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Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Shortbread

swirlshortbreadWhat I love about shortbread is that for such little effort you get a lot in return. The simplicity of three ingredients (or four in this case) quickly kneaded together in one bowl, baked for a short time, to form a beautiful buttery biscuit that melts in the mouth.

We have a lot to thank the Scots for introducing this to us! I used to always buy the Scottish Walkers shortbread which surely must be world famous since they are the largest food exporter of Scotland, distributing their lovely craft around the world. Although these days I make my own since the regular brands in New Zealand I don’t feel are quite the same. If anyone disagrees and knows of an authentic Kiwi brand I’m happy to listen and try it.

There are many slight variations on the shortbread recipe, I use my Nan’s still but exchange the castor sugar for icing sugar which gives the ‘melt in the mouth’ texture. I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you get hooked I also have a lavender shortbread recipe under ‘biscuits’.


  • 12oz/340g Four
  • 8oz/227g Butter (soften but not melted)
  • 4 oz/114g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 drops of vanilla (optional)


  1. Preheat oven on bake (not fan bake) to 160 degrees centigrade and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Sift flour into bowl.
  3. Add butter and rub into flour then add flour.
  4. Divide ingredients into two bowls.
  5. In one bowl add the cocoa powder and knead all the ingredients together to form a dough. Do not over knead otherwise the dough will be come tough and the biscuit will be hard.
  6. To the other bowl add the drops of vanilla and also knead ingredients together until they bind together.
  7. Lay each piece of dough onto a large piece of cling film and wrap both dough separately .
  8. Put wrapped dough into fridge for 30 mintues to rest, this makes it easier to roll.
  9. Roll each dough into oblongs about 12 inches by 8 inches (about 2 centimetres thick).
  10. Place the chocolate dough on top of the vanilla dough and trim off any excess (they should be the same size)
  11. Roll the dough up from the wider side.
  12. Slice through the dough cylinder about 2 centimetres thick to form biscuits.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes or until a very light golden on edges.
  14. Cool on a wire rack
7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I always remember cutting out shortbread rounds onto a baking tray in the kitchen with my mum when I was little, for her to slide into the Aga. We never got this ambitious, haha – but I love how neat and adorable the spirals are: too cute!

    August 25, 2009
  2. Thanks for sharing such a nice post.
    Fruit Powders

    August 26, 2009
  3. kaori #

    i tried this recipe today, Alli. But my rolling & forming biscuit skills are way behind. The result doesn’t look like your perfect swirl shortbread.However, it tastes great, so thank you.

    August 30, 2009
  4. kitty #

    great recipe but i added some golden syrup to the mixture and it turned out wonderful!

    January 7, 2010
  5. These are so cute and taste wonderful.

    August 10, 2013
  6. Louise #

    Not sure if i’ve missed something here but where does the icing sugar come into play and does no sugar get added into the mix?

    December 18, 2013

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