Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies


gluten free shortbread cookies

It’s that time of year again… when you allow yourself to bake with real butter… and lots of it! At first I was planning to make this recipe with margarine (since that’s what I had), but my mom adamantly informed me that shortbread is made with REAL BUTTER, and anything less is sacrilege. It’s Christmas after all, right? But what if I would rather not gain ten pounds over the holidays? Apparently buttlerless shortbread cookies are not an option. And I’m not sure that eating less of them is an option either… these things seem to call your name from the freezer.

tea time
These light (and no, not in the fat content sense), buttery, sweet little wafers will melt in your mouth. Plus, shortbread is perfect for making gluten free because it’s supposed to be a little crumbly. I don’t even bother making wheat shortbread cookies anymore because everyone likes these just as much, if not more. Shortbread is my husband’s favourite Christmas treat, and he is just as happy with these GF ones instead.


These cookies are really easy to make and keep very well in the freezer (next to the fudge… oh dear). I often just eat them frozen. You can also just let them thaw at room temperature, but I’m not sure how they would hold up in the microwave. I use rice flour, corn starch and tapioca starch, but they can also be made without the tapioca starch (see alterations in recipe). Some people do fancy things to shortbread like dipping them in chocolate. We like them plain, but if you’re gifting these cookies, chocolate might be a nice touch.

freeze in a festive tin

Indulge with me in buttery goodness this Christmas season!

(makes 30-40 cookies)


1 cup Butter, Softened
1/2 cup Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup White Rice Flour
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1/2 cup Tapicoa Starch (or another 1/2 cup Cornstarch)


Whip or beat butter until smooth.
Add icing sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Sift together corn starch, tapioca starch, and rice flour. Slowly incorporate into mixture.
Roll batter into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet with 2″ between them. (Dough will be soft but shouldn’t stick to your hands because of the butter)
Flatten balls with a fork dipped in icing sugar.
Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown slightly.
Let cool completely on baking sheet before moving them. Otherwise they might crumble.
Store in airtight container on the counter for 1 week or freeze for up to a few months.



butter and icing sugar


with starches and flour added


balls of dough waiting to be pressed
cookies before baking

after baking


remove from pan only after completely cooled


Author Information: Andra Banting

More gluten free recipes at:

About Andra Banting

Andra Banting

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