Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Claire Cohen
Ratings (21)
  • Total: 37 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 17 mins
  • Yield: 36 cookies (12 servings)

These dairy-free vegan shortbread cookies are perfect for school lunches and after-dinner desserts, but they're special enough for holidays and large family meals for people despite their restrictive diets or food intolerances. Usually associated with butter, these shortbread cookies are close to the real thing. 

Storing Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies

Dairy-free shortbread cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days. Be sure to let the shortbread cookies cool before storing them. Metal containers will keep shortbread cookies crisper than plastic containers. If storing a large batch, layer shortbread cookies between parchment paper. 

Freezing and Refrigerating Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies

Pack the shortbread cookie dough very tightly to ensure a more tender cookie. The dough can be refrigerated for up to a week and frozen for up to six weeks in an air-tight plastic container or freezer bag. Thaw in the container for 15 minutes at room temperature. Pack dough in containers, or shape slice-and-bake dough into logs or squares and wrap. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) dairy-free soy margarine (such as Willow Run)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the dairy-free soy margarine for about 3-4 minutes on a high-speed setting, or until "fluffy". Add the confectioners' sugar, beating until well combined. Add in the flour gradually, about 1/2 cup at a time, and the salt, mixing until the mixture holds together as a soft dough.

  3. Spread the batter onto the prepared sheet so that it is about 1" thick. (I usually use about 1/2 of a baking sheet, but you can also use a 9" x 13" casserole dish if you prefer.) Prick the surface lightly every few inches with a fork. Bake for about 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden brown. Allow the shortbread to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes. While the shortbread is still in the pan, cut into bars about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long. Let the cookies cool completely in the pan on a wire cooling rack. Shortbread cookies will keep for about 5 days in an airtight container, with layers of wax paper between each layer of cookies, in the refrigerator.