Easy Shortbread Recipe for Homemade Christmas Gifts

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This easy shortbread recipe is great for making frugal Christmas cookies to enjoy over Christmas or give away as gifts.

homemade christmas shortbread cookie

This frugal shortbread recipe has just three ingredients! 

Instead of margarine, like many modern recipes, this one uses real butter and golden caster sugar, both of which give these biscuits that caramelly, homemade taste.

If you don’t have any caster sugar on hand, substitute with brown sugar to retain that heavenly caramel flavour. White caster sugar can also be used, it will just give the biscuits a different flavour.

While these frugal shortbread biscuits are enjoyable throughout the year, they are an easy and inexpensive treat or small Christmas gift.

Kids especially love rolling out the dough for these biscuits and cutting it into shapes. You can pick up a variety of cookie-cutter shapes cheaply at discount stores or on Amazon.

{While you’ve got the cutters out, you could try these salt dough Christmas ornaments}

How many biscuits does the dough make?

It depends on the size of your cookie cutter. We have an itty-bitty star cutter – about the size of a fingernail – and we could have made hundreds of bite-sized biscuits, but we complemented them with larger stars.

If you’re making different sized cookies, keep an eye on them while they bake – the cooking time will vary depending on the size. 

Icing Shortbread Cookies

These shortbread cookies are perfect for icing.

As part of our advent calendar activities, we bake and ice cookies. It’s fun and creative for the kids.

While regular buttercream icing works well, for perfect cookie decorating, royal icing is best. And to pipe designs on your cookies, you can make a piping bag out of baking paper.

Yield: approx. 32 depending on cutter size

Easy Shortbread Recipe

homemade christmas shortbread cookie

This easy shortbread recipe is great for making frugal Christmas cookies to enjoy over Christmas or give away as gifts.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 200g softened butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar (or you can use the regular kind), plus extra for sprinkling
  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan forced and grease or line baking trays.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  3. Sift in flour and beat mixture until it forms a rough dough. Bring together with your hands and knead gently.
  4. Dust work surface with flour and roll out dough. Use your favourite cookie cutter to cut your cookie shapes. Re-roll and re-cut until the dough has been used.
  5. Place cookies on the baking trays and sprinkle cookies with extra sugar if desired.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until pale golden colour. 
  7. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. Store on an airtight container for 5-7 days.


  • Add choc chips.
  • Add vanilla
  • Add lemon or orange zest
  • Add mixed spice or your favourite spice
  • Ice with your favourite icing (I love passionfruit icing!)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using the Nutritionix database. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, serving size or the source of nutrition data. We strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Love’em
    Thank you. Melissa.

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Glad to hear you like them, Lori.