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 πŸ™‚


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
    Lisa @ The Skinny on Health
    December 18, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    THESE LOOK SO GOOD!!!! I can’t WAIT to make them!!!!

    I love love love shortbread cookies (seriously, can you tell how excited I am for this gluten free recipe?!) for the holidays, and the classic chocolate chip. πŸ™‚

    Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks girl! Shortbread and CCC are my fav too..oh wait, and snickerdoodles, and oatmeal. Okay I just like cookies. Bring it on Christmas (we both know I don’t celebrate Christmas but I’ll take any excuse to eat ALL THE COOKIES)!

  • Reply
    cait @pieceofcait
    December 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    oh lala! so pretty and love the holiday colors! I always like a GF option! indulged during the season cause… can’t get around it ! haha πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      The coconut dream bars…still having a hard time getting over those and would literally do anything to have a plate of them in front of me!

  • Reply
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats
    December 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    These look great! So pretty and of course I am loving that there is no mint choc flavour in sight πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    December 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    These are so pretty and festive! You’re going to hate me but I don’t eat butter. I feel like everyone is riding a butter train and I was the one left behind…

  • Reply
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries
    December 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I just saw these on IG and headed right over to the blog! These look so, so, sooo good!

  • Reply
    Kierston @candyfit
    December 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    These look beautiful and delicious…and so in season πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    December 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Can I just say you are amazing for using REAL butter? Seriously, the most underrated spread.

    I love shortbread and any recipe omitting this is a fallacy.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Bread and butter boo. Thinking about your pancakes from today. Have to be at the airport in an hour…kind of want to make them now.

  • Reply
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs
    December 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I agree with you! Christmas’ definitely not the time to avoid cookies, but to celebrate and be happy (aka eat lots of them!).
    I love that you made a gluten free version which came out this great. Mine always turn out super crumbly ouuuh! :–(
    I like the sprinkles too!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      You should have seen the first round of these…total disaster! But I still ate them and then round 2 came out well. Win win!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Those cookies look delicious, Davida! I love how you mixed in the sprinkles… so festive πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    December 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I LOVE that you posted a real, not healthy, dessert recipe for Christmas. Like you, I totally believe you should enjoy the holiday season without overdoing it. Like you said, it only comes once a year, so enjoy those treats you don’t normally have! No reason to stress about it!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    December 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Your cookies are so fun and festive! I definitely indulge a little more during the holidays…. hey, it’s part of the spirit. And I’m totally okay with only cookie and breakfast recipes, now till Christmas!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      I’m having a hard time getting over your almond butter gingerbread cookies!!! They looked incredible!

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats Celebrities
    December 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm


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