Baker Bettie

Basic Shortbread Cookies

Basic shortbread cookies are one of the easiest cookies you can make! This old-fashioned recipe calls for only 5 ingredients and results in deliciously buttery and slightly sweet cookies! This dough can also be used as a tart crust or the base of a cheesecake! 

Basic Shortbread Cookies | Baker Bettie

Is it weird that shortbread cookies are my favorite kind of cookie? Of all the cookies in all the world, I  have yet to find a cookie that I enjoy more than good basic shortbread cookies. They are just so buttery and crumbly with just the right amount of sweetness. Just perfect.

I made these cookies to pair with my strawberry lemon curd. The two really are a perfect match. The contrast of the tartness in the curd paired with the buttery shortbread cookie is just so addictive. I also decided to use some of the shortbread dough as a crust to make some tarts. They turned out delicious too. Anyone want to come over and help me eat all of these sweets?

I’m supposed to be eating healthy… Something about a New Years Resolution or something. I can’t remember.

Basic Shortbread Cookies | Baker Bettie

The awesome thing about basic shortbread cookies is that they are ridiculously easy to make. They literally only need 5 ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

I love to eat them plain with a cup of coffee, or like I said, paired with something tart like my strawberry lemon curd. And the dough makes a beautiful crust for a cheesecake or tart too! It is just so darn versatile!

Basic Shortbread Cookies | Baker Bettie

Basic Shortbread Cookies

Basic Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 24 Cookies
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes

This old-fashioned recipe calls for only 5 ingredients and results in deliciously buttery and slightly sweet cookies! This dough can also be used as a tart crust or the base of a cheesecake.


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 TBSP pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour


  1. In the bowl or a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. About 4 minutes.
  2. Mix in the salt and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the flour in small increments just until combined. Do not over-mix.
  4. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thick and stamp out with cookie cutters.
  7. Place the cooked cutouts on un-greased cookie sheets and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for 8-12 minutes until lightly browned.

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12 comments on “Basic Shortbread Cookies”

  1. Shortbread are generally not my fave but these are so perfect and beautiful!

  2. Hi- I tried the short bread cookie. Loved how simple it was. When I tasted, they were tasting great in the beginning, But left a bitter taste in the end.. why was that? Do you know what could have gone wrong?

    • I’m helping with nieces wedding I’ve been looking for something unique, simple and magical going to make these and substitute the powdered sugar. Making the strawberry lemon curd.. Hoping it makes a nice pairing on brides table..doing test run first..thank you to all of you the original recipe and those that made comments also..I’m excited to try this.

  3. I’ve found that my all time favorite shortbread recipes always call for powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar, do you think this recipe would work that way?

    • Hi Meribeth! I have never made this recipe with powdered sugar before so it is hard to be 100% certain. But it should work as long as you follow the ratio of substituting 1 3/4 cup packed powdered sugar for every 1 cup of sugar a recipe calls for. So since this recipe only calls for 1/2 cup granulated sugar you would want to use 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP packed powdered sugar. I hope that helps!

  4. I want to make this recipe, and since this recipe only calls for 5 ingredients, will it work with no vanilla extract? I don’t have vanilla on-hand. Thanks

    • I just read your How To Create Your Own Original Cookie And Science article, and it says no vanilla will do. Could you check for me? Thanks

  5. Wondering if the dough can be made in advance and frozen for few weeks

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