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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.

Variations

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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4.13 from 310 votes
Shortbread Cookies made with only 3 ingredients!
3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
Total Time
28 mins
 

Enjoy buttery and delicious Shortbread Cookies with my easy 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies recipe for all of the flavor with less of the fuss.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 -35
Calories: 71 kcal
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ( 8oz/240g) ) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (2oz/60g)) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups (10oz/300g)) all purpose flour
Instructions
  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.

Watch the Recipe Video!

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 Cookie)
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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284 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Nathasha on February 19, 2019 at 9:43 am

    If I only have unsalted butter, how much salt should I add to the dough

    • Gemma Stafford on February 19, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      Hi, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

  2. Michelle on February 16, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Is there any way to make these with non-wheat flour, as I am intolerant to wheat? Thank you! <3

    • Gemma Stafford on February 16, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      You could try a wheat free flour like sorghum or you could try a nut flour. Just notes changing the flour might give you a drier cookie mix.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  3. Ivor on February 8, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Gemma
    I made these delicious shortbread cookies and named them Irish shortbread cookies because I used Kerrygold pure Irish butter. I didn’t have any powered or caster sugar so I ground granulated down to a powder.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 9, 2019 at 2:53 am

      Ivor, you cannot get better than Kerrygold butter! I grew up with this, and still use it as much as I can.
      I am delighted, they truly are Irish now!
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Crumbledcook on February 4, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Tried these using cake flour (was that wrong) laced with lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. Alas these didn’t have any structure and never browned in the oven. Just crumbled to, admittedly tasty, dust. Too much butter methinks. Trying to rescue the remaining dough to a more traditional 4-2-1 shortbread recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      Hmmm yes i would not suggest cake flour here, but i’m glad they still turned out tasty!

  5. Kotoshi on February 3, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you!!! This recipe help make my cooking skills way better my sisters love them.😊😊😊

    • Gemma Stafford on February 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      😀 i am delighted to hear that!

  6. chyntia on February 3, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I would like to try your recipe for the shortbread, but I don’t have any electric mixer.Is it still posible to make a good dough without electric mixer?

    Thanks.
    Chyntia

    • Gemma Stafford on February 3, 2019 at 11:00 am

      A lot of elbow grease is what you need. Let me know if this works for you. will be happy to help

  7. Lisa on January 27, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Yum!! And so easy. You’d be hard pressed to find a worse cookie baker than me. Usually you’d break a tooth on my cookies, but these turned out perfectly. Thanks Gemma for another tasty and super easy recipe that whips up in no time. Having to cook absolutely every single meal from scratch in my house these quick and easy treats with few ingredients are perfect.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 28, 2019 at 8:38 am

      Hi Lisa,
      You see, you are not a bad cookie baker, you just did not have the best recipe!
      Now you are an expert you can try more cookie recipes, then you really will be an expert!
      Good to have you baking with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Trish on January 23, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    I have been looking for this 3-2-1 recipe for months. Have always wanted a simple but easy to remember, no-fail recipe. Made them last night and they were wonderful! They are so simple yet are perfect to be a springboard for varying flavors and experiments. I think I will try coconut next!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      YUM i love the idea of coconut, great job!

  9. Gary leo on January 20, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Can I use pastry flour for this shortbread cookies? Will it be too soft or crumbly?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 21, 2019 at 2:21 am

      Hi Gary,
      You can certainly use pastry flour. It will be tender, but the cookie is tender in any case. Mostly you do not over work the gluten in this type of recipe, so I think all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Shruti Verma on January 9, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Hey Gemma
    I would like to ask what if I want to make these in a microwave of 1200 watt?
    How much time and power should I set?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 12, 2019 at 3:57 am

      Hi Shruti,
      I would not do this! I think this type of cookie depends on the ambient temperature of the convection oven. You would not get the same result.
      I have some microwave mug cookie recipes here (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/cookie-recipes/). This is a little quantity, and you could try to bake in open, on a sheet, to test it. This will be an experiment for you, and should work well. Test after 40 seconds or so.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Sheena on January 6, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    What about using almond flour? I’m low carb and avoid traditional flour.
    I’m excited to try these but I’m nervous about the flour type affecting the taste too much

  12. Patricia Cantu on January 5, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Used your recipe for sugar cookies but I turned it into pecan sugar cookies by adding finely ground pecans and cinnamon to the dough. My family loved them. Their favorite dessert is peanut butter cookies, apple pie and banana bread. Now I can alternate with my pecan-cinnamon cookies. Try this. I’m sure you too will enjoy them.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2019 at 10:48 am

      Wow, great job i love how you adapted these, next time send us a photo!

  13. Linda McMahan on December 28, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Let’s be honest here.
    These are ridiculous, set the plate out and they were devoured. made again, same thing!
    Easy and fast recipe with maximum wow factor,
    Be warned, these can be highly addictice especially if dipped in dark chocolate laced with orange zest.
    Quite simply, this recipe should just be called Baked Butter!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      AH i am delighted to hear that, these are some of my favorites too 😀

  14. Elaine on December 25, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Hi, Gemma, I’d like to try the shortbread recipe. Question; if I chill the unbaked dough log in the fridge for a day or so, for approximately how long would I let it sit out on my counter to return it to the temp. of 1/2 hour of chilling? Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      Hi, yes i would say 15-30 minutes. Enjoy!

  15. Christine Scott on December 22, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Hello there Gemma. I chilled my dOuGh but they still spread. Argggh. And Should the butter be unsalted?
    Thank you. Merry Christmas 🎄💕

    • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Christine! Salted or unsalted butter will work fine. It’s a preference. Was your butter melted? Let me know and I’ll see how I can help.

  16. Megg on December 21, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Hi there. Getting ready to make these cookies tonight & just curious…are they truly only good for 3 days after making? I plan on giving them as a gift but won’t see the person till Monday. Not thinking she’ll want to eat them all on Monday. 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      If you store them in an air tight container they will be fresh linger, i would say up to 5 days. Enjoy!

      • Megg on December 22, 2018 at 6:10 am

        Hi Gemma. Thanks for the reply & wanted to let you know…I LOVE this recipe! They came out perfect & delicious. Never made shortbread before nor even looked up a recipe because I thought they’d be one of those time intensive, if at first you don’t succeed kind of cookies. You have now changed that. Can’t wait to make them again & play around with variations like others have. Thanks again & a Merry Christmas to you.

        • Gemma Stafford on December 22, 2018 at 5:48 pm

          I am delighted to hear that, enjoy these and have a lovely holiday!

  17. joash on December 20, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    u hawt

    • Gemma Stafford on December 20, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Thank you 😀

  18. Dee on December 20, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Looks YUMMY! If I wanted to use a mold, what adaptations would I need to make? THANK YOU!!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2018 at 1:12 am

      Hi Dee,
      I saw the mold but removed the link. Very nice mold!
      You will need to oil the mold, lightly, and have the batter a little firm, other than that it should work well for you. If the dough feels a bit sticky add a little more flour. Try a little sample, and bake it in the mold, it will help to season the mold for you.
      I hope this works well for you, do let us see the results.
      Seasons greetings to you and yours,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Nazareen Ebrahim on December 19, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I am one of your newest fans and absolutely love your work and your recipes. I made this 3 ingredient shortbread biscuit recipe last night and added crushed almonds. It was absolutely delicious!!!

    Happy Holidays!!
    Nazareen

    • Gemma Stafford on December 19, 2018 at 4:41 am

      Hi Nazreen,
      Good for you, very well done, it is great that you are willing to experiment with the recipes, that is the idea.
      Thank you so much for letting us know,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Helene on December 18, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Gemma can I just drop them by the teaspoon and bake them without chilling the dough first. And do I grease the cookie sheet?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      I highly suggest you chill your dough as this will keep the cookies from spreading.

  21. Ak on December 16, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Hi how are you? I wanted to ask can this shortbread cookie be made in a microwave? like the other microwave cakes?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 17, 2018 at 3:54 am

      Hi there,
      NO! I am sorry, that is unlikely to work for you. This type of recipe will like a hot oven. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/gemmas-mug-meals/) take a look at the recipes which we have tried and tested here,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ak on December 19, 2018 at 9:01 pm

        Okay no problem, thank you. You will always be a teacher to me. Happy holidays 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on December 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm

          Same to you!

  22. jkossin on December 16, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Hi! Would this work in a cookie press?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      hum, I’m not sure about that to be honest. Maybe best to try this recipe for shortbread

      Best,
      Gemma.

  23. Fay Kennedy on December 16, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Hello! Can I add almond or vanilla extract? If so, how much? Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Hi Fay,
      sure you can, a teaspoon of either one would be good, especially if it is an extract.
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Lauren Ginebra on December 15, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    I just made these shortbread cookies tonight I added coconut flakes, pecans and almond extract.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      nice! I hope they turned out well.

      Happy Baking,
      Gemma.

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