Old Fashioned Shortbread Cookies... with homemade buttercream icing

I absolutely love a homemade shortbread cookie. I love the buttery flavour and flaky texture. It's the perfect cookie with a glass of milk or a cup of tea/coffee. Today, I am sharing a simple recipe for old fashioned shortbread cookies that is easy to make and tastes like the cookies your grandma used to make.

Here's the recipe for my favourite old fashioned shortbread cookies:


  • 1 cup softened salted butter (room temperature for easy mixing)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch


Mix butter, flour, and vanilla together with electric beaters. Then, mix in icing sugar and cornstarch. (If they seem lumpy, use a sifter, but I usually just throw it all in "as is".) 

Beat until well mixed and crumbly, and then form into two discs with your hands. Cover with plastic wrap, and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes. Note: It looks crumbly when you are mixing it, but when you start to work with it in your hands, it all comes together nicely.

Roll out to 1/4 inch on a floured surface.

Cut with a cookie cutter and bake on Silpat or parchment (at 300 degrees) for approximately 15 minutes. (I used a 2 inch cookie cutter.)

Let cool, and then frost using my "small batch buttercream icing recipe". To make my icing, just beat together the following ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp milk or cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

These really are delicious cookies, and they are great for sharing during the holidays too!

Do you have a favourite shortbread recipe? If you are looking for one that is simple and delicious, you should give this one a try.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

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