Deliciously buttery yet crispy, these gluten free shortbread cookies are also dairy free and egg free. Made with only 6 ingredients, you will never guess the difference!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links - This means I receive a commission for purchases made though those links, at no cost to you. Please click here for further info*
Buying gluten free products from the supermarket can be quite costly, the average price for a packet of gluten free biscuits is around £2.50.
Making your own can seem daunting, but trust me it’s really simple! Because the dough for these biscuits doesn’t need to be chilled, these gluten free shortbread cookies can be ready in around 30 minutes!
These biscuits are made with only 6 store cupboard ingredients and you can shape the dough into cookies using cutters like I have in this recipe or even make the classic shortbread finger.
I even used this recipe to make my gluten free halloween cookies.
They have a creamy buttery flavour, yet a crisp snap to them and don’t crumble, so are the perfect biscuit to dunk in your tea.
- Gluten Free Flour - I have used my favourite off the shelf gluten free plain flour by Doves Farm. This flour is really versatile and always produces great results when used as a substitute in recipes.
- Dairy Free Butter - To test this recipe I used Flora Plant Butter, however you can use any dairy free butter. If you don’t need the recipe to be dairy free, you can replace with normal un-salted butter.
- Cornflour - This is used to give the cookies a crispy melt in the mouth texture. It also helps to stop them crumbling.
- Caster Sugar - I mean, is a cookie a cookie without sugar?
- Vanilla Extract - If you are using dairy free butter, adding vanilla extract will help to lift the flavour of the biscuit as margarine has quite a neutral taste. If you are using traditional butter you can leave the vanilla extract out.
- Xanthan Gum - This acts as a gluten replacer and provides the elasticity and stickiness to help keep the shape of the cookie and stop it crumbling.
Scroll to the recipe card for quantities.
✏️ How To Make This Recipe
Add the sugar to the bowl and mix lightly until just combined.
Stir the mixture carefully (sometimes the flour likes to leap out of the bowl!). It will feel very crumbly for a few minutes, this is totally normal, just keep going
Once you have mixed for a few minutes, start bringing the mixture together with your hands into a ball.
Next it’s time to roll out the dough. Cut two squares of baking parchment/greaseproof paper and place the dough mixture in between the two sheets. (This stops you having to spread flour on your kitchen counter and making a mess when rolling out the mixture and also stops the mixture sticking to the rolling pin)
The great thing about this dough is that you can mould all of the scraps into a ball and re-roll it out meaning you can get more cookies!
How many you can make will depend on the size of your cutter. I made around 18 cookies from a 5cm round cutter.
Place one of the greaseproof paper sheets on a baking tray and put the biscuits on the tray.
You can use a fork to make a few holes in the middle of each biscuit for decoration and to let the steam escape.
If you want to add a little more sweetness and some crunch, sprinkle each biscuit with some sugar.
Bake in a hot oven for 18-20 minutes. The beauty of shortbread is its unique, pale colour so don’t be tempted to over-bake them. If they have gone golden brown, they are over-cooked.
Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.
💡 Top Tip
Patience! - It may seem like the dough is never going to come together. It will be crumbly when you start mixing, but just keep going.
When it starts to turn a darker colour which means the butter has mixed through with the flour and sugar, start bringing the dough together with your hands. It will be surprisingly easy to mould it into a ball.
These cookies keep really well and you can still enjoy them for 4-5 days as long as they are kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
They also are suitable for freezing for up to 3 months, so make up a big batch and freeze half! Freeze for an hour spaced out flat on a baking tray then transfer to a freezer bag. When you are ready to eat, defrost on the side for a few hours before eating.
Traditionally not, as it contains flour, however this recipe uses gluten free flour, therefore eliminating the gluten so this recipe is gluten free.
You may find that the biscuits will spread a bit more though during cooking, so place the cut dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking and leave a bit more space between each biscuit on the baking tray.
If you use dairy free butter then these cookies are vegan as there are no eggs or other animal products in the recipe.
Poking a hole with a skewer or fork helps steam escape from the biscuit while it is cooking. It also looks quite pretty too! I have tried them both ways and they have both turned out well, so its personal choice whether you want to.
Gluten free cake/biscuit mixes can be crumbly as its the sticky gluten which helps bind everything together. This is why we have added xanthan gum to these cookies as this acts as a gluten replacer and helps to bind the mixture.
Its also really important you don’t over mix the dough, remember when the dough starts to change colour (even when still crumbly) start bringing it together with your hands.
Love this recipe? It would be great if you could leave a 5 ⭐ rating and comment below! Thanks x
Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
- Pre-heat oven to 170˚C Fan / 190˚C / 375˚F.
- Soften the dairy free butter in a mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar to the bowl and mix lightly until just combined.
- Sift the flour into the bowl with the sugar and butter, then add the cornflour, vanilla extract and xanthan gum.
- Stir the mixture. It will feel very crumbly for a few minutes, this is totally normal, just keep going.
- Once you have mixed for a few minutes, start bringing the mixture together with your hands into a ball.
- Cut two squares of baking parchment/greaseproof paper and place the dough mixture in between the two sheets. (This stops you having to spread flour on your kitchen counter and making a mess when rolling out the mixture and also stops the mixture sticking to the rolling pin)
- Roll out the dough to around 0.5cm thick using a rolling pin and then cut out the biscuits using a cookie cutter.
- Place one of the greaseproof paper sheets on a baking tray and put the biscuits on the tray. You can use a fork to make a few holes in the middle of each biscuit for decoration and to let the steam escape
- If you want to add a little more sweetness and some crunch, sprinkle each biscuit with some sugar.
- Bake in a hot oven for 18-20 minutes. The cookies should still have a pale colour when you remove them from the oven.