These crisp, buttery Gluten Free Maple Shortbread Cookies are topped with sweet maple icing. They take shortbread to a whole new level of yumminess! They are perfect for fall or any time!

To maple shortbread cookies on a plate.

These buttery gluten free maple shortbread cookies have that soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture that shortbread is famous for. These cookies are topped with maple syrup icing.

You may also love this classic buttery Gluten Free Shortbread recipe. I have so many gluten free cookies on my blog, over 100! If you want to try some more awesome cookie recipes, check out these gluten free cookies!

Why we make these cookies on repeat:

  1. This gluten-free maple shortbread cookie recipe is based on my popular, buttery, old-fashioned, gluten-free shortbread recipe. It was the perfect base for these maple cookies.
  2. This shortbread dough holds up to cookie cutters, making it a great cut-out cookie recipe! You can also make them slice and bake style like these Gluten Free Sable Cookies.
  3. These fall cookies are nice for bake sales and entertaining, especially when you use these maple leaf-shaped cookie cutters!

Allergen Information:

These maple shortbread cookies are gluten-free, oat-free, nut-free, and soy-free. Make them dairy-free with plant-based butter.

A mason jar filled with gluten free flour sitting on the counter.

Flour Blends Tested:

1. King Arthur Measure for Measure—This blend works really well in muffin recipes. I don’t have to let the flour blend rest in the batter.
2. Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Blend—One of my readers tested this blend and wrote to tell me it worked well in this recipe.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – If your flour blend doesn’t contain either xanthan or guar gum, you will need to add one teaspoon to your dry ingredients.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter.
  • Maple Extract – You can find maple extract at most grocery stores. Many maple extracts contain caramel color and may not be gluten free. You want to get McCormick brand, which is gluten free.
  • Powdered Sugar – This is for the icing. Check to be sure your powdered sugar is gluten free.
  • Maple Syrup – Also, for the icing, you can check out which maple syrup is gluten free on this list.

Tips For Success:

  • Measure your gluten free flour accurately. I recommend using the spoon or leveling method to measure your gluten-free flour. Spoon method: put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour. Leveling Method: Fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour.
  • Chill the dough so it is very cold before rolling and using your cookie cutters.
  • Be sure to use a cool room-temperature cookie sheet. Let the cookie sheet cool completely if you are baking a second batch.
  • Be sure your oven rack is in the middle of the oven position. If the rack is too high or too low, it will affect how your cookies bake.
Iced maple shortbread cookies on a baking sheet.

You may also love this Gluten Free Gingerbread Shortbread for the holidays!

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Photos of steps 1 and 3.

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Use a wire whisk to blend them.

Step 2: In a small microwave-safe bowl, soften the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and maple extract and mix.

Step 3: Pour the melted butter mixture into the dry ingredients.

Step 4: Mix into a nice cookie dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 45-60 minutes.

Photos of steps 5 and 7.

Step 5: Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Place the cookie dough on wax paper or a silicone baking mat.

Step 6: Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.

Step 7: Grab your favorite cookie cutters. I linked the inexpensive cookie cutters I used in the Tips for Success section above.

Maple shortbread ready to bake.

Step 8: Press the cookie cutter into the dough and move each shortbread cookie to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Roll the dough scraps flat and cut out more shapes. Repeat until you use all of your shortbread dough.

Step 9: Bake at 350º F for 20 minutes until these gluten free maple shortbread cookies are slightly golden. When the shortbread is finished baking, remove it and allow it to cool on a cooling rack.

Maple icing ingredients in a small glass bowl.

Step 10: Add maple icing ingredients to a small bowl while the cookies are cooling. Whisk. You can make your icing as thick or thin as you like. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies. Refrigerate to harden the icing.

Why are my cookies flat, aka spread too much?

This is one of the most common questions I get from my readers. There are several reasons for flat cookies, including:

  • Check to see how long you chilled your cookie dough. If you use partially melted or softened butter, you must chill it to prevent spreading.
  • How did you measure your flour? Measuring your flour accurately is important. I don’t often weigh my ingredients because every flour blend has a different weight, and my readers all use different gluten-free flour blends. I recommend using either the Spoon Method by using a spoon to add flour to the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour. Leveling Method by putting the measuring scoop into the flour and filling it with flour. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
  • Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. This can affect the moisture levels in your cookie dough, resulting in flatter cookies. In this situation, you would need to add more flour.

Why do my gluten-free cookies taste gritty?

This grit you experience is from the rice flour in the gluten-free flour blend. Not all companies mill their flour extra fine. To eliminate the grit, I recommend letting the cookie dough rest for 15 minutes. This extra time will allow the rice flour to soften, eliminating the grit.

For more cookie troubleshooting, read my Gluten-Free Cookie Troubleshooting Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you make this shortbread in the traditional shape?

Yes! You can easily bake this shortbread in traditional wedge shapes. See my classic Gluten Free Shortbread recipe for directions.

What is the difference between shortbread and butter cookies?

Butter cookies have more sugar than shortbread cookies. Check out my Gluten Free Butter Cookies recipe, and you can see!

How do you store gluten free shortbread?

Store this shortbread in an airtight container. I always recommend storing gluten free baked goods in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer.

How do you freeze shortbread?

Place room-temperature cookies gently into a freezer bag. They will keep fresh for up to 3 months.

Iced maple shortbread cut in leaves.

Also, try my Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Shortbread. It is full of sweet fall flavors! If lemon is more your thing, try my Gluten Free Lemon Shortbread Cookies!

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

To maple shortbread cookies on a plate.

Easy Gluten Free Maple Shortbread Cookies

Sandi Gaertner
Buttery, crisp gluten free maple shortbread cookies with maple icing.
5 from 4 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 139 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see notes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract * see note
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Icing

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup more if needed

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and sugar. Whisk to blend.
  • Soften the butter by microwaving it for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and maple extract and whisk.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix into dough.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45-60 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Place the dough on a clean surface. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness.
  • Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes. I used maple leaves.
  • Place each cookie on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until slightly golden. Remove to a cooling rack.
  • Mix the powdered sugar and maple syrup. When the cookies are cool, drizzle the icing over the cookies.

Notes

  1. I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure. Other blends should work, but keep an eye on the dough’s moisture level. Some flour blends may need less flour.
  2. Add one teaspoon if your blend doesn’t contain xanthan or guar gum.
  3. You can find maple extract at most grocery stores. Many maple extracts contain caramel color and may not be gluten free. You want to get McCormick brand, which is gluten free.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 1mgPotassium: 8mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 236IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.4mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a gluten-free shortbread for a while and this one is just delicious! The texture is exactly what I was hoping for and that maple flavor is just amazing. I’ll be making these again!