Spelt Shortbread
  • Prep time:

  • Cook time:

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  • Portion/Yield:

    Makes about 40 shortbread biscuits
  • Difficulty:


I love the nutty sweet taste and aroma of spelt. I have chosen spelt flour for this recipe as I wanted to create a light, crispy shortbread from wholegrain flour. The spelt flour does just that. These shortbread biscuits are light and crispy, but most importantly, they are packed with lots of character and unusual fragrance.

I serve these shortbread biscuits with a delicious cup of freshly brewed Earl Grey tea or to accompany homemade stem ginger ice cream. Either way they are a delicious treat!photo of Spelt and Semolina Shortbread

Ingredients & Method

For the Spelt Shortbread

  • 225g spelt flour
  • 100g cornflour
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of table salt
  • 225g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • plain flour, for dusting

For the Semolina and Brown Sugar Crunch

  • 40g semolina
  • 40g demerara sugar

Combine the spelt flour, cornflour, icing sugar, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl. Lightly rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture comes together to form a paste. Do not overwork the mixture, otherwise it will make the paste tough and elastic.

Divide and shape the shortbread paste into 2 equal blocks, then wrap each block in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour (see Cook’s Note).

Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Once you are ready to bake the biscuits, remove the shortbread paste from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (this will take about 10–15 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature). Roll out each block of shortbread paste on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thickness. Use a biscuit cutter of your choice to cut out the desired shapes. Arrange the biscuit shapes on the prepared baking sheets (you’ll need to do this in 2 batches), leaving a space (about 2cm) between each biscuit.

Make the semolina and brown sugar crunch by mixing together the semolina and demerara sugar in a bowl. Evenly sprinkle some of the crunch mixture over the biscuits. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until crisp and pale golden.

Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly on the baking sheets, then carefully transfer the shortbread biscuits to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Cut, bake and cool the remaining biscuits in the same way.

Keep the shortbread biscuits in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard for up to 5 days. Serve them simply with a cup of tea as a snack, or with stem ginger ice cream or lemon posset for a delicious dessert.

Cook’s Note

The wrapped unbaked shortbread paste will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen, when required, simply defrost the paste in the fridge overnight, then roll, cut out and bake as directed above.

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