Traditional Buttery Shortbread

Shortbread is a sweet, crumbly biscuit with a very short list of ingredients. It comes together very easily and has a nostalgic simplicity which is perhaps at the core of its charm. The butter provides the key flavour to the shortbread, so it's important to stick to decent butter and not be tempted to use margarine.

Tweaked only the tiniest bit from the shortbread recipe in Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book


  • 100g (4oz) plain flour
  • 50g (2oz) cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar + a little extra for sprinkling
  • 100g (4oz) butter, at room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F (gas mark 3).
  2. Line an 18cm (7 inch) square tin with baking parchment.
  3. Mix the flour, cornflour, caster sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Now add the room temperature butter in small pieces to the bowl.
  5. I used an electric hand whisk to mix together the ingredients until breadcrumbs are formed. You could also use your finger tips here.
  6. Then use your hands to bring the mixture together into a smooth dough.
  7. Press the dough into the prepared tin. I had a lot of fingermarks on mine which I didn't like, so I used a flat sided glass to lightly flatten it out. You could also use the flat underside of a measuring cup.
  8. Chill the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until the shortbread is just starting to turn golden.
  10. Divide into portions with a sharp knife while the shortbread is still hot and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
  11. Leave the shortbread to cool completely in the tin.


I wanted to make fingers of shortbread (as seen in Ted Lasso's daily pink box delivery), so I chose to use a square tin. Alternatively, you could gently roll out the dough and cut out shapes with a cutter. Place them on a lined tray and chill for 30 minutes before baking. They will probably cook a little quicker than the fingers, so keep an eye on them in the oven.

Keywords: afternoon tea, nostalgic, biscuit, cookies