Shortbread is one of Mama’s favorite cookies ever. It’s the perfect cookie recipe to share in our 12 Days of Cookies series, I think. It’s perfect for making to keep on hand throughout the holiday season and always makes a cherished gift when given to friends, family, teachers, and neighbors.

Shortbread Recipe | ©

As a little girl, I remember Mama stocking up on Walker’s shortbread whenever our local grocery store, the Jitney Jungle, had it through the holidays. She kept it on the top shelf of our pantry as her special cookies when guests were over. I remember its placement especially because it was out of my reach even when I drug over a stool from the counter and tried to climb high enough to reach them.

Shortbread Recipe | ©

But, at Christmas, she would also make shortbread from time to time. To me, it tasted better than any shortbread I ever tasted. Each buttery, crumbly bite was better than the next it seemed.

Shortbread Recipe | ©

I still love to go into the kitchen with Mama during the holidays and make shortbread. It makes the perfect little nibble to enjoy with a warm cup of tea or coffee on these chilly afternoons. Dunking each cookie or wedge makes for a special treat.

Shortbread Recipe | ©

Shortbread Recipe | ©

I think you might just love it, too. You can easily make our shortbread recipe into wedges as shown or rolled and sliced into individual cookies. Either way, they always turn out delicious each time we make them.

Here’s our Shortbread recipe. It is a classic in my family.

Shortbread Recipe

Shortbread makes an easy, elegant, and oh so delicious cookie recipe. This family favorite shortbread recipe is perfect for entertaining or giving as gifts.
5 from 4 votes

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Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar whisked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 300º F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar until is smooth and well-combined, not fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer.
  • Add flour and salt to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Press shortbread dough into the bottom of tart pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and pat the dough until it is smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and cut a hole in the center of the dough with a small round cookie cutter, approximately 1-inch in diameter. Discard the round.
  • Cut dough into wedges and prick the dough all over with a large bamboo skewer. Bake for 1 hour or until the shortbread is firm has turned a golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before removing.
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Merry Christmas!
Robyn xo



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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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24 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Oh wow, Robyn! This looks delicious. Shortbread is a favorite of mine too. I want to try and make it with my gluten-free flours. What a treat that would be to eat shortbread again!! That would be a beautiful thing! Thanks for the recipe. The pictures of the shortbread are just wonderful, very detailed.

  2. My little hometown in Alabama had a Jitney Jungle too! Now you’ve inspired me to make a batch of Shortbread cookies but as for discarding that little center circle…I don’t think so! Plop into my mouth!!…a treat before a treat!

    1. Oh Terry, you caught me. I discard straight into my mouth as a “taste-test”. Otherwise, I plop it onto a second buttered little pan and bake for a little cookie! Hope you love these. And too cool about your having a Jitney Jungle, too. I miss that store!

    1. Hi Shiloa,
      We like the flavor from the salted butter plus the added salt called for in the recipe, but I completely understand that some prefer baking with unsalted butter. You can substitute unsalted butter and then add back about 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt, if you prefer.

    1. Hi Emma,
      My Mama said she has always cut the middle circle out for even baking, etc. I have always just followed right along with how she made it, so I can’t really tell you a difference it makes by leaving it in. If you try it without removing the middle, do let me know if you don’t mind.
      Robyn xo

  3. This is my mom’s favorite cookie as well!! I have almost identical memories of the Walker’s cookies. 🙂 Although I must admit, we never made it ourselves. I really love this and am going to try to make these for the holidays!!

  4. hi i have never had short bread but it sounds so great i would love to try it but i dont have a mixer so love every thing you make!

  5. Just took a bite of fresh baked shortbread, it is sooo good. Thank you for sharing your recipe. The cutout center part filled-in while baking, did I do something wrong?
    Betty, I don’t think this would hold up for cookies.

  6. This is the exact recipe my sister uses to make her shortbread. I leave the baking to her cause she is the best and we all benefit. The mail lady especially is appreciative 😉

    Nothing quite like a tasty, buttery shortbread cookie and a cup of good British tea. Thanks for the reminder of something to look forward to this Christmas.

  7. I make shortbread from my Scottish aunts recipe. It is a little different recipe then yours, but I do know why you cut out the center. The dough would rise in the center just like when you prepare a pie shell. I make my shortbread on a cookie sheet and poke holes in it with a fork to keep it from rising.

  8. Trish Cuttone, I was wondering if you would be willing to share your Scottish aunts recipe? I have been trying to find an old fashioned family recipe for many years. The cookies I’ve had were rolled into balls then dipped in confectioner’s sugar. They were kind of soft in the middle. I’ve asked a few different people for their recipe over the years, but I’ve never been able to get it from anyone.?
    I would be so very grateful if you, or someone out there, would share their family recipe with me. It’s for my personal use, to make for the Holidays. I love to bake and this has always been one of my favorites that I have never been able to duplicate. Thank you so much!
    Robyn, I love you and all of your recipes…I look forward to them everyday!
    Thank you and Happy Holidays!?

  9. I’ve made this 4 times. First time followed recipe. 2nd time added vanilla extract. 3rd time I was planning to double the recipe got distracted didn’t double the flour. Oops! Lol made this again tonight added strawberry extract.

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