Buckingham Palace Shortbread Cookies

Buckingham Palace Shortbread Cookies are a recipe from Royal pastry chef John Higgins that’s perfect for Christmas cookies or afternoon tea.

Shortbread cookies on a white platter with a red ribbon

Queen Elizabeth is known for her love of afternoon tea. In fact, we wrote about the Queen’s favorite tea recipes.

She is also known for her love of shortbread cookies.

Queen Elizabeth with Royal Red Sash

This recipe is reputed to be her favorite. Chef Higgins says of the Queen’s favorite shortbread cookies, “Taste is king, even for a Queen!”


Shortbread cookies are an easy, 4 ingredient, rather quick fix for Christmas cookies, afternoon tea, or snacks.

While we’ve made different shapes and sizes of shortbread cookies here at 31Daily, these are special. I will always love shortbread petticoat tails, but these deserve a special place at the table too.

Baked shortbread cookies on a cooling rack

Buckingham Place Shortbread Cookies

These shortbread cookies are made to measure according to Chef Higgins’s instructions. The recipe yields 16 finger cookies with the dough depth at 1/2-inch.

According to my measurement, I rolled the dough to 11-inches by 6-inch. Each shortbread finger measures 2.75 inches by 1.5 inches.

That being said, they DO NOT have to be exact. In fact, you can cut them into circles if you prefer. I’m told they do that too at Buckingham Palace.

Top view of shortbread cookies on a white serving platter

Shortbread cookies on a white platter with a red ribbon

Buckingham Palace Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Buckingham Palace Shortbread Cookies are a recipe from pastry chef John Higgins that's perfect for the holidays or afternoon tea.


  • 1 cup butter, (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cornstarch, sifted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a baking sheet with oil.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar and cornstarch into a medium bowl or the stand mixer along with the softened butter. Mix until the butter begins to break up.
  3. Add the flour and mix together until a dough-like consistency forms.
  4. Roll out the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness. Mine measured 11 inches by 6 inches. Cut into fingers or circles. Dock with a fork if you like for that trademark shortbread marking.
  5. Transfer the cut cookies to the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden in color.
  6. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g

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2 thoughts on “Buckingham Palace Shortbread Cookies

  1. paul

    recipe says 4 ounces cornstarch or ! cup which is it???

    1. Hi Paul — it should be 1/2 cup or 4 ounces. I’ve corrected the ingredient. Thanks for alerting me!!

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