The Jewel In The Crown of Mary Queen of Scots: Shortbread

The Jewel In The Crown of Mary Queen of Scots: Shortbread

Mary Queen of Scots Tea Towel on counter with a plate of Scottish Shortbread

Mary Queen of Scots Cotton Linen Tea Towel

In the grand tapestry of history, few figures captivate our imaginations like Mary Queen of Scots, a woman whose elegance and charisma extended beyond the courtly halls and into the kitchens of royalty. As we prepare to commemorate Mary Queen of Scots Week at Dead Queens, we invite you to indulge in the delectable tale of how she may have not only loved but perhaps refined or even invented the iconic Scottish shortbread.

Motherbutter Shortbread Cookies

Picture the royal kitchens of the 16th century, where Mary Queen of Scots might have personally overseen the creation of what would become the jewel in the crown of Scottish baking – shortbread. Historical records hint at her culinary prowess and suggest that she played a vital role in elevating this buttery masterpiece to new heights. As we honour her memory, let's explore the sweet legacy she left behind.

John Quigley Chef Renowned rock & roll Scottish Chef John Quigley of the Red Onion Restaurant in Glasgow eloquently captures the essence of Scottish shortbread, describing it as "the jewel in the crown" of Scottish baking. This sentiment echoes through time, highlighting the enduring appeal of this delicate treat and deep roots in the country's culinary heritage. Quigley has toured the world as a private chef for musicians Tina Turner, Guns'n'Roses and Bryan Adams. 


And now, to bring a taste of history into your own kitchen, here is a signature Scottish shortbread recipe:

Classic Scottish Shortbread:


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift the all-purpose flour and rice flour into the bowl. Add a pinch of salt and gently fold the ingredients together until a soft dough forms.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to your desired thickness (usually around 1/2 inch).
  5. Using your favorite cookie cutter or a knife, cut the dough into desired shapes.
  6. Place the shortbread shapes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving space between each piece.
  7. Prick the surface of each shortbread with a fork to create the traditional design.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
  9. Allow the shortbread to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 If you are not a Kitchen Queen and just want to indulge in these buttery Jewels. We have a surprise for you! Yes, our friend and incredible baker, Jade Hansen of MOTHERBUTTER makes the most luscious sweet and savoury shortbread you can imagine. Yes, you will DIE for them! 

Moterhbutter Logo
Motherbutter packaged shortbread cookies
Motherbutter packaged shortbread cookies shipped worldwide.

As we embark on this week of remembrance, join us in celebrating the enduring legacy of Mary Queen of Scots. Indulge in the refined flavours of Scottish shortbread from Motherbutter, embrace the regal lifestyle with the Dead Queens Mary Queen of Scots Lifestyle Collection, and create your own piece of history with the classic shortbread recipe. Let history and modernity intertwine as we honour a Tudor queen whose influence transcends time, leaving behind a legacy as sweet and enduring as the buttery delight she may have helped refine.

Which flavor twist on traditional shortbread would you most love to try from Motherbutter, and how would you incorporate the regal charm of Dead Queens' Mary Queen of Scots Lifestyle Collection into your afternoon tea ritual?

Dead Queens X Motherbutter

have teamed up and are offering all readers 10% Off both shops.

Share your thoughts, and we'll send you an exclusive promo code for a Dead Queens Tea Towel and a delectable treat from Motherbutter! Promo code will be valid at both shops so drop a line!


Click on the Motherbutter photos to be taken to Motherbutter's website and click on the Tea Towel at the top to be taken to the Mary Queen of Scots Tea Towel. 

Sweet, sweet, shortbread dreams, Queens.


PS: Want to read more Mary Queen of Scots blog posts?

11 Things You Might Not Know About MQoS

Pure Dead Brilliant

Make No Mistake - A Photo Tour of Linlithgow Palace - with a Dead Queens fan

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.