These gluten free shortbread cookies are easy and delicious – with only 5 ingredients! Plus, they are just as easy to make as regular shortbread cookies. They’re the best cookies for sugar cravings, holidays, and everyday dessert!
Why You’ll Love These Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
These shortbread cookies are buttery and sweet – the absolute perfect texture/crumbly cookie that appeals to anyone. They are also adaptable for any holiday; whatever mood you’re in. Just cover half in chocolate and festive sprinkles. Or keep the chocolate and sprinkles off for a more traditional shortbread cookie.
Ingredients – Only 5-Ingredients Necessary!
This easy gluten free shortbread cookies recipe requires only five ingredients. To make these, gather: 2 sticks of unsalted butter, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (+extra for dusting), and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Optional add ons include a splash of almond extract, chocolate melts, and/or sprinkles.
Gluten Free Flour for Cookies
My key tips for finding a decent gluten free baking flour are: avoid mixes with any sort of bean flour as these have an odd taste at times and make sure your mix includes xanthan gum. The easiest route to go is to find a gluten free 1:1 flour as this will sub evenly into any baking recipe for all-purpose flour. My favorites include: King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour, Bob’s Red Mill® Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, and Pillsbury® Best Gluten Free – but almost any gluten-free 1:1 flour from your local store will work.
This recipe does require an electric mixer and a rolling pin. You are welcome to roll and cut the dough into rectangles or roll and flatten the dough into circles…However, I do also find that having a cookie cutter specifically for shortbread cookies adds a nice touch.
How to Make
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. Cream together sugar, butter. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat just until mixed. Mix together salt and flour, then stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. You will also need to knead it with your hands to get the batter fully incorporated into a ball of dough.
Place a large sheet of parchment paper down on your counter and dust it with flour. Add the dough. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well to help avoid sticking. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to about ½ thickness.
*When rolling, you may find it easier to pull the dough towards you multiple times as opposed to roll it back and forth.
*Add more flour as needed to the top of the dough to avoid the dough sticking during the rolling process. You may also add just a hint of water if it is too crumbly and won’t come together.
Press a cookie cutter onto the flattened surface to get desired shortbread cookie shapes. Then, add the cookies to an ungreased baking sheet (optional: some people like to sprinkle their cookies with extra sugar on top).
Bake your cookies at 350°F for 14-17 minutes, or until desired texture is reached. *It’s hard to tell with these when they are finished as they should barely brown and thickness can vary affecting baking time. However, a good rule of thumb is they will be slightly firm around the outside edges and they will have just a slight bit of brown near the bottom/a little on the edge.
Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature. Use a spatula to remove from the pan to the foil. Spoon chocolate over half. Add sprinkles or décor if desired (I prefer mine without sprinkles unless they are intended for a holiday). Allow to cool.
Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies Thickness
The ideal thickness for this recipe is about ½” thick. Please note that it is a matter of personal preference, however, if you choose to do a different thickness, please adjust your baking time accordingly.
How to Decorate/Dip in Chocolate
In order for the chocolate to work properly the shortbread cookies must be completely cooled. Spoon the chocolate over half of the cookie with a spoon and place the chocolate covered shortbread cookies on a clean piece of parchment paper to harden. They will harden quickly, so if you intend to use sprinkles, sprinkle them on immediately after covering the cookie in chocolate.
Tips for the Best Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
- Make sure to use plenty of flour on top of the dough when you’re rolling it out; as needed; so it does not stick.
- Do not overwork your dough. Knead it only until it comes together in a ball.
- While some flexibility is ok, do not roll your cookies too thin or too fat or they will not bake correctly. The ideal thickness for this recipe is about ½” thick.
- Don’t overbake your cookies – remove them from the oven when just slightly golden around the edges or bottom.
- Allow cookies to completely cool before covering in chocolate.
Shortbread cookies are not traditionally gluten free. Use a gluten free 1:1 flour like in this recipe to make the swap to gluten free with ease.
Sugar cookies typically use eggs, while shortbread cookies don’t. Additionally, shortbread is more dense and crumbly with a lightly buttery flavor as opposed to sugar cookies which have a lower butter to flour ratio.
Store shortbread cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. They typically taste good for up to a week.
It is recommended to use a gluten free 1:1 flour; these are typically the gluten free flour preferred for baking.
You can use salted butter if you’d like, but then you’ll want to remove the added salt from the recipe. You may find that this version now becomes just a slight bit salty, which is why unsalted was use.
Dough can be made and refrigerated for up to one night, frozen for up to three months, or the cookies can be completely baked and still eaten for up to a week.
This recipe has not been tested in a dairy free form, however, it can be assumed that subbing vegan butter at the same ratio would work (and if you cover them in chocolate; make sure to get dairy free chocolate).
More Gluten Free Cookies
Gluten free using 1:1 gluten free flour tastes pretty much the same! Doesn’t it taste great not to miss out? For another easy and delicious gluten free cookie, try these 2-ingredient peanut butter cookies. Or, if you’re looking for a completely natural option, try these natural no bake cookies. Finally, if you’re looking for a super-fast and easy festive/holiday option, try these gluten free pizza cookies.
Here’s too delicious desserts, traditional favorites, a touch of festive, and regaining our sparkle together.
Easy Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (+optional splash of almond extract)
- 2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (+extra for dusting)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Melted chocolate (to cover half) *I used Ghirardelli® Melting Wafers
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cream together sugar, butter. Add vanilla and almond extra, beat just until mixed. Mix together salt and flour. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. You will also need to knead it with your hands to get the batter fully incorporated into a ball of dough.
- Place down a large sheet of parchment paper. Dust it with flour. Add the dough. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well to help avoid sticking. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to about ½ thickness. *Add more flour as needed to the top of the dough to avoid sticking during the rolling process.
- Use a cookie cutter to get desired shortbread cookie shapes. Add the cookies to an ungreased baking sheet (optional: some people like to sprinkle with extra sugar on top).
- Bake at 350°F for 14-17 minutes, or until desired texture is reached.*
- Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature. Use a spatula to remove from pan to foil. Spoon chocolate over half and allow to cool.