The Original Shortbread Recipe – For Lazy Cooks

This shortbread recipe is perfect for lazy cooks and rookies in the kitchen. You will only use three ingredients to make the dough, which makes this cookie recipe the one you will never forget. Of course, fill free to add extra ingredients for flavor, like extracts, nuts, seeds and etc. The shortbread cookie is of Scottish origins. If you ever tried the Walkers Shortbread, you’ll believe the Scottish when they say this cookie is the jewel in the crowd of their baking world. Its early variety from the 19th century was a bit different. Using ginger, eggs and syrups, these old school shortbread cookies were called a Parlies or Parliament cakes. For now, let’s see what the new modern original shortbread cookie tastes like, and we can experiment later on.

shortbread recipe

Original Shortbread Recipe

The original shortbread cookies use pure butter, but often times, the variations are what makes the original taste unique. So try lard if you don’t know a good and cheap butter brand. If you’re not a fan of white flour, feel free to replace it with wheat flour. It will make the dough a little harder, so you may want to use a tablespoon or two more lard or butter. You can also add molasses or other syrups, just don’t go overboard and ruin the dough texture.


  • 1 part sugar
  • 2 parts butter
  • 3 parts flour


Mix all ingredients in a big bowl until you make fine dough. This shortbread recipe makes a really tough dough. Don’t worry if it looks a little dry, it’s supposed to look like that. If you ever made crackers, its consistency and texture should be just like you’re making crackers. The reason is because you only use butter, not oils. You can either beat the dough using a bread maker, or a really powerful food processor or mixer. Beating the dough by hand is what usually takes place, but you can always use the proper kitchen appliances too.

This type of dough doesn’t use yeast or baking powder, so there’s no need to wait for it to rise. If you use wheat flour or corn flour, you can leave it for 10 – 20 minutes for the flour to bind with the flour better. To bake the cookies, spread a baking sheet over a large pan and roll the dough out. Cut it in strips and poke them with a fork to make them look like crackers, or make shapes using cookie cutters.

What makes this cookie delicious, soft and crumbly is the baking process. Shortbread is always baked on low temperatures, to keep the cookies white. You can bake them on any temperature between 350 and 380 degrees F, on the middle rack in the oven. Let them cool off before transferring to a serving plate, since they may be crumbly while still hot.

Want a better version of this cookie, try this mouthwatering cookie recipe here!

Shortbread tips and tricks

When mixing the dough, it’s always best to start with the sugar and butter, and then add the flour. You can mix them all together, but make sure there aren’t any lumps of butter or unmixed flour inside.

The rule of thumb for replacing white flour with wheat flour is to always add baking soda to make up for the fact that wheat is a heavy type of flour. Around one teaspoon for each cup should be sufficient enough.

Do not spray the baking sheet with out before baking. If you want to make sure they will stay soft and won’t stick, butter the pan instead of using a baking sheet. You can also lightly press them over crushed peanuts, almonds or walnuts, to prevent sticking and kick the recipe up a notch.


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