Gluten Free and Vegan Shortbread

I’ve never made shortbread before … ever.

I have eaten enough of it to know what good shortbread is like, so I was eager to give it a try myself.  I wanted to bake something today because I haven’t had much to share on this recipe blog and I hate neglecting my projects.

I asked my husband what he wanted and he asked for cookies.  That’s one thing I rarely bake and usually because I haven’t had super great results in swapping out eggs in certain cookie recipes.  But, that’s the beauty of shortbread.  No eggs!  Surely I can’t screw this up, right?

I found this shortbread recipe on and adjusted to make it with gluten-free flours.

Here is how I made it with my adjustments:

Gluten Free and Vegan Shortbread

  • 1 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a mixing bowl, whip softened Earth Balance until fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients and beat on low for 1 minute, then increase speed to high for 3-4 minutes.  Drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake 12-15 minutes.  Watch that the edges don’t brown too much.  Let cool 5 minutes on cookies sheet then finish cooling on wire racks.

The results?  Well, you definitely need to let these partially cool right on the cookie sheet as they will crumble otherwise.  Once they cool, they firm up enough to transfer to wire racks and then are more like regular shortbread cookies.

I baked these less than 12 minutes, maybe only 10 at the most because they were getting very browned on the edges.  My oven may be hotter than most, so that could be why.  Just keep an eye on these as they are baking.

I found these much less sweet than the store-baked cookies and I actually liked that.  I think next time I will try baking these with the new Becel Vegan margarine instead of Earth Balance as I find the Becel tastes more buttery and less oily.


  1. Denise says

    I have a very similar recipe to try and the oven temp called for is 300 which I think is too low, so I’m going to try 325. I’m sure that’s why yours browned too fast on the edges. 375 is very high temp to cook shortbread. :)

    • says

      Thanks for the tip Denise! I am going to be experimenting with shortbread varieties once I get my oven installed. I will remember what you said about a lower temp … makes perfect sense!

  2. Liana says

    Do you have any suggestions on a substitute for the rice flour in this recipe? My Step Daughter is allergic to wheat and rice. Makes it a little more difficult for baking, and I’m pretty sure she’s tired of cornflake treats and quinoa cupcakes! I need to expand my recipe book for her.

    • says

      I would suggest trying sorghum flour maybe. I have no idea how they’ll turn out, since I haven’t tried that substitution out myself. But I often times change out sorghum and brown rice flour in baking so it’s worth a try. Let me know how it goes.

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