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17 BEST Scottish Cookies: Tried & True Sweets From Scotland 🍪

17 BEST Scottish Cookies: Tried & True Sweets From Scotland 🍪

Join me for a sweet walk through Scotland! We’ll “sample” some recipes for Scottish Cookies that you can make at home! 🍪

Scotland is a destination known for its stunning landscape and grandiose lochs. 

Aside from being a popular tourist destination, it’s also known for its whisky distilleries, lively music culture, which isn’t just centered on bagpipes, and also for its delicious desserts. 

Among their collection of desserts, Scottish cookies have become famous far and wide, with these delectable shortbread treats having originated from the land of Scots. 

These shortbread cookies can make your mouth water, known for their crumbly texture, ideally paired with a good cup of tea, milk, or coffee. 

Scottish cookies provide a distinct texture due to having a blend of butter and vegetable shortening as their main ingredient, providing a crisper, crunchier, and a firmer feel with a unique flavor. 

You can choose from many Scottish cookie variations to experience this munch-worthy export out of Scotland.

The #9 Petticoat Tails option is a classic slice of heaven full of rich, buttery deliciousness you definitely have to try! 

Starting this list with the most traditional Scottish cookie recipe is ideal since this classic Scottish Shortbread recipe has been used since the 12h century. 

This simple shortbread was first created in the 1100s, before Mary, Queen of Scots, refined the recipe as a luxury treat in the 16th century to become the rich and crumbly cookie we now know it to be. 

The original recipe utilized leftover bread to create a dried-out dough, but over time this recipe started using large amounts of butter instead, which provides the crumbly texture Scottish cookies are known for. 

This recipe uses three main ingredients: sugar, flour, and butter, with just a pinch of salt to add more flavor. 

It’s a simple and easy crumbly treat to make that’s best enjoyed with a warm glass of milk. 

These Scottish Oat Cakes are unique triangular treas similar to a biscuit or flatbread. 

These oat cakes are made mainly from oats and have a rich history in Scotland, with early documentation of recipes existing as far back as 43 AD. 

These oat cakes are a breakfast staple in the region, often replacing toast as a morning must-have. 

They can be paired with strong cheeses like gouda or cheddar or served with jam, marmalade, or honey and can be topped with sweetened toppings for a more saccharine treat. 

This Lemon Scottish Shortbread Cookie recipe is a variation of the traditional shortbread, infusing the biscuit-like cookie with tones of citrus and sweet flavors. 

It utilizes fresh lemon juice and zest from the fruit to add layers of tanginess to the buttery profile you already get from the shortbread. 

Baked and cut into circles, the result is a pale gold-colored shortbread that’s a bite of heavenly goodness.

Millionaire’s Shortbread is a luscious trifecta of chewy caramel, dark chocolate ganache, and crisp shortbread, made into edible bars of endless delight. 

This variation to the Scottish confection is a westernized iteration, with all the rich ingredients and flavors being so decadent that it’s truly a treat worthy of its name. 

Top it all off with a sprinkle of sea salt, which complements the chocolate and caramel incredibly, making the mix of flavors in your mouth all the more indulgent. 

This buttery Scottish shortbread is a chewy and sweet version made with brown sugar.

The recipe provides a sweeter iteration, with brown sugar being used instead of white, leading to added layers of sweetness. 

Brown sugar also makes the cookies chewier, as the molasses in the brown sugar break down as it is baked. 

This version of the Scottish cookie, called Abernathy Biscuits, is round and small, made from caraways seeds that provide some tang and nutty flavors. 

It was named after a frequent customer at a local bakery, who suggested making these cookies by adding caraway seeds and sugar to add more flavor, which later became a popular treat. 

It’s great to pair with afternoon tea, with these light bites having just the right amount of sweetness with a delightful flavor.

Traditional Scottish shortbread cookies may not have chocolate in the mix, yet they make quite an incredible combination. 

The classic recipe is elevated even more by dipping them in rich chocolate and sprinkled with roasted pistachios. 

These treats can instantly become a true favorite, with this recipe certainly worth doing over and over again.

These Coconut Shortbread Cookies are absolutely delicious, with these velvety treats that almost melt in your mouth and are full of coconut flavor. 

It combines the crunch of the Scottish cookie with the exotic flavors of the tropics, which you get from the shredded coconut. 

With a name that’s as unique as its identifiable shape and tasty flavor, these Petticoat Tails highlight the crumbly and buttery features of a Scottish cookie while maintaining the form of the much-loved cake. 

Baked into a large, round shortbread cookie, which is then cut into cake-like slices, these Petticoat tails have a triangular shape like its namesake. 

It uses just the three main ingredients of a shortbread: flour, butter, and sugar, with the optional pinch of salt for added flavor. 

How can you elevate the flavors of these traditional cookies?

By adding some nuts and some chocolate into the mix, of course!

This Macadamia Shortbread Cookie recipe mixes the luxurious flavors of chopped macadamia nuts into the batter and is topped with more nuts and a drizzle of white chocolate. 

This variation pushes forward the already-buttery texture of the classic cookie and adds more flavorful richness to be enjoyed. 

This holiday variation to the old-fashioned recipe is made with candied cherries to make the buttery treat more saccharine. 

A perfect holiday recipe, the candied cherries provide an extra layer of sweetness and add to the bright-colored look as a topping ingredient. 

So if you’re looking for gift ideas for Christmas, consider making these Candied Shortbread Cookies for your family and friends.

They’ll undoubtedly feel plenty of sweet holiday cheer!

Melting Moments are precisely what they’re named, soft, buttery cookies that melt in your mouth lusciously. 

A common staple during afternoon teatime in Scotland, this recipe has the traditional ingredients, from flour, butter, and powdered sugar, with the addition of cornstarch and lemon juice. 

The added ingredients provide more crispiness and flavor to the shortbread cookie, making it all the more delicious. 

Much like the classic snowball cookie, these Lemon Coconut Drop Shortbread Cookies are light and tender, with the same crumbly texture of traditional shortbread.

This recipe uses coconut extract, lemon juice, and zest in the dough to provide that refreshing nutty and tangy citrus flavors, with sweetened shredded coconuts topped on the cookies afterward, which complement the sweetened lemon glaze. 

Another excellent holiday pastry that everyone will love. 

Keep this recipe for your next Christmas gathering. 

These crackers made from oats and walnuts are biscuits that make an afternoon tea so much better. 

The nibble versions of Scottish oat cakes, these Oat & Walnut Biscuits provide incredible earthy flavors, making them perfect to pair with cheese or other savory toppings. 

The oakiness of these biscuits, combined with the brown sugar and walnuts in the mix, create a delectable combination that’ll make you want to munch on these crackers all afternoon.

A way to make traditional Scottish treats more decadent is by adding green tea, or matcha, into the mix to create a shortbread treat that’s distinct and appealing. 

The matcha provides a natural green hue to the recipe, making it stand out even more, with a balanced, earthy, and almost bitter flavor, complementing the sweetened flavors of the shortbread. 

This variation has quickly become immensely popular worldwide, making it a must-try for everyone!

Empire Biscuits are classic sweet treats made of two vanilla shortbread pieces with jam in the middle, turning them into a delicious shortbread sandwich. 

While this variation to the Scottish cookie has become quite famous throughout Europe, which is why it’s named Empire biscuits, bakeries in Scotland apparently call it Freedom Biscuits.

This sweet and tart treat is a tasty creation that both territories can be proud of. 

Infusing tea into these shortbread cookies is a great idea, adding flavor profiles to the buttery treat that completely transforms it. 

These Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies are a combination of influences from the Scottish and the English, which highlight fragrant Earl Grey tea to provide an extra layer of flavor. 

It retains the buttery, crumbly texture of the traditional recipe, using flour, butter, and sugar, with the addition of Earl Grey tea bags. 

The only way to cap this recipe off is to serve it with a hot cup of Earl Grey tea to appease your tea-loving taste buds.

The bottom line

These cookies are pleasant and crumbly, with a rich buttery flavor that provides a pleasing experience with every bite. 

By simply adding an ingredient or two, you can enjoy a totally new and unique recipe with varied flavors, all with the same crumbly mouthfeels.

Best Scottish Cookie List

Best Scottish Cookie List

Join me for a sweet walk through Scotland! We’ll “sample” some recipes for Scottish Cookies that you can make at home! 🍪


  • Traditional Scottish Shortbread
  • Scottish Oat Cakes
  • Lemon Scottish Shortbread Cookies
  • Millionaire’s Shortbread
  • Brown Sugar Scottish Shortbread
  • Abernethy Biscuits
  • Chocolate Dipped Cookies With Pistachios
  • Coconut Shortbread Cookies
  • Petticoat Tails
  • Macadamia Shortbread Cookies
  • Candied Shortbread Cookies
  • Melting Moments
  • Lemon Coconut Drop Shortbread Cookies
  • Oat & Walnut Biscuits
  • Matcha Shortbread Cookies
  • Empire Biscuits
  • Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies


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