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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.30 / 5 (105 votes)

Prep time:
15 min, plus 30 minutes chilling
Cook time:
45 min
18 - 20 biscuits

Diana Henry’s decadent shortbread biscuits are rich and delicious – see her tips for adding a little flavour twist to these classic teatime treats


1. Put the butter and icing sugar into a mixer and beat on a low speed for about 30 seconds. If adding flavouring (see cook’s note), this is when to add it.

2. Add the flour and salt and beat again on a low speed for about 4 minutes.

3. Bring the dough together in your hands and roll into a ball. Knead very lightly on a floured work surface and roll out into a sheet 1cm thick.

4. Preheat the oven to 130C/gas 1.

5. Cut out rounds with a 6cm biscuit cutter and transfer onto a couple of sheets of baking parchment set on a baking sheet, making sure there is plenty of space between each biscuit. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

6. Bake the shortbread in the oven for 45 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer to a cooling rack. The biscuits will still seem soft and be very pale when they’re done, but will harden as they cool.


  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 225 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 pinches salt

Tips and suggestions

You can flavour these biscuits with anything you like. To make anise scented or lavender shortbread, add 4 star anise, ground to a fine powder, or 2 tsp dried lavender (which you should grind to a powder) along with the sugar. A little orange or rose flower water also gives you lovely scented shortbread. Rose shortbread is lovely if sprinkled with crushed crystallized rose petals.

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Latest Comment


Loved the recipe. EXCELLENT+, but not if you are calorie counting.
Eleonora PSG Italia

Eleonora Eleonora  Posted 29 Jun 2012 7:40 PM

made this recipe people said best shortbread they had ever tasted next time i made them when cooled dipped half in melted white chocolate they were amazing

steveD21053 steveD21053  Posted 11 Aug 2011 7:00 PM

Not sure what went wrong but my dough turned out like cake batter! so added some extra icing sugar and flour, soon corrected itself, the biscuits were yummy, and I will definitley make them again Smile

candyB18862 candyB18862  Posted 21 Jan 2011 11:49 PM

first time making these came out of the oven my family could not wait for them to cool down gone in no time second batch we added some fruit again gone in no time this recipe has become a family favourite

lindaD9225 lindaD9225 Posted 12 Nov 2009 8:30 PM