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Classic Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Joscelyn | Wife Mama Foodie
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1-2 dozen 1x


Delicious, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies. These are lightly sweetened, classic-style shortbread cookies which uses powdered sugar for a tender crumb. If you’re looking for a naturally sweetened option, check out these gluten and refined sugar free shortbread cookies



1 cup butter, softened (I’ve used Miyoko’s dairy-free butter with success)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend

1/4 cup cornstarch


In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Mix in powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla, continuing to beat until well incorporated, scraping down sides as needed.

Gradually add flour and cornstarch, mixing just until blended. 

Dough should hold together when pinched between two fingers. If dough is crumbly, sprinkle in water 1 tablespoon at a time, just until it comes together.

!To Make Cookies Now:

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line an 8″ or 9″ square pan* with parchment paper with a few inches overhang on two sides to lift out later, then press dough evenly into the bottom. If dough is sticky, use a rubber scraper or parchment paper to flatten the top.

If you want them to look like the classic shortbread cookies, score the dough to make bars (about 1″x3″ or similar) then prick them with a toothpick, skewer, or fork.

Bake in preheated oven for about 25-35 minutes, just until edges are lightly golden. Cookies will be light in color.

When cookies come out of the oven, cut them again where they were scored. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then lift the parchment paper with the shortbread out of the pan to cool completely.

!To Bake Individual Cookies:

Pour dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pat together into a square. If crumbly, knead a few times to bring it together.

Once dough is chilled, roll between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/2″ thick square. Trim edges, then slice into slim bars, about 1″x3″ or other shape of your choice. You can also cut out with cutters, but be advised the cookies spread a little during baking.

Place cookies on a parchment lined sheet and prick with a fork/skewer for a traditional look (optional). Cover the pan, then refrigerate cookies while oven preheats to 350ºF.

Bake cookies for 12 minutes (may need more or less time depending on size) just until some of the edges get a tinge of color. Cookies will be light in color. Let cool slightly before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Serve plain or drizzle with/dip in melted chocolate for variety.

  • Category: cookies, Christmas, desserts, gluten free, vegan