Shortbread slices in a tin that is set on a garden chair

Shortbread recipe

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(76 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins - 25 mins Plus chilling


Makes 24 slices

Bake these classic shortbread biscuits to wow a crowd. You only need four ingredients, but you can mix it up with lemon or orange zest, or try adding chopped pistachios

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal188
  • fat11g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs23g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 300g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 140g golden caster sugar, plus 4 tbsp
  • 300g plain flour
  • 140g rice flour


  1. Place the butter and 140g sugar in a food processor and whizz until smooth.

  2. Tip in both the flours and a pinch of salt, then whizz until mixture comes together.

  3. Using your hands, roughly spread the mixture out in a 20 x 30 x 4cm baking tray. Cover with cling film and smooth over until there are no wrinkles. Place in the fridge, uncooked, for at least 30 mins and up to 2 days.

  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Remove cling film, then lightly mark the shortbread all over with a fork. 

  5. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, then bake for 20-25 mins. 

  6. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into 24 thin slices. Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Comments, questions and tips

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22nd Mar, 2020
My Son made these and they are delicious. Recipe is perfect
29th Jun, 2019
Doughy. I cooked for twice the time and they were still doughy. Perhaps because I used a stone tray rather than metal? This recipe has a much higher proportion of butter than other recipes which, in my opinion, are much better.
30th Jun, 2018
Make these a lot..lovely light crumbly shortbread.
4th Jan, 2018
Excellent recipe. The tip about pressing down through cling film is one to remember.
9th Apr, 2017
Made this today using a food processor. Followed the recipe exactly. It was lovely. Will make again and perhaps follow the comment of doing everything by hand.
majorkritz's picture
5th Mar, 2016
look's great. i'm looking forward to making these for mothers day.
12th Feb, 2016
Hello all, Is ground rice the same thing as rice flour? I can't find rice flour but have ground rice. Thank you :)
20th Jan, 2016
Gorgeous! I plan to try putting some chocolate chips in next time too!
20th Jan, 2016
Gorgeous! I plan to try running some chocolate chips into the mix next time too!
5th Aug, 2015
For those without a food processor, I just rubbed the ingredients together using cold rather than warmed butter. The cooking time is good, and as I can't find any rice flour I use polenta/cornmeal with good results instead. A winner, lovely and crumbly!


12th Jul, 2018
Is the sugar supposed to go on before baking? I have a yellow looking crust on top of my bake which just doesn’t look right. Other recipes always say sprinkle the sugar post bake.
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jul, 2018
Thanks for your question. We suggest sprinkling the sugar on before and it sounds like yours has caramelised slightly. This is fine to eat. If you prefer you can sprinkle it on afterwards next time.
30th Mar, 2018
Can I freeze this? Either pre or post baking?
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Apr, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can freeze these after baking. Simply layer between sheets of baking parchment, slightly spaced apart, in a freezer-proof container.
5th May, 2017
Can I use ground rice instead of rice flour? Thanks in advance.
goodfoodteam's picture
5th May, 2017
Thanks for your question. Ground rice is slightly coarser than rice flour so will provide a bit more texture. If you don't mind this then you can definitely substitute.
22nd Mar, 2017
Is it possible to replace the plain flour with rice flour? I'd like to make these for my friend who is gluten free.
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Mar, 2017
We would suggest trying our gluten-free shortbread recipe as an alternative. You can leave out the orange zest altogether or use lemon zest instead.
16th Feb, 2019
I made this gluten free and just used 440g gluten free flour as it has a big rice flour component. Also added a splash of vanilla essence. Easy & delicious!
1st Dec, 2015
Im going to wave my credentials here. As a Scot who is always asked to make shortbread as it is usually excellent -this is my family recipe, though I make it in half the quantity at a time because... THE SECRET OF TRULY EXCELLENT SHORTBREAD IS...forget the food processor. Use the above ingredients, first weigh out and mix all the dry ingredients then add soft, room temperature butter in a block. Then-using a kneading motion, work the dry ingredients into the block of butter. It's not hard, just counter-intuitive to those sure they ought to crumble it together. Go on kneading until all the dry has been worked in and further knead until the ball is smooth. I never fanny about with cling film and fridges... I use a victoria sandwich tin with a removable base. grease it then lightly dust with flour, work the dough in until it evenly fills the tin, prick it all over with a fork, cut ut into 8 pieces across the diagonal then cook -yes, for a shade longer than it says here, until the top is firm and the sides just drawn away slightly from the tin. You will have to cut the lines again when it has cooled a little, but you now have traditional 'Petticoat Tails' - named, one legend has it, after the fashions of Mary Queen of Scots French maids.
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