Shortbread Cookies

Buttery goodness.  Crumbs that melt in your mouth.  Decadent vanilla flavor.  Do I have your attention?  These shortbread cookies may look boring, but they are quite the contrary.  After one bite, these cookies will become one of the most irresistible cookies that you’ve ever had.  To quote my taste tester and husband extraordinaire, “Yea, these don’t suck.”  Which was said while eating several pieces after the one I’d handed him as a taster.

03Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies Recipe
(Makes 16 cookies)


  • 1 cup (equivalent to 2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside. *
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the butter and vanilla extract together.  Set the wet ingredients aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, powdered sugar, and baking powder.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  The batter will be crumbly.
  6. Spread out the dough evenly and press it down firmly into the baking pan.  It should be about 1/4 inch in height.
  7. Bake it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly light brown.  When you take it out of the oven it will feel soft in the middle, but it will set as it cools in the pan.
  8. Allow it cool in the pan before you cut into it.

Store in an air tight container at room temperature or in a freezer friendly bag in the freezer.

* Shortbread cookies are very delicate.  I recommend cutting the cookies in the pan and removing them individually.  If you lift the entire sheet of cookie out of the pan at one time it will likely crack.  An alternative to cutting the cookies in the pan would be to use a tart pan with a removable bottom.  While I didn’t use a tart pan today, I would use it in the future with this recipe because I prefer to cut the cookies when they are out of the pan.  It’s just easier.  An ideal pan would be this Fat Daddio Tart Pan which is the closest size I could find to my 9 x 13 baking pan.


You only need 5 ingredients to make these buttery treats!  How awesome is that?  Most people already have everything but a box of cake flour, so your trip to the store will be really easy.  Plus, they are super easy to make.

01Shortbread Cookies

Two sticks of butter?!  Um, yes, I’m sorry about that, but they are a butter cookie after all.  Make sure it’s room temperature so that it can mix well with the vanilla extract.  A trick to bringing cold butter to room temperature quickly is to pop it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds.  This is just enough to take the chill out but not enough to turn it into something that would be better to dip lobster in.

02Shortbread Cookies

Use good quality pure vanilla extract because it tastes better.  This is especially true when it’s nearly the only flavor in the recipe.  You don’t have to buy anything fancy or expensive.  Some people will leave it out of their shortbread recipe, but I recommend using it because it enhances the buttery flavors.

Cake flour is awesome.  I recently started baking with it in some of my recipes so I always keep a box of it in the house.  The cake flour helps to give these cookies a lovely soft texture and I highly recommend using it here (it’s not expensive).  However, if you prefer to use all-purpose flour then there are a few sources online to help you convert the measurement, like Joy of Baking.

07Shortbread Cookies

A little patience comes in handy when it comes time to spread the cookie dough into the baking pan.  Trust me, it will all spread out even though it doesn’t look like it will.  Make sure to spread it out evenly and pack it down firmly.  I used the bottom of one of my metal measuring cups to help.

04Shortbread Cookies

My husband tells me that these shortbread cookies taste just like Panera Bread’s Shortbread Cookie.  I’m apparently on a Panera Bread kick.  Remember my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie?

Mmm, can you see those gorgeous layers of buttery heaven?  These are a common addition to any proper tea time, but I’ll take them any time of day.     🙂  Shortbread cookies tend to be hard, but these are softer, which makes each bite melt in your mouth.

06Shortbread Cookies

They look so prim and proper so I jazzed them up with some fun straws.  Am I the only one who thinks fun props can make food look fun?     😉

It’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays.  Whip up a quick batch of these, wrap them up in pretty holiday paper, and they will make a great gift for anyone.

05Shortbread Cookies

If you’ve been here before then you know that I’m a chocoholic and takes a lot for a non-chocolate treat to impress me.  This one impress me…A LOT!  (Maybe it’s all the butter?)



5 Hats


Slightly adapted from: Just a Pinch

Note: Not a paid advertisement for Fat Daddio. I’m just sharing my opinion.


  1. Hey, “these don’t suck” is a huge compliment in my book! I love shortbread cookies…they have a special place in my heart 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Sometimes I think shortbread cookies are underrated. I’m bring them back in the spot light! 🙂

  2. Definitely want to eat a few of these cookies! And they look perfect!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks much! 🙂

  3. Kelly says:

    I adore shortbread cookies and this softer melt in your mouth version sounds amazing! I could definitely polish off a a few of these in no time with an afternoon cup of tea 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      These cookies are addicting!

  4. I love shortbread and this one looks like the perfect recipe to try, even if there’s no chocolate involved 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe…so true. 🙂

  5. You definitely have my attention.. I love shortbread cookies!!

    1. Tina says:


  6. Marcie says:

    I love shortbread cookies! They’re so easy, require minimal ingredients, and like you said, they melt in your mouth! Yours look fabulous, Tina!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Marcie! 🙂

  7. I LOVE shortbread cookies, especially with my latte! There’s a bakery at my local market that carries my favorite shortbread cookies. I always buy one whenever I’m in the area. I just love’em!

    1. Tina says:

      What a lovely treat. 🙂

  8. Alex says:

    I adore shortbread, I think it’s the butter! :). Looks perfect and I love those fun paper straws!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks! Butter does make everything better. 🙂

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