Vegan recipes for a kinder lifestyle

Shortbread Cookies

Classic Shortbread Cookies are light and buttery Christmas cookies that are delicious plain or topped with festive treats. Be sure to make alot, they are perfect for snacking and gifting.

Shortbread cookies have always been a Christmas tradition in my family. My mom would make them every year and they remain my favorite holiday cookie. I love making them because of how easy they are to make, consisting of only four ingredients and no elaborate preparation. With the rush and busyness of the season, this is a real plus.

Shortbreads can be eaten plain or you can add your own favorite toppings. I like to top them with maraschino cherries, crushed candy cane and walnuts. I also sometimes mix candied peel into the dough. You can also make these gluten free.

Making the perfect shortbread

The most important thing when making shortbreads is to sift the dry ingredients. If you don’t, it can interfere with the taste and texture of your cookies, making them dense and doughy. You can use a sifter or a fine sieve for sifting.

Shortbread dough is very moist and crumbly. It may seem too moist but it isn’t. Just scoop out a little bit with your fingers, roll it between your hands and it will become a smooth ball. It should be about 2 inches across. Lightly flatten by pressing with a fork.

After pressing add your toppings. I like candy sugar and maraschino cherries the best, but you can add anything you want, such as walnuts, crushed candy canes or chocolate chips.

Bake cookies for 20 minutes, checking often to make sure bottoms don’t overbrown. They should be very lightly browned on the edges only. Once done, let finished cookies cool on a rack. They will harden as they cool so make sure not to overbake them.

Everyone’s Favorite Christmas Cookie

I love making shortbread cookies during the holidays. For me it isn’t Christmas without them. These cookies are perfect for busy day snacking, an after dinner treat and are always welcome when gifted or potlucked. Enjoy!

More Vegan Christmas Desserts

Vegan holiday desserts and treats have all the sweetness and fun with none of the cruelty and cholesterol of non vegan versions. Here are some more recipes to try.

Sugar Cookies

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Vegan Butter Tarts

Vegan Christmas Trifle

Shortbread Cookies

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cookies, Holiday, Scottish
Servings: 24
Author: Una Rose
Print Recipe



  • Maraschino cherries halved
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. Set aside.
  • Sift cornstarch, icing sugar and flour together.
  • Blend in butter with a spoon, mixing until a soft, smooth dough forms. If dough is too soft to form loose balls, add a little bit more flour.
  • With an electric beater, whip dough on high for about 1 minute.
  • Shape dough into small 1- inch balls.
  • Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet; flatten slightly with a lightly floured fork.
  • If adding a topping, add it now, pressing it down slightly, before putting cookies into the oven. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.
  • Let cool on a rack.