Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (2024)

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If you love Walker’s Scottish Shortbread cookies, you’ll definitely want to make this homemade version!

Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (1)

This Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies recipe is a keeper–perfect for holidays! Whether you serve them with hot tea, coffee, or a scoop of ice cream, these buttery melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a dream come true!

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Scottish shortbread is known for both its simplicity and delightful, slightly crumbly texture. Rich and buttery, these cookies have just the right amount of sweetness.

Shortbread is set apart from many other baked goods in that it does not contain any leavening agents, such as baking powder, baking soda, or yeast.

Often served during special occasions such as Christmas or Hogmanay festivities in Scotland, the traditional Scottish shortbread cookie is a holiday favorite in many families.

There are a few brands of Scottish shortbread cookies that are exported to other countries, and one such favorite that is sold in America is Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies.

Walker’s shortbread fingers only contain four ingredients, so it’s quite simple to make a copycat version at home! All you’ll need is flour, sugar, butter, and salt to prepare the cookie dough.

I sometimes add a dash of vanilla extract to my homemade shortbread recipe, but that is entirely optional.

These Scottish dream cookies are sure to become a tradition in your family!

More Holiday Dessert Recipes:

  • Easy Golden Syrup Cake
  • Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
  • Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
  • Swedish Dream Cookies
  • Easy Biscoff Fudge
  • Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
  • Stroopwafel Cake
  • Gingerbread Loaf
  • Eggnog Bundt Cake
  • Chocolate Orange Cake
  • German Muffins
Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (2)

What’s the Difference Between Butter Cookies and Shortbread?

The difference lies in the amount of butter and sugar in each recipe. They are often baked at differing temperatures, too.

Typically, butter cookies have more sugar and are not as crumbly as shortbread.

How to Make Copycat Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Whether you’re serving these cookies for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, for National Shortbread Day (yes, it’s a thing–on January 6) or simply for an afternoon cup of tea, it’s really easy to make this delightful treat!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Butter
  • Confectioner’s Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • Vanilla Extract (optional)

How to Make It:

(Full Printable Recipe is available below)

Prepare a baking dish or pan. First, you’ll line an 8×8″ baking dish with parchment paper.

Make the dough. Next, you’ll prepare the dough by using an electric mixer to beat together the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Alternatively, you can use a food processor for preparing the dough.

Add the vanilla extract, if using. Gradually add in the dry ingredients of flour and salt, if using, mixing just until a soft dough forms.

Bake the shortbread. Last, press dough gently into the prepared baking pan, flattening it across the top as much as possible.

Use the tines of a fork to prick the shortbread dough to help prevent bubbling during baking. Bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to turn pale golden brown.

Remove from oven and use a bench scraper or knife to cut into rectangular-shaped cookies. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (3)

Notes and Adaptations:

  • Some people prefer to chill their dough before baking, as that allows the gluten to relax a bit more. I personally do not chill the dough, and instead work with room temperature dough, but you are welcome to do so if you prefer. Simply use cling wrap to wrap it well and place it in the fridge.
  • Using confectioner’s sugar (AKA powdered sugar) gives that melt-in-your-mouth texture better than granulated white sugar or brown sugar, so that’s my preference here.
  • Some bakers add rice flour to their shortbread to give it that “sandy” texture. I am not a fan of that grittier texture, so I stick to all-purpose wheat flour.
  • If you desire thinner cookies, you can roll the dough out and use cookie cutters for fun holiday shapes. These will bake on a sheet pan for a shorter amount of time, so watch them closely.
  • These would also be delicious dipped in melted chocolate! I may try that next time–I love using Ghirardelli melting chocolate wafers for dipping.
  • Serve these as a sweet finish to Scotch pies, if you’d like.
Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (4)

Recommended Equipment:

Yield: 18 Cookies

Walkers Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (5)

Delightfully tender and buttery, these Scottish shortbread cookies are the perfect holiday treat.

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time25 minutes

Total Time30 minutes


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Line an 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper so it hangs over the edges. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and confectioner's sugar until smooth.
  3. If desired, add vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour and salt, if using, mixing just until a soft dough forms.
  5. Press the dough into the prepared pan, flattening it across the top as much as possible. Use the tines of a fork to prick the dough.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until edges are just starting to turn golden-brown. The center may still be a little shiny.
  7. Remove from oven and use a bench scraper to carefully cut into rectangles.
  8. Cool completely before serving.


  • Some people prefer to chill their shortbread dough so the gluten can relax before baking. I personally don't do that, but you are welcome to if you prefer.
  • These would be delightful with the ends dipped in melted chocolate!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 154Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.

Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (6)
Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe (2024)


What is the secret to making good shortbread cookies? ›

Tips To Make the Best Shortbread Cookies
  1. Choose High Quality Butter. No matter what brand of butter you buy, if it's real butter, you can rest assured that it's the best. ...
  2. Keep Ingredients Simple. ...
  3. Add Flavor. ...
  4. Don't Overwork. ...
  5. Shape Dough. ...
  6. Chill Before Baking. ...
  7. Bake Until Golden. ...
  8. Add Finishing Touches.

What are the ingredients in Walker's shortbread? ›

Walker's products are sold all over the world

As it always has been, our shortbread is made using only four ingredients: flour, pure creamery butter, sugar and salt.

What are common mistakes when making shortbread? ›

The most common mistakes when making shortbread are over-working the dough, and incorporating too much flour. The less you work the dough, the more crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth your shortbread cookies will be.

What is the difference between a shortbread cookie and a Scottish shortbread cookie? ›

Traditional Scottish shortbread is a simple recipe made with sugar, butter, flour, and salt. Other shortbread styles will include leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda, which makes them crisp instead of crumbly like traditional Scottish shortbread.

What is the best brand of butter for shortbread cookies? ›

Spend extra when it really counts: If you're making a recipe where butter really is the star (think shortbread or biscuits), splashing out for a package of Kerrygold or Vital Farms is worth the expense. The fine differences in the flavor are most impactful in these recipes.

What happens if you add too much butter to shortbread cookies? ›

Butter is an emulsifier and it makes cookies tender. It also adds in the crispy-around-the-edges element. Adding too much butter can cause the cookies to be flat and greasy. Adding too little butter can cause the cookies to be tough and crumbly.

Why is Walker shortbread so good? ›

So what makes it so good? “Good shortbread should have many different qualities, including taste and texture” says Jim. “But the most important quality is the flavour of the finest pure butter. Walkers Shortbread is virtually the only company of any size that uses only pure butter in its shortbreads.”

How much butter is in Walkers shortbread? ›

Ingredients: Wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin), butter (milk) (32%), sugar, salt.

Why use unsalted butter in shortbread? ›

Use unsalted butter for balanced flavour. Unsalted butter was traditionally used in baking because it was a superior product to salted - salt is used as a preservative so unsalted butter was thought to be fresher.

Should you chill shortbread dough before baking? ›

Step 3: The Secret to the Absolute Best Shortbread

After shaping the cookies, don't rush to the oven! Instead, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so (overnight is OK, too). A short stay in the fridge will firm up the cookies and solidify the butter. This will help keep them from spreading too much.

Should butter be cold for shortbread? ›

If it's too warm, the butter and sugar cannot properly cream and the cookies will taste dense. Many shortbread recipes call for cold butter worked into the dry ingredients and that gives you a wonderfully flaky cookie but if not mixed properly, the results can be inconsistent.

What are the disadvantages of shortbread? ›

Sugar provides a fast source of energy. There are rarely any artificial additives. Cons: Shortbread is a weight watcher's nightmare because it is extremely high in saturated fat and calories. Saturated fat is the 'bad' fat which is linked to artery-clogging high cholesterol and heart disease.

What is shortbread called in Scotland? ›

Triangular wedges of shortbread became known as "petticoat tails", and this form of shortbread has become particularly associated with Mary, Queen of Scots. It has been suggested that a French term for the wedges of shortbread was petit* gâteaux or petites gatelles – little cakes, and this became "petticoat tails".

What do Americans call shortbread? ›

Shortbread isn't a bread, it's what we Americans call a cookie.

Why do Scottish people eat shortbread? ›

Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home.

Should shortbread cookies be soft or hard? ›

Shortbread should always have a tender, melting texture, but be slightly crisp when you bite into it. It should not generally be damp or wet underneath. A classic shortbread recipe will also only have flour, butter and sugar as the ingredients (in a 3:2:1 ratio) and not egg, which could lead to excess moisture.

What's the difference between Irish shortbread and Scottish shortbread? ›

Irish Shortbread Is Distinct From Scottish Shortbread

As cornstarch is a potent thickener relative to flour, this creates a denser cookie. Whichever version of shortbread you prefer, though, the original -- which is often just called "shortbread" -- came from Scotland.

Why did my shortbread cookies come out hard? ›

These proportions make shortbread a lot more dense compared to cookies, which means you could easily end up with shortbread that's hard and crunchy rather than buttery and crumbly. Per Cooktop Cove, this can occur when the dough has either been overworked or not chilled for long enough.

How do you keep shortbread crust from sticking? ›

Shortbread Crust: Lightly butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, an 8 or 9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.


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