Skip to Content

Making Scottish Shortbread Cookies for National Shortbread Day – January 6

January 6 is National Shortbread Day. It’s a day to celebrate a wonderful taste – shortbread!

Shortbread is a national Scottish dessert cookie that is made with 3 parts flour, 2 parts of butter and one part of sugar. 

These cookies have a rich and tasty and a melt in your mouth texture that is just delightful.

Similar to gingerbread cookies, shortbread cookies are frequently eaten during the Christmas holiday. However you can enjoy this delicious cookie at any time of the year by trying the recipe below!

Scottish shortbread cookies are easy to make with a 1, 2, 3 recipe list

It is quite common to bake cookies out of shortbread around the holiday time. Danish butter cookies have a similar buttery texture.

Shortbread butter cookies

Fun facts about shortbread cookies

Check out these shortbread cookie facts. Some may surprise you!

  • Shortbread has been around since the 12 century.
  • Scotland is known as the home of shortbread.
  • Petticoat tails (triangles cut from a larger round shortbread) are a traditional holiday shape.
  • Shortbread evolved from a medieval biscuit bread which was a twice baked bread that was spiced and sweetened.

For another holiday recipe, make sure you check out our post on the history of hot cross buns, which features a recipe for this traditional Easter bread (with its own national day).

How to celebrate National Shortbread Day

  • Share the day on social media using the hashtag #nationalshortbreadday
  • Have some friends over for a cup of tea and shortbread cookies.
  • Buy a fancy tin of Walker’s Shortbread cookies.
  • Make your own shortbread recipe.

Traditional shortbread recipe

The traditional recipes uses the ration of 3 to 2 to 1 but modern bakers have adapted it by splitting the traditional sugar part into both granulated sugar and powdered sugar. 

I prefer the confectioner’s sugar ratio for the melt in your mouth texture.

My husband is English and he loves the traditional Scottish shortbread cookie made by Walkers. It’s not uncommon to have a sight like this after Christmas in our house!

Shortbread cookies

Making shortbread cookies for National Shortbread Day

Trying to find these cookies at other times of the year can be a challenge. Time to make some of our own!

I love that this recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3! All you need are the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar

Making shortbread cookies

The dough is made first and then you have the option of making a slice and bake style cookie, or rolling out the dough to use cookie cutters so that you have some festive shapes.

More shortbread cookie recipes10 tasty shortbread cookie recipe to tempt your sweet tooth

While the traditional Scottish shortbread cookie is the one most often seen, there are lots of other ways to make a shortbread cookie. Why not try one of these recipes?
Lemon shortbread cookies

Lemon shortbread cookies

What a lovely choice these lemon shortbread cookies would make for your Christmas cookie exchange! 

Basic shortbread cookie

This adaptation of the traditional basic shortbread cookie recipe features brown sugar and vanilla for a 4 ingredient cookie. It’s a bit different but just as tasty.Shortbread cookie recipe made with brown sugar

Peanut butter chocolate shortbread cookies

Tired of the traditional shortbread cookie? Make yours a full blow cookie feast with these peanut butter and chocolate chip shortbread cookies.Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Melting moments shortbread cookies

These melting moments shortbread cookies are a step up from the original cookie but the added cornstarch gives even more of a melt in your mouth texture.

I love the little pillow shapes!

Melting moments shortbread pillow cookies

Still looking for ways to celebrate National Shortbread Day? Try one of these recipes.

Would you like a reminder of this post for shortbread cookies? Just pin this image to one of your cookie boards on Pinterest.Make Scottish shortbread cookies at home with just three ingredientsThere are almost 2000 national days in the year. Don’t miss a single one of them. Check back soon to see which national days we are celebrating this month.

Want more? Check out these national days in January:

Admin note: This post for shortbread cookies first appeared on the blog in October of 2013. I have updated the post to include a printable recipe card, more recipes and fun facts about National Shortbread Day and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 30 cookies

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Shortbread cookies

These buttery shortbread cookies are as easy to make as 1, 2, 3.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes


  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the flour until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Place the dough out onto a counter that has been dusted with powdered sugar and gently roll the dough into a log about 2 x 2 inches in size.
  5. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and allow it to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove and slice the cookies into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place on your baking mat and cook for 16-18 minutes or until just golden around the edges.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to a baking rack.
  8. Optional: Dust with powdered sugar
  9. Once cool the cookies can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
  10. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.


The dough can also be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters if you prefer.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

Share on Social Media

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Skip to Recipe