What is the Difference Between Cookies and Shortbread?

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Both cookies and shortbread are equally delicious, but there is a difference in the texture and taste. Let us see how a cookie is different from SHORTBREAD. Sugar cookies and shortbread are often confused and used interchangeably for one another. It is because both have that amazing crispiness and the perfect sweetness. But there are some differences in the taste, texture, ingredients, and decorations. Let us learn more about these differences in detail.

What is Shortbread?

Scottish shortbreads are made from just 4 ingredients. It comprises one part white sugar, four parts wheat flour, two parts butter, and some vanilla for taste. Unlike other baked goods, no leavening agent like baking soda or powder is used in shortbread.

Difference between Butter Cookies and Sugar Cookies:

Sugar cookies are rolled thin compared to butter cookies and cut using cookie cutters. The butter cookies hold shape when baked. Its dough is much softer than sugar cookie dough and needs to be piped to the baking sheet for the best results.

Difference between a Shortbread Cookie and a Butter Cookie:

Butter is the main ingredient in shortbread cookies. Therefore, it is used in the highest ratio. The butter used in butter cookies is also high, but sugar and flour are increased in the same proportion to make them stable. Thus, butter cookies are more stable as compared to shortbreads.

Are Shortbread Cookies and Sugar Cookies the same?

The texture of shortbread cookies is heavier and less crisp as compared to sugar cookies. In addition, the decorations on sugar cookies are often elaborate as compared to shortbread. However, the main differences between the two can be understood by the below-mentioned points.

1. Ingredients

Cookies consist of many ingredients like eggs, salt, vanilla, and a leavening agent in the form of baking soda or baking powder. On the other hand, a traditional shortbread comprises just four ingredients. The traditional ingredients include butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla.

2. Process

Both sugar cookies as well as shortbread dough are first cooled and then rolled. The dough is then cut with the help of a cookie cutter. But the difference is that shortbread needs to be cut with a cookie cutter, whereas sugar cookies can also be made freehand. It can be made like a drop cookie where no rolling out is needed. 

3. Taste and Texture

A sugar cookie is always less dense and thinner than shortbread. Shortbread will also have more butter, and the taste is much richer than a cookie.

4. Baking Time

The time to bake a cookie and shortbread is almost the same. Shortbread is baked a bit longer than cookies. You need to bake them for about 2-5 minutes more than sugar cookies.

5. Traditional Decorations

Generally, shortbread is eaten plain and is undecorated as it is rich in flavor. The aroma and taste of the butter are good enough to eat it as it is. Generally, the bakers frost a sugar cookie and decorate it with granulated sugar or sprinkles.


Treat your loved ones with cookies and shortbreads, depending on what they like. Shortbreads can be more flavourful, while cookies will be more stable and decorative. Bake and enjoy them and let the aroma spread across the home.

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