These buttery sweet gluten free shortbread cookies are a delicious update on traditional shortbread cookies. Made with gluten free flour that are perfect for those who can't have gluten.
Shortbread cookies are such a simple dessert, usually eaten at Christmas time but enjoyed other times of the year as as well. This gluten free version is made with xanthan gum, a natural product used in a range of baking and cooking. The xanthan gum helps hold the shortbread together in the absence of gluten.
Does shortbread contain gluten?
Regular shortbread is made with plain flour, which does contain gluten and is therefore not suitable for people who eat a gluten free diet.
These gluten free shortbread cookies are made with gluten free flour so are suitable for people who are gluten free.
Gluten free plain flour: is best for this recipe. The shortbread is not meant to puff up so don't be tempted to use gluten free self raising flour. You can also use gluten free all purpose flour.
Rice flour: helps with the fine texture of these cookies and keep them nice and short.
Icing sugar: also called powdered sugar. Icing sugar works better than white sugar or castor sugar as it mixes into the dough better and helps keep these cookies short and crisp. Remember to sift it well or your shortbread maybe lumpy.
Butter: unsalted butter works best for this recipe. Its really important its a room temperature, if it's too cold or too hot your dough won't come together.
Xanthan gum – sometimes called vegetable gum, is a fermented by-product. It’s used in gluten free baking and a huge variety of other products to thicken and stabilize food. In this case it will help bind the shortbread without the gluten. It is available from some supermarkets, health food stores and online.
How to make gluten free short bread
See the full recipe card at the end of the post for ingredient amounts and instructions.
Pre heat your oven to 320°F (160°C). Grease two large baking trays or line it with baking paper.
Hot tip: This recipe was made in a fan forced oven at sea level. All oven can vary, so adjust them temperature and baking time as needed for your oven and location.
Sift the gluten free plain flour, rice flour, icing sugar and xanthan gum together into a bowl.
Cut the room temperature butter into cubes. Add the butter to the sifted ingredients. Rub the butter into the flour and kneed gently in the bowl, gently pushing it together with your hands, until a soft dough forms and you can form a bowl with your hands.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Roll out and cut into into shapes. Once you have finished cutting out the first batch, carefully re ball and re roll the scraps. Continue to roll and cut until all the dough is used up.
Transfer to baking tray and prick with fork if desired.
Hot tip: you can chill this dough on the baking trays in the fridge for fifteen minutes before baking if you like. I have made it both ways, and personally prefer the non chilled dough. Chilling the dough gives the shortbread a grainer texture and I personally prefered the texture of the unchilled dough.
Baking in oven for thirty minutes until just starting to color around the edges.
How to serve
These delicious shortbread biscuits are perfect to serve after a Christmas feast, as part of a festive dessert bar or when friends and family pop over during the festive season. They also make great homemade Christmas gifts.
How to store
This gluten free shortbread will store well in a sealed airtight container lined with baking paper for up to four weeks.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy dessert recipes?
Why not try making
- Old fashioned fruit cake
- Gingerbread men
- White Christmas
- Gingerbread ice cream
- Christmas pudding ice cream
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Gluten free shortbread
- 1 and ½ cups (225gms) gluten free plain flour
- ⅔ cup (115gms) rice flour
- 1 cup (120gms) icing sugar or powdered sugar
- 2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon (250gms) butter at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (2.5gms) xanthan gum
- Pre heat your oven to 320°F (160°C). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, rice flour, icing sugar and xanthan gum together.
- Chop the butter into cubes. Rub into flour mix with your fingers.
- Mix should come together and form a dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface and kneed lightly.
- Roll out to ¼ cm thick. Cut into shapes and transfer to lined baking tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until just starting to change color around the edges.
- Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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These look great, just like the gluten-filled real deal! I’m looking forward to making them for my GF sister in law.
Thanks Bec, I'm sure your sister in law would love them 🙂
It's always great to find an easy gluten-free alternative to classic treats like shortbreads - will definitely give it a try next time I am baking for gluten-free friends!
Thanks Sylvie, good to have some good easy gluten free recipes up your sleeve for gluten free friends 🙂
great recipe! i didn't have xanthum gum so i substituted an equal amount of ground flax and it came out perfectly, albeit lightly speckled. thank you for sharing!
Hi Julian, I'm so glad you loved it! Good to know the ground flax worked to, I might update the post to include this as a possible substitute for the xantham gum 🙂