Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies

Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies

The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 17 mins
Total: 37 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 36 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
219 Calories
15g Fat
19g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 219
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 45mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 23mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Shortbread cookies are usually made with dairy butter, but these dairy-free and vegan shortbread cookies are close to the traditional ones. They are perfect for school lunches, after-dinner desserts, or anytime you want a sweet treat.

Even though they are easy, these cookies are also special enough for holidays and large family meals. If you are baking a batch of cookies for a gathering or cookie exchange, be sure to label these as dairy-free and vegan so they can be enjoyed by those who have a food intolerance or who make that dietary choice.

This recipe keeps it simple and you will just press the dough onto a baking sheet and cut it into bar cookies or squares after baking. This shape is easy to pack in tins or boxes to give as a gift or mail to distant friends and relatives.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies ingredients

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish or baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

    baking sheet with parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

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

    batter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  4. Spread the batter onto the prepared sheet so that it is about 1-inch thick. Prick the surface lightly every few inches with a fork. Bake for about 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden brown.

    batter in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  5. 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 or even squares if you prefer that shape.

    shortbread in a baking dish, sliced into pieces

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  6. Let the cookies cool completely in the pan while it is resting on a wire cooling rack.

    Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies in a baking dish on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  7. Once cool, carefully remove the cookies from the pan. Serve and enjoy.

    Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies on a platter

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

Storing Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies

Dairy-free shortbread cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three weeks. 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 the shortbread cookies between parchment paper.

Freezing and Refrigerating Shortbread Cookie Dough

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 using.

Unsalted Soy Margarine

Make sure your soy margarine is unsalted, so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. If your soy margarine is salted, leave out the 1/4 teaspoon salt.