These easy gluten-free shortbread cookies are buttery, lightly sweet and crisp, yet perfectly tender.

They’re made with only FIVE ingredients and are especially delicious dipped in chocolate.

close up of gluten-free shortbread cookies on silver pan


 

There’s something completely addictive about a lightly sweet, crisp shortbread cookie that melts in your mouth. Like these gluten-free peanut butter cookies, best chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free chocolate cookies, this recipe is a classic you’ll want to have in your recipe collection.

These gluten-free shortbread cookies are easy-to-make and perfect for any time of year. (Though my favorite way is during the holidays with Christmas music on!)

Like classic shortbread, plenty of butter gives these cookies their distinctive crumbly and slightly flaky texture.

For more cookie recipes, you also might like these gluten-free thumbprint cookies, gluten-free Christmas cookies or these gluten-free molasses cookies.

VIDEO: How to Make Them

Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • So easy to make!
  • Tried-and-true recipe
  • 5 simple ingredients
  • Just like traditional cookies!

You only need 5 INGREDIENTS to make gluten-free shortbread cookies!

overhead shot of ingredients to make gluten free shortbread cookies

One of the key tricks for gluten-free shortbread cookies is to use powdered sugar (aka confectioners sugar) instead of granulated white sugar. Powdered sugar hydrates more easily in gluten-free dough to create that classic sandy (rather than grainy) shortbread consistency.

I also recommend using a high-quality gluten-free 1:1 baking flour. You want to look for an all-purpose flour that contains xanthan gum as a binder. This will prevent the cookies from being too crumbly.  This is my favorite brand.

How to Make Gluten-Free Shortbread

step by step photos of how to make the shortbread dough
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the gluten-free flour, confectioners sugar and salt. Mix on low withe paddle attachment for 1-2 minutes to combine.
  • Add the vanilla extract and butter and mix on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3-5 minutes. (The cookie dough will look powdery at first but will start to look more dough-like as it mixes.
  • The dough is ready when it is smooth and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
dough rolled out on parchment paper
  • Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper with gluten-free flour. Roll the dough out until it is 1/3-inch thick. Cut into squares or rectangles, using a cookie cutter, pizza cutter or knife. I like to make 3 by 1-inch rectangles.
  • Transfer to an ungreased baking sheets spacing 1-inch apart. You can dust of excess flour from scrapes, compress together and re-roll.
shortbread cookies cut out on baking sheet
  • Transfer baking sheets to refrigerator and chill 30 minutes. Halfway through preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes until they are just set.
  • Let the cookies cool on baking sheet 15 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To Dip in Chocolate

These cookies are amazing on their own, but even more delicious when dipped in chocolate! I use a high quality chocolate like Guittard baking bars for dipping.

chopped and melted chocolate
  • Finely chop the chocolate if using a chocolate bar. (You can also use chocolate chips.) Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe small bowl. Melt in 20 second increments on 50% power, stirring between intervals until melted and smooth (or melt in a double boiler on the stovetop).
  • Dip the cookies in the chocolate and tap off any excess. Place on a lined baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Let cool completely.

You also might like these gluten-free spritz cookies, gluten-free thumbprint cookies or gluten-free snowball cookies.

shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate on baking sheet

Recipe FAQ

How do you make gluten free cookies less crumbly?

Using a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum is key to non-crumbly gluten-free cookies. This recipe is specifically designed to use a gluten-free flour blend like this one to create non-crumbly cookies.

How do I store gluten-free shortbread?

These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can I make this dough in advance?

The cookies can be cut-out and placed on a baking sheet (see photo above) then stored in the freezer for 1 day before baking. Unfortunately this dough won’t hold up well with longer-term storage.

gluten free shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate on metal pan

I hope you love this gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe as much as we do! If you try this recipe be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

close up of gluten-free shortbread cookies on silver pan
4.99 from 59 votes

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
This easy gluten-free shortbread recipe makes buttery, lightly sweet and crisp yet perfectly tender cookies. They’re made with only FIVE ingredients and are especially delicious dipped in chocolate.

Video

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the gluten-free flour, powdered sugar and salt. Mix on low for 1-2 minutes to combine.
  • Add the vanilla and butter and mix on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3-5 minutes. (The dough will look powdery at first but will start to look more dough-like as it mixes. The dough is ready when it is smooth and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.)
  • Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper with gluten-free flour. Roll the dough out until it is 1/3-inch thick. Cut into squares or rectangles, using a cookie cutter, pizza cutter or knife. I like to make 3 by 1-inch rectangles.
  • Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet spacing 1-inch apart. You can dust off excess flour from scrapes, compress together and re-roll.
  • Transfer baking sheets to refrigerator and chill 30 minutes. Halfway through preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes until they are just set.
  • Let the cookies cool on baking sheet 15 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To Dip in Chocolate:

  • Finely chop the chocolate if using a chocolate bar. (You can also use chocolate chips.) Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe dish. Melt in 20 second increments on 50% power, stirring between intervals until melted and smooth (or melt in a double boiler on the stovetop).
  • Dip the cookies in the chocolate and tap off any excess. Place on a lined baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Let cool completely. Enjoy!

Notes

I use a high quality chocolate like Guittard baking bars for dipping.
STORAGE: These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
MAKE AHEAD: The cookies can be cut-out and placed on a baking sheet (see photo above) then stored in the freezer for 1 day before baking. Unfortunately this dough won’t hold up well with longer-term storage.

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 306IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great cookie, comes together exactly as the recipe is written. I rolled the dough out and sliced discs and used a fork to poke holes in the centre, very nice cookie. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. Yes these cookies freeze well! Allow them to fully cool then place in an airtight container or ziploc bag to store in the freezer.

  2. 5 stars
    My celiac wife was FLOORED when I made this recipe – the cookies are so darn delish! I am a gluten-eater, but I agree – these are the best shortbread cookies I’ve ever made and probably the best I’ve ever eaten. I dipped them in semi-sweet chocolate and did some with sprinkles and some with a little bit of flake sea salt. The sea salt ones were particularly incredible, I wish I had done them all that way!

    The dough did take longer than I thought it would to come together – close to 10 minutes, which is a lot when you’re using a hand mixer! But well worth it!

    1. I’m so happy you and your wife enjoyed them! Such a compliment they’re the best you’ve had. Sea salt is always a good idea – I need to add that next time! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    These are phenomenal! Decided to stress bake this afternoon and do something I can actually eat, which I rarely do so I won’t be tempted. I added chopped pecans to the dry ingredients and added an extra teaspoon of vanilla, because we love vanilla at our house. I only chocolate dipped half of the batch because they are so good plain. Thanks for such a great recipe!

    1. I’m so glad they turned out for you! I totally get stress baking 😉 Chopped pecans and extra vanilla sounds delicious!

      1. 5 stars
        Wonderful gf shortbread cookies! I added an extra teaspoon of vanilla and the dough came together beautifully. I baked them in an 8×8 pan and dusted them with sugar to make a gf version of Ted Lasso biscuits. So happy you posted this recipe! Thank you!

        1. That is such a fun idea! I’ll have to try them this way myself sometime soon. Thanks for the comment!

    2. 5 stars
      So unbelievably delicious as a cookie but spectacular as a gluten free one! It was such a surprise watching the crumbly batter suddenly turn into a smooth and easy to handle dough. It has been a quest for us to find a really good recipe for a basic vanilla dessert and this is it. We just might eat the entire batch tonight. Thank you.

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