Mary Berry Shortbread Recipe: A Sweet and Simple Delight

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Shortbread is a classic treat that never goes out of style. This delicious and buttery biscuit, known for its crumbly texture and rich flavor, has been a favorite for generations. But when it comes to the best shortbread recipe, who better to turn to than the queen of baking herself, Mary Berry? In this article, we’ll explore the world of shortbread, delve into Mary Berry’s renowned recipe, and answer all your burning questions about making the perfect batch of shortbread. So, if you’re a shortbread enthusiast or just someone looking for a delectable homemade treat, this article is worth reading.

How to make Mary berry shortbread recipe?

To make mary berry shortbread recipe, start by blending 250g of plain flour with 75g of semolina and 75g of caster sugar in a bowl. Then, rub in 250g of unsalted butter until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Chill the dough for 20 minutes, roll it out to a 1cm thickness on a floured surface, and cut it into fingers. Prick the shortbread with a fork and bake it on a parchment-lined baking tray at 160°C (140°C fan/320°F/gas mark 2) for approximately 35 minutes until pale golden. Once out of the oven, let it cool on a wire rack. The result is a crumbly and buttery shortbread that’s perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea.

  1. How can I store shortbread to keep it fresh?

    To keep shortbread fresh, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It can stay good for about a week. You can also freeze shortbread for longer storage by wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in an airtight container in the freezer.

  2. Who is Mary Berry, and why is her shortbread recipe famous?

    Mary Berry is a well-known British food writer and television presenter, best known for her role as a judge on “The Great British Bake Off.” Her shortbread recipe is famous for its simplicity and the perfect balance of ingredients, resulting in a delicious, melt-in-the-mouth biscuit.

1. Ingredients Matter

Shortbread is all about simplicity, but the quality of its few ingredients is paramount. The key components of Mary Berry’s shortbread recipe are flour, sugar, and butter, with a touch of semolina for that extra crumbly texture. It’s a true testament to how a few basic ingredients can come together to create something extraordinary.

Flour: The base of any shortbread, flour provides structure and stability to the biscuit. Mary Berry’s recipe calls for a blend of plain flour and semolina, which gives her shortbread that unique, crumbly texture.

Butter: Butter is the star of shortbread, providing the rich, buttery flavor and crumbly texture that makes it so irresistible. Mary Berry suggests using unsalted butter to control the salt content in your shortbread.

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Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the shortbread. It’s the perfect complement to the butter’s richness and creates a delightful contrast in every bite.

2. The Scottish Connection

Shortbread has a strong association with Scotland, where it has been a favorite for centuries. The classic Scottish shortbread is known for its simplicity and the use of the traditional “forking” technique, where a fork is used to create a pattern on the biscuits. This technique not only adds a decorative touch but also helps the shortbread to cook evenly.

3. The Sweetest Recipe

Now, let’s get down to making Mary Berry’s delicious shortbread . Her recipe is a testament to her baking expertise and her knack for creating mouthwatering treats.


  • 250g (9oz) plain flour
  • 75g (3oz) semolina
  • 75g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter


  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (140°C fan/320°F/gas mark 2).
  2. In a mixing bowl, rub the butter into the flour and semolina until it forms a smooth dough.
  3. Chill the dough for about 20 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough to 1cm thickness on a lightly floured surface and cut it into fingers.
  5. Prick the shortbread with a fork and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until pale golden.
  7. Once out of the oven, let it cool on a wire rack.

Mary Berry’s shortbread is a testament to the simplicity of this biscuit. It’s a melt-in-the-mouth delight that pairs perfectly with a nice cup of tea.

Assorted cookie cutters in different shapes and sizes for shortbread cookies.

Mary berry shortbread recipe

Discover the perfect Mary Berry shortbread recipe. Delight your taste buds with this classic treat that's easy to make. Learn from an expert chef's insights.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine british
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal


  • Large Pot: You'll need a large pot to boil the spaghetti. Make sure it's big enough to comfortably hold the pasta with plenty of water for boiling.
  • Colander or Strainer: To drain the cooked spaghetti, you'll need a colander or strainer.
  • Frying Pan (if using ground beef): If you're adding ground beef to your marinara sauce, a frying pan is necessary for browning the meat.
  • Saucepan: If you're warming the marinara sauce separately, a saucepan is useful.
  • Knife: A sharp knife is essential for chopping and slicing the salad ingredients.


  • 8 ounces (half a box) of spaghetti
  • 24 ounces (1 jar) of marinara sauce
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of fresh lettuce
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of salad dressing


  • Fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add 8 ounces of spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).
  • In a separate pan, brown 1/2 pound of ground beef (optional) over medium heat.
  • Heat 24 ounces of marinara sauce in a saucepan.
  • Combine the cooked ground beef with the marinara sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Wash and tear/chop 4 cups of lettuce (e.g., Romaine or iceberg).
  • Halve 1 cup of cherry tomatoes and slice 1 cucumber.
  • In a bowl, combine the lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.
  • Drizzle 1/4 cup of salad dressing over the salad ingredients.
  • Toss the salad to evenly distribute the dressing and serve it alongside the spaghetti with marinara sauce.



This classic and straightforward meal is not only delicious but also versatile. You can customize it to your liking by adding ingredients like ground beef, herbs, or cheese. Remember to keep an eye on portion sizes and ingredient choices to manage the calorie count based on your dietary preferences and nutritional goals. Enjoy your homemade spaghetti and salad!
Keyword mary berry shortbread recipe

4. Crunch or Softness

Shortbread can be tailored to your taste. If you prefer a softer shortbread, you can reduce the baking time slightly. For those who love the traditional crumbly and crunchy texture, follow the recipe as directed. The choice is yours.

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5. Shortbread Variations

While the classic shortbread is delightful, there’s always room for creativity. You can experiment with various flavors and ingredients to create unique variations of this beloved biscuit.

Chocolate Shortbread: Add cocoa powder or chocolate chips to the dough for a delightful chocolatey twist.

Lavender-Infused Shortbread: For a touch of elegance and floral notes, infuse your shortbread with dried lavender.

Citrus Zest Shortbread: Grated lemon or orange zest can add a refreshing and zesty flavor to your shortbread.

Flavored Sugar: Experiment with different types of sugar, such as vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar, to add depth to the flavor.

6. Shortbread Baking Secrets

To ensure that your shortbread turns out perfectly, here are some additional tips:

  • Always use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • When rubbing the butter into the flour, use your fingertips to achieve the desired texture.
  • Prick the shortbread with a fork to prevent it from puffing up during baking.
  • Chill the dough before rolling it out to make it easier to work with.
  • Keep a close eye on your shortbread while it bakes; it should be pale golden when it’s ready.

7. Tea Time Delight

Shortbread is a popular choice for tea time, and it’s not hard to see why. The combination of a nice cup of tea and a piece of delicious shortbread is simply unbeatable. Whether you’re entertaining guests or having a quiet afternoon, shortbread is the perfect treat to enjoy with your tea.

8. The Art of Pricking and Cutting

Pricking and cutting your shortbread is an important step in the process. Pricking helps prevent the shortbread from rising too much during baking, and cutting gives you those delightful fingers or wedges.

To achieve this, you can use a fork to prick the shortbread all over. Then, using a knife or a special shortbread cutter, cut it into your desired shapes. Remember to handle the dough gently to maintain the crumbly texture.

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A close-up of the essential ingredients for the perfect shortbread: flour, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.

9. Shortbread for Every Occasion

Shortbread is a versatile treat that can be enjoyed on various occasions. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, a delightful addition to a dessert platter, or homemade gifts, shortbread is a fantastic choice.

For special occasions, consider using cookie cutters to create fun shapes or adding colored sugar for a decorative touch. Shortbread can also be the base for delicious tarts or crumbles, taking it from a simple biscuit to the star of a dessert.

10. Mary Berry’s Legacy

Mary Berry, with her incredible expertise in baking, has left an indelible mark on the world of culinary delights. Her shortbread recipe is just one example of her ability to turn basic ingredients into a mouthwatering masterpiece. Her legacy continues through her cookbook and TV shows, inspiring countless bakers to create delicious treats like her signature shortbread.


Can I customize Mary Berry’s shortbread recipe with different flavors or additions?

Absolutely! Mary Berry’s shortbread recipe serves as a versatile base. You can add ingredients like chocolate chips, lemon zest, lavender, or various flavored sugars to create unique variations to suit your taste.

What’s the secret to achieving the perfect crumbly texture in shortbread?

The key to achieving the ideal crumbly texture in shortbread is the right balance of ingredients and not overworking the dough. Mary Berry’s recipe emphasizes using your fingertips to create a smooth dough and pricking the shortbread with a fork before baking to control its rise.

Can I make shortbread without semolina?

While semolina is a key ingredient in Mary Berry’s recipe, you can make shortbread without it. Simply use more plain flour as a substitute. The texture may differ slightly, but it will still be delicious.

What are some creative ways to enjoy shortbread apart from tea time?

Shortbread is a versatile biscuit that can be used as a base for tarts, crumbles, or as a sweet addition to various desserts. You can also serve it alongside ice cream or flavored with different toppings like chocolate.


In conclusion, shortbread is a beloved biscuit that has stood the test of time, and Mary Berry’s recipe is a testament to its enduring popularity. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting in the kitchen, her recipe is a must-try. With a few simple ingredients and a little bit of love, you can create the perfect batch of shortbread, just like the queen of baking herself. So, roll up your sleeves, preheat the oven, and get ready to enjoy the delightful world of shortbread. Remember, the key to the best shortbread is in the quality of the ingredients and the love you put into making it.

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