How to make our Scottish Shortbread

Our traditional Scottish shortbread recipe

Here at Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh, we like to treat guests to some complimentary homemade shortbread on arrival. This traditional Scottish biscuit is golden, crumbly and best enjoyed with a hot cup of tea. Our guests love it. So much so, they often ask how to make it themselves. So today, we’re sharing our Chef Dougie Bonar’s favourite shortbread recipe. Now you can make your own delicious Scottish shortbread, to enjoy at home!

Chef making shortbread for guests at Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh
Chef Dougie makes fresh shortbread for our guests at Parliament House Hotel

Great Granny Miller’s Shortbread Recipe


  • 6 oz (170 g) flour
  • 2 oz (57 g) sugar
  • 4 oz (113 g) butter
  • Pinch salt
  • Teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Cream the sugar, butter and vanilla together until soft.
  2. Add the flour and a pinch of salt.
  3. Mix by hand until a firm dough is formed.
  4. Roll into a ball and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness.
  6. Use a cutter to stamp out biscuits to your preferred size.
  7. Place on a lined baking tray.
  8. Preheat oven to 180°C and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. When warm dust with caster sugar.

Make your own delicious shortbread at home

Scottish shortbread is traditionally served at Christmas, Hogmanay, Burns Night and special occasions such as weddings and birthday teas. It’s also perfect as a wee treat with a cup of tea, on any day of the week! These soft, buttery biscuits make a wonderful gift for friends and family. We hope you enjoy making (and eating!) them as much as we do.

We’d love to see your shortbread pictures. Have a go at Dougie’s traditional recipe above and share your results with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.