Jamie Oliver’s Best Shortbread In the World Recipe


I took some really beautiful pictures of this recipe that you will never see because my camera has EATEN them. To compensate (a little) I did take a few shots of the finished product, so let’s get right to that, because Jamie Oliver was not exaggerating when he named these the best in the World.  This is ridiculously good, buttery, crumbly, addictive, flaky, tender, easy-to-make shortbread. 



I don’t mean to be bossy or anything, but you really must try these. When you make them, use the highest quality butter that you can get your hands on, since it is the key ingredient. I also recommend using semolina instead of cornstarch (JO give you the option of using one or the other). The semolina lends a bit of a grainy texture to the shortbread and makes it more crumbly. 



Oh man, I wish you could have seen the pictures I took of this shortbread before my camera destroyed them forever. I also wish you could taste it. Let’s just say, I didn’t send as many pieces off with Brian this morning as I could have. I’ll be making this again soon!



The Best Shortbread In the World
Perfect as intended by Jamie Oliver in Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar (powdered sugar)

2 scant cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

2/3 cup semolina or 1 scant cup cornstarch

(blogger note: for the “scant cups”, use just a bit less than the full amount, such as a leveled cup minus a few tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 9 inch square pan. Cream butter and sugar together with a whisk or wooden spoon until pale, light, and fluffy. Add the flour and semolina or cornstarch. Mix very lightly with a wooden spoon and then with your hands until you have a smooth dough.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll it out until it’s and even 1 inch thick all over. Pressed the rolled-out dough into your pan, poking it into the corners with your fingers – don’t worry about it having to look perfect. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven until slightly golden – about 50 minutes.

While it’s still warm, sprinkle with a generous dusting of sugar. Allow the shortbread to cool slightly, then cut into chunky fingers.


  1. Ashleigh
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Which butters do you reccomend? For this and other recipes.

  2. Mary
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I love shortbread and Jamie Oliver, and this looks good. For another take that is no more trouble, really, try Smitten Kitchen’s Twice-Baked Brown Butter Shortbread. It even thrilled a Scottish friend of mine!

  3. Lauren
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Ashleigh – “European style” butter is ideal. Basically, the higher fat to moisture ratio, the better. Some brands that I like are President and Plugra. I noticed that Trader Joes carries both, as do most specialty stores.

    Mary – Thanks for the recommendation! Smitten Kitchen is a trusted source, to say the least. The words “brown butter” are enough to get me salivating.

  4. Sharon
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure Jamie Oliver would want you to use “cornstarch”. I think the recipe calls for Corn Flour as the alternative.

    Be careful when you use recipes that other people copy. Try and always find the original to compare it to…….it could be disastrous!!!

  5. Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Sharon – This is not a typo. Many traditional chunky shortbread recipes call for the use of cornstarch, as Jamie Oliver’s does.

  6. Emma
    Posted November 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Just to clarify that Jamie Oliver does mean cornstarch (called cornflour – not corn flour – here in the UK). I use it in baking quite a lot and it lends a lovely short texture to something like this. It can be used in all sorts of baking. In some recipes with a vanilla flavour you can substitute it with custard powder (Bird’s or the like) Hope this helps.

  7. Emma
    Posted November 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Also wanted to add that President is excellent for baking, Lurpak is very good too. I don’t use Englsh butter for baking as the cream isn’t always soured. That said, when I’ve had some double (heavy) cream hanging around I’ve made my own butter (just shake it in a jar!) and used this with a mix with President in cakes with excellent results.

  8. Anne
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I used caster sugar & wondered if I should have used confectioners sugar instead. Thoughts??

  9. Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Casters (Superfine here in the US) works great for this recipe, but you may also use confectioner’s if youd the the shortbread to be even more crumbly.

  10. nikki
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    can i add chocolate chips to make this a cookie????

  11. Philip
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Please tell me “Preheat the oven to 300 degrees”? Is it in F or in C?

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