Shortbread is usually baked in three different shapes: The most common shape is the cuboid, finger-length “Shortbread Fingers”. The others are almost one centimeter thick “shortbread rounds” with a diameter of around five centimetres. In another form, pre-punched circular segments, so-called “petticoat tails”, are broken out of discs with a diameter of around 15 to 20 centimetres.

Scottish Shortbread

Recipe by caion


Prep time


Cooking time



Let’s make a quick and easy Scottish Shortbread recipe!


  • 120g butter

  • 60g caster sugar

  • 180g plain flour

  • Pinch of salt


  • Start by preheating the oven to 160°C, fan assisted.
  • Then to a bowl, add in the flour, sugar, salt, and cubed butter. If you’re using salted butter, you can add in less salt or omit it altogether if you prefer.
  • I like to start by giving everything a little toss together, coating the cubes of butter,
    before rubbing it into the dry ingredients until we have a nice, crumbly breadcrumb mixture. I’m using a slightly firmer than room temperature butter for this because
    it’s a cold day and I don’t want to spend forever rubbing the butter into the flour.
    However, if you’re making this on a hot day or if you have warm hands,
    you’ll probably want to use fridge-cold butter instead to prevent the butter melting too quickly, in which case, be prepared to potentially suffer hand cramps. Of course, if you have a stand mixer or a food processor, you can just whiz it up in one of those instead.
  • Anyway, once we finally have breadcrumbs, you can start to gather and compress the crumbs to form rough lumps of dough.
  • Then, take these lumps and press them into our lined baking tin.
    I’m using a 6-inch or 15cm square pan with a loose base but you can use pretty much any tin that the dough fits into. Or if you prefer, you can roll out the dough and cut out the shortbread with cutters.
  • You want to pack in the dough as tightly as we can.
    I like to use something like a rubber spatula to even it out as much as possible.
  • When you have a nicely levelled surface, take a fork and poke holes into the dough to create air vents for steam to escape from.
  • And then, we’re ready to bake the shortbread for 35-40 minutes.
  • While the shortbread is still warm, and fresh out of the oven, we want to mark out where we intend to break the shortbread into individual pieces later by scoring with a knife about three-quarters the way in.
  • If you don’t have a loose base tin, you can do this while the shortbread is still in the tin, and turn it out once it has set.
  • Finally, sprinkle some sugar over the top, as much or as little as you want.
  • And then, let the shortbread cool completely for an hour or two, before attempting to snap it.

Recipe Video

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