Un kurabiye – Turkish shortbread

These delicious little shortbreads or kurabiye  are easy to make and go so well with a Turkish coffee or cup of tea. I am giving you the basic recipe but I also ( of course) add to that. I add orange or lemon peel and a little orange juice. I have added dry fruit, I especially love cranberries. I have also used a mixture of flour and ground almonds and although nice can be a little crumbly.

Basic Recipe:

  • I cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour ( + 1 teasp baking powder)
  • 2 x 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teasp vanilla essence or alternate flavouring.


  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  • Add the butter & vanilla ( I add peel at this point if I am using it)
  • Cream together
  • Slowly sift flour and baking powder in, gently mixing with a wooden spoon.
  • Once combined, take one teasp of dough and shape into a ball.
  • Place on a baking tray with a little space between.
  • Cook in 160 deg C for 15-20 mins until firm yet they remain pale in colour.
  • Dust with icing sugar straight from the oven. let cool and dust again with icing sugar.

I made them some years ago with a Turkish neighbour of mine for her birthday tea. We had spent the afternoon baking and preparing food, there was about 4 or 5 of us ladies and we had a great time. It was summer and hot so after everything was ready we decided to go shower and change. When I returned I found her husband and brother sat in the salon looking quite woebegone. Ayse, my friend was really giving them a telling off, then I saw why; both had white moustaches! Yep they had been eating the kurabiye and the icing sugar had coated their real moustaches, they looked so funny.

Now the Turkish people don’t often make variations as the basic recipe is so delicious but I cannot help myself and the feedback I have had from family and Turkish friends has been very positive. In fact feeling nostaglic for a taste of ¬†orange un kurabiye, so i am off to make myself some.

Afiyet olsun