How to make shortbread

Libby Hakim, Writer and blogger

10 April 2018

Buttery homemade shortbread is so much better than its mass-produced counterpart. So put in a little effort and master how to make shortbread – your family, friends and taste buds will thank you!

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I’ve found that practice makes perfect when it comes to shortbread, and a little experimentation with recipes and methods is required.

First, you’ll need a good recipe. If you like your shortbread sweet and crumbly with a slight hint of chewiness, you might like the Cooking with Nana Ling Traditional Scottish Shortbread Recipe. Otherwise, hit Google or hit up your family and friend bakers for their favourite shortbread recipe.

The thing that will make or break your shortbread, though, is the method. If you do a little research on how to make the perfect shortbread, it can be very confusing. There are various “rules” about making shortbread, and quite often these rules clash. It really is a case of experimenting until you find what works for you in your kitchen.

If you’d like to see what works for me in my kitchen, watch the following video.


Watch the how-to video

You can also have fun with the shape of your shortbread. The video above shows you how to make the rounded version of shortbread that is cut into triangles, known as petticoat tails. Shortbread is also commonly shaped into bars or a small rounded cookie.


I’m also keen to try making shortbread using one of these lovely shortbread moulds which can be purchased on Etsy.

Finally, here are some tips to avoid common problems:

“My shortbread has cooked unevenly” – try chilling before cooking

“My shortbread is chewy or soft” – cook slower and longer

“My shortbread is burnt on the edges” – cook slower

“My shortbread has spread out too much during cooking” – try chilling before cooking

Do you have any tips for making excellent shortbread? Add your hints and tips in the comments below.


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