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Short Dough – An essential recipe

Short Dough, Pâte Sucrée, Pâte Sablée, Sweet Dough, Tart Dough. Call it what you will, this is a versatile dough is perfect for your favorite tart or for making cookies. This is essential recipe comes together in minutes.

a tart pan lined with dough

Push the dough into the fluted edges then use the rolling pin to cut off the excess dough

Short Dough is a super versatile basic dough for the baker:

Short dough is a little less sweet than a sugar cookie dough and a little less rich than shortbread dough. This dough bakes up with a nice crisp bite and is strong enough to hold soft fillings like pastry cream or fresh fruit without getting soggy.

Short Dough couldn’t be easier to make. Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and then the flour.

The main difference from making a typical cookie dough is that you don’t want to whip too much air into the butter and sugar.

If the dough gets too aerated the final tart crust might be more crumbly than crisp, and crisp is what you want for a good tart crust that will hold those softer fillings.

short dough ingredients

Mise en place…assemble all your ingredients then the dough comes together in minutes.

short dough ready for kneading

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and just a few quick kneads will bring it together.

If you have left over scraps from rolling a tart crust gather them up, double wrap in plastic wrap and freeze to use later.

Short dough is a great ingredient to keep in the freezer for last minute desserts.

One of my favorite ways to use the scraps left from rolling a tart crust are these short dough sandwich cookies. They’re quick to make and look very elegant.

short dough sandwich cookies with raspberry jam

a slice of Chocolate Caramel Crackle Tart
Chocolate Caramel Crackle Tart with short dough crust

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Pate Sucre - Short Dough

Pate Sucre - Short Dough

Yield: 2 tart crusts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A classic cookie crust.


  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 oz, 282g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 oz, 141g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups (15 oz, 425g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar just until combined and slightly aerated. Add the egg and vanilla, mix to combine and scrape down the bowl and beater.
  2. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough just begins to come together. Remove from the mixer and knead into a ball. Flatten the ball to a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before using.


This recipe makes enough for two 12" fruit tart crusts. You can halve the recipe by using an egg yolk in place of 1/2 an egg.

This dough freezes very well. Double wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


Monday 4th of December 2017

Nice recipe to have on hand. One thing though - your instructions are a little light on assembly instructions. I gather you baked the tops and bottoms separately, then dusted the tops, plopped them down on the bottoms, then piped the jam into the center?

Eileen Gray

Monday 4th of December 2017

The focus of the recipe was the dough itself so I didn't go into great detail regarding the cookies. Cookies are just one of the items that can be made with this dough. If you look through the photos you can see that the tops and bottoms of the cookies were cut and baked separately and put together exactly as you described. I have a separate recipe for Linzer cookies that uses a really nice dough and that recipe goes into more detail regarding the assembly. Thanks for the comment!


Sunday 14th of May 2017

I was looking for a good pâte sablée recipe for a fruit tart I am making tomorrow. This is perfect, I'm sure it'll taste amazing, thank you!

Taylor Bowen

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

What temp do I set my oven?

Eileen Gray

Thursday 24th of November 2016

Hi Taylor, If you're making cookies I would set the oven to 325°F with convection setting or 350°F without convection setting. The tops brown quickly so you might have to take them out of the oven before the bottoms.

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