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Highland Shortbread Showdown returns for 2024

Highland Shortbread Showdown 2023 winners and judges

THE Highland Shortbread Showdown is returning for a second year to discover the best biscuits from across the region.

Launched by Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN) in 2023 and partnering with Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) from across the region, businesses from each area are being invited to compete in local heats for the chance to make it to the Highland Shortbread Showdown grand final.

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The Highland Shortbread Showdown is open to all businesses – not just members of DMOs or those who sell shortbread – anyone on the team can compete. It is hoped the competition will provide a fun and creative opportunity to showcase businesses from throughout the Highlands through delicious shortbread.

Businesses, including members of Visit Moray SpeysideVisit CairngormsVisit NairnVisit DornochVenture NorthOutdoor Capital of the UKSkye ConnectVisit Inverness Loch Ness and Visit Arran, have until Thursday 1st February to register via

Each of the DMOs will hold local heats throughout February to select three businesses who will go through to the grand final at Eden Court in Inverness on 17thMarch, hosted by BBC MasterChef finalist Sarah Rankin.

“We are delighted to announce the return of the Highland Shortbread Showdown 2024,” said Emma Harrison, Destination Development Manager at VILN. “Last year, businesses from all over the Highlands competed to take the title of ‘best shortbread in the Highlands’, with more than 800 members of the public attending the final to sample their delicious bakes.

“Last year’s winner was MacKenzie’s Bakery on the Isle of Skye, whose head chef Paul Mackintosh wowed the judging panel with his fantastic recipe. And this year, we have expanded the competition to include three new categories in addition to the overall winner – best traditional shortbread, best flavoured shortbread and the public’s choice.”

Those who make it through to the final will have to impress the panel of expert judges including Jeni Iannetta of Bad Girl Bakery and Kirsten Gilmour of KJ’s Bothy Bakery.

New judge for 2024 is Coinneach MacLeod, more famously known as The Hebridean Baker, who said: “I am absolutely delighted to take on the role of judge at the upcoming Highland Shortbread Showdown, an event that not only promises a feast for the tastebuds but also celebrates the essence of Scottish culinary heritage. As the Hebridean Baker, I have always been passionate about the traditions of shortbread, and I am excited to see how the competitors share the techniques, artistry and flavours of our national biscuit.”

Host of the final, MasterChef finalist Sarah Rankin, added: “I’m delighted to be hosting the Highland Shortbread Showdown 2024 and I’d encourage businesses and keen bakers throughout the Highlands to enter. I’m excited to see how the Highland businesses who have thrown their wooden spoons into the ring will wow the judges with their sweet, buttery, crumbly bakes!”

To enter the Highland Shortbread Showdown 2024, please register by Thursday 1st February here:

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