This gluten-free shortbread recipe is so simple, with just 5 ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. This shortbread is thick and buttery, with a slightly crumbly texture. It’s everything shortbread should be, but without any of the gluten!
This gluten-free shortbread is thick, like you would see in Scotland, rather than thin and rolled out into shapes. If you’ve seen the show Ted Lasso, this is the type of shortbread we’re talking about today!
It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee and is a fantastic addition to your cookie plates for the holidays. I love to cut my shortbread into fingers (long rectangles), but there are so many other shapes you can do.
Eat them plain, dip them in chocolate, or fold in some nuts into the batter. No matter which way you choose to make your gluten-free shortbread cookies, they are sure to be delicious!
You’ll love this recipe because:
- Gluten-free flour blend – I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (in the blue bag), which already contains xanthan gum. You will not need to add additional xanthan gum to the recipe. I cannot verify if other brands of gluten-free flours work, as I have not tested them.
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch is naturally gluten-free. It helps give the shortbread its characteristic crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture. I highly recommend weighing the cornstarch with a food scale to ensure you are measuring it properly.
- Kosher salt – For shortbread, I like to use kosher salt as opposed to regular table salt. Kosher salt is less salty by volume. It gives the shortbread the perfect salty flavor. If you want to use table salt, I’d recommend decreasing the amount of salt to ¼ teaspoon.
- Unsalted butter – Unsalted butter provides the creamy richness to recipes while allowing you to control the salt content. If you use salted butter, your shortbread will turn out too salty. Use room temperature butter so that it can easily cream together with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Granulated sugar – For best results, use granulated sugar in this recipe. It has the most neutral taste. The shortbread will not really taste sweet since we’re only using ½ cup of sugar, but it rounds out the flavor and helps the texture of the shortbread.
- Vanilla extract – This adds a lovely aromatic depth to your shortbread. Always opt for pure vanilla extract over imitation for the best flavor. If you want to switch things up, you could also try almond extract for a nutty twist, but reduce the amount to avoid overpowering the shortbread.
My gluten-free shortbread recipe is super simple with just 6 ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry! The below photos with matching steps are not meant to be the full recipe, but to help you see the recipe made at various stages so you can make this shortbread perfectly every time.
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
raditionally, shortbread is not gluten-free as it is made with regular all-purpose wheat flour, which contains gluten. However, this recipe is made gluten-free using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour, which is a combination of white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum. Using a gluten-free flour blend makes this shortbread suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Absolutely! While the recipe provides a classic shortbread flavor, feel free to get creative. Add-ins like citrus zest (lemon, orange, or lime), chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or even dried fruits can add a unique twist to your shortbread.
Definitely! Gluten-free shortbread dough freezes well. Shape it into a log or flatten it into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store in a freezer bag. When ready to bake, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator and then proceed as per the recipe instructions.
Yes, the thickness and size of your shortbread will affect baking time. Thinner cookies will bake faster and might need a slightly higher temperature for a golden finish. Thicker bars may require a longer baking time at the suggested temperature. Always keep an eye on your shortbread and make adjustments as needed.
hints & tips
- Storage: Once cooled, store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll maintain their freshness for up to a week. Ensure the container is sealed well to prevent moisture from softening the shortbread.
- Freezer Option: For longer storage, place the shortbread in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, about an hour. Then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. The shortbread can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: Let frozen shortbread sit out at room temperature for about an hour to soften.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (216g. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (32g)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature, 226g)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until smooth and light in color, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix to combine.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing on low speed until the dough comes together. The dough should be slightly crumbly but still hold its shape when pinched.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Poke holes all over the shortbread dough with a fork.
- Chill the dough in the pan for 20-30 minutes to let the butter firm up. This will solidify the butter which helps ensure flaky shortbread.
- Bake the shortbread at 325°F (165°C) for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
- Remove the shortbread from the oven and immediately score the shortbread into 12 rectangles, using a bench scraper.
- Let the shortbread cool for 15 minutes.
- Remove the shortbread from the pan by lifting the parchment and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread along the lines you already scored.
- Let the shortbread cool completely before serving.
- If you have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet for any reason, be sure to double check ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free. Manufacturing practices can change from time to time.
- This recipe was tested with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (in the blue bag), which already contains xanthan gum. I cannot verify other gluten-free flour blends will work in this recipe as I have not tested them.