Baked Goods · Gluten Free Ideas · Gluten Free Tips · Kid Friendly/Toddler Approved! · Recipes · vegan

Shortbread Cookies – GF & Vegan


Shortbread cookies are a great holiday cookie but they can be a challenging baked good to make gluten free and vegan.  Gluten free dough can be a challenge to work with as it is notorious for being very sticky.  With a bit of patience and lots of extra gluten free flour to dust on your work surface, you’ll be good to go with this recipe!

Also, while butter is a main ingredient for most shortbread recipes, I have recently discovered Becel’s Vegan Margarine.  This stuff is very easy to work with and makes a perfect substitute for any recipe calling for butter or margarine.

Finally, sifting flour is a new technique (well not new to the baking world, just to my baking), I’ve started using.  The benefits are noticeable as the final product results in a lighter texture, which is a big benefit when baking gluten free.  While I don’t have an actual sifter, I use a sieve and shake the flour through once or twice.  You’ll notice that the flour ends up nice and fluffy.

Without further adieu, here is my shortbread cookie recipe!

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegan margarine (I like using Becel Vegan)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 tsp xantham gum

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tsp vegan margarine
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • food colouring – I used a natural food dye make from beets (yes beets!), which makes a great pink or red.  Click here for the recipe.

Cookie Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Beat margarine until soft and creamy.
  3. Take out two large mixing bowls. Combine remaining dry ingredients together in one of the mixing bowls and using a sieve, sift ingredients twice (from one mixing bowl to another).
  4. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the margarine using a wooden spoon or spatula.  Once you can no longer mix it well, transfer dough to a well (gluten free) floured surface and knead until well mixed.
  5. Roll out dough to about 1/4″ to 1/3″ thickness using a well floured rolling pin.
  6. Use cookie cutters to make shapes out of dough and gently transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.*
  7. Bake cookies for approximately 10 – 12 minutes (don’t let them brown) and let cool on cookie sheets before icing them.


Icing Directions:

  1. Use a mixer to mix powdered sugar and milk.  Beat in margarine and vanilla until smooth.   You may need to add a bit more almond milk to make your icing smooth.
  2. Add food colouring or separate into different bowls to make different colours.
  3. Frost your shortbread cookies and get creative!  This is a great time to get your kids involved!

*I found it difficult to get the dough off of my work surface so I used a large knife with some flour and glided the knife under each cookie to pull it up.  Worked like a charm!


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