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Easy Shortbread Cookies

A timeless recipe. These Easy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Shortbread Cookies are as simple as they are delicious, making them the perfect treat for any occasion.

Three ingredient christmas biscuits

No-Fuss Butter Cookies

These Easy Shortbread Cookies have a special place in my heart (and kitchen). Growing up, I remember standing on a stool next to my mum and being just tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. I loved spending time with her, rolling the dough into little round balls and using the biscuit gun to create festive shapes. Even now, the aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting through the house is a scent that instantly evokes feelings of nostalgia. 

Kid-Friendly, Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

Use this Easy Shortbread Cookie recipe to pass down the joy of baking from one generation to the next. Your kids can roll the little balls like playdough and get creative with the biscuit gun to create playful shapes. 

Perfect for beginners and enjoyable for all ages, these Melt-In-Your-Mouth Shortbread Cookies are a timeless treat. The dough comes together quickly and easily, and the baking time is minimal. Not only are these treats a testament to simplicity, but they also serve as a wonderful bonding experience with your loved ones, especially children.

easy shortbread cookies

Tips for Making the Perfect Easy Shortbread Cookies

  • Use high-quality ingredients: For the best flavour and texture, use high-quality butter, flour, and sugar.
  • Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly: This step is crucial for achieving the signature melt-in-your-mouth texture of shortbread cookies. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2–3 minutes.
  • Don’t overmix the dough: Overmixing the dough will result in tough cookies. Mix the flour into the butter mixture just until it’s combined.
  • Chill the dough: Chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes will help the cookies hold their shape and prevent them from spreading too much in the oven or air fryer. This is especially important if using a cookie gun. I got a little too eager filming this recipe
  • Bake the cookies until lightly golden brown: Overbaking the cookies will make them dry. Bake them until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 10–15 minutes.

Infuse the Shortbread Cookie Dough with Your Favourite Flavours

You can easily flavour the dough to your liking by adding your favourite flavours. For my cookies, I’ve added nutmeg for a touch of spice and vanilla extract for a hint of warmth.

Get creative with your flavours! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add chocolate chips: Fold in chocolate chips for a rich chocolatey treat that’s perfect for cold winter nights.
  • Add citrus zest: Add a teaspoon of lemon or orange zest for a bright, citrusy flavour. Ideal for summer.
  • Go nuts: Add a teaspoon of almond extract for a nutty flavour, or go all out and add whole pecan nuts to your cookies.

Whether you’re making these Easy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Shortbread Cookies for Christmas or a year-round bake sale, this recipe is a timeless gift that keeps on giving – both in flavour and versatility and in cherished moments with loved ones. These cookies are perfect for Christmas gift boxes, holiday parties, or simply enjoying as a treat with your family and friends. So, gather your ingredients, enlist the help of your little kitchen assistants, and indulge in buttery bliss.

Rate Your Easy Shortbread Cookies

Have you made our quick and easy Shortbread Cookies? We’d love to hear your thought. Try another of my gran’s favourite recipes: No-Bake Date Squares (better known in South Africa as Dadelvingers), or try more festive cookies with my cute as a button Gingerbread Button Biscuits

Your feedback is my secret ingredient, so share your experience in the comments, rate the recipes, and don’t forget to tag your creations with #theculinarycartel on our Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

3 ingredient christmas cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this recipe gluten-free?

No, the recipe is not gluten-free. You can try gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour baking flour, or FREEE gluten-free flour. I haven’t tested a gluten-free version yet. If you do go gluten-free for this easy Shortbread Cookies recipe, please let me know. Use the hashtag #culinarycartel on Instagram.

Can I double the recipe?

Sure! Double the recipe to ensure there is enough for everyone. 

Can I make the cookies in the air fryer?

Yes! It’s so easy and convenient to make these cookies in the air fryer. I cooked my cookies in three batches in the air fryer and saved on electricity. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you opt to bake these cookies in the air fryer, make sure NOT to use baking paper. Using baking paper in the air fryer is a fire hazard as the paper can fly around and catch fire. Rather use your air fryer’s non-stick baking tray.

What’s the best way to store cookies?

A biscuit tin is your best bet. This way, your cookies should stay fresh for one to two weeks at room temperature.


easy christmas biscuits
a plate of easy shortbread cookies with pecans
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Three ingredient christmas biscuits

Easy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Shortbread Cookies

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 30 min


A timeless recipe. The Easy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Shortbread Cookies are as simple as they are delicious, making them the perfect treat for any occasion.



For the cookies

  • 200 g butter
  • 85 g castor sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 225 g all-purpose flour

Flavour your cookies: optional

  • A generous pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dash of vanilla extract

Decorate your cookies:

  • Raw pecans, walnuts, sprinkles/100s and 1000s


  1. Oven: Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and position the rack in the centre.
    Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 155°C (350°F). I use this air fryer, but also love this one
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together 200g of butter and 85g of caster sugar until the mixture is fluffy and pale. Add a pinch of salt and fold it into the mixture and, optionally, sprinkle in a bit of freshly grated nutmeg and a dash of vanilla extract for an extra layer of flavour. See our FAQs above for more ideas on adding flavour!
  3. Sift 225g of all-purpose flour into the mixture, gently combining the mixture with a rubber spatula until a smooth dough forms. Do not overmix.
  4. If using a biscuit press, allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. This will stop the cookies spreading and losing their shape. Follow the instructions on your cookie press, then add the dough as directed. Press the cookies onto a silicone or baking paper-lined cookie sheet.
  5. If hand-rolling the cookies: portion the cookies into small balls, about 20g in weight, and smaller than a golf ball. Place the dough on a lined cookie sheet and press a pecan or walnut into the middle of the dough ball to flatten it slightly. Alternatively, press the dough ball down with your hand, flatten to out 1cm thick, or use a fork for a ridged effect. Top with sprinkles or chopped nuts if desired. Be sure to leave space between the cookies so they don’t bake into each other.
  6. Oven: Bake at 200°C (392°F) for 10–15 minutes or until the edges turn a light golden brown. Ensure it’s placed in the centre of the oven for even baking.
  7. Air Fryer: Cook at 155°C (356°F) for 15-18 minutes, checking occasionally for desired doneness. When air frying, it is especially important to check the underside of the cookie to check it’s baked through. All air fryers are different, so yours may need a little more time than mine.
  8. Once baked, allow the biscuits to cool on a wire rack before savoring the delightful buttery goodness.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I recommend these products wholeheartedly, and your support through these links helps sustain the content. Thank you for your trust!

  • Prep Time: <15 min
  • Cook Time: 10–15 min
  • Category: Baked Goods
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