You’ll love how easy this wonderfully warming ginger shortbread recipe is. By mixing together a few simple ingredients, you’ll be rewarded with the perfect cookie to share with your friends and family.

Love shortbread? Try these Pecan Sandies or these gorgeous Spiced Shortbread Christmas Cookies.

A batch of ginger shortbread surrounded by candied ginger

Originating in Scotland, shortbread has become a favourite the world over. The flavour is butter, it’s easy to make and keeps really well making it a great cookie to give as gifts.

What you’ll need

This ginger shortbread has that classic buttery flavour but with the addition of a warming ginger kick, in two forms.

Ingredients for ginger shortbread
  • Ground ginger (5): This spice is often associated with the holidays and for it’s aroma and warmth.
  • Crystallised ginger (6):  or you may know it as candied ginger but you can also use stem ginger. These are the little flecks you can see in the images.
  • Butter (3): Avoid buying the cheapest butter, if possible. Cheaper varieties often have more water in them which will take away from the buttery flavour these biscuits / cookies should have.
  • Cornflour (cornstarch) (4): While traditional shortbread uses rice flour (like in these Orange Pistachio Shortbread), I sometimes use cornflour to give it a more soft and melty texture.

Flour (1) and sugar (2) round out the 6 ingredients you’ll need in this recipe.

How to make them

Ginger shortbread is very simple to make.

Dough for shortbread being made in a glass bowl.
  1. Start by creaming together softened butter and sugar.
  2. Add the flour, cornflour and ground ginger (image 1)
  3. Add the chopped candied ginger, then pull it together into a dough (image 2)
  4. Roll the dough out and cut out shapes, then place them on a baking tray (image 3)
  5. Chill for 10 minutes, then bake

These are so simple to make, they’ll be made and out of the oven in a little over half and hour.

Shortbread holds it’s shape well so it’s often used around Christmas time to hang on the tree by cutting  a little hole in the cookie pre-bake, then tying a ribbon around.

A batch of ginger shortbread surrounded by candied ginger

Variations

Of course, as always, there are options to change this recipe up.

  • Chocolate: Chocolate and ginger go well together. You could add in chocolate chips or even dip the cooled cookies in melted chocolate.  
  • Other mix-ins: You could add dried fruit or nuts or seeds too.

How to store them

Shortbread keeps well stored in a cool spot, in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.

They are perfect in a glass jar or pretty box, wrapped up and gifted.

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A stack of ginger shortbread on a white platter

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A batch of ginger shortbread surrounded by candied ginger

Ginger Shortbread

5 from 2 votes
Crumbly, buttery Ginger Shortbread filled with a combination of crytallised and ground ginger is the perfect holiday shortbread. With just 6 ingredients, these biscuits are easy to make and also wonderful for gift giving.

Ingredients

  • 115 g unsalted butter, softened (1 stick / ½ cup)
  • 50 g caster (superfine) sugar (¼ cup / 1.8oz)
  • 130 g plain (all-purp) flour (1 cup / 4.5oz)
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) (20g / 0.7oz) (notes)
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (60g / 2.1oz)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • In a medium bowl (or the bowl of a standmixer with paddle attachment), beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add the flour, cornflour and ground ginger and beat until it looks like wet sand.
  • Add the crystallized ginger and beat to incorporate. Pull the dough together with your hands.
  • Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper to about 8mm (⅓ inch), then use a 5cm (2 inch) cookie cutter to cut out squares.
  • Space about 2 inches apart on the baking trays then chill for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for around 14 minutes or until the edges start turning golden.
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide). The cornflour in this recipe is 8 teaspoons.
  2. All ovens vary – check for doneness 2-3 minutes before the recipe suggests
  3. For best results, always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are cheap, will last forever and weighing will always give you the best result.
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A batch of ginger shortbread surrounded by candied ginger