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Air Fryer Shortbread. How to air fry Scottish shortbread fingers, round shortbread biscuits and shortbread balls.

But did you know that this traditional Christmas Scottish biscuit recipe can also be the base for many cookies and has just three ingredients? You can even shape it for any season with any cookie cutters.

We originally shared with you how to make shortbread in an air fryer back in 2016, 2017 and 2019 and have updated it for you again in 2021. Just because its an excuse to eat it again!

air fryer shortbread cookies for christmas
Air Fryer Shortbread Cookies For Christmas
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Homemade Shortbread

I love shortbread in the air fryer. I don’t think I said that loud enough I LOVE shortbread. The way it melts in your mouth, the way it breaks away when you eat it, how rich it is because of the butter and of course how easy it is to make.

When I was growing up my mum and dad had this lovely book keeper to help them with their accounts.

He was called Jim and at the time he was in his 60’s and had a really broad Scottish accent and I used to love the way he would say “Samantha” it just sounded do much better than the way my mum would screech it around the supermarket.

At Christmas as a Christmas gift he would always bring us some Scottish homemade shortbread and it tasted amazing. It would always be gone in 10 minutes and we all thought it was the most delicious cookie we had ever eaten.

Ever since then we have become addicted to shortbread. However due to the high quantity of butter in it we have to save it for special occasions otherwise we would end up super fat and super unhealthy.

But for a treat once in a while, it is delicious and well worth making. Oh, and did I mention the preparation on it is super-fast?

Plus, as well as our free newsletter, we also have a free air fryer mini course. It is ideal for air fryer beginners or those that want to get more confident with their air fryer. The free course runs for 5 days with a new lesson delivered each day to your inbox.

Can I Bake Biscuits In My Air Fryer?

Yes, you sure can. Any air fryer biscuits UK or air fryer cookies US, can be cooked in the air fryer.

Though in my biscuits and cookies recipes, I do recommend you add a layer of foil, like you see below:

foil for biscuits in air fryer

This then creates an area for them to sit on, without them sticking to the air fryer basket and keeping your air fryer clean.

What Is Shortbread?

If you are not familiar with shortbread it is the Scottish biscuit or as Americans call it, cookie. Famous throughout Scotland and the world, shortbread is rich thanks to its high butter content and perfect for afternoon tea.

Shortbread consists of just butter, sugar and flour. Due to the high level of butter, the butter binds it together without the need for milk or eggs.

It also saves washing up as you don’t need one bowl for dry ingredients and one bowl for wet ingredients.

3 Ingredient Air Fryer Cookies

Because shortbread is just 3 ingredients and can be flavoured or can be left as it is, it serves as a fantastic 3 ingredient air fryer cookies recipe.

Something that you can use in so many different ways.

You can make Scottish shortbread fingers, Scottish shortbread cookies, or you can use it as the base of something totally different.

For example, I always make shortbread balls with the leftovers.

I will make the shortbread and do whatever style the season suits, then the leftovers will have a few chocolate chips added to the centre and then air fried.

They are delicious!

shortbread leftovers into cookie balls

Or if I wanted some basic air fryer butter cookies but wanted them in a Christmas tree shape to serve for Christmas, I would just follow this recipe and then use my tree cutter.

You really can not get an easier air fryer cookies recipe than this!

It just combines the 3 ingredients and nothing else is used in the recipe. That is butter, flour and sugar.

The flour and sugar are added to the bowl first and the fat is rubbed into the flour. It creates incredibly thick breadcrumbs that with a bit of kneading will become a beautiful soft shortbread dough ball like you see below:

3 Ingredient Air Fryer Cookies

Air Fryer Shortbread Recipe Ingredients

Air Fryer Shortbread Recipe Ingredients

Butter – If you want to know the secret to good shortbread, then its lot of quality butter. You know that thing of how everything tastes better with butter. Well, shortbread has more butter than any other cookie.

Flour – If you can, use a quality flour like bero. Its amazing and it makes your air fryer Scottish shortbread taste so much better and be nice and light and never heavy.

Sugar – The third ingredient is the sugar. Any white sugar you regularly use for baking will work perfectly in this recipe. Avoid brown sugar as it will make the shortbread taste bland.

And that really is it! No kidding this is 3 ingredient air fryer cookies at their best!

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this shortbread in air fryer, it has just been our Cosori Air Fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes and perfect for an easy air fryer cookie recipe.

How To Make Air Fryer Shortbread?

air fryer shortbread cookies step by step
  • Load. Into a bowl load your three ingredients. Aim for your butter in small chunks and then it makes the process even faster.
  • Mix. Using your hands rub the butter into the sugar and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then form it into a soft dough ball. Because of the high butter in Scottish shortbread it doesn’t need water or milk to bind.
  • Cut. Sprinkle your worktop with flour and roll out your shortbread dough. Then use a cookie cutter to do whatever shapes you want. Such as using an angel or a tree for Christmas or a pumpkin at Halloween.
  • Cook. Load into the air fryer on a bed of foil and cook for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
  • Cool. Allow to cool before decorating or serve plain.

Can You Make Shortbread With Self Raising Flour?

You will be surprised to learn, that I recommend shortbread with self raising flour. One of the secrets to the best shortbread recipe UK is that you use self raising over plain flour.

That is because it puffs it up and makes it much bigger once cooked. It also means you need less dough to make a good batch.

Apart from my recommendation for using self raising over plain this is very much a traditional shortbread recipe that people in the UK have been making for many decades.

How Long To Cook Shortbread?

Shortbread is very quick at cooking in the air fryer and takes JUST 8 minutes. You don’t need to preheat the air fryer, as that’s 8 minutes from placing them in a cold air fryer.

air fryer shortbread
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Shortbread

Air Fryer Shortbread. How to air fry Scottish shortbread fingers, round shortbread biscuits and shortbread balls.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 6
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Kitchen Gadgets:

Air Fryer Shortbread Recipe Ingredients:


  • Load into a bowl your flour, sugar, and butter. If you have not done so already, use a knife to chop your butter into small chunks as it will make the prep quicker.
    Can I Bake Biscuits In My Air Fryer?
  • Using your hands rub the fat into the flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then combine together and knead a little until it makes a soft shortbread dough.
    Can I Bake Biscuits In My Air Fryer?
  • Flour a clean kitchen worktop and flour a rolling pin too and roll out your shortbread.
    Can I Bake Biscuits In My Air Fryer?
  • Use cookie cutters if making festive shortbread or use rounds for traditional shortbread cookies and cut into your desired shapes.
    Can I Bake Biscuits In My Air Fryer?
  • Add a layer of foil into the air fryer basket and then place the shortbread over it.
    Can I Bake Biscuits In My Air Fryer?
  • Air fry for 8 minutes at 180c/360f then allow to cool.
    Can I Bake Biscuits In My Air Fryer?


Festive. If decorating wait until cool before adding decorations to your shortbread.
Size. You can do any shape or size that you want. You can also make shortbread balls with the leftovers like I do.
Additions. You can also add in extras such as chocolate powder, chocolate chips, vanilla essence etc.
Thanks for reading our air fryer shortbread recipe on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more air fryer baking recipes, I recommend you try our air fryer chocolate cake next.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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shortbread cookies air fryer

About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie maker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I’m curious – how do these come out compared to in the oven? Texture-wise, I mean! They certainly look yummy 🙂