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British Recipes

Traditional Scottish Recipe - Butter Shortbread

butter shortbread


570g plain flour
175g cornflour
175g caster sugar
450g butter
extra caster sugar, to dust.


  1. Sift the flour, cornflour and sugar into a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
  3. Rub the butter in with your fingertips.
  4. Mix the mixture to form a dough.
  5. Chill the dough in a fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Press the shortbread dough ( about ½" thick) into a round baking tin.
  7. Prick all over at even intervals with a fork.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven (150° C / 300° F / gas mark 2) for about 1 hour.
  9. Remove the tin from the oven and dust the shortbread liberally with sugar whilst it is still hot (the sugar will stick to the hot shortbread).
  10. Cut the shortbread into wedges and cool on a wire rack.


To bake: To cook in an oven.

To dust: To sprinkle lightly with a powder i.e. caster sugar.

To press: To apply pressure.

To prick : To make a single small hole or several small holes, often with a fork, eg to bake blind, first prick the pastry base with a fork.

To rub in: A method of incorporating fat into flour by rubbing the fat with the fingertips until it combines with the flour to form a mixture with a breadcrumb-like consistency, eg rub the butter into the flour and add enough cold water to form a smooth dough. Pastry, scones, cakes and biscuits are made using the rub in method.

To sift: To put dry ingredients such as flour or sugar through a sifter or mesh screen to loosen particles and incorporate air.

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