Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Shortbread Cookies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

My cousin Heather makes the most fantastic shortbread from her Scottish grandmother’s recipe.  Everyone else has tried to make it but Heather’s comes out amazing-but she believes it’s her grandma’s 80 year old seasoned pan that she uses for it and I definitely have to agree. Anyway, her delicious shortbread inspired to me to make a safe version for Casey after he saw my mom fawning over a piece of Heather’s she was enjoying with a cup of tea.  My little old man Casey loves a good cup of tea and a cookie, especially after he gets home from his ice lessons, so this had to make the holiday cookie list.

This is a true shortbread recipe-pure in its ingredients and very little fuss.  It’s perfect in its simplicity-just a crispy, buttery square that screams to be enjoyed with coffee or tea.  However, the devil is in the details!  A well creamed base with ingredients at the proper temperature are essential.  The only additions I made to the recipe is the addition of vanilla extract because gluten free flours can take over a bit.  The other change was adding salt because even though Heather uses salted butter, I must use a vegan option.  I think I may have crossed the traditional line a bit by dipping the shortbread in a little chocolate, but hey-buttery cookies and chocolate are pretty much a magic combination!

I hope you enjoy the shortbread and I thank Heather for letting me use the recipe!  It’s an amazing addition to your holiday cookie list.  Enjoy and be well and remember life is short so eat dessert first…safely! 💙👩🏻‍🍳🎄

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

 Ingredients and Substitution

Vegan/Regular Butter – I used Casey’s safe margarine in this recipe but if regular dairy butter is safe for you, then use salted butter.  It makes a big difference!  Coconut oil is not recommended for this recipe.

Gluten Free or Regular Flour – This shortbread can be made with either regular all-purpose flour or gluten free flour.  If using a gluten free flour blend, stick to the 140 g. per cup and use a blend that has xanthan gum.  Add ¼ tsp. per cup of flour if it does not have it.  Remember all gluten free blends are different with different densities there will have to be minor adjustments depending on the one you use, but they are minimal.  I use King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend.

Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Shortbread Cookies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep/Mixing Time: 15 minutes


Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

Total Time: about 1 hour

Yield: appx. 12-24 shortbread, depending on size you cut 

Ingredients & Method


  • 1 lb. (16 oz./2 c.) vegan butter or salted butter, room temperature but not warm
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 ½-5 c. all-purpose gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum or regular flour. I didn’t need more than 4 ½ c. gluten free flour.
  • ½ tsp. baking powder (only for gluten free version)
  • ¾ tsp. salt (use ONLY if you are not using salted butter)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8” or 9” square pan.  An 8” is preferred-if you use 9” the shortbread will be a bit thinner and the baking time slightly less.
  2. Combine flour, optional baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer or with a hand blender, beat safe butter and sugar until light but not soft.
  4. Add dry ingredients slowly and mix well to combine. The dough should not be dry but slightly sticky.
  5. Pat the shortbread dough into the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over evenly with a fork and cut into 16 even squares.
  6. Bake approximately 35-40 until lightly browned. Remember a 9” pan will bake a bit faster.
  7. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack and recut the squares while warm.
  8. Keep shortbread at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap well and freeze up to one month.

Recipe Notes

  • Remember to omit the salt if you are using regular dairy salted butter!
  • Cool the shortbread completely, especially the gluten free version, to achieve the proper consistency.
  • If you are using a 9” pan as opposed to a preferred 8” pan, the shortbread will be thinner and bake more quickly.



As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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