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 Christmas cookies or these gluten-free molasses cookies.

VIDEO: How to Make Them

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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.
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
4.96 from 24 votes

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chilling Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
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, confectioners 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 sheets spacing 1-inch apart. You can dust of 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. I think I may have asked this question on one of your other recipies but I can’t see any reply so I’ll try again I cannot get hold of this flour in the U.K so can you tell me how much Xantham gum I need to add to my regular all purpose gluten free flour. Thanks.

  2. I have tried a lot of GF shortbread cookies and up to now they have been awful. Like eating rocks. This is hands down the best GF cookie recipe I have ever tried. You wouldn’t even know they are GF – they are so good! Thank you for posting this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I made these cookies this past weekend for a family Christmas event. They turned out great and everyone loved them. When I baked mine, they did not hold their shape very well and expanded – how do I prevent this from happening in the future? It was not a big deal as I just cut the cookie in half, but was wondering if I did something wrong during the process! Love the recipe regardless and will be making again in the future!

  4. 4 stars
    I skipped rolling out the dough and spread the dough into a 9×9 pan instead. They turned out good, however baking individual cookies would likely be more crispy.
    *I micro-planed 1 orange and added 1/2 of it into the dough, then sprinkled the rest on top once baked and I drizzled chocolate on top! DELISH!!!!

    1. Yes! These cookies freeze very well. Just place them in an airtight container or ziploc bag to freeze. They will keep up to 3 months – defrost them at room temperature before serving. I hope you enjoy them!

  5. 5 stars
    So I love to bake, but I am celiac and making most of my yummy baked goods G.F. Well, this did not disappoint me….Yummy and love the chocolate dip side on the cookies! I will be making these again for Christimas. Thank you.

    1. I’m so happy they turned out for you! The chocolate really does make them extra delicious. Thanks for the comment!

  6. 5 stars
    Followed recipe to a tee used Robin Hood all purpose flour 1:1 . Baked 15 min reg oven turned out amazing . Juts had one crack in half but I think I may have made it too thin

  7. 5 stars
    These are yummy and so simple to make! I used GF Jules all-purpose gf flour (gfjules.com). I was 1/2c sort so I added finely sifted almond flour and crossed my fingers. The dough wasn’t pulling from the sides of of my mixing bowl, so I sprinkled in some additional powdered sugar (I used organic cane powdered sugar which could have made a difference). The dough came together quickly and was simple to gently roll out. If i pressed to hard, it would stick to my mini rolling pin. I followed the steps as written. Mine cooked for 14 minutes total in a convection oven. I used Guittard extra dark chocolate chips. Next time I’ll add a tad of coconut oil to the chocolate to make it a bit thinner. I made them last night and transferred to a pan and put in the fridge. I live in AZ, and it is HOT here. This morning, they are as tasty as they were last night. I transferred to a sealed container and put them back in the fridge.

    The texture is light and crispy. They don’t crumble in your hands when you take a bite, but they taste like they could – they are super delicate tasting, but I like that they still hold their shape.

    I pull mine out of the oven the moment I noticed them beginning to brown. I’m seriously a huge Meaningful Eats fan, but these cookies might make the top of my list!

    *I also subbed 1/2 vegan butter as I’m dairy intolerant. Even with my changes they came together simply and taste divine!

    Thank you!!!!

    1. This is such a helpful comment! I’m so glad you like the recipe! Thanks for letting me know how they turned out for you 🙂

        1. I haven’t tried this myself! Sugar is important for the proper cookie texture though. I think maple sugar would work better than something like monk fruit. Let me know if you try it!

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