These chocolate shortbread fingers take 5 minutes to put together, and result in a fantastically tender, buttery, chocolate confection.

Do you have those recipes that are your go-to when you are in a pinch?

These chocolate shortbread bars are my short-notice baked good for nearly any situation that requires a treat and it’s needed quickly.

Powdered sugar dusted chocolate shortbread fingers on a piece of parchment.

I have made them nearly 50 times over the last few years, as far as I can figure, and that’s saying a lot when I have so many recipes to try that sometimes I lay in bed awake at night stressing about how I’ll ever have time to try them all (clearly, I have issues).

Top view of powder sugar dusted chocolate shortbread fingers cut into rectangles.

They call for simple, every day ingredients and take 10 minutes to put together, but the combination results in a fantastically tender, buttery, wonderfully chocolate confection that is just plain awesome.

And I will say this – I’ve taken a lot of treats places and never been asked for the recipe but no kidding, whenever I take these bars anywhere, people request, beg and threaten in order to get the recipe. They are that good.

Side view of chocolate shortbread fingers dusted with powdered sugar.

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Chocolate Shortbread Fingers

4.57 stars (30 ratings)


  • 2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 ½ tablespoons dutch-process or regular unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups (339 g) salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (see note)
  • Granulated sugar, for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch pan with parchment paper or foil, letting the parchment or foil overhang on two sides so the bars can easily be pulled out of the pan after they are baked and cooled. Lightly grease the foil or parchment with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Place the butter and superfine sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a handheld electric mixer (or use an electric stand mixer) until light and fluffy – 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
  • Spread the dough into the prepared pan, using a spatula or your fingers to even out the surface. Chill the dough for 15 minutes. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork and bake for 18-22 minutes. The shortbread will be slightly puffed but still soft. It will firm up as it cools.
  • While the shortbread is still hot, cut the baked dough into fingers by cutting down the center the long way and then cutting into 8-10 strips across. Sprinkle the tops of the bars with granulated sugar and let the shortbread cool completely in the pan. Using the parchment or foil overhang, lift the bars from the pan, gently break into pieces (where they are cut) and serve at room temperature. The bars will keep for 2-3 days covered at room temperature.


Sugar: to make superfine sugar as needed in the recipe, simply blend 1 cup granulated sugar until it is, well, super fine in texture. I don’t remeasure after blending, I just pour it straight into the dough.
Serving: 1 Shortbread, Calories: 275kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 243mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g

Recipe Source: adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook