Buttery Sweet Vegan Shortbread Cookies

5 from 6 votes
Light, buttery, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth vegan shortbread cookies. Dipped in a simple 2-ingredient glaze frosting.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
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Feb 13, 2019 (Last updated Mar 18, 2024) by Hannah Sunderani

Buttery Sweet Vegan Shortbread Cookies

Sweet, buttery, delicate, and melt-in-your-mouth Vegan Shortbread Cookies! An easy recipe made with only 7 simple ingredients and a quick and easy icing sugar glaze. These delicious cookies are a hit any time of year! One of my favourite times to enjoy them is during the Holidays. 

A plate of vegan shortbread cookies, topped with icing sugar, rose petals and sprinkles. The cookies are sitting on top of a white plate. The plate is sitting on a white backdrop.
Hannah’s hot take

Why You’ll Love My Recipe

This recipe contains a my secret baking ingredient, almond flour, that allows it to take on a superior texture and a deep, gourmet flavour that makes these buttery cookies taste straight out of a bakery.

Since releasing this classic holiday cookie recipe almost 5 years ago, it has been rated the BEST vegan shortbread cookie recipe by readers across several platforms. Just check out the rave review below!

Hannah xx

A plate of vegan shortbread cookies, topped with icing sugar, rose petals and sprinkles. The cookies are sitting on top of a white plate with a cookie cut in half to show the interior. The plate is sitting on a white backdrop.

I can confidently say I think you and your family and friends will absolutely adore this vegan shortbread recipe. It’s rich, buttery yet crumbly, light, and flaky – everything the perfect shortbread cookie should be!

​If you’re planning on making these shortbread cookies during the holiday season, make sure to browse my other vegan cookies: Classic Vegan Gingerbread CookiesVegan Linzer CookiesVegan Sugar Cookies, and these Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Cookies!

Vegan shortbread cookies, topped with icing sugar, rose petals and sprinkles. The cookies are spread out on a white cookie sheet.

These Shortbread Cookies are….

  • Vegan
  • Delicate and sweet
  • Light
  • Crispy
  • Buttery
  • Melt-in-your mouth
  • Easy to make
  • Only 7 ingredients

There isn’t much more you could ask for in a vegan shortbread cookie! It’s a recipe that I make time and again for my loved ones because everyone adores them – from kids to vegan skeptics.

All of the ingredients to make the vegan shortbread cookies. All of the ingredients are separated in individual bowls. The bowls are placed on a white backdrop.

Ingredient Notes

  • Flour – This simple shortbread cookie recipe is made with classic all-purpose flour. I have yet to try fully gluten-free versions of this cookie dough, and can’t confirm a gluten-free flour blend will work in its place.
  • Icing sugar – Also known as powdered sugar, this soft and powdery sugar keeps the cookie dough light, tender, and crumbly. 
  • Almond flour – The secret ingredient in many of my baking recipes! The healthy fats in almond flour are great at keeping cookie dough moist and prevents them from baking up too dry. 
  • Vegan butter – You’ll need 1 stick of your favourite cold vegan butter. If you are using unsalted butter, increase the added salt to 1/4 teaspoon. 
  • Agave – Adds a slight sweetness without overpowering the flavour or colour of the final baked cookies. Maple syrup will also work, but may yield a slightly darker cookie. Maple syrup will also give it a slight maple taste.  
  • Almond milk – Used to add moisture to the dough, as needed as well as to thin the icing to the desired consistency. For the best neutral flavour, use an unsweetened plant milk, or make my Homemade Almond Milk
  • Cardamom – This spice adds a warm, floral aroma to the simple shortbread cookies. It compliments the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture for a well-balanced, rich cookie! 
  • Vanilla – Similar to the cardamom, a splash of vanilla extract adds warmth, sweetness, and inviting depth of flavour. 
A flat lay of vegan shortbread cookies topped with icing sugar rose petals and sprinkles. The cookies are laid out on a white marbled backdrop, with rose petals sprinkled around.

How to Make Vegan Shortbread Cookies

Making a vegan version of the traditional shortbread cookies is very easy and I’m sure you’ll have no problem recreating this stellar recipe in your home kitchen. 

Essentially, there are two steps involved for making these cookies: making the shortbread dough, and making the glaze. Watch my YouTube Episode below to see exactly how these vegan shortbread cookies come together.

Below is my video from my YouTube Channel for how to make vegan shortbread cookies. Feel free to follow along. Or, feel free read the step by steps below. (It’s however you learn best!). So, without further ado let’s get into it! 

Making the Shortbread Cookie Dough

Into a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and icing sugar, then add the remaining dry ingredients. Stir to combine, then set aside. 

Add the cubed vegan butter to the mixing bowl, then massage the butter into the flour until a shaggy, loosely combined dough forms. 

When ready, turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Bring the cookie dough together with your hands and gently knead the dough into a smooth ball. 

Tip! For the best, light and buttery shortbread cookies, try to handle the cookie dough as little as possible! 

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. 

Roll and Bake! 

Once the dough has chilled for at least 1 hour, lightly dust the work surface with all-purpose flour. Then, using a rolling pin, roll the shortbread cookie dough into a rectangle or oval, about 1/4″ thick. 

Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (or any cookie cutter of choice!), cut out rounds and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving a small space between each cookie. 

Re-roll the scraps and cut out more rounds. If you are using a similar sized cookie cutter, the cookie dough should make at least 18 cookies. 

Transfer the cookie sheets to the preheated oven and bake until the shortbread cookies are lightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. 

Let the cookies cool directly on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Decorate

First things first, make the sugar glaze! Into a small, shallow bowl, sift in the icing sugar. Stir in 2-3 teaspoons of almond milk and whisk together until smooth. 

Then, once the classic shortbread cookies are cooled to room temperature, turn the cookies upside down on a baking sheet. 

One at a time, dip the top of each cookie into the glaze to cover the surface. Place the shortbread cookies, icing side up, back on the baking sheet. 

While the glaze is wet, garnish the cookies with dried rose petals, candy cane sprinkles, etc., as desired. 

Chill the cookies in the refrigerator until the icing has hardened, about 2 hours, then enjoy! 

A close up of the shortbread cookies topped with icing sugar, rose petals and sprinkles. The cookies are placed on a white cookie sheet. The cookie sheet is sitting on a white backdrop.

Vegan Baking Tips! 

  • Be gentle with the cookie dough. For the best, light and buttery shortbread cookies, try to handle the cookie dough as little as possible! 
  • Rotate the baking sheets. For even baking, rotate the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom half way through baking.
  • Be mindful of your cookie cutter size! ​The bake time for these cookies is adjusted to suit cookies that are about 2 1/2-inches in size. If you are using a cookie cutter that is larger, a longer bake time is likely needed. Similarly, smaller cookies will need a short bake! 
  • Don’t over bake. On a similar line of thinking, don’t be tempted to bake the cookies too long. Like most of my gluten-free and vegan cookie recipes, these cookies are best slightly underbaked. They are ready when they are just golden brown around the edges, but still buttery and flaky throughout. 
A close up of the shortbread cookies topped with icing sugar, rose petals and sprinkles. The cookies are placed on a white cookie sheet with one cookie broken in half to show the interior. The cookie sheet is sitting on a white backdrop.

Storage and Freezing Instructions 

This vegan shortbread cookies recipe will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 1 month in the freezer. 

Cookies can be frozen with our without the glaze, as desired! 

More Vegan Christmas Cookies You Might Like:

A close up of the shortbread cookies topped with icing sugar, rose petals and sprinkles. The cookies are placed on a white cookie sheet. The cookie sheet is sitting on a white backdrop.

I hope you love these Vegan Shortbread Cookies as much as I do! If you do make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below what you think and check out The Two Spoons App for more wholesome vegan recipes like this! I truly love hearing from you, and I’m always here to answer any questions you might have. 

And of course, tag me on Instagram with your pictures using the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations. 

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Buttery Sweet Vegan Shortbread Cookies

5 from 6 votes
Light, buttery, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth vegan shortbread cookies. Dipped in a simple 2-ingredient glaze frosting.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Serves 18 cookies

Ingredients

Shortbread cookies

sugar glaze

optional garnish

  • 2-3 tbsp dried edible rose petals (optional for garnish)
  • 2-3 tbsp candied sprinkles (optional for garnish)

Instructions

Shortbread Cookies

  • Make the shortbread cookies: Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the almond flour, cardamom, and salt and stir to combine.
  • Cut the vegan butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Using your hands, massage the butter into the flour mixture to form a shaggy and loosely combined dough. Add the agave and vanilla and mix together. If the dough is too dry, add 2 or 3 teaspoons of almond milk, a teaspoon at a time, and knead to form a shaggy dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Using your hands, bring the dough together and knead to form a smooth ball. It is okay if there are a few dry spots. (Do not over-knead the dough or the cookies will be dense.) Wrap the dough in reusable wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Lightly dust the work surface with all-purpose flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle or oval about ¼ inch thick. (Try to handle the dough as little as possible for a light and flaky texture when baked.) Using a 2½-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and transfer to the prepared baking sheets, leaving a small space between each cookie. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more rounds. You should have at least 18 cookies.
  • Bake the cookies until lightly golden on top, 8 to 10 minutes. For even baking, rotate the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Let the cookies cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sugar Glaze

  • Sift the icing sugar into a small flat-bottomed bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the almond milk and whisk together until smooth. If needed, add the remaining 1 teaspoon almond milk to thin the glaze.
  • Turn the cookies upside down on a baking sheet. One at a time, dip the top of each cookie in the glaze to cover the surface. Place the cookies, iced side up, back on the baking sheet. While the icing is wet, garnish the cookies with the dried rose petals, if desired. Chill the cookies in the refrigerator until the icing has hardened, about 2 hours.

Watch The Video

Notes

STORAGE:
Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
TIP
You can easily double this recipe to make a large batch of cookies for gifting or entertaining.
DO AHEAD
The cookie dough can be made up to 2 days in advance. Keep wrapped in a ball and stored in the refrigerator. If the dough is too hard for rolling, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes to soften slightly.

Approvals

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
DID YOU

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See more step-by-step instructions by visiting the recipe story here!

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  1. THESE ARE THE BEST COOKIES!! Not just stunning but a great recipe and we’re a hit over the holidays!!

  2. These are absolutely the best cookies!! They are better than high end bakery cookies and even more beautiful.