Looking for the perfect gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe that doesn't compromise on flavor or texture? This GF shortbread is tender and melt-in-your-mouth, with the signature rich, buttery taste of traditional shortbread.
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Shortbread is probably one of the easiest cookies to make gluten-free. Like my gluten-free lemon cookies, the texture remains tender and crumbly. Each bite melts away, coating your mouth in the buttery richness.
This recipe is a classic Christmas cookie but I make them year-round because buttery shortbread is always in season when served with a cup of tea.
📖Why This Recipe Works
Shortbread has a mild and delicate flavor. It is not strongly sweet like sugar cookies.
Just like with regular shortbread, this gluten-free version uses just a bit of confectioner's sugar to bring out the butteriness rather than overpowering it.
There is also a hint of toastiness from the warm golden color it takes on while baking. You can use this gluten-free shortbread recipe to make cutouts, dip it into melted chocolate, or press it into a pan to make traditional Scottish shortbread.
Overall, it's a simple but exquisite cookie.
Butter - To make this recipe dairy-free substitute vegan butter. I recommend vegan butter because not all margarine is dairy-free.
Powdered Sugar - Also called confectioners sugar.
Vanilla Extract - You can use any ratio of vanilla and almond extract.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend - Use a cup-for-cup or 1:1 gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum. If your all-purpose flour doesn't contain you can add ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum separately.
Salt - If you use salted butter cut the salt by half.
Chocolate (optional) -You can use dark, milk, or white chocolate chipsfor dipping if desired.
You can also sprinkle your cookies with crushed nuts or sprinkles for the holidays.
Can I substitute white sugar for powdered?
No, you must use powdered sugar but you can make it by combining ½ cup granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Blitz in a high-powered blender or spice grinder until you have a soft, powdery consistency.
- Lemon Shortbread - add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
- Cinnamon Shortbread - add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Stir in a half cup of dried currents
⏲️ How to Make Gluten-Free Shortbread
Whip the butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy.
Combine the gluten-free flour and salt. Then add the dry ingredients to the bowl while mixing at a low speed.
Flatten the cookie dough into a flat disc, wrap it in a piece of plastic wrap, and chill.
Roll out the cookie dough with a rolling pin or press out between two sheet pans. Cut the cookie to your desired shape. Keep the unused shortbread cookie dough in the fridge if baking in batches.
Cool the baked cookies on the pan for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Completely cool the cookies before dipping them in chocolate.
For the classic shortbread shape, you can transfer the gluten-free dough to a round pan. Use a glass to keep it even. Score into pierces and dock with a fork. Bake as directed, increasing by several minutes. Remove the oven and cut along the scorelines. Cool in the pan.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Gluten-free flour tends to compact over time. Fluff it up with a fork before measuring for a lighter result.
- Spoon your flour into the measuring cup, do not dip your cup directly into the bag.
- Chill dough thoroughly before baking for clean edges. A soft dough will cause the cookies to spread, losing their crumbly texture.
- If using an insulated cookie sheet you will not need to use parchment paper.
- It takes approximately 1 hour for the butter to come to room temperature.
- You can melt the chocolate in a double boiler but I prefer to melt it in a small bowl using the microwave.
- You can add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the chocolate for a glossy finish.
Shortbread cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
More Gluten-Free Cookies
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before slicing and baking.
Add a tablespoon or two more butter to the dough and the extra fat will help bind it. Chilling the dough longer will also help.
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Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies
- Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until combined. Add the vanilla.1 cup unsalted butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the GF flour and salt to the butter and sugar mixture after sifting them together in a medium-sized bowl. Work the dough on low speed just until it begins to come together. Scrapping down the bowl as needed.1 ¾ cups gluten free flour blend, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Transfer the cookie dough to a flour-dusted surface and flatten into any shape, about ½ inch thick. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough and slice the dough into rectangles. Place slices, spaced at least an inch apart onto a baking sheet lined. It is optional to pierce a pattern on the top with a fork.
- Bake chilled cookies for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack before serving.
Optional Chocolate Dip
- Put chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Stir until slightly cooled but still runny.4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- Drizzle each cookie or dip the edge into the chocolate to coat. Cool on parchment.
- Baking time will vary based on the size of the cookie. For smaller cookies, bake closer to 15 minutes; bake longer for larger shapes.
- If working in batches keep dough chilled until ready to bake.
- You can cut the cookie dough by hand or use cookie cutters for unique shapes.
- Room temperature: In an airtight container, shortbread cookies can last up to a week.
- Refrigerator: Shortbread cookies can last up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer: Shortbread cookies can last up to 3 months in the freezer. Before serving, allow the cookies to come back to room temperature.