3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Buttery, crumbly shortbread cookies, just like grandma used to make! Just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes is all you need to enjoy these cookies with a hot cup of tea.

3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies – Buttery, crumbly old fashioned shortbread cookies, just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes needed to make! | thecomfortofcooking.com

All I had the energy to do on Friday was bake a batch of this shortbread. It was definitely a sick day! I cuddled up with a cookie and a cup of pumpkin spice tea, grabbed a big blanket and my favorite chick flick. Along with a handful of cold medicine, it put me right back on track for the weekend… Until we decided it would be a lazy, minimally productive one, starting Saturday with a big feast of a brunch and a boat ride through Austin. No complaints here!

3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies – Buttery, crumbly old fashioned shortbread cookies, just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes needed to make! | thecomfortofcooking.com

To feel like I was getting at least one thing done, though, I checked this wonderful buttery, crumbly shortbread off my list… and I’m glad I did! It was so simple to make. I’m not usually a girl for roll-out cookies, either. They always turn awry – the dough is too soft, the end result is too floury and dense. Just, no good. But these! Oh, people.

3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies – Buttery, crumbly old fashioned shortbread cookies, just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes needed to make! | thecomfortofcooking.com

Three ingredients: Butter, sugar, flour (What’s better in this world anyway?), and 10 whoppin’ minutes. Roll ‘em out, cut ‘em up and you have Christmas cookie perfection ready to slide alongside a mug of hot tea.

3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies – Buttery, crumbly old fashioned shortbread cookies, just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes needed to make! | thecomfortofcooking.com

I know you have the ingredients (I’m psychic like that) and I knoowwww you have 10 minutes, so why not whip these up? A ball of dough gets ya roughly 15 cookies, so keep some for your morning cup and toss the rest over to your cookie lovin’ friends. They’ll pay you in smiles, I promise.

Bake up these crisp, buttery rounds of love and I bet you’ll see why it’s become my new go-to for a basic shortbread. You can also use this as the base for any recipe that calls for shortbread. I recommend rolling them out with powdered sugar, though, since additional flour can make them too dense… and I have experience with dense cookies!

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PrintPrint Recipe

3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Yield: Makes approx. 15 cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and continue to mix until mixture forms a soft dough (it will be crumbly at first, but keep mixing and it will form a dough). Form dough into a cohesive ball with your hands.

Roll dough 1/4-inch thick on a surface dusted with flour or powdered sugar* with a well-dusted rolling pin. Cut into rounds and place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat as necessary.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cookies are pale golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets.



You can use either flour or powdered sugar to roll out your cookies, but I prefer powdered sugar. Since you’re re-rolling the dough repeatedly, powdered sugar keeps the cookies from becoming too dense/floury.

Remember to keep your surface and rolling pin well-dusted with flour/powdered sugar. Using powdered sugar, you may need to dust your surface and rolling pin more often.

Do not use the parchment paper with foil lining underneath; This paper tends to curl up and over your cookies as they’re baking.

Store baked cookies in a re-sealable container or plastic bag at room temperature, up to 4 days.

Serve with tea or coffee, or use as a base for any recipe requiring shortbread.

Adapted from Dine & Dish


100 Responses to “3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies”

  1. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — November 4, 2013 @ 6:13 am

    Glad you’re feeling better! And so glad you whipped these up – I love that they’re only 3 ingredients!

  2. #
    Carolyn — November 4, 2013 @ 6:13 am

    Butter, sugar, flour…the holy trinity of baking! They look wonderful and if that’s all you had energy for, I’d say you did well.

  3. #
    Sandra Garth — November 4, 2013 @ 6:23 am

    These would make me feel better also. I’m looking forward to crossing these off my baking list!

  4. #
    Kelly — November 4, 2013 @ 6:38 am

    Love simple shortbread cookies and these look so pretty and puffy! Hope you’re feel better Georgia :)

  5. #
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — November 4, 2013 @ 6:40 am

    I’m making these tomorrow. Maybe I’ll put in some edible lavender. :)

  6. #
    Karly — November 4, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    Sorry you weren’t feeling so good, but yay for shortbread! It’s one of my favorite things to make…I’m always shocked by how good those three little ingredients are when baked together!

  7. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — November 4, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    You rule. 3 ingredients and they’re that fluffy? I can’t wait to eat more than my share. :)

  8. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 4, 2013 @ 8:49 am

    3 ingredient?! I’m in!!

  9. #
    Angie@Angie's Recipes — November 4, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    They look fantastic!

  10. #
    Eileen — November 4, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Simple and delicious – I’m in!

  11. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 4, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    Gorgeous! Love them–they look so fat and buttery! Glad you’re feeling better. Chick flicks, blankets, and snuggling up in bed is the best way to beat a cold, hands down.

  12. #
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs — November 4, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    I hope you’re feeling better now! Anyway, your Sunday sounds perfect to me: chicik flicks, tea, cookies and blankets… HEAVEN. It’s such a pity that you were feeling a bit under teh weather though!
    And these cookies look heavenly OH MY. And easy, I love easy cookies. I’m going to bake them for my father’s birthday this week. He loves shortbread!
    Thanks for the recipe and have a great week :D

  13. #
    The Café Sucre Farine — November 4, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    These look like they would cure just about anything that ails a soul. Yum! Hope you’re feeling MUCH better Georgia!

  14. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — November 4, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    I hope you’re feeling better! These cookies look incredible! Love how easy they are to make!

  15. #
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — November 4, 2013 @ 11:30 am

    I’m game for 3 ingredient shortbread cookies. Yum!

  16. #
    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — November 4, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

    Oooh these look perfect! You knowww I got time for them!

  17. #
    ashley - baker by nature — November 4, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    These remind me of my moms sugar cookies! Simple perfection :)

  18. #
    Jennifer G — November 4, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    These look wonderful! I am adding them to my Christmas baking list now. Since I really only do baking around the holidays, I like to try new things each year. I just have a couple of questions though due to less experience. Do you use regular butter or the unsalted butter that a lot of recipes call for? Also, could these hold up with shaped cookie cutters (w/ the holidays) and can I decorate them or are they to delicate. Thank you!

    • Georgia — November 4th, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

      Hi Jennifer – Either unsalted or salted butter is fine. I used unsalted for these. And yes, you can use any cookie cutters and decorate as you wish. This dough is very easy to work with!

  19. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — November 4, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    It seriously doesn’t get any better than that!! Shortbreads are one of my all time favorite cookies! I juts made some last week, but yours with just three ingredients? Timesaver!!

  20. #
    JulieD — November 4, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    I have been eyeing this recipe ever since Kristen posted them!! Yours look so good! Hope you’re feeling better!

  21. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — November 4, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    Gorgeous shortbread cookies, Georgia! I would never guess you weren’t a rolled cookie kinda baker! Lovely photography as always, my friend. I hope you’re feeling much better after your sick day and a nice weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  22. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — November 4, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    Shortbread is generally not my thing but THIS just looks SO incredible and delicious and buttery and mmmm!

  23. #
    Ash-foodfashionparty — November 4, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

    Oh, man, I have everything and I love butter cookies, tempted to whip up a batch. Looks really good.
    Hope you are feeling better now.

  24. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — November 4, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

    They look perfect and sound like an old Scottish recipe we used to use back home, 3 ingredients can’t get much easier :)

  25. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — November 4, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    A classic favorite of mine! I love shortbread cookies, especially around the holidays. What a fabulous, simple recipe for them! I can see myself adding sprinkles. Naturally.

    Sorry you weren’t feeling so good last week! I felt sick on Friday too. And was so lazy, I loved every minute of it. :)

  26. #
    Gaby — November 4, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    Shortbread is simply the best! I should make it way more often than I do.

  27. #
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet — November 4, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    Shortbread cookies are fantastic! Love how this is only three ingredients. I definitely do not need to run to the grocery store for this one!

  28. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 5, 2013 @ 12:22 am

    Only 3 ingredients and less than 20 minutes?! I am sold! Hope you are feeling better!

  29. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 5, 2013 @ 2:23 am

    Feel better! Now these cookies – perfection! They would go so perfectly with my morning cup of coffee!

  30. #
    Muna Kenny — November 5, 2013 @ 5:17 am

    I love shortbread cookies, they are almost always perfect. Your pics made them look extra yummy :)

  31. #
    Joanne — November 5, 2013 @ 5:51 am

    Awww I hope you’re feeling better chica!! And I’m glad you took the weekend to relax!! Sounds totally necessary!

    These cookies would be perfect to snack on while sick! Love how easy they are to throw together!

  32. #
    Jamie@Milk 'n' Cookies — November 5, 2013 @ 5:55 am

    If I could live on these three ingredients, I totally would. These shortbread cookies look simple, and simply amazing. Can’t wait to try them. And I hop you feel better soon!

  33. #
    Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — November 5, 2013 @ 6:36 am

    These make me think of Girl Scout cookies! The shortbread are always the best when you dunk them in tea or coffee. I’m super excited about this recipe!

  34. #
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — November 5, 2013 @ 11:33 am

    Three ingredient cookies sound like a god send! Glad your feeling better.

  35. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — November 5, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

    3 ingredients, 10 minutes desserts are THE BEST. Great idea. I’m thinking these would be great as sandwich cookies too…

  36. #
    Bill — November 5, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

    Hey Georgia, I can’t believe how easy these shortbread cookies are. It’s always so great to have something so delicious but so easy and quick. I’m sorry you were not feeling well, but I’m awfully glad you posted this recipe! Awesome photos too!

  37. #
    DessertForTwo — November 5, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

    These look so perfect and fluffy! Love it!

  38. #
    Jaclyn — November 5, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

    Three ingredients, oh yes! Love these kind of recipes!

  39. #
    Kitchen Belleicious — November 5, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

    hey now! I am all for quick cookies but 3 ingredients makes me feel giddy inside and makes me want to DASH to the kitchen and get started

  40. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — November 5, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

    shortbread cookies are so classic and lovely! hope you’re feeling better :)

  41. #
    Carla | Carla's Confections — November 6, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    How fun are these cookies! And I love that they are just 3 ingredients!!!

  42. #
    Dina — November 6, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

    those are the only 3 ingredients you need! yum!

  43. #
    Ramona — November 7, 2013 @ 5:51 am

    Now this is an easy recipe… and for such lovely thick cookies. :) I am definitely trying these out. :)

  44. #
    Erin | The Emerging Foodie — November 7, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    Wow! 3 ingredients can’t be beat, especially when it turns out as delicious looking as this! And pumpkin spice tea?! What brand is that? I think I need some! :)

    • Georgia — November 7th, 2013 @ 8:49 am

      My pumpkin spice tea was a gift from World Market – so delicious, and I think it’s still there now!

  45. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — November 7, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

    These sound so buttery and delicious!!! Pinned them!

  46. #
    marcie — November 8, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    You just can’t beat a great shortbread cookie, and these look phenomenal, Georgia! I can’t wait to get to Christmas baking…shortbread is perfect.

  47. #
    Prachi — November 9, 2013 @ 3:55 am

    Hey Georgia!!
    This is the most simple and easy yet yummy recipe. I loved 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookie. This goes wonderful with my morning coffee.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  48. #
    Pepper — November 10, 2013 @ 12:51 am

    Hi from Ireland! Was wondering how much a stick of butter is plz if you could tell me? We use grams and kilograms here. Thanks!

    • Georgia — November 10th, 2013 @ 9:38 am

      One stick of butter is 1/2 cup, or 113 grams.

  49. #
    Sandie@afoodieaffair.com — November 19, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    Georgia! Delicious as always! Can’t wait to make these!

  50. #
    Birthday Cookie Cutters — November 19, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    I’ve learned something new today about shortbread cookies! So thanks for that. Your cookies are so lovely. Delicious!

  51. #
    Hilary — December 9, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    Would these be even more Christmassy with some spice in? I might try a teaspoon of mixed spice which would give a warming flavour, I think.

    • Georgia — December 9th, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

      Sure, give it a try!

  52. #
    Kat — December 21, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    Hello I was just wondering if it’s possible to replace butter with margarine for this recipe?

    • Georgia — December 21st, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

      I’ve never used margarine, but it would probably work fine.

  53. #
    Elizabeth Pratt — December 22, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    This is very similar to my Great Grandma’s recipe, and it was her mothers recipe that they brought over from Scotland. The only difference is they used 2 cups of regular sugar, and 2 1/2 cups flour. Then pressed into a round cake pan, poked with a fork and baked. I wanted to try your recipe because I like the idea of shaping and baking. I am even thinking of dipping the ends in chocolate.

    By the way… I was told to only use real butter, never substitute.

  54. #
    Emily McLennon — December 24, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    I don’t own parchment paper so would greasing the pan with either oil or butter yeild the same kinda results as they would I had parchment paper?

    • Georgia — December 24th, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

      I’d recommend getting parchment paper. Using greased foil, the cookies may brown too quickly.

  55. #
    Vicki — January 4, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    Made these for a late holiday present. I cannot believe how perfectly light and melt-in-your-mouth this dough is. I added almond flavoring because I like my shortbread to have some almond flavor, but did everything else exactly to the recipe. They are DIVINE.

  56. #
    Annie — January 11, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    Hey Georgia, I love ur recipe! But I was wondering shouldn’t you put it in the fridge to chill before baking? I’ve learned that it spreads out and doesn’t rise if you don’t chill it. Yours comes out so perfect, though!

    • Georgia — January 11th, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

      Thanks, Annie! No, the dough does not need to chill before baking.

  57. #
    Rosalind — March 11, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    I have looked at so many shortbread recipes and finally found yours which I am going to use. Depending on what size cookie cutter you use, approximately how many cookies does this recipe make? I have to make about 90. Also can these cookies be frozen after baking?

    • Georgia — March 11th, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

      As the recipe states, it yields about 15 cookies. I haven’t tried freezing them after baking, but I’m sure they’d freeze just fine.

  58. #
    madhumitaa.r — March 15, 2014 @ 3:22 am

    its amazing for starters

  59. #
    Robin — March 18, 2014 @ 12:03 am

    well i was looking for easyyyyyyyyyyy shortbread cookies to make. Wow this really good too. we put jam on top of some the others were made a cookie cutter. will be making these my housewarming with dipped chaholate. mmmmmmmmmmmmm

  60. #
    Aleksandra — March 21, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

    As soon as I saw that these were 3 ingredients I went straight to the kitchen (no lie!). I’m waiting for them to bake as we speak! I can already tell they will be good because I tried the cookie dough and it was delicious!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  61. #
    Peter Sommer — July 17, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

    Can you use white whole wheat flour

    • Georgia — July 18th, 2014 @ 8:47 am

      I’d recommend just using all-purpose flour, not any variation of whole wheat.

  62. #
    Sarah — July 23, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

    Thank you, I made 2 batches, one plain shortbread and one batch of Lemon Rosemary Shortbread.
    I added 1/4 cup more of powder sugar, 1 teaspoon of Almond Extract, 1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice and some Rosemary. They were delicious! Lemon Rosemary Shortbread.

  63. #
    Kate — September 18, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

    Looks and sound delicious!!! I’ll definitely try these tonight. By the way, instead of rolling it out, would using a cookie press also work? Thanks!

    • Georgia — September 18th, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

      You could certainly try using a cookie press, but I’ve never used one on these cookies myself.

  64. #
    Kate — September 18, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    Hi, no matter how much I mix, the mixture won’t become a dough. It looks like break crumbs. what could I i do?

    • Georgia — September 19th, 2014 @ 9:34 am

      As I noted in the recipe, the dough will be crumbly at first, but after repeated mixing it will form a dough. Just make sure your butter is the right consistency (softened).

  65. #
    Sophia — September 29, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

    Hi! Looks Delicious but i was wondering if you use salted or unsalted butter?

    • Georgia — September 29th, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

      I always use unsalted butter in my baking. Hope you enjoy!

  66. #
    Monica — October 14, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

    I’ve been looking for a simple shortbread cookie for days online. I finally stumbled over yours. Quick question… are these cookies crisp or kinda chewy?

    • Georgia — October 14th, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

      They’re very crisp, buttery and delicious!

  67. #
    val — October 24, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    Found this recipe yesterday. Made them this morning. Truly they melt in the mouth. Bought shortcake biscuits always seem to be thick and certainly not all light and fluffy like these. Very simple to make which so helps with time etc.
    Thanks. These are now on my favorites list!!

  68. #
    Kayla McMillan — November 30, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    Loved the recipe super easy to make and delicious, I just found that at 16 minutes the cookies were a slightly over done. But overall, delicious.

  69. #
    plasterers+bristol — December 1, 2014 @ 1:28 am

    Yum yum, these sound lovely, thanks for uploading this recipe.


  70. #
    bella — December 12, 2014 @ 7:02 am

    i don’t have oven that’s why i never ever really bake or make something that requires an oven but don’t get me wrong i love baked goods and lately I’ve been really craving some cookies and i found your site…i used your recipe with a pinch of salt and cook it on top of the stove and the result was amazing!!! thank you so much!!!

  71. #
    maay — December 13, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

    Can i use normal sugar instead of powdered sugar? Or will it not work the same?

    • Georgia — December 14th, 2014 @ 9:47 am

      No, you need to use powdered sugar for the texture of the cookies.

  72. #
    Jan Young — December 14, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

    Do you think you could replace the butter with coconut oil?

    • Georgia — December 15th, 2014 @ 8:11 am

      I would only recommend using butter for these cookies.

  73. #
    Diane Kubanek — December 18, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    I just made these with my three year old granddaughter in France, with french butter (the world’s best). Loved the use of sugar to prevent sticking. We cut them into multiple shapes and the dough tolerated Agathe’s not so gentle handling. Best of all they tasted great after a wonderful morning of Christmas tradition creating with my girl.

  74. #
    Dana Millaway — December 19, 2014 @ 10:23 am

    Can you use foil instead of parchment paper to line your cookie sheet?

    • Georgia — December 19th, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      Sure. Using foil may cause the cookies to crisp faster than if using parchment paper, but it should be fine. Just keep an eye on the cookies as they bake.

  75. #
    Jacqueline — December 20, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    I made these tonight, I used cake flour in place of all purpose…absolutely wonderful. Thanks for quick and easy.

  76. #
    Kerry — December 24, 2014 @ 5:50 am

    Can I use self rising flour? It is all I have on hand.

    • Georgia — December 24th, 2014 @ 10:54 am

      Self rising flour may work, however, it contains baking powder and salt, which aren’t called for in the recipe.

  77. #
    Alice — January 6, 2015 @ 8:07 pm

    Ha! You think you’ve found a recipe I can’t possibly screw up? Challenge accepted!

  78. #
    j — February 26, 2015 @ 3:35 pm

    can you use superfine sugar in place of the powdered sugar? is it better to mix by hand or with the mixer? and with your hands or a spoon..?


    • Georgia — February 26th, 2015 @ 3:52 pm

      No, you need to use powdered sugar for the texture of the cookies.

  79. #
    danielle — March 11, 2015 @ 4:19 am

    O my god think i found the best recipe for butter cookies

  80. #
    Jenny — May 20, 2015 @ 12:08 pm

    Hi! I was wondering if these cookies spread when baked? I plan on using this dough in a recipe that requires the cookie not spread out too much while baking

    • Georgia — May 20th, 2015 @ 12:56 pm

      No, they do not spread much when baked.

  81. #
    Nicholas' Mom — June 5, 2015 @ 3:00 pm

    I love this recipe! I make it at least once a month. Thank you for posting it. =)

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