easy shortbread

easy shortbread

My mum’s easy shortbread recipe

This easy shortbread recipe is one that has been a part of my family as long as I can remember. It was always in the biscuit tin when we went on holidays and my Mum made it for many a summer fair, various picnics and parties. We often made it together on rainy afternoons, in fact it was what earned me my first Brownie badge. I made the easy shortbread recipe along with a cup of tea before ironing a tea towel at a local old lady’s house to earn my homemaker badge. We must have known then that a future in food was awaiting me.

Easy shortbread as an easy way to make some cash

As an entrepreneurial 15 year old I somehow negotiated with the manager of our school canteen that I would supply her a couple of trays of this yummy easy shortbread every week for a pretty decent wedge of cash. My poor Mum ended up buying all the ingredients and making it for me for months until she sat me down to have a word about the fact she never saw any of the profits.

So as an apology (20 years late – sorry Mum) I will give her the glory she deserves and share this recipe with you.

Different ways to make and store this easy shortbread

You can either make it as a round and cut it into wedges (petticoat tails) or in am A4 size swiss roll tin (cookie sheet) and cut it into rectangular bars. It also freezes well, handy if you need to stop yourself eating it all at once.

I love it served with ice cream and berries as dessert almost as much as I love it with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Easy shortbread ingredients (makes around 14 pieces)

340g (12 oz) plain (all purpose) flour

115g (4oz) caster or granulated sugar

55g (2 oz) ground rice (put rice in a food processor and grind it) or polenta

230g (8 oz) salted butter, softened to room temperature (hold onto the butter paper)

Pinch of salt

Zest of a lemon or orange


To make this easy shortbread

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 190°c (170°c fan) or 375°f (340°f convection)

2. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it forms sticky crumbs and starts to come together. It won’t come totally into a ball but will start to clump. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a hand held electric cake mixer.

3.  Use the butter paper to grease a cookie sheet (swiss roll tin).

4.  Tip the dough onto the sheet and either push it into all the edges to make a pan full of mixture (which you can then cut into bars after cooking) or shape into a circle, around an inch thick. You’ll need to be firm when you push it into shape as it is crumbly. Keep pushing and squeezing it until it feels firm. If making a circle, push the edges so they are firm too. Use a fork to prick a pattern if you’d like.

5.  Cook for around 15-25 minutes until the edges are turning golden. I like mine to be quite dark as it has more of a toasty flavour.

6. While hot, use a big sharp knife to firmly cut into bars or wedges. Then leave in the pan until firm and totally cool before removing. The first piece you remove may crumble so please eat this yourself as a cook’s treat and for quality control purposes. Store in an air tight tin for a few days or freeze.

Get the right equipment to make this and lots more

You can now buy the equipment I use in this recipe through my shop. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools.

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