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4-Ingredient Maple Shortbread

If you’re looking for a rich maple shortbread that’s flaky and delicious, have I got a treat for you! This recipe is so simple you don’t even need a mixer! 

What is a Shortbread? 

According to Wikipedia:

Shortbread or shortie is a traditional Scottish biscuit usually made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three to four parts plain wheat flour.

Unlike many other biscuits and baked goods, shortbread does not contain any leavening, such as baking powder or baking soda. Shortbread is widely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay festivities in Scotland, and some Scottish brands are exported around the world.

I always think of shortbread cookies (like my Pecan Sandies) as “easy” cookies because they usually don’t require a lot of ingredients.

Is Shortbread a Pie Crust or a Cookie. . .or Both?

Most of my shortbread recipes not involve eggs (a binding ingredient) or leavening. In that respect, they’re similar to a pie crust.

What sets them apart from a pie crust is the sweet flavor. And this one does not disappoint. It’s loaded with rich maple flavor from the syrup.

I was so excited to take these pictures as my friend Anita baked this shortbread in her lovely home. 

That’s a good friend, folks, one who says, “Come to my place and let’s bake something fun for your blog!” (Note: She found this recipe on the Allrecipes website.)

Maple Shortbread Recipe

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at the four ingredients you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you might already have on hand in your kitchen right now. 

  • Butter
  • Real Maple syrup
  • Flour
  • Salt

That’s it, folks. Four simple ingredients! (Told you this was simple!) 

Note: You can use salted or unsalted butter, your choice. If you use salted you can skip the added dash of salt.

How to Make this Delicious Maple Shortbread with Pure Maple Syrup

This recipe came together so easily with just a handful of ingredients. Here’s how we did it: 

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prepare a pie dish by spraying it with baking spray or lightly coating with butter. 

Place flour and salt together in small bowl and set aside. 

Place softened butter and maple syrup together in a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy. We didn’t even bother with a mixer. This came together quite easily with the whisk since the butter was room temperature. 

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Now it’s time to work in your dry ingredients (flour and salt mixture).

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

You might need to switch to a blending fork or a spoon for this process if you’re not using a mixer. 

Spoon the dough into the prepared pie dish. 

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Smooth it out the best you can. 

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Alternatively, you can make this recipe into cookies. Just scoop into balls and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. 

Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for several minutes.

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Once the shortbread is cooled, cut into triangles (like slices of pie). 

Gently scoop out, being careful not to break. (This is a flaky recipe!) 

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Serve with your favorite hot tea. (Yum!) 

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

You can store leftovers at room temperature by wrapping in plastic wrap or placing in an airtight container. I don’t recommend refrigerating this shortbread but it can be frozen in a freezer bag up to two months. 

What to Expect from this Recipe

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Maple lovers. . .you’re going to adore this recipe! It’s light, fluffy, flaky, and rich with maple flavor! I absolutely loved it and I’m sure you will, too.

Most of all, I was thrilled at how simple this one was! I don’t know that I’ve ever made a recipe that came together this quickly and easily. 

A huge thank you to my friend Anita for sharing this recipe with me and for doing the work while I watched and took pictures. 

Variations on this Recipe

Maple Shortbread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Other Syrups or Sweeteners: Not a fan of maple syrup? You could try this recipe with brown sugar in place of syrup if you like. You could even try corn syrup. 

Nuts. I think this maple shortbread would be delicious with toasted walnuts. (Doesn’t that sound delicious?) Just chop them finely before adding to the dough. 

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting: I think this recipe would be terrific with a few swirls of cream cheese frosting (or maple cream cheese, which would be even more delicious). You can add a dash of maple extract to the cream cheese frosting for more flavor if you don’t have maple syrup.

Maple Cookies: As I mentioned above, this would make terrific maple shortbread cookies. You could double the recipe to make two dozen cookies.

Cut-Out Cookies: Chill dough and then roll out and use cookie cutters, as you would with my Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe. (I haven’t tried this, but I’m guessing you’ll really need to get this dough cold before it will hold its shape. Extra flour might be called for if you go this route.) Roll dough on lightly floured surface once it’s ready to go or place between two pieces of wax paper then cut out with your favorite small cutters. I think a maple leaf-shaped cookie cutter would be terrific, especially in the fall. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes and cool before eating. If you like, you can ice them with my Royal Icing recipe. (Add a dash of maple extract to the icing for more maple flavor!)

Almond Flour: It might be fun to try almond flour in place of all-purpose if you’re looking for a gluten-free shortbread.

Other Maple Favorites from Out of the Box Baking

Maple Walnut Coffee Cake from Scratch: If you’re in the mood for a delicious coffee cake rich with maple and walnut flavors, this is the recipe for you! This simple coffee cake is loaded with flavor, easy to serve, and simple to make. 

Creamy Maple Walnut Fudge: This is a rich maple fudge, soft enough to melt on the tongue but consistent enough to hold its shape after being cut. 

Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze: Today I stared at this giant bag of walnuts and knew they had to be used in a cake. But, what kind? I had a yellow cake mix. (Hey, I’ve got a cupboard full of cake mixes!) And I had butter. So the idea came to me: use brown butter in a bundt cake and add walnuts. Lots and lots of toasted walnuts.

Follow this link for a comprehensive post listing more of my fall cookies and bars, perfect for autumn!


That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious classic shortbread recipe

See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

The Lazy Gastronome

Busy Monday


About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

4-Ingredient Maple Shortbread

4-Ingredient Maple Shortbread

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

If you’re looking for a rich maple shortbread that’s flaky and delicious, have I got a treat for you! This recipe is so simple, you don’t even need a mixer!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt

Instructions

    How to Make this Delicious Maple Shortbread
    This recipe came together so easily. Here’s how we did it:

    Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Prepare a pie dish by spraying it with baking spray or lightly coating with butter.

    Place flour and salt together in small bowl and set aside.

    Place softened butter and maple syrup together in a medium bowl and mix until light and fluffy. We didn’t even bother with a mixer. This came together quite easily with the whisk since the butter was room temperature.

    Now it’s time to work in your flour and salt. You might need to switch to a blending fork or a spoon for this process.

    Spoon the dough into the prepared pie dish.

    Smooth it out the best you can.

    Alternatively, you can make this recipe into cookies. Just scoop into balls and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

    Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until done golden brown. (If you're making cookies, bake for 10 - 12 minutes.)

    Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

    Once the shortbread is cooled, cut into triangles (like slices of pie).
    ?Gently scoop out, being careful not to break. (This is a flaky recipe!)

    Serve with your favorite hot tea. (Yum!)

    You can store leftovers at room temperature by wrapping in plastic wrap or placing in an airtight container. I don’t recommend refrigerating this shortbread but it can be frozen in a freezer bag up to two months.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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