just swapping 1:1 and it would hopefully turn out. Again, I don’t know for sure because I haven’t tried. If you make these gluten free, you’ll have to let us know how they turn out.

    1. Yes, you could use unsalted & maybe add a little pinch. I haven’t personally tried, so I would just start with a small amount. Maybe a 1/4 tsp.

  3. 4 stars
    Very crumbly. However if u continue to press together with warm hands it will come together enough to place in zip bag. The warmth of your hands continues to soften the butter. We will be serving these with sherbert for a gathering of 8. Just the right taste mixture . This recipe reminds me of cheese straws with added chili powder and no powered sugar. I used a skewer to add heart shaped and crosses to the tops.

  4. 5 stars
    Using the ziplock bag to get a perfect shape was a fun baking hack to learn. Also, to answer a previous question- poking holes in the shortbread helps moisture to escape evenly from the cookie and help the cookies bake evenly throughout.