Shortbread Buttons

Over on deviantART, a group called Artisan Craft was hosting a challenge this month for buttons. My philosophy in life is that everything can be made edible, so I decided to make some edible buttons for the challenge. I had thoughts of make fondant buttons on a cake or cupcakes, but I didn't have time for anything too fancy. But there's always time for shortbread.

I divided the shortbread dough into quarters and dyed them some funky colours. I used gel paste for these as it doesn't affect the ratios the way a liquid colouring does. I used a very small amount as I wanted them to be on the more pastel side of things. The dough itself is already a yellowy tinge, so it still showed through. My blue became a little green.

Some of them are flat/plain buttons, whilst others have a patterned edge. Some have two holes whilst most have 4. I always like variety for some reason. 

It's thesis time, so everyone in the Masters office is crazy busy at the moment, so I took these in for the crowd. Everyone loves shortbread. 

As I was making these I realised I didn't have any rice flour. If you have a food processor or a mortar and pestle, it's easy enough just to grind up some rice for the purpose.

Shortbread Buttons


250g butter, room temperature
75g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
35g rice flour
335g plain flour


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (130° fan-forced). Line oven trays with baking paper. 
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixture until smooth and creamy. If you want to eliminate the yellow tinge, keep beating until the butter lightens. 
  3. With a wooden spoon, stir in sifted flours. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. If colouring, divide dough into 4 pieces (or however many colours you like) and add a little gel paste before kneading. 
  4. Place your cutter onto the baking tray. Break off 25g pieces of the dough (or use a tablespoon, I found it quicker and easier to weigh the portions). Roll the dough into a ball, then flatten slightly between the palm of your hands. Place the dough inside the cutter, and press until the dough fills the inside evenly. Gently push the dough out of the cutter and invert so the smooth side is facing upwards. 
  5. Use a ball or bone tool, or any other round/flat object (a small jar or drink bottle lid works well) to indent the centre of the button. Make the holes using a skewer and pattern the edges using a fork or butter knife.
  6. Sprinkle buttons with a little caster sugar. Bake for 30 minutes; cool on trays. 

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.


9 thoughts on “Shortbread Buttons

  1. Hello there! I found your LJ from DeviantArt, actually. It was your Cookie Monster cupcakes that lead me here. (My nephew LOVES Cookie Monster.) Your take on the cupcake is wonderful, by the way!

    As for your LJ, I’m curious & excited to see what kind of sweets you’ll be posting. The entries that I’ve browsed so far are great, too! I’m currently a baking & pastry major in culinary school so I love finding new recipes to try. While I’m not particularly fond of crunchy cookies, I absolutely melt for shortbread! I may have to give these a try sometime!

    • Aw, thanks so much for swinging by to check out the blog. :] That’s so awesome that you’re another foodie! You’ll be qualified to tell me where I’ve botched up any recipes. 😉 Hehe.

  2. Amazing! These are so colorful and seem easy to make, too! I cannot wait to try them! I’m thinking these also should be great as decorations on cupcakes, right?
    Kudos for your imagination! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Cute as a Button Shortbread Cookies Cupcakepedia

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