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Shortbread Cookies made with only 3 ingredients!

3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

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Whip up my easy and buttery Shortbread Cookies recipe with just three simple ingredients.

Hi Bold Bakers!

One of the best parts about being a Bold Baker is having lots of sweet tricks up your sleeve. For me, that means having loads of easy cookie recipes I can pull together at the drop of a hat without ever having to open a cookbook. These wonderful Shortbread Cookies are one of my go-to recipes for a classic buttery fix. I can make this simple 3,2,1 recipe off the top of my head and now you can too with my shortbread cookies recipe!

What is a “3, 2, 1 Recipe?”

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 (ratio applies to cup measurements only). These 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies are mostly flour, the third part. Then some butter, the second part. Lastly a bit of powdered sugar, the one part. And for those of you 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 and then slice them into perfect little rounds.

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

There is something so satisfying about both making and eating these lovely 3 ingredient cookies. On top of being an incredibly versatile and easy recipe to remember, these easy Shortbread Cookies are made in just one bowl and bake up super fast. All you have to do is mix up the dough, roll it into a log, let it chill and then slice them into perfect little rounds. 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: make them into shortbread thumbprint cookies with a bit of jam, fill them with peanut butter to make shortbread and peanut butter sandwiches, dip one half of them in chocolate – the possibilities with shortbread are endless.

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For more 3 ingredient cookies and other 3 ingredient recipes, have a look below:

4.16 from 98 votes
Shortbread Cookies made with only 3 ingredients!
3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
Total Time
28 mins
Servings: 30 -35
Calories: 71 kcal
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 1 cup ( 8oz/240g) ) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 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 3/4 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.
Recipe Notes

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 Facts
3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 71
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Sugars 4g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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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!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Brenda on October 15, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Gemma
    Today is actually my birthday and I tried this shortbread recipe for the first time and it turned out perfect. I’m so happy!!! Thanks so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to try the others.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 7:17 am

      Hi Brenda,
      Happy birthday to you!
      I have had some tech issues here so missed the day, I am sorry.
      I am delighted that this recipe was a good one for you, well done, I am happy to hear it,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Margaret on October 10, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    I used 1.5 cups of wheat flour rather than white flour…..they turned out GREAT! Melt in your mouth delicious 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 4:23 am

      Hi Margaret,
      Wow! I am thinking you mean whole wheat flour? if so then very well done to you. I am delighted this worked out well for you, and other Bold Bakers will be interested to hear this.
      Thank you for this kind input,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Ree N Dave Ragbar on October 3, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Tried this recipe can’t wait for picture to be posted it was exciting and delicious thank you gemma..

    • Gemma Stafford on October 4, 2018 at 2:37 am

      Hi there Ree,
      thank you, and thank you for submitting the photo too, I really appreciate that. Your cookies look delicious, I love that little variation in the color!
      Well done, good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ree N Dave Ragbar on October 10, 2018 at 4:47 am

        Thank you gemma means a lot I’m trying the banana bread today

        • Gemma Stafford on October 10, 2018 at 9:00 am

          That is great Ree, delighted to have you baking with us,
          Gemma 🙂

  4. SimranMehta on September 18, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Gemma, I made the short bread cookies today and they came out really well. Took my family to our childhood when we had our favorite bakery prepare butter cookies for our family.

    You’ll be delighted to know that I did a few changes to meet my childhood flavors: used Brown sugar powder, salted butter instead of plain butter ( together they gave caramelly taste), chopped almonds and almond extract.

    Thanks a ton and more for such beautiful recipe 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on September 18, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you for the lovely message, i’m delighted to hear you liked this recipe!

  5. Guhan on September 17, 2018 at 3:21 am

    Hi Gemma,

    The shortbreads spreads out on the baking sheet. How did you keep your cookies in shape (without hitting the gym)?

    P.S. Nevertheless very yummy! 🙂


    • Gemma Stafford on September 20, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Guhan,

      Well I’m delighted they tasted good. Next time chill the cookies before you bake them for an hour and they shouldn’t spread as much.

      The spreading can come down to the butter being too soft, almost melting when making these cookies so that might have been a reason.


  6. Latipha on September 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Gemma, made the shortbread cookies this eve and OMG!!!!!!! They’re melt in your mouth, just the right sweetness, crumbly little drops of heaven!!! Thanks a million

    • Gemma Stafford on September 14, 2018 at 3:18 am

      Hi there,
      good! The perfect little treat, I know! We love these here too,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Ihssane on August 30, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Gemma I want to ask you if we can replace the peanut butter, in the last cookie, with another ingredient and what is it… Thank you sweetie.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 31, 2018 at 2:46 am

      Hi there,
      There are three ingredients in this recipe.

      1 cup (8oz/240g) sugar
      1 cup (8oz/240g) peanut butter
      1 egg

      the fewer the ingredients the harder it is to sub them out.
      however, for this recipe an almond butter would be good, or any nut butter really.
      I am not so sure about tahini, but that may work too. you can experiment.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ihssane on August 31, 2018 at 4:55 pm

        Thank you so much for your help… I will try it and see the results

  8. Rochardt on August 27, 2018 at 1:16 am

    I will try the recipe I made from this without so much sugar. They are quite sweet. Do you think half the sugar will make a difference to how the shortbread turns out?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 27, 2018 at 2:01 am

      Hi there,
      This is not a lot of sugar relative to the flour, and the powdered sugar adds to the ‘shortness’of ther cookie.
      If you decide to reduce it there will be a point of no return, so go easy. I would suggest to remove just one ounce/30g, and see how it hangs together for you. You can reduce the batch while you experiment too. If you take 8ozs as per the recipe, add then butter then divide this one lot with 1oz/60g of sugar, the other with less! that will tell you a lot, and will still be edible.
      I hope this helps, and thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Rochardt on August 25, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks Gemma,
    I used this recipe to create a magic brown butter, chocolate and desiccated coconut cookie. I call them Choc Trip Cookies. I also added a little vanilla to the original recipe for my shortbread. Easy to make and heaps of fun to eat!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 26, 2018 at 2:48 am

      You are a baking genius. It is amazing how brown butter changes things! Well done and thank you for this tip, other Bold Baker will be delighted to try it.
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Reyn on August 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Hi gem! I’m using a gas mark oven at home for baking so I want to ask you the gas mark in cooking this goodies!!! Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 20, 2018 at 3:47 am

      Hi Reyn,
      325 degrees F=165 degrees C=3 gas mark
      350 degrees F=180 degrees C=4 gas mark
      375 degrees F=190 degrees C=5 gas mark
      400 degrees F=200 degrees C=6 gas mark
      I hope this will help you,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Mary Pate on August 17, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    I want to use a shortbread that I found at a thrift. Do you have a recipe for shortbread that you’d put in a pan?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 20, 2018 at 5:06 am

      Hi Mary,
      I think you mean a shortbread mold?
      Really you can use any shortbread recipe for this purpose. You would make the dough, do not roll it, transfer to the pan, and pat it into place, gently enough.
      Have the pan well buttered for ease of removal, and allow the shortbread to cool to firm up before turning out.
      Lucky you! nothing better than a good thrift store find, I am a big fan!
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Jacelyn on August 16, 2018 at 2:15 am

    Hi, I wanna ask if we can use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 16, 2018 at 2:47 am

      Hi Jaclyn,
      You can, but it will give a different result. You can powder your granulated sugar if you have a food processor. If you measure in cups the weight equivalent is different, between powdered sugar, and granulated sugar, use a scales if you have one.
      Powdered sugar gives a more tender finish to a cookie or pastry.
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Vicki Moyer on August 13, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    I made for a friend I added walnuts & coconut unrefined sugar to it. They came out great

    • Gemma Stafford on August 14, 2018 at 3:00 am

      Hi Vicki,
      Well done you. Thank you for this great description of how you managed this recipe. Others will be encouraged to experiment too, and that is what we are all about there on BBB.
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Lily on August 7, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Lovely recipe, unfortunately the mix was a little more crumbly that most shortbreads I’m familiar with, left a little to be desired when it comes to handling. I edited things a bit and added lemon zest to the mix, turned out sweet, with just a hint of lemon. All in all, a wonderfully simple little cookie, with no strong flavors. I think I’ll be making this again.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 8, 2018 at 9:34 am

      I’m delighted to hear that!

  15. Margaret Lawson on August 5, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Hi Gemma, I think all your recipes are amazing, I am going to try your 3 ingredient cookies tomorrow. Will let you know how I get on.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 6, 2018 at 4:19 am

      Hi Margaret,
      Good to have you here with us.
      Yes, do try these recipes, and then let us see the results.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Danielle on July 26, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Are shortbread cookies the type that are usually used for decorating?
    Would these be good to decorate with fondant or icing?

    Thank you!

  17. Rashmi on July 23, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Does it need baking powder or soda??

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      No, it’s just the 3 ingredients given 🙂


  18. Denise boyle on July 17, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Hi. Loved your no bake chocolate chip cookies!! I have a child that is allergic to oatmeal so I was wondering if you can switch the oat flour to regular flour? Eagerly waiting your response. Thank you!!! Denise

    • Gemma Stafford on July 17, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Denise,

      So because it’s no bake you can’t replace it for regular flour because it won’t get cooked. You could however use maybe almond flour or a different nut flour.

      Hope this helps,

  19. Mrs.Rashid on July 15, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I felt as if the shortbread cookies needed a bit more sugar? And also I only got about 13 of them. What should I do differently when I attempt to make these again. Thank You!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2018 at 12:24 pm


      If you would like to you can add a little more but not too much or it will change the recipe too much. Also rather then add more to the dough, you can roll the log of dough in sugar so it’s on the outside.


  20. Sofia on July 14, 2018 at 3:53 am

    I baked these yesterday and it was a complete success ! I just wanted to know if it would last for about 2 weeks after ive baked them?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Yay!!!!! I’m delighted you liked this recipe :). I would say 5 days, but not 2 weeks. you can always make the dough and freeze it to be baked off later.


  21. Sofia on July 11, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    Im planning on making these but is it already quite sweet? Im planning to put icing over it to make a character that my friend likes for her bday. If it is already quite sweet, do i just put less sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 12, 2018 at 3:07 am

      Hi Sofia,
      This is the nature of baking! It tends to be sweet. However this cookies is actually light in sugar, have you made it?
      I think this will work well for you, carry on, it does not need to be too big, the sugar is necessary to the recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

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