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Easy 3 ingredient cookies?? it's true!! and they are SO good.....

3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

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Hi Bold Bakers!

One of the best parts about being a Bold Baker is having lots of sweet tricks up your sleeve including these wonderful 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies. For me, this means having loads of recipes I can pull together at the drop of a hat, without ever having to open a cookbook. These 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies are one of my go-to recipes, as they are a classic 3,2,1 recipe (Ratio applies to cup measurements only). This means I can make them off the top of my head and now you can too!

For those of you who don’t know, a 3,2,1 recipe is a recipe which has only 3 ingredients and a ratio of 3 parts to 2 parts to 1 part. These 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies are mostly flour, the 3. Then some butter, the 2. Lastly a bit of powdered sugar, the 1. On top of being a super, versatile, easy recipe to remember, these Shortbread Cookies are made in just one bowl and bake up super fast. For those who do not use eggs, not an egg in sight! All you have to do is mix up the dough, roll it into a log, let it chill then slice them into perfect little rounds.

There is something so satisfying about both making, and eating, these lovely 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies. The finished cookies bake up to golden brown perfection with a super crumbly and rich texture, thanks to all that creamy butter. While I love to enjoy Shortbread Cookies all on their own, there are so many things you can do with them, from filling them with peanut butter to making shortbread and peanut butter sandwiches, to dipping one half of them in chocolate, filling with jam, just endless possibilities. I can’t wait for you to learn the method behind these cookies then give them a try for yourself.

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For more 3 ingredient cookie recipes, check out my 3 Ingredient Coconut Cookies and 3 Ingredient Chocolate Banana Cookies! Happy Baking!

5.0 from 4 reviews
3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 30-35
  • 1 cup ( 8oz/240g) ) butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (2oz/60g)) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups (10oz/300g)) all purpose flour
  1. Preheat your oven to 350o F (180oC) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the soft butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light inf fluffy.
  3. Add in the flour and mix until the dough just comes together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a counter dusted with powdered sugar and gently roll the dough into a long two by two inch log.
  5. Wrap the log of cookie dough in plastic wrap and allow to firm up in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Once the dough is firm slice the cookies into ¾ inch thick rounds. Place each round on your baking trey and bake for 16-18 minutes or until just golden.
  7. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. Once cool the cookies can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
If you do not use butter, though this is best for these cookies, you may use a hard baking margarine, not the spreadable tub one.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 71 Saturated fat: 4 g Unsaturated fat: 2 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 4 g Sugar: 4 g Sodium: 44 mg Fiber: 0 g Protein: 0 g Cholesterol: 16 mg

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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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  1. Irishmammy on January 17, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Hi Gemma. We tried this at the weekend but I must have put the wrong type of ingredients in. I used baking butter and icing sugar. After leaving it overnight in the fridge it was crumbly mess trying to cut it. Can you tell me where I went wrong? Should I have used a normal butter block instead of baking butter? 🇮🇪

    • Irishmammy on January 17, 2018 at 8:13 am

      And I also just just plain flour

      • Gemma Stafford on January 17, 2018 at 8:53 pm

        yeah plain flour is grand.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 17, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      huh, did you make a sausage like I did? and it crumbled after?

      By baking butter do you mean margarine? if so that should work just fine. As long as the butter and sugar creamed well together and was light and fluffy bonfire adding the flour they really shouldn’t have fallen apart like that.

      I’m a bit stumped!

  2. Noelle on January 15, 2018 at 1:28 pm


  3. Helena on January 15, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Gemma. I made these shortbread cookies about 3 days ago and I forgot to tell you how they tasted! When i made the dough, it was kind of hard to roll it into a log; so I just used my hands to shape the cookies into circles. When they were done IT SMELLED SO DELICIOUS! But the best part was eating them because they actually tasted like a lot like shortbread even though there only 3 ingredients. My family enjoyed it so much.

    Thanks a lot. From: Helena

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Yayyy!!! Success. I’m thrilled to heat that.


      • Helena on January 16, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        Gemma, did you mean hear instead of “heat”?

        • Gemma Stafford on January 17, 2018 at 3:33 am

          Hi Helena,
          Yes, that is what happens when I am working from my phone, sorry,
          Gemma 🙂

  4. Smriti Jhamb on January 15, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Hi Gemma
    I made these cookies today and they turned out great. But I found them a little too salty. I could feel a little sweetness but more than that there was salt. I used salted butter. And the salted butter which I used contains around 3% salt. Do you think this might be the reason of them being too salty?
    Should I use unsalted butter next time?
    Or are they supposed to be like this?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 16, 2018 at 3:44 am

      Hi there,
      We chefs do like our salt! Some people do not like it so much, so you can choose which butter to use.
      Shortbread does usually have a little salt, and I am surprised that you could taste it in this recipe. I did not add further salt, and salt does add to the flavor of any bake really. I am a bit mystified about this!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Smriti Jhamb on January 16, 2018 at 4:08 am

        Hi Gemma
        I made them last night and when they were freshly baked, they tasted a bit salty. But today when they were totally at the room temperature, they tasted soo good. I mean they didn’t taste salty at all. Instead it was all so buttery. They were amazing. I don’t know why they tasted like that when they were out of the oven but now they taste really good. Thank you so much for this recipe.🙂

  5. P.S. on January 15, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Perfect! First time in my life that I made edible cookies! Love butter cookies and now I don’t need to buy it, it’s super easy to make, thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2018 at 4:58 am

      Hi there,
      Good for you, now keep at it, lots more recipes for you here.
      crazy muffins next!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Meryl on January 14, 2018 at 9:17 am

    3 ingredients coconut cookies. You have 2 cups equally 6 oz. that’s not correct. 2 cups is 16 oz. which is correct? Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on January 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Hi Merly,

      A cup is 16oz for a lot of ingredients but not all ingredients. Because of the different weights of flours, sugar, coconut etc they don’t all measure the same.

      If you want check out my conversion chart. That’s a helpful guide


  7. Precilla Quimque - Trinidad on January 14, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Can I decorate these cookies like the one used in decorating sugar cookies with icing sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      Yes Pricilla, these would be good for decorating 🙂

  8. Polly on January 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

    In these shortbread cookies, do you use salted or unsalted butter. Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 13, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      I use salted all the time and It works great 🙂

  9. Nagma Rawoot on January 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Is this classic scottish shortbread?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 13, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      It’s very similar. Give it a try, I bet you will really like it.


  10. Imaan on January 12, 2018 at 7:56 am

    hi gemma, hope you are well, can I use castor sugar instead of powered sugar

  11. Saranya on January 12, 2018 at 2:20 am

    Hey Gemma! You said icing sugar in the video. But the recipe on the website says powdered sugar. Which one should I use? Regular powdered sugar or icing sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 12, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Hi there,
      These are the same thing! Powdered sugar, is icing sugar, is confectioners sugar,
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Lea on January 12, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Hi Gemma! I was wondering if I can follow your recipes and use a toaster oven? Are there any adjustments? I have a really small 12L toaster oven.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 12, 2018 at 6:43 am

      Hi Lea,
      The important thing is to be able to select the temperature of 180C, other than that I think it will be good. The timing will be important too, so do keep an eye on it. It is worth trying one recipe, even a shortened one, to experiment,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Ramya on January 12, 2018 at 12:34 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I’m truly inspired by your cooking and have tried so many of them….they were a huge success thank you so much😊

    I wanted to know if ur chocolate banana cookies had the taste of bananas in them and if I substituted bananas instead of eggs in other recipes will the taste of bananas come?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 12, 2018 at 6:51 am

      Hi there,
      The chocolate and banana cookies have a lot of banana, and it is a feature of the recipe, so yes, you will taste it a little.
      as an egg substitute though it is different, normally you use very little in proportion to the other ingredients, and it is not a problem. ( here is the chart.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ramya on January 12, 2018 at 7:22 am

        Thank you ,Gemma
        That was helpful

  14. Luciana on January 11, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    I am a little confused with the 3, 2, 1 recipe. Could you please clarify?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      Hi Luciana,

      3,2,1 recipe is a recipe which has only 3 ingredients and a ratio of 3 parts to 2 parts to 1 part.

      Hope this clears it up 🙂

  15. foodiequeen on January 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Why do these have such a short shelf life?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      They will be freshest and best eaten within 3 days but you can keep them for a few days longer if you want.

  16. Ramishah Fahim on January 11, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Hi Gemma!
    I’m a big fan of all your recipes. Can you please show us how to make lemon cake, not lemon meringue cake, but a lemon cake in true bigger bolder baking style?? Love all your recipes and to see more…..

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2018 at 7:24 pm


      I’m really glad you like my recipes. I’ll add your request to my list and see what I can do 🙂


  17. Tanmayi Bharadwaj on January 11, 2018 at 8:56 am

    This recepie is amazing gemma and very easy too can you make more amazing flavours like this once … actually I love cookies

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2018 at 6:06 pm


      Really glad you like it.

      Happy Baking!

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