King Arthur Flour's Recipe for Shortbread

"This was featured in an email today from the website. Shortbread is a wonderful starting point for all kinds of sweet adventures: top it (nuts, chocolate, jam); flavor it (lemon, hazelnut, coconut); or do both (cappuccino with a mocha ganache drizzle, anyone?). Then again, if you're a "make mine vanilla, please" kind of guy or gal, leave it alone; it can stand on its own in perfect simplicity. Our guarantee: This light-gold, crisp/flaky shortbread is buttery and mildly sweet. It will be about 1/4" thick. Tips from our bakers A scale is handy for dividing shortbread dough in equal halves. Each half of dough in the above recipe will weigh about 10 1/2 ounces. If you're having trouble pressing the shortbread flat in the pan because it's sticking to your fingers, cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, and push on the wrap. Remove the wrap before baking. DO cut the shortbread into wedges while it's still warm! Waiting till it's cool will result in crumbled, misshapen shortbread. Although we usually use unsalted butter in our baking here at King Arthur, in this case salted is preferred. Why? Because, with no liquid in the recipe, it's impossible for added salt to disperse itself fully through the shortbread dough; you end up with unpleasantly gritty bits of salt in each bite."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
2 dozen wedges




  • Preheat the oven to 300°F Lightly grease two round 9" cake pans. If you worry about the shortbread possibly sticking in your particular pans, line them with parchment, and grease the parchment.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract, then beat in the flour. The mixture may seem a little dry at first; keep beating until it comes together. If it absolutely won't come together, dribble in up to 1 tablespoon of water, until it does. This is a stiff dough.
  • Divide the dough in half, and press each half into one of the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with your fingers, or with a mini rolling pin.
  • Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes. Prick the dough in a random pattern, but it looks nicer pricked with some kind of symmetry.
  • Bake the shortbread until it's a light golden brown across the top surface, and a deeper golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes.
  • Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn each shortbread round out onto a clean work surface.
  • Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut each round into 12 wedges. (Do this while the shortbread is still warm; if you wait until it's cool, it won't cut easily.) Transfer the shortbread wedges to a rack to cool.
  • Serve as is, or decorate. Here are a few suggestions: Drizzle with melted caramel; Spread with melted chocolate, and sprinkle with nuts;.
  • Set aside two shortbread cookies, and spread the remainder of the cookies with a thick layer of jam or preserves. Crumble the reserved cookies, and sprinkle the crumbs lightly over the jam.

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  1. Made this over the holidays and will be making it again for my soror's tea party this month. Wonderful, wonderful shortbread! Very flaky, just the right amount of salty vs. sweet. Went over wonderful with my fam and the IL's! And ridiculously easy to make. Thanks for posting!



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