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a white plate full of brown butter shortbread on a white and blue stripped tea towel

Brown Butter Shortbread

  • Author: Elizabeth Waterson I Confessions of a Baking Queen
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20-35 Pieces depending on size you cut 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: British


How to make perfect Scottish Shortbread, only 4 ingredients this is one of the easiest dessert recipes around. Easy to double or triple so a perfect dessert for a crowd. Brown Butter Shortbread is perfect for a party or cuddled up with tea!


Units Scale
  • 312 grams (2 1/2 Cups) All-Purpose Flour/ Plain Flour
  • 8oz (1 Cup) Cold Browned Butter, previously browned and chilled**
  • 125 grams (1/2 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons) Granulated Sugar/ Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C and get a 9"X13" pan out- no need to grease it.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a regular medium-sized bowl add the flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Mix on low/medium speed until the butter is mixed in and pea-size pieces of butter are left OR mix by using your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients. If you grab a handful of the dough you should be able to squeeze it in your hand into one piece.
  3. Transfer the dough to the pan and press down evenly. Use a rolling pin or glass to roll the shortbread dough to ensure it's tightly in the pan. Using a butter knife score the shortbread, basically marking the shortbread - you are not cutting all the way through, into whichever size pieces you want. Scoring up, down, and across. Prick all over with a fork. If your fork sticks and pulls some of the shortbread up then gently use your clean finger next to the fork as you press down to kind of hold the shortbread in place.
  4. Bake for approximately 18-25 minutes, or until golden brown on edges. Once baked cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Sprinkle sugar on top and shake pan side to side to distribute evenly. Cut on the previously scored marks and store them in an airtight container. Last for up to a week.


Brown 10oz of butter to get 8oz of browned butter for the recipe

If you would prefer thicker shortbread bars then double the recipe and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.

Double Recipe for Jelly Roll Pan (12X8X1)- bake for 20ish minutes/until golden brown on edges

Triple Recipe for USA Baking Sheet(18X13X1)- bake for 25ish minutes/until golden brown on edges

Keywords: english dessert recipes, Scottish shortbread

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