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5 from 24 votes

This easy homemade gluten free shortbread recipe is full of crisp, buttery sweetness! If you love old-fashioned shortbread, my gluten free shortbread will make your day! I include several flavor variations, too, so you can enjoy this recipe in more ways!

Slices of gluten free shortbread on a plate.

Shortbread has always been one of my favorite cookies. Before going gluten free, I used to love Walker’s Shortbread. A few years ago, they came out with a delicious gluten free version of these cookies, and I thought they were amazing…until I started to make my own.

There is nothing like my homemade gluten free shortbread recipe. It is buttery and smooth, and crunchy! These shortbread cookies will become a staple in your house once you try making them!

If you love cookies as much as we do, you will want to check out all of my delicious homemade gluten free cookies recipes!

Why This Recipe Is The Best:

  1. If you love a crunchier cookie that still has that buttery goodness, these cookies are for you.
  2. You can make them in a traditional wedge shape or any shape you like, including using cookie cutters.
  3. They hold their shape beautifully while they bake!

If you prefer a slice-and-bake cookie, these Gluten Free Sables have a similar flavor. You can also try my maple version, Gluten Free Maple Shortbread.

Allergen Information:

This gluten free shortbread recipe is gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, and nut-free. See the Substitutions Section for instructions to make this recipe dairy-free and gum-free.

Top Pick
King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour 3 lbs

This is one of my favorite gluten-free flour blends for cookies, cakes, pie crust, biscuits, and muffins! (Do not use this flour blend for yeast recipes.)

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Ingredient Notes:

Photos of the shortbread cookies ingredients.
  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work. I just have not tested other flours.
  • Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  • Sugar and Powdered Sugar.
  • Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter. See the substitutions below for a gum-free option.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract. Using imitation vanilla will affect the final flavor.

Substitutions:

How To Make Gluten Free Shortbread:

Shortbread photos of steps 1 and 2.

Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.

Step 2: Melt your butter and add the pure vanilla extract. Whisk to mix. Some recommend using room-temperature butter instead of melted butter. I have tested both and couldn’t tell much of a difference.

You can also use a food processor to mix up your dough.

Shortbread photos of steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix into a soft dough.

Step 4: Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.

Preheat your oven to 450º F.

Shortbread photos of steps 5 and 6.

Step 5: Place the dough on parchment paper. Press your dough to 1 inch to 1 1/4 inch thickness.

HINT: Use a rolling pin or flat-bottomed glass to make the top flat and smooth.

Step 6: Score the dough by cutting it into wedges. Use a big sharp knife or a pizza cutting wheel. I have more control in keeping the lines straight using the big knife.

Note: You can also make your dough a rectangle and cut these out to be rectangle-shaped.

The shortbread photos of steps 7 and 8.

Step 7: Use a shishkabob stick to poke holes. These are decorative but do help your shortbread bake more evenly. If you are short on time, you can skip this step.

Step 8: Optional: sprinkle with coarse sugar. Slide the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Put the shortbread into the oven and turn DOWN the oven temperature to 300º F.

Shortbread wedges in a circle.

Step 9: Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is golden. The long bake at a low temperature helps get this shortbread crispier.

Enjoy them plain, or dip/drizzle some melted chocolate over them! You may also love my Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Shortbread and my Gluten Free Gingerbread Shortbread recipes!

Flavor Variations:

  • Lemon – Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
  • Espresso – If you love the coffee flavor, add 1 teaspoon of instant coffee to the dry ingredients!
  • Chocolate Chip – Add mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings to the dough.
  • Holiday Special: I love this shortbread mixed with dried cranberries and pistachios! It makes a wonderful cookie for the fall and winter holidays!
  • Don’t forget how yummy shortbread is dipped in chocolate! Drizzle or dip these in white or dark chocolate!

Check out my shortbread web story.

Tips and Recipe FAQ:

What is the secret to good shortbread?

There are so few ingredients it is hard to mess up shortbread. I would say using high-quality butter is the best secret. Some very creamy butter brands, like Plugra, are made with European butter, which works really well.

Why do you poke holes in shortbread?

Poking holes in the shortbread help distribute heat a bit more evenly so the center of the shortbread bakes and the outside edges.

Can you reduce the sugar in shortbread?

I know many like to cut back on sugar. Shortbread has so few ingredients; they work together to taste like real shortbread. I do not think cutting back on sugar is a good idea for this recipe.

What are the three traditional shapes for shortbread?

Shortbread’s three most common shapes are wedges (made in a circle and cut like bicycle spokes), circles, or rectangles.

Can you shape and use cookie cutters with this shortbread dough?

Yes, you can use cookie cutters! This dough holds up well to cookie cutters.

How long will this gluten-free shortbread stay fresh?

This shortbread will keep fresh for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the shortbread in a zipper-style freezer bag.

If you love European cookies, you will also want to try these Italian Gluten Free Pizzelle Cookies!

Storage:

Store in an air-tight container. You can also freeze the extras in a zipper-style freezer bag.

Gluten free shortbread wedges on a cutting board.
Baked shortbread wedges in a circle.

The Best Gluten Free Shortbread

Sandi Gaertner
You are going to love how easy this melt in your mouth, crisp and buttery gluten free shortbread is to make!
Love this recipe?Give it a star rating!
5 from 24 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 16 pieces
Calories 186 kcal

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Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter * see note

Instructions
 

  • Add your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whish to blend.
  • Melt your butter and add the pure vanilla extract. Whisk to mix. Some recommend using room-temperature butter instead of melted butter. I have tested both, and I wasn't able to tell much of a difference.
    You can also use a food processor to mix up your dough.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
  • Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
  • Preheat your oven to 450º F.
  • Place the dough on parchment paper. Press your dough to 1 inch to 1 1/4 inch thickness.
  • HINT: Use a rolling pin or flat bottomed glass to make the top flat and smooth.
  • Score the dough by cutting it into wedges. Use a big sharp knife or a pizza cutting wheel. I find I have more control in keeping the lines straight using the big knife.
  • Note: You can also make your dough a rectangle and cut these out to be rectangle-shaped.
  • Use a shishkabob stick to poke holes. These are totally decorative, but do help your shortbread bake more evenly. If you are short on time you can skip this step.
  • Optional: sprinkle with coarse sugar. Slide the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
  • Put the shortbread into the oven and turn DOWN the oven temperature to 300º F.
  • Step 9: Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is golden. The long bake on a low temperature helps get this shortbread crispier.
  • Enjoy them plain or dip/drizzle some melted chocolate over them!

Notes

  1. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
  2. Xanthan gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. Butter – You can use vegan butter to make this dairy-free, but note it will not be as creamy or buttery in flavor.
  4. These cookies will last for up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Flavor Variations:
  • Lemon – Add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
  • Espresso – If you love coffee flavor, add 1 teaspoon of instant coffee to the dry ingredients!
  • Chocolate Chip – Add mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings to the dough.
  • Holiday Special – I absolutely love this shortbread mixed in dried cranberries and pistachios! It makes a wonderful cookie for the fall and winter holidays!
  • Don’t forget how yummy shortbread is dipped in chocolate! Drizzle or dip these in white or dark chocolate!

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: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 138mgPotassium: 4mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 355IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
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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.

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29 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are really lovely cookies. So easy that my (no bake) husband made the dough. They turned out perfectly. Tender, buttery, crisp on edges, everything shortbread should be! Highly recommend.

  2. These are delicious! Put the dough in a rectangular pan to bake, and it turned out great. Thanks for the quality recipe!

  3. Have you tested this recipe in a ceramic shortbread pan? I have one by Brown Bag that I use for regular shortbread and wondering if anyone has tried it already.

  4. 5 stars
    I just made these. Absolutely delicious. Definitely reminds me of Walker’s. I did have a problem with the dough spreading. I think next time I will also chill the dough after I have shaped it. I wonder if baking these in a round cake pan or springform pan would work.

  5. These look delicious. Do you know how long they would bake, cut into individual rectangles? Or is is better to slice the shapes and leave the larger rectangle intact as you did with the round? Thank you.

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