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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    December 18, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Sprinkles make everything better ๐Ÿ˜€ And I couldn’t agree with you more about the holidays. I’ve definitely been eating more than my normal amount of sweets and cookies this past month, but I think I’d rather not imagine a Christmas without cookiesโ€ฆ I’ve gone that route before, and it definitely made the holidays less enjoyable.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Agreed – everyone should get to experience shortbread on Christmas!! These look fabulous. I love the sprinkles!

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ Illustrated Nutrition
    December 18, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I’m with you on the holiday sweets! It’s the time of year when I like to indulge in a few of my favorite comfort foods without getting too worked up about it–life is too short! I’ve never made shortbread cookies before but these look delish!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I love cookies and breakfast–so I say keep on keeping on! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Jen @ SavedbytheKale
    December 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Oh oh oh! I really want to try making these shortbread cookies. It’s been awhile since I’ve had shortbread and I love that these are gluten free!

    One of my favorite cookies are Chocolate Crackles. They are cookies that taste like brownies, so best of both worlds! I plan on making them again this weekend but I am going to alter the recipe to make them gluten free. Fingers crossed that they taste good!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Almond Eater
    December 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Yessssssss so true that it’s sometimes impossible to make cookies healthy. Sometimes, you just need butter and sugar. Period, the end. And thanks for adding the part about not stressing while eating sweets. Christmas DOES only come once a year after all.

  • Reply
    kathy @ vodka and soda
    December 18, 2013 at 7:31 am

    omg, thanks for baking me cookies! you really shouldn’t have.

  • Reply
    Elise @
    December 18, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I’m definitely not one to restrict myself during the holidays. I seriously can’t wait to enjoy all these amazing cookies and desserts!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    December 18, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Ok for some reason your posts haven’t been showing up for me in my reader and I only just realized it now! Weird.

    Anyway, I totally agree with your outlook on holiday eating. Enjoy yourself, indulge a little (or a lot haha), and don’t stress out about it. I’ve been baking a lot of cookies lately, and therefore eating a lot of cookies, and I’m loving it. ๐Ÿ˜€

    These cookies look amazing, by the way. I seriously adore shortbread cookies!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    December 18, 2013 at 6:38 am

    These look so good! I don’t know if I’ve ever had shortbread cookies. P.S. Even the Grinch loves cookies, so keep ’em coming! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    December 18, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Thank you for reminding me about my shortbread cookies that I make with m&ms – they are so good lol. I don’t indulge in Christmas cookies because I don’t celebrate and honestly live in such a Jewish area that my Christmas friends are few and far between. That being said, I do like any excuse to bake and eat cookies!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Same here! I’m usually at a Chinese resto with the rest of the Jewish pop but thanks to the bf Christmas is now a real thing!

  • Reply
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee
    December 18, 2013 at 5:21 am

    These are beautifullllll!

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