Two 3 ingredient shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar, stacked on a black plate over a striped cloth, with more cookies in the background on parchment paper
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3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

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Make shortbread cookies without eggs, with just 3 ingredients that I bet you have on hand - Butter, Flour and Sugar! You don't even need to portion the cookies out! Bake in a 8x8 and you're all set!

These 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies are for those days when you want to make something sweet for the kiddos (and yourself!) without turning the kitchen upside down! Shortbread cookies are super simple, totally delicious, and honestly, kinda genius. Just mix butter, sugar, and flour together, and BAM – you’ve got yourself a big batch of homemade shortbread cookies.

Two 3 ingredient shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar, stacked on a black plate over a striped cloth, with more cookies in the background on parchment paper

Buttery shortbread cookies are the best, and when I don’t feel like making my fav, Whipped Shortbread Cookies but still want that flavor, this 3 Ingredient recipe hits the spot! Back in the day, I was def sneaking these cookies during the holiday season (alongside meltaway cookies… don’t even get me started on those!) and trying not to get caught. Flash forward, and now I’m playing defense, making sure my little cookie monsters don’t clear out the jar in one go. These shortbread cookies are THAT good, and because they’re so darn easy to make, they’ve become my secret weapon. Whether it’s for the school bake sale, a family get-together, or just because I’ve had my fill of sneaking peanut butter fudge (Mama needs her sugar fix, too!), these are my go-to!

3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies Overview

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Number of Ingredients: 3 (plus optional powdered sugar for dusting)
Feeds: A family of 7+
Total Cook Time: 40 minutes
Primary Cooking Method: Baking
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Sweet and buttery
Skill Level: Beginner

  • No Eggs Needed: This 3 ingredient shortbread cookie recipe is a lifesaver if eggs are off the table for you or anyone you’re baking for. You can still get your bake on without worrying about finding some weird egg substitute.
  • No Need To Portion Individual Cookies: I really took a shortcut here when I decided to make these shortbread cookies even easier by skipping portioning the cookies out. Just press the dough into a square baking dish and call it a day here! Cut into squares and eat. You’ll thank me later!
  • Texture to Die For: You know that perfectly soft, crumbly shortbread texture? The kind that sorta just dissolves the second it hits your tongue, leaving you in a buttery, sugary bliss? Yeah, this recipe nails it.
  • Your Wallet Will Thank You: If you have butter, sugar, and flour, then you’re basically ready to roll. This has got to be one of the most budget-friendly recipes out there!
  • Easy Clean-Up: Nobody likes to end a baking session with a mountain of dishes. Good news – this recipe keeps it simple. One bowl for mixing, one pan for baking, and you’re pretty much done.

Ingredients to make 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

  • Salted Butter: Make sure it’s room temperature; it’s key to that perfect shortbread texture.
  • Granulated Sugar: The good old white stuff gives these easy shortbread cookies just the right sweetness.
  • All-Purpose Flour: It’s the backbone of our cookie, giving it structure and that classic shortbread crumble.
  • Powdered Sugar for Dusting: This is totally up to you, but a little sprinkle on top before serving can transform these bad boys from weekday snacks to fancy treats.
3 ingredient shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar, with one stacked on top of another, beside a small glass bottle of milk, all on a striped cloth

How to make 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Step 1: Mix the cookie dough

  1. Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Cream together until the butter becomes pale and fluffy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Slowly incorporate the flour into the creamed mixture, continuing to mix until a dough forms.
A step by step image collage on how to make 3 ingredient shortbread cookies with ingredients, creaming the butter with the sugar, adding the flour and mixing the dough

Step 2: Shape the dough, bake it, and cut the cookies

  1. Evenly press the dough into your prepped baking pan, spreading it to the sides.
  2. Bake the dough in your preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. Look for the shortbread to turn a light golden brown around the edges and for the center to be set.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Then, cut into squares.
  4. Let the shortbread cool completely in the pan. Before serving, dust it with powdered sugar if you like, and enjoy!
A step by step image collage on how to make 3 ingredient shortbread cookies with placing the dough in the baking pan, baking the cookies, cutting them into squares and dusting them with powdered sugar
  • Different Shapes: Don’t just stick to squares! Grab a cookie cutter and press out hearts, stars, or whatever shapes your little ones like. Or make them into drop cookies! Simply scoop and bake.
  • Topping Swap: Sprinkles add a pop of color and fun for the kiddos (or the kid in you). A chocolate drizzle (dark, milk, or white – take your pick) can turn a simple shortbread into a decadent treat. Or, for a zesty topping, finish with a light lemon glaze!
  • Nuts Addition: Before you add the flour, mix in a half cup of finely chopped nuts into your dough. Pecans, walnuts, or almonds can add a delightful crunch and a nutty depth of flavor.
  • Chocolate Chip Shortbread: Just before pressing the dough into the pan, fold in a cup of mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate. This turns your traditional shortbread into a delightful chocolate chip wonder!

Tips for making the best easy shortbread cookies

  1. Sift, Sift, Sift: Before you mix, take a minute to sift your sugar and flour. It’s the secret to getting that smooth, lump-free dough!
  2. Avoid the Overmix: Don’t keep the mixer going – stop as soon as your dough comes together. Overmixing is the nemesis of the tender, crumbly texture we’re aiming for.
  3. Slice the Shortbread While Warm: Not hot, but just cool enough to handle. This makes slicing a breeze and helps prevent the edges from crumbling apart. Plus, it’s easier to get those clean, sharp lines that make your buttery shortbread cookies look beautiful.
  4. Keep It Cool: Make sure your butter is at room temperature, but not too soft. This is crucial for creaming the butter and sugar together properly.
Several 3 ingredient shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar, stacked on top of each other

How to store 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Once your shortbread cookies have cooled down to room temperature, slide them into an airtight container. Pop it in a cool, dry place, and you’re all set.

How long will 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies last?

These cookies are pretty sturdy! Kept in an airtight container, they’ll stay fresh and delicious for up to a week. Perfect for having a sweet treat on hand throughout the week.

Can I freeze buttery shortbread cookies?

You can freeze them! Once they’re completely cool, stack them with parchment paper in between layers in a freezer-safe container or bag. They’ll keep like this for up to 3 months. Oh, and if you want to freeze the dough, just shape it into a log, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then put it in a freezer bag. It’ll last for about 3 months too.

What to serve with 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

  • Dive Into Dip: Ever tried brownie batter dip? It’s exactly what it sounds like – all the gooey, chocolatey goodness of brownie batter, but safe to eat straight from the bowl. Dip these shortbread cookies in, and I swear, it’s a match made in dessert heaven.
  • Warm and Cozy Beverages: A chilly evening, a warm blanket, and a creamy hot chocolate or a frothy latte in hand, with a plate of these shortbread cookies on the side. Sweet dreams are made of these.
  • Ice Cream: Okay, I’m the first to admit that a spoonful of ice cream straight from the tub is a valid life choice. But serving a scoop of your favorite ice cream alongside these shortbread cookies? Now, THAT’S living.
  • Fruity Flair: A dollop of fruit preserves or jam can transform simple 3 ingredient shortbread cookies into something even more tasty. Think raspberry, strawberry, or apricot jams – really, whatever you love or have on hand.

Frequently asked questions

Why are my shortbread cookies too soft?

Maybe you used too much butter or not enough flour. Try chilling your dough for 30 minutes before baking, it can help the cookies keep their shape.

Can I make these cookies without a stand mixer?

For sure! You can use a hand mixer, or a whisk and some elbow grease. The key is to ensure the butter and sugar are well creamed together before you add the flour.

How do I know when the shortbread cookies are done baking?

Aim for a light golden color around the edges, and the center should feel set when lightly touched. Start checking them a few minutes before the suggested baking time ends, as oven temperatures can vary.

Two 3 ingredient shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar, stacked on a black plate over a striped cloth, with more cookies in the background on parchment paper

If you’ve got a soft spot for all things buttery and a hankering for homemade cookies, you’ve gotta try whipping up these 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies. Simple? Absolutely. But the taste? Anything but plain. Perfect for anyone craving that classic, comforting flavor with minimal fuss.

More Easy 3 Ingredient Cookie recipes:

I want to hear from you! If you try this easy 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies recipe or any other of my easy recipes for big families on Dinner in 5, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I read all the comments and respond!

Two 3 ingredient shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar, stacked on a black plate over a striped cloth
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3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Make shortbread cookies without eggs, with just 3 ingredients that I bet you have on hand – Butter, Flour and Sugar! You don't even need to portion the cookies out! Bake in a 8×8 and you're all set!
No ratings yet
Author Jackie
Servings 9 squares
Course Dessert
Calories 346
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup salted butter softened, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Prepare a 8×8-inch (or 9×9) baking pan by lightly coating it with cooking spray.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until it becomes pale and fluffy, which should take about 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Slowly incorporate the flour into the creamed mixture, continuing to mix until a dough forms.
  • Take the dough and evenly press it into your prepped baking pan, spreading it to the sides.
  • Bake the dough in your preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. Look for the shortbread to turn a light golden brown around the edges and for the center to be set.
  • Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Then, cut into squares.
  • Let the shortbread cool completely in the pan. Before serving, dust it with powdered sugar if you like, and enjoy!

Notes

Sift, Sift, Sift: Before you mix, take a minute to sift your sugar and flour. It’s the secret to getting that smooth, lump-free dough!
Avoid the Overmix: Don’t keep the mixer going – stop as soon as your dough comes together. Overmixing is the nemesis of the tender, crumbly texture we’re aiming for.
Slice the Shortbread While Warm: Not hot, but just cool enough to handle. This makes slicing a breeze and helps prevent the edges from crumbling apart. Plus, it’s easier to get those clean, sharp lines that make your buttery shortbread cookies look beautiful.
Keep It Cool: Make sure your butter is at room temperature, but not too soft. This is crucial for creaming the butter and sugar together properly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie, Calories: 346kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 163mg, Potassium: 36mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 630IU, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American

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