Let’s Bake Scottish Shortbread for the Holidays!

Live from Lizzie's Kitchen

What fun we had with our Livestream event, Live from Lizzie’s KitchenIf you missed it on Friday the 14th, no worries. You can watch it on your computer screen anytime you like with a simple click

We baked shortbread, chatted about Scotland, and spent some time with Elizabeth, one of The Women of Christmas. And my daughter dropped by to pull our shortbread out of the oven and pop a Christmas Cracker with me, a very Victorian thing to do.

We gave away goodies too. The first five viewers who posed a question that I answered live won a box of Scottish Breakfast Tea from Edinburgh, a tin of Campbells Shortbread Petticoat Tails from Callander, and an autographed copy of A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella.

Two Colorful Tea Cozies

Shortbread served with tea is a Scottish tradition worth embracing. Why not brew a pot of Earl Grey or Scottish Breakfast tea and serve it piping hot (I love mine with milk and sugar). While you are enjoying your first cup, it’s time to do a bit of baking.

Lizzie’s kitchen-tested recipe for
Scottish Shortbread

Home-baked Scottish Shortbread


1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Sift confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and flour together in a bowl. Add softened butter, using your hands to knead the mixture into dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for no longer than 30 minutes.

Press cold dough into the bottom of a greased 8 x 8 pan (round or square; glass is best).

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned.

Sprinkle granulated sugar across the top. Cool completely, then cut into 8 servings.

P.S.  Want to bake a bigger batch? Double the recipe and use a glass oblong baking dish.
Want a more festive look? Used colored granulated sugar for the final dusting.
(Many thanks to the Hurstbourne Baptist Church Book Clubs for both excellent suggestions!)

Visit my board on Pinterest to enjoy A Victorian visit to Stirling, Scotland, the setting for A Wreath of Snow!

Our Shortbread Baked December 14, 2012

Here’s how our shortbread turned out on December 14th. Have you tried baking my shortbread recipe? Read A Wreath of Snow? Visited Scotland? If so, kindly leave a comment below. Holiday blessings to you and yours!

Tags: , , , , ,

31 Responses to “Let’s Bake Scottish Shortbread for the Holidays!”

  1. Dawn December 14, 2012 4:27 pm #

    Enjoyed the Christmas story very much and just finished baking the shortbread and I am awaiting my grand daughters visit in a hour so we can have a special time together. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 17, 2012 10:17 pm #

      Hope you and your grans were happy with how your shortbread turned out, Dawn. Happy Christmas to you as well!

  2. Nancy Glasgow-Narma December 14, 2012 4:45 pm #

    I am just heartsick.I never received this email until 4:55 this afternoon. I wish it had been sent yesterday, I would have loved to have joined in on the festivities!! I am thrilled with the recipe you have posted and will attempt it this weekend. My late Mother was the one who could make a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread in our family. Ohhhh…I missed out on the drawing too!! 🙁 Wishing everyone the merriest of holidays!!!

  3. jonna marsh December 14, 2012 7:40 pm #

    Read “A Wreath of Snow.” Loved it! Surely there’ll be a sequel!!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 17, 2012 10:33 pm #

      So glad you enjoyed my wee novella, Jonna. As for a sequel, that’s something else I have baking in the oven just now. If it happens, you’ll read it here first!

  4. Kathy Specht December 19, 2012 11:05 am #

    Just finished reading your book and absolutely loved it. Such a refreshing change to read this type of story. I too am hoping for a sequel.

    I copied down your recipe for shortbread and am (hopefully) going to make it to take to my sister’s house on Christmas. We both love shortbread.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 20, 2012 9:50 am #

      Shortbread and tea is a thing of beauty! Thanks for reading A Wreath of Snow, Kathy, and for spending a wee bit of time on

  5. Sinita Wilson December 20, 2012 2:07 am #

    Hi Liz!
    Love your stories, love your blog, love your sharing of all things Scottish!
    I can’t wait to share a batch of these cookies and a pot of hot earl grey with my mom, and my daughter, for Christmas! All 3 of us love a spot of tea and warm shortbread to make us feel as if we’re having a celebration on any ordinary day!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 29, 2012 2:58 pm #

      Wonderful to know we share a love for Scotland, for her history, for her stories…yes, and for her shortbread. Have a blessed Christmas, Sinita!

  6. Linda Carpenter December 20, 2012 12:30 pm #

    Ok, Liz…you were right! The waiting is the hardest! I put my dough in frig to chill, and I’m already checking the clock after licking the dough from the bowl and my fingers, and they’re not even in the oven yet!

    Is this the same recipe you had back in your newsletter maybe a year ago? I miss placed it here somewhere and couldn’t find it. That too was WONDERFUL! So anyway, I’m waiting!

    Thanks again to everyone who made our trip to Scotland with you so great! Most importantly was that my Mom was able to go too! She (and I) have so much fun listening to you and I already had a love for Scotland, so it was just such a blessing to make this trip together with you! I don’t think there is much travel in Mom’s future as she is beginning to slow down so much. *81 in January) Hard to see it, but again, I just felt like each day together in Scotland was just a bless’n!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 29, 2012 3:01 pm #

      Aye, that’s the same recipe I included in my e-newsletter about a year ago, and also published in the final pages of A Wreath of Snow. It’s so simple and never disappoints!

      LOVED having you and your mom with us for our Victorian Christmas in Scotland tour. She did a great job of keeping up! It flew by so fast, didn’t it? Each memory is tucked in my heart for safekeeping.

      God bless you in 2013 and always!

  7. Miriam Davis December 20, 2012 6:53 pm #

    Dearest Liz,

    I was just able to watch your video chat of “A Wreath of Snow” from Lizzie’s kitchen! You are so delightful to listen to and your smile, well, you make my heart bubble with joy! By the way, my precious sister in the Lord, we may be distant relatives on the Welsh side. Wouldn’t that be cool!? We could be doubly related; first by the blood of Christ and then by earthly roots! Okay, you might not be as excited as I am–LOL!

    I wasn’t able to watch it live. My daughter had surgery and I was going on little sleep. Thankful that our Lord was right there with her through it all in her road to recovery. And our son-in-law took good care of her. This has been a rough year, but in the same breath of that truth is my gratitude that I have my precious family. My heart goes out to the families of CT.

    As I’m writing this and sipping some Chai tea (such a funny name…eww, I forgot to add my sugar! Ha, must remedy that.), I’m making plans to make your yummy sounding shortbread and adding “A Wreath of Snow” to my list of Lizzie books I must get and read!

    Merry Christmas & Love to you!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 29, 2012 3:04 pm #

      So glad the video was enjoyable to watch, Miriam! I had a ball doing it, of course. And how fun that we may share distant Welsh roots!

      I pray your daughter continues to do well. Blessings on you and yours in 2013!

  8. Karen December 28, 2012 6:51 pm #

    I was fortunate enough to visit Scotland in 1995 and have been trying to get back since. I used to bake shortbread for Hogmanay but haven’t in a few years. I think I’ll try your recipe this year. Thanks for sharing.

    Le meas,

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 29, 2012 9:35 pm #

      I agree, Karen: it’s the perfect thing to have for Hogmanay, fresh and warm from the oven! This recipe is pretty foolproof. Happy baking and Happy New Year!

  9. Jessica December 29, 2012 6:05 pm #

    My 21 year old son & I are waiting for our dough to chill now! While we were mixing, I was telling him how fantastic you were at Montreat this summer! Wish he could’ve been with us!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 29, 2012 9:37 pm #

      What fun we had at Montreat, even in that hot, hot weather! Now that baby, it’s cold outside, time for shortbread. Hope yours tastes delicious, Jessica!

  10. Mary Huff December 30, 2012 6:16 am #

    I am making the short bread for New Years Eve! I love your tea cozies! I have been looking for a nice tea pot. I guess I will have to make my own cozies. Good project for the winter.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 30, 2012 7:05 am #

      Aren’t those tea cozies dear? I snapped this photo at a restaurant in Princes Square Mall on Buchanan Street in Glasgow. I thought the wee bottle of milk was charming too. Have a lovely, lively Hogmanay, Mary…and happy baking!

  11. Deborah Poteat January 7, 2013 9:51 pm #

    I just finished A Wreath of Snow. Loved it like all your others..
    Thank you for describing Scotland and it’s people. I already loved
    England and since reading your books now Scotland and Ireland.
    Oh, I want to go. Thanks Liz,

  12. Karen December 8, 2013 6:13 pm #

    Thankful that you are a sister in Christ, Liz. I love your bible studies and looking forward to reading your novels. I relish all things Scottish as I’m from the Duncan and Colville clans. I am baking your shortbread now, while wearing my Nova Scotia plaid apron. Blessings to you and yours this Christmas season!

  13. Becky M. December 30, 2013 11:46 am #

    Liz, I just read your novella and loved every page!
    My husband and I were blessed to have lived in Aberdeen for eight years in the 80’s-90’s studying at the university and teaching at the American school. We were able to travel and see all of beautiful Scotland during that time. Our daughter was born there, but we moved back when she was only 1 1/2. We took her back for a visit when she was 17, the fulfillment of a promise.
    Thank you for all the reminders of customs, foods, sights, and even smells we hold dearly!
    God bless! Happy Christmas and Hogmanay to you and yours!

  14. Susan January 4, 2014 5:16 pm #

    I just finished reading A Wreath of Snow and thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to making the shortbread and enjoying more of your books. I found A Wreath of Snow in the book section of my grocery store and am so glad that I did! You have a new fan! Thank you!

  15. Suzi = January 13, 2014 2:54 pm #

    Dearest Liz,
    I feel as though I’ve just spent time with a treasured friend. Having just finished “My Heart’s in the Lowlands”, I came to your website in search of further inspiration. Your shortbread did it!
    I am blessed to travel to Scotland yearly, and this year had already planned to visit Dumfries, the land of my father’s ancestors. I had no set agenda, and went to the bookstore in search of ideas. Needless to say, God’s hand was on my shoulder as I picked up your book. I could feel the mist around my ankles, smell the peat from local farmhouses, and taste the tea. Although I don’t have 10 days to explore the area (on this trip), it is now my top pick for advice on the area.
    The Lord has blessed you and in turn, you have shared that blessing with people who will never think of you as a stranger, but always as a dear friend they’ve yet to meet.
    Thank you for your evocative words.

  16. Carolyn Ellis December 14, 2014 1:44 am #

    Have just baked the shortbread for Christmas – very tasty! We are excited about spending Christmas with our daughter – it will be her first Christmas at eight months old!!

    I loved Wreath of snow, and I particularly love both your Scottish series’ of novels. I cried so much reading Fair is the Rose, as I couldn’t imagine the heartache of leaving my daughter!!! My husband was worried about me!

    Thanks, and have a blessed Christmas

  17. Sharon Steel March 30, 2015 7:52 pm #

    I just finished four of your books in a week and a half! I could not put them down……
    Thorn in My Heart,Grace in Thine Eyes, Fair is the Rose, Whence came a Prince.
    I can’t tell you how much I hated to see them end! I am going to search for some of your others, I am not sure were to start! If you ever write more to the ones I have already read I would be so blessed to see them. Thank You so very much! My husbands family are from Glasgow They are McDonald clan ! I love The Lord Jesus and your books have blessed my heart!
    Love Sharon

  18. Vicki October 31, 2015 6:30 pm #

    I will be making the shortbread this holiday season.. Your books, your recipe, sets my heart on fire for travel to Scotland. We must answer that call to go home and learn of our past loved ones. I will have to pull your books out and review. I have missed them.

  19. Cindy Jungers November 30, 2015 11:17 pm #

    Hi Liz! Scotland was my first (and so far only) international traveling destination in 2013. What a delight to discover my husband’s family is descended from the Burnetts of Crathes Castle.


  1. Tasty Tuesday: All Things Christmas with Liz Curtis Higgs - December 6, 2016

    […] Liz’s writing/speaking website here and her “Let’s Bake Scottish” site here. For your convenience, the recipe is offered below as a printable for your […]

Leave a Reply