Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)






Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)


This recipe for traditional spelt shortbread is buttery, chunky and melt in your mouth.

One thing I miss about not living in the UK is the biscuits. Like shortbread. Buttery, chunky shortbread. So much so, that I decided to make my own traditional spelt shortbread.


What are the origins of shortbread?

Shortbread has been circulating the UK for a long time. Often associated with Scotland in particular, there is evidence to suggest that shortbread was being eaten as early as the 12th century. However, it was Mary, Queen of Scots who royally put shortbread on the map in the 16th century.

In the early days shortbread was made with yeast. It was double baked to produce a rusk, which is a crispy biscuit (cookie). The yeast was removed and butter added, and the rest is history.

Shortbread invariably comes in three shapes. The petticoat tail is a round shortbread cut into slices (often crimped at the edges), small round cookies, or chunky oblong shapes. The latter is the most common in the UK. 

Shortbread is made from cupboard staples, and unlike most cookies, has no leavening agents whatsoever (baking powder or baking soda).


Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)


Does using spelt flour in shortbread make a difference?

The simple answer is: no. If you put two slices of shortbread in front of someone, one made with spelt, the other with regular flour, they would not be able to notice any difference. 

As I’ve mentioned many times before, where recipes have regular flour, you can often simply do a straight swap for spelt flour. 

For me, that is the most wonderful thing about using spelt flour. All that you would expect from regular flour baked goods but without wheat (and the uncomfortable side effects it can bring with it). 


Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)


This spelt shortbread is so easy to make, uses only four simple ingredients, and tastes amazing. Crumbly, buttery, thick cookies perfect for dunking in your tea and ready to eat in less than an hour.

If you’re interested in more delicious recipes made with spelt flour, check out my sweet treats.


Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)

This easy and quick traditional spelt shortbread recipe is made using only 4 ingredients.
Course Cookie
Cuisine British
Keyword Spelt Shortbread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 cookies


  • 150g (⅔ cup) butter (softened)
  • 50g (4 tbsp) sugar (extra for sprinkling)
  • 175g (1½ cups) spelt flour (see note 1)
  • 25g (⅕ cup) rice flour


  • Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC / 302℉.
  • Grease a small, round pan (I used a 6" spring-form, but you could pretty much use any size and then adjust the baking time). 
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
  • Combine the flours and stir into the butter/sugar, mixing until a dough pulls together. Scrape the last bits together with your hands.
  • Press the dough into the prepared pan and push out so it covers the whole pan.
  • Take the back of a spoon and smooth the top until it is even.
  • Decorate my pricking the dough with a fork all over.
  • Score lines into the dough (almost all the way through), as this will help cut the shortbread later.
  • Sprinkle a little sugar over the top.
  • Bake for around 30-35 minutes, just until the edges are browning but the rest still looks pale.
  • Cool for ten minutes or so, then cut through the scores you made before baking.
  • Allow the shortbread to cool completely before moving them. Enjoy!


  1. You can use spelt or regular flour for this recipe (just use the same amount).
I have converted grams to cups/ounces/tablespoons using online converters. Although I have no reason to believe they are inaccurate, please be aware that I have not made the recipe with imperial measurements.
In addition, many ingredients are different in Europe compared to North America (and the rest of the world). I do all I can to offer possible alternatives and to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone. However, results cannot always be guaranteed if you have not used the same ingredients, measurements or methods as me.
Lastly, I do everything I can to ensure that my recipes (and instructions) are accurate and easy to follow. However, I am human, and don't always get it right. If you notice anything strange, a mistake, or even a typo, please let me know in the comments. 
Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)

3 thoughts on “Traditional Spelt Shortbread (just 4 ingredients)”

  • Just made these for my friend for Christmas .
    I was very concerned about the lack of moisture in the recipe, as I patted the crumbly dough into the pie plates((I doubled the recipe). I live in Canada, weighed out the measurements, thinking I had not added enough butter. Additionally I added a tsp of guar gum.
    They turned out great! A huge success, for first time gluten free baking.
    Can these be successfully frozen?


    • They are delicious, aren’t they? So pleased they turned out well for you! I have never frozen them but don’t see why you couldn’t! Oh, and although I am sure you already know, spelt is not gluten free. However, it is so much easier on our tummies!

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