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Shortbread Cut-out Cookies with Vanilla Bean American Buttercream Rosettes

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus cooling time
  • Yield: 45 cookies 1x


Buttery shortbread is cut into perfect round circles and finished with a rosette swirl of American buttercream and sprinkles. These would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower, or just for any time when you need some beautiful, simple cookies.



Shortbread Cookies

  • 360g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 130g powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (extract will work too but I prefer paste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 510g all-purpose flour

Vanilla Bean American Buttercream

  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt
  • 500g powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream, as needed
  • Pink gel food colouring




  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla bean paste and mix to combine. Add the salt and flour, and mix on low until just incorporated - the dough will be very soft.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a rectangle. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and then place in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to firm up.
  3. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to sit on the bench for 10 minutes to soften slightly. Divide into two, and tightly wrap the piece that you are not working with.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°f / 170°c. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Place the first piece of dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and bang gently to help flatten out, then roll out to about 6mm (almost 1/4”) thick. Place the dough, still between the parchment paper, onto a sheet pan and freeze for 10-15 minutes (this helps chill the dough which means you will get a super clean cut when you are cutting out the cookies). Repeat the rolling out process with the second portion of dough - you can stack them up in the freezer if you like.
  6. Remove the dough from the freezer and peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Using a 2” circle cutter, cut circles of the dough out and place on the sheet pan, spacing evenly between (I can do 20 on a pan, 4 rows of 5 cookies). Press any scraps back together and re-roll, then freeze and repeat the cutting out process.
  7. Transfer the tray of cut out cookies to the freezer for 10 minutes, then bake for 17-18 minutes, until the shortbread has set and is just beginning to turn golden. Allow to cool on the pans for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.
  8. Repeat the cutting out and chilling process with the remainder of the cookies.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, vanilla bean paste and salt until pale and creamy. Sift in the powdered sugar, and mix on medium speed until well combined. If needed, add cream a tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is light and fluffy, and a pipeable consistency.
  2. Add gel food colouring until the desired colour is reached. Transfer some of the buttercream to a bag fitted with an open star tip (I used the Wilton 1M).


  1. Pipe rosettes onto some of the cookies (or all of them if you like), and spread the remainder of the cookies with buttercream using an offset spatula, and finish with sprinkles of your choice.
  2. Allow the cookies to sit at room temperature to let the buttercream crust over, and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Keywords: shortbread, american buttercream, rosette, cut-out cookies, shortbread cookies, sprinkles