Buttery 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Whip up a batch of classic shortbread cookies using our foolproof 3 ingredient shortbread cookies recipe! 

A blue and green place mat with a white plate of shortbread cookies, bottle of milk, and metal spatula on top.

These buttery shortbread cookies come out crumbly and tender. They are incredibly easy to make with just three ingredients: butter, flour, and powdered sugar. I love the simplicity of this recipe and I think you will, too. It’s one of those simple recipes that you can easily memorize and whip up anytime you have a craving. 

A picture showing the cover images for all three cookbooks written by Aileen Clark.

Plus, the simplicity of the ingredients makes it an ideal cookie recipe to make with little kids. There aren’t a ton of ingredients to measure out, so they get their fill of helping, and you don’t get overly stressed by the chaos of measuring out 10+ ingredients while they climbing all over the counters. 

Close up of 4 shortbread cookies on a white plate.

I also love this recipe for older kids who are starting to bake independently. It’s really a great recipe for everyone!

We love baking all kinds of cookies around here. Make sure you try our recipe for 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies, Chewy Chocolate Butterscotch Chip CookiesHazelnut Snowball Cookies, and S’mores Blossom Cookies.

How to make 3 ingredient shortbread cookies?

  1. Combine 1 stick softened butter, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Butter, sugar, and flour combined in a glass mixing bowl.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Roll shortbread dough out 1/4 inch thick. Shortbread dough rolled out on a wooden cutting board.
  4. Cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or top of a water cup.
  5. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 1-inch apart. Shortbread cookie dough cut into a circle and on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookie start turning golden brown.
  7. Let cool.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Overhead shot of a plate of cookies next to a cooling rack full of 3 ingredient shortbread cookies.

Shortbread Cookie FAQ

What is the difference between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie?

Shortbread cookies tend to be denser then sugar cookies because shortbread cookies do not include eggs or any leaving ingredients (like baking soda or baking powder).

Can I use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar?

Technically, you can use granulated sugar in your shortbread cookies, but I don’t recommend it. The powdered sugar is super fine – making for a super soft cookie that will stay soft over a couple of days. 

If you only have granulated sugar on hand, you can make your own powdered sugar by grinding it up in a food processor or blender until it turns super fine.

A glass bottle of milk next to a white plate with four shortbread cookies on it.

Can I freeze shortbread cookie dough?

Yes, you can freeze shortbread dough. See our tutorial on freezing cookie dough for tips.

How to store shortbread cookies?

Store these fully cooled cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Baked cookies can also be frozen up to 3 months.

A blue and green place mat with a white plate of shortbread cookies, bottle of milk, and metal spatula on top.

3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Aileen Clark
Whip up a batch of classic shortbread cookies using our foolproof 3 ingredient shortbread cookies recipe! 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 1 dozen cookies
Calories 115 kcal


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat your oven time 350°F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, butter, and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Roll out dough and cut using a circle cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or water glass.
  • Place cookies on the prepared cookie sheet, 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown.
  • Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cool 5 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to fully cool.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 115kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 1mgSugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Save this recipe for later on Pinterest.
Collage photo of shortbread cookies with words "3 ingredient shortbread cookies" in blue letters.

Did you try this recipe for 3 ingredient shortbread cookies? Let us know what you thought with a rating and comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Comment