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Homemade Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe

4.45 from 47 votes
My homemade Scottish Shortbread recipe is made with oats, giving you the perfectly crumbly cookie to go along with your cuppa!
A plate of homemade Scottish Shortbread is presented on a holiday plate, decorated with holly berries, on a plater with an empty tea cup and a silver tea pot

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: My Homemade Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies recipe yields slightly sweet, rich, and crumbly cookies, better than store-bought Walker’s cookies! The oats in this recipe give the cookies a rustic and crumbly texture, perfect for dipping in your favorite hot beverages or eating on their own!

Now that it’s finally December, many of you are probably spending some time with friends and family. Why not use that time for some fun-filled activities together? There’s nothing better than a bit of baking to bring out that holiday cheer!

If you do, you should definitely try out my delicious Homemade Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies. They’re absolutely irresistible and very simple to make with just 5 common baking ingredients!

Set aside 45 minutes, and you’ll have a batch of buttery Scottish Shortbread Cookies in no time. It’s a crowd favorite at any holiday party and plenty delicious as an individual snack. Try it out!

Table Of Contents

What Are Scottish Shortbread Cookies?

Traditional Scottish Shortbread Cookies, also known as shorties, gained much of their popularity thanks to Mary, Queen of Scots, in the 16th century. The Scottish company, Walker’s, started making and selling Scottish Shortbread back in the late 1800s and have become a household name for this type of cookie. Scottish Shortbread Cookies are a type of biscuit that doesn’t contain any leavening like baking soda or powder. Shortbread gets its name from its crumbly texture — “short” was another word for “crumbly” back in the day. Shortbread and shortcake are synonymous in British English but very different in American English. There are “cookies” in the name, but don’t get confused! It’s another name for biscuits, in this case.

In Scotland, shortbread is associated with and typically made during the holidays. They are usually formed into one large circle divided into different pieces, small round biscuits, or thick rectangular slabs called fingers.

In my Scottish Shortbread recipe, we will be forming the latter shape. Because of its oblong shape, this flaky buttery shortbread is perfect for dipping into warm drinks like coffee or tea. It’ll melt right in your mouth, all the while making you warm and cozy!

Crumbly Scottish shortbread cookies are served on a Christmas plate, decorated with holly berries, on a platter alongside two mugs and a silver decorative teapot.

Tools You Need:

Ingredients You Need To Make Scottish Shortbread Cookies:

  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour typically has a protein content of 8-11%, making it perfect for these shortbread cookies so that they aren’t too chewy or elastic.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats give these cookies a great texture and look.
  • Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar, or white sugar, will add a slight sweetness to your cookies and a bit of moisture.
  • Salt: A little goes a long way, but don’t skip out! It helps bring out all the flavors of the shortbread.
  • Butter: Butter adds flavor, softness, and moisture to baked goods. Make sure to soften before using.

How To Make Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Scottish Shortbread Cookies use very simple ingredients and have even simpler steps:

  1. Preheat your oven, and line your square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In your food processor, add all of your dry ingredients and process until finely ground. Then, add in your butter.
  3. Press your dough into the baking pan evenly.
  4. Score your dough, and poke holes all over with a wooden skewer.
  5. Bake in the oven until pale golden brown.
  6. Remove cookies from the oven, and let cool before cutting scored marks all the way through.

Why Add Oats To Scottish Shortbread Cookies

In traditional Scottish Shortbread Cookies recipes, you don’t include old-fashioned rolled oats. However, adding oats to your dough elevates your shortbread cookies to another level!

When you grind your rolled oats, it acts as flour while also adding a great nutty flavor. Oat flour also reduces gluten development, giving it a crumbly and tender texture that you typically wouldn’t get in a flour-only recipe.

Read my Baking With Oats article for more information about cooking with oats, their health benefits, and different types of oats!

Can I Make Scottish Shortbread Cookies Ahead Of Time

Yes! You can freeze your dough if you don’t want to bake it off immediately. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and place it into a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you want to bake it, simply thaw it for a minute or two.

How To Store Scottish Shortbread Cookies 

The great thing about Scottish Shortbread is that it tastes good even after you’ve kept it for a couple of days. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you want to keep them for longer, freeze them for up to 3 months.

A close-up image of the homemade Scottish Shortbread Cookies show a flakey texture and the skewer marks poked throughout to allow steam to escape while baking.

FAQs

Why are my shortbread cookies falling apart?

Although these cookies will naturally be a bit crumbly, they should not fall apart. Make sure to use butter and not another 100% fat source like oil or else your cookies will lack gluten and be too crumbly.

Why are my shortbread cookies so hard?

Be sure not to overwork your shortbread dough in the food processor. Keep processing until they are just combined otherwise, they will turn out tough.

What do I do if I don’t have a food processor?

If you don’t have a food processor, you can alternatively use a blender or mixer.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • Be sure to fully process the oats, so they are flour-like in texture for the best results.
  • These are very lightly sweetened. If you prefer a sweeter cookie, you can add 2 more tablespoons of sugar to the dough or sprinkle it on top of the cookies before you bake them.
  • The list of ingredients is very short, so the quality matters. Use the very best butter you can find for this recipe.
  • Vanilla bean paste is a nice addition – you can add up to 2 teaspoons along with the butter.
  • Be sure to score the shortbread before baking and cut the cookies completely while still warm, or you will have a tray full of crumbs.

Check Out More Shortbread Cookie Recipes:

And don’t miss more everyday baking recipes in my NEW Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook!

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook

Watch The Recipe Video!

Homemade Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe

4.45 from 47 votes
My homemade Walker's Scottish Shortbread recipe is made with oats, giving you the perfectly crumbly cookie to go along with your cuppa!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 cookies
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
My homemade Walker's Scottish Shortbread recipe is made with oats, giving you the perfectly crumbly cookie to go along with your cuppa!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • cups (7½ oz/213 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (3 oz/85 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) butter, softened

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang on two sides. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, oats, granulated sugar, and salt and process for about 15 seconds until the oats are finely ground.
  • Add the butter and pulse until the mixture just comes together.
  • Transfer to the prepared baking pan and press the dough into an even layer.
  • Score the dough into 16 rectangles, and then, with a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the cookies.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until pale golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then carefully use the parchment paper to gently lift the shortbread out of the pan. Cut the score marks all the way through, then let cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months.
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clarashaoyen
clarashaoyen
1 month ago

This shortbread smells and tastes amazing! 😋 the oatmeal adds to the flakiness and lightness… which is why they are so much better than the regular ones. Buttery goodness at every bite!

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Susan
Susan
1 month ago

Hi Gemma, I really enjoy watching you bake and would love to make this Scottish shortbread. However I don’t have a food processor , only a stand mixer and hand mixer. Would I be able to use quick cooking oats instead?( not the minute oats.)

Yolanda Carstens
Yolanda Carstens
1 month ago

Here’s a question for you, can I use an air fryer to bake the cookies? Our oven isn’t working right now.

Rhonda
Rhonda
1 month ago

Quick question. Never seem to have salted butter. If using unsalted butter how much more salt to add to recipe? Thank you.

Pamela
Pamela
1 month ago

What a wonderful recipe and lovely bit of history! I am very excited to try these for the holidays:) The photo of the cookie and tea display with the beautiful silver serving tray and crochet doily did look very “Irish”💕 Love your recipes and bits of Irish history and stories about you mum. I am Canadian with Irish family history, so I quite enjoy it:)

Hellkat2
Hellkat2
9 days ago

I will say that the 9 x 9 pan works well. Another option could be to cut them into fingers before you place them on the baking sheet rather than cut them afterwards. The cut marks i made were lost during baking process. But i cut them again when finished cooking no problem. Sweetness and salt were perfect. I am a purist. So….these shortbreads are good and cook up well and easy but …my preference is no oatmeal. But if you want to make them a little healthier add the oatmeal. Compared them to regular shortbread and the taste testers… Read more »

Hellkat2
Hellkat2
9 days ago

I am in the process. Could not find a 8 x 8 pan anywhere so used a 9 x 9 pan. I am thinking that I should have ground the oats separately because then you get a better idea how finely ground they are. My dough is a little gritty. I put the dough in the freezer for a few minutes to firm the dough up after i rolled it i to the pan using a thermal coffee car cup. The reason i put it in the freezer was so that it would be nice to cut the slices in… Read more »

Silke J. Koch
Silke J. Koch
19 days ago

Best recipes EVER!
Fast and easy. Everything has always come out just perfect.
Thank you Gemma 😃❣️

Kelly O'Connor
Kelly O'Connor
23 days ago

Hello Gemma,
This is the first time I made homemade Shortbread . Your recipe is so easy to follow .The results are scrumptious!! Buttery, crumbly, but not too much! Everyone loved it ! I was able to whip up another batch right away it is so quick to make!!
Thank you Gemma ❤

George Haddad
George Haddad
1 month ago

My sister got me Scottish shortbread cookies from the UK and I loved them, but not after seeing the ingredients. They had too many ingredients! I tried this recipe and they tasted very similar yet with much fewer and healthier ingredients. They were too crumbly to hold their long shape, maybe cause I used 200g of butter (store bought) instead 225g. Or they need more baking. So I made them not big but bold! Dipped them in high quality dark chocolate cause it’s Holiday season. Thank you so much.

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook