Easy-to-Make Shortbread Cookies That'll Melt in Your Mouth

Whether for dessert, tea, or just as a snack, these sweet, buttery classics are sure to be a family favorite.

Updated December 15, 2023
homemade shortbread cookies

Shortbread cookies are the sweet and buttery ones out of the cookie batch. While chocolate chip cookies may get all the attention, shortbread cookies have the classic charm with their melt-in-your-mouth texture and delightful lightness. No matter the occasion (or season), these cookies will whisk you into a buttery bliss. 

Basic Shortbread Cookies 

If you're looking to host an afternoon tea or have some family coming over for Christmas dinner, these light and buttery cookies are perfect to serve with a hot beverage. This makes about 36-48 cookies. 


  • 1½ cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar plus extra for sprinkling on each cookie
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar together using an electric mixer.
  3. Add the vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture. 
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt.
  5. Add the sifted ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. On low speed, mix all ingredients until the dough begins to come together.
  6. Dust a flat surface with flour and dump out the dough.
  7. Begin rolling the dough out until flat, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the refrigerator and roll out the dough until it is ½ inch thick if using a cookie cutter, or roll dough into a ¾ inch log for circle cookies. 
  9. Cut cookies and place them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle each with sugar.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Quick Tip

Instead of sprinkling with granulated white sugar, use powdered sugar to dust each cookie after baking.

Flavored Shortbread Cookies 

lavender shortbread cookies

Everyone loves a good tea cookie. Trust us when we say that tossing in fresh tea leaves won't just make your cookies look eye-catching, but it will also have a bursting aroma of tea. Add 2 tablespoons of tea leaves (about 6 tea bags) or flavored tea powder in your mixture. 

  • Earl Grey 
  • English breakfast 
  • Spiced chair 
  • Matcha 
  • Rosemary 
  • Lavender 
Fast Fact

Originating in Scotland around the 12th century, leftover dough was dried to make "biscuit bread." Over time, luxury items such as sugar and butter were added to the mixture, transforming it into what is now known as shortbread. 

Related: Try This Versatile Cookie Butter Recipe & Crush the Snack Game

Stay Elegant & Classy With Shortbread Cookies 

Have your entire home smelling like a delicious bakery with our homemade shortbread cookie recipe. Whether you savor them on a lazy afternoon or whip up a batch to share during festive gatherings, we promise these buttery cookies are pure perfection. 

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Easy-to-Make Shortbread Cookies That'll Melt in Your Mouth