cookies dessert gluten-free

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

December 18, 2013

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies that the whole family can enjoy including those with gluten allergies and intolerances. The ultimate Christmas cookie without the gluten.

Remember when I promised to diversify my recipes? Well you’ll have to forgive me. The next few weeks will be all about cookies and breakfast. We’re going to disregard any prior statements until after the New Year. Why? Because tis the season for all things baked and sweet…and because I said so.

gluten-free shortbread cookiesHere’s the deal with this recipe. I tried to lower the sugar and made them gluten-free, but by no stretch of the imagination are these healthy. There exists no comparable substitute for butter so don’t even bother trying! In my opinion Christmas is not complete without shortbread and for people who can’t eat or are avoiding gluten, there is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be able to enjoy some too.

gluten-free shortbread cookies 1I think it’s important for us to not get too worked up about our eating habits during the holidays. Try to get in your fruits and veggies and watch your portions, but don’t beat yourself up over eating a few too many cookies. Christmas only happens once a year so eat real shortbread. You won’t be throwing all of your health goals out the window in one night! Wake up the next day and go for a walk, enjoy the company of friends and family or just laugh a lot. Laughing is the best workout after all 🙂


Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 52 mins
  • Yield: 2 dozen 1x


  • 1 1/4 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk)
  • 2 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (or any starch will work)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sprinkles (optional)


  1. Using an electric mixer combine butter and icing sugar until soft.
  2. Add in vanilla and beat for another minute.
  3. On medium speed add in each egg individually. Make sure first egg has been mixed in before adding second. Then add in milk.
  4. In a separate bowl combine brown rice flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch and salt.
  5. Slowly incorporate flour mix into butter-egg mixture.
  6. Beat until just combined. Stir in sprinkles if desired.
  7. Roll dough into a log that is about 2 inches thick. I find it easier to roll it into two separate logs.
  8. Wrap log in saran wrap and place in freezer for 30 mins.
  9. Dough can be kept frozen for months.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Remove dough from freezer and with a sharp knife slice into 24 cookies.
  12. Place 12 on a cookie sheet and bake in the middle rack for 12-14 mins.
  13. Keep remaining dough in fridge while cookies are baking.
  14. Let cool on tray for 5 mins before removing and letting cool completely on a wire rack.
  15. Will keep for 1 week in an airtight container.

What’s your favourite Christmas cookie? Do you indulge during the holidays?


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  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 7:49 pm


  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    TOTALLY AWESOME!!! Those look delicious, healthy, and tasty! I’m totally going to make some for Christmas! Thanks for the ingredients!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    I’m guessing Ghee can be used to make these dairy free. I wonder is anyone has tried it?!
    They look delish!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      December 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

      I wouldn’t recommend ghee as the texture of the cookie may change. You can certainly give it a go but I haven’t tried it myself.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    is there a ‘print’ function for gf shortbread recipe?

  • Reply
    December 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Where do you buy gluten free sprinkles? I can’t find them!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      December 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Most are gluten-free! I know the Betty Crocker sprinkles are for sure.

      • Reply
        December 22, 2014 at 12:40 am

        Thanks! I’ll have to look for the Betty Crocker ones. A lot of them I find are manufactured on the same equipment as wheat which some people can do, but I can’t.

  • Reply
    Devonna Klaassen
    December 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I’m SO trying these!! I’m a bit late doing Christmas baking … but I’m going to do my best to get a little collection together. These are definitely on the list.

    You’re right … g/f but not ‘healthy’ – but I don’t have any issues with the butter. Real butter IS healthy. It’s just the sugar I have a problem with. But most of my baking will have minimal to no processed sugar … so for the holidays I can make an exception for these!! Thanks!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Could you make these without the xanthan gum? I don’t have any on hand. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      December 8, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Unfortunately no 🙁 It’s a necessary ingredient to help bind the cookies since there’s no gluten to do that!

      • Reply
        December 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        Any educated guesses on what an appropriate egg sub for these would be?

        • Reply
          Davida Kugelmass
          December 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm

          mmmmm you can try a flax egg or chia egg but I’m not so sure they would hold up! If you do give it a try, let me know!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Hi Davida! I just wanted to let you know that I’m featuring this amazing recipe in my post 102 Gluten Free Cookie Recipies. I’m also pinning it to my Gluten Free Cookie Madness Board. 🙂

    You are more than welcome to share this amazing resource with your readers or link to this post if you’d like! Thanks so much for the inspiration! Here’s the url: 102 Gluten Free Cookie Recipies

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 28, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for sharing Gwen! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

      • Reply
        November 18, 2020 at 8:41 pm

        I’ve been making shortbread all my life. This year I’m trying GF. I have NEVER seen egg in a shortbread recipe. What is the function of the egg?

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