Easy Vanilla Bean Shortbread

Vanilla Bean Shortbread
Vanilla Bean Shortbread served with a cup of coffee

Vanilla Bean Shortbread are a classic, relying on simple ingredients to bake into a crisp, buttery shortbread with a real ‘snap’. Perfectly crumbly, buttery and melt-in-the-mouth shortbread are a little bite of sweet heaven. These are often our go-to biscuit for afternoon tea.

ingredients for Vanilla Bean Shortbread on a concrete table


Using a good quality cultured butter for your shortbread gives a more silky, and richer taste. It has a ‘homey’ flavour that explains why some people refer to it as ‘old fashioned’ butter. It has plenty of fat and therefore will tolerate higher temperatures before smoking which allows for a more delicate crumb in the shortbread. Once you go cultured, you never go back!

cornflour (corn starch) 

Cornflour contributes to the light, dry texture of shortbread that ‘snaps’ on the tip  of your tongue and melts away to nothingness.

plate of Vanilla Bean Shortbread on white paper

Don’t have a piping bag

You can roll the dough into an even shaped sausage in baking paper and refrigerate. After 15 minutes remove from fridge and slice into discs and bake. Too easy!

piping Vanilla Bean Shortbread onto a black metal tray
refrigerate shortbread after piping to reduce spreading while baking

great little gift

Gifting a bag or jar of homemade Vanilla Bean Shortbread is always a lovely gift.

Watch How To Make It

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Please scroll to the bottom for the Vanilla Bean Shortbread recipe.

check out some more winning biscuit and cookie recipes

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click on the link for the recipe…..Parmesan and Rosemary Shortbread

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honey ginger snap cookies

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What’s your favourite shortbread recipe? We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make our Vanilla Bean Shortbread.

Vanilla Bean Shortbread
Yield: 3 dozen

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 285g (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, or omit salt if using salted butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped plus 2 teaspoons¬†vanilla extract
  • ¬†plain (all purpose) flour x 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/3 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt


  • preheat oven to 160c (325f) on bake, not fan
  • line a baking sheet with baking paper
  • beat the butter, vanilla  and sifted icing sugar till light and fluffy (about 3 minutes ) on high speed, scraping down the sides a couple of times - see notes
  • sift  flour, cornflour (cornstarch) and salt and add to butter mix all at once starting on low speed, then increase speed till blended and soft
  • spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
  • pipe a tiny amount of dough on each corner of the tray and place baking paper onto tray - this helps to stop the paper moving whilst you're piping
  • pipe shortbread about 4cm (1 1/2 inches) apart
  • refrigerate piped shortbread for 15 minutes before baking - this stops the shortbread spreading too much
  • bake for 10-12 minutes until the shortbread just have a hint of brown underneath - watch them like a hawk
  • allow shortbread to cool completely on the baking tray before you lift them
  • shortbreads will keep up to a week in an airtight container
  • eat, share  and enjoy!


  • it's an important step to beat the butter and sugar well together when making shortbread - this ensures the shortbread will hold together and when you take a bite it will 'snap', and then melt away

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving Calories 0Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g


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