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Nothing beats homemade Gluten Free Shortbread. These rich and buttery gluten free shortbread cookies only need 4 ingredients and are perfect, melt-in-the-mouth cookies. A British classic biscuit recipe which nobody will know is gluten free!

A plate of gluten free shortbread cookies.
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I love gluten free shortbread biscuits – there is something about this simple, classic bake that is just perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

These simple gluten free biscuits also make great homemade gifts. They are a traditional British baked filled with nostalgia!

And this easy gluten free shortbread recipe is so easy to make. It only needs four simple ingredients and comes together in a matter of minutes.

It’s a great beginner bake, and perfect for making with kids. Plus if you want an extra special treat you can even dip them in chocolate once baked!

If you’re already a fan of my gluten free chocolate chip shortbread or my gluten free millionaire’s shortbread then you’re bound to love these easy shortbread cookies.

Why make this recipe?

  • Gluten Free: These gluten free shortbread cookies are 100% gluten free and coeliac-friendly, yet nobody would even know!
  • Great for Kids: This is a lovely activity for beginner bakers and making with children. They will love rolling and cutting out the shortbread shapes.
  • Melt-In-The-Mouth: These all-butter shortbread cookies are so delicious, they just melt in your mouth and have a gorgeous, rich taste.
A tray of freshly baked gluten free shortbread biscuits.

Ingredients and Substitutions

You only need a few really basic ingredients for this easy shortbread recipe – and here I’ll list any ideas for substitutions too.

Don’t forget there is a printable recipe card below too.

To make this Gluten Free Shortbread recipe you will need:

Caster Sugar: In the US you’ll want to look for Baker’s Sugar for this recipe.

Butter: I use unsalted butter. I haven’t tried this with a dairy free version but imagine it would work – you’d need to just ensure you chill it really well before baking.

Plain Gluten Free Flour: I always use the FREEE Gluten Free Plain Flour as it’s available in most UK supermarkets. Any plain gluten free flour blend should work – in the US you’ll want an All Purpose gluten free flour.
Xanthan Gum: A little goes a long way! This helps to replicate the texture of the gluten. Omit it if you cannot tolerate it (or if your flour mix already contains it) but you may find the cake a little more crumbly in texture if there is none in your flour mix.

A flat lay of the ingredients for gluten free shortbread.

How to make gluten free shortbread

There’s a printable recipe card below, but here are the steps to make my easy gluten free shortbread – including photos.

Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the gluten free flour.

1. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set to one side. Add the sugar and softened butter to a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon (or electric mixer) until combined.

2. Stir the gluten free flour and xanthan gum together then add to the butter and sugar mix. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until it starts to clump together.

Mix the shortbread dough into a ball, then roll out between baking paper sheets.

3. Once the mixture starts to form more of a dough, use your hands to bring it together into a ball.

4. Roll the mixture to around 1cm thick (you may find it easier to roll between two sheets of cling film or baking paper) and cut out round shapes using a 5cm (2.5-inch) cutter. Lay the shapes on the lined baking tray, allowing around a couple of cm between them. Keep re-rolling the dough until you have cut out all of your shapes – this usually makes around 16 cookies this size. 

Cut circle shapes from the shortbread dough and then sprinkle with sugar.

5. Once you have cut out all your shapes, prick then with a fork, sprinkle with a little extra sugar then place the baking sheet in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes. This step is VERY important to stop the shortbread biscuits spreading in the oven.

6. When the dough has been chilling for 30 minutes, heat the oven to 180’C / Fan 160’C / Gas Mark 4. Pop the trays in the oven, straight from the fridge, and bake for 15 minutes until the shortbread starts to go lightly golden – you don’t want them to go too dark as they are quite a pale bake.

Gluten free shortbread cookies on a lined baking sheet.

7. Remove the trays from the oven and place on a cooling rack for at least 15-20 minutes BEFORE removing the gluten free shortbread cookies from the trays. They need to firm up before you try to move them, otherwise they will break.

How to use leftover shortbread

Made a big batch of shortbread and want some ideas for using it all up? You can either freeze leftovers (see the FAQs below) or I have some gluten free recipes you can try.

Ideas to use up leftover gluten free shortbread biscuits:

A plate of gluten free shortbread biscuits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we get baking, here are some FAQs on my gluten free shortbread cookies to help troubleshoot your baking.

Is shortbread gluten free?

Usually shortbread is made with wheat flour so is not gluten free. In fact, unless specifically labelled ‘free from’, most biscuits and cookies are not gluten free. This recipe though is 100% gluten free and coeliac-safe.

Can I make this gluten free shortbread vegan or dairy free?

To make a gluten free vegan shortbread, simply use a dairy free butter replacement like Stork baking block or a hard vegan margarine. This shortbread recipe does not contain egg so with one simple switch it becomes a vegan and dairy free gluten free shortbread recipe.

How to store gluten free shortbread

This shortbread should be cooled completely and then kept in an airtight container for up to a week.

Can you freeze these gluten free shortbread biscuits?

Yes, this gluten free shortbread freezes really well! You can either freeze the uncooked dough (I recommend cutting the cookies out first) or freeze once baked. In either case, freeze the shortbread between pieces of baking paper to stop it sticking together. Then you can either defrost and bake (the raw dough) or defrost and eat (the baked cookies!).

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. You can also share your creations in my Facebook group! And please do leave a 5* review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me and really helps support my website.

A plate of gluten free shortbread cookies.
5 from 2 votes

Gluten Free Shortbread

These easy Gluten Free Shortbread Biscuits are SO buttery and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with only 4 ingredients, perfect for beginners. This recipe makes approximately 16 biscuits using a 5cm (2.5-inch) cutter.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g plain gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum

Instructions 

  • Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set to one side. Add the sugar and softened butter to a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon (or electric mixer) until combined.
  • Stir the gluten free flour and xanthan gum together then add to the butter and sugar mix. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until it starts to clump together. Once the mixture starts to form more of a dough, use your hands to bring it together into a ball.
  • Roll the mixture to around 1cm thick (you may find it easier to roll between two sheets of cling film or baking paper) and cut out round shapes using a 5cm (2.5-inch) cutter. Lay the shapes on the lined baking tray, allowing around a couple of cm between them. They shouldn’t spread much. Keep re-rolling the dough until you have cut out all of your shapes – this usually makes around 16 cookies this size.
  • Once you have cut out all your shapes, place the baking sheet in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes. This step is VERY important to stop the shortbread biscuits spreading in the oven.
  • When the dough has been chilling for 30 minutes, heat the oven to 180’C / Fan 160’C / Gas Mark 4. Pop the trays in the oven, straight from the fridge, and bake for 15 minutes until the shortbread starts to go lightly golden – you don’t want them to go too dark as they are quite a pale bake.
  • Remove the trays from the oven and place on a cooling rack for at least 15-20 minutes BEFORE removing the shortbread from the trays. They need to firm up before you try to move them, otherwise they will break. Store in an airtight container once cooled.

Nutrition

Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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3 Comments

  1. I have never made shortbread without cornflour and have been baking for 50 years, 25 of them gluten-free. However every recipe of yours I’ve tried has been successful yet still unsure to try it. Did you use cornflour when you were trialing this, if so why did you choose to leave it out? Please don’t take my comments as criticism, just a genuine query.