Vanilla shortbread biscuits

These really simple shortbread cookies contain just 5 ingredients, but taste delicious. A perfect cookie to have with your favourite cuppa.

  • Crispy
  • Buttery
  • Easy to make
  • Makes a large batch
  • Stores and freezes so well

An easy cookie to veganise or even make gluten-free, which is how I made mine. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour, which provided a good result. It is important to start with really cold butter straight from the fridge, as if the butter is too soft you will not get the breadcrumb texture you need

These need to be flavoured with a good vanilla extract or paste, for this, I prefer Nielsan Massey or Taylor & Colledge. In my opinion, if you are creating a vanilla flavoured cake or cookie then you really want that taste to shine through, I also like to see the dark vanilla flecks spread through my bake.

Be creative if vanilla is not your thing. Try using instead

  • Zest of 1 large lemon + 1/2 tsp of lemon extract and maybe some poppy seeds
  • Zest of 1 orange + 1/2 tsp of orange extract
  • 150g of vegan chocolate chips kneaded in
  • Multi-coloured cake sprinkles mixed in ( great for small children).

Use whatever cookie cutter you want, for these I used a medium fluted one, but the sky is the limit when it comes to cutters. Depending on which one you use makes a difference in how many you will get out of a batch.

Vanilla shortbread cookies

Preparation Time 10 Minutes

Cooking Time 12-14 Minutes

Makes 36 -42


  • 313g  Plain flour
  • 70g  Sifted icing sugar
  • 285g dairy free butter
  • 15g Caster sugar, plus 2 tsp extra for sprinkling on top if desired
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 155 C and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

  1. In a bowl or large food processor add the flour, caster sugar, icing sugar and vanilla.
  2. Then either pulse or rub using the tips of your fingers until you get the texture of course breadcrumbs. If you are using your hands start to gather and press the mixture together until it forms a ball. If using a food processor, pulse a few more times until the mixture comes together into a ball.
  3. Place a large sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with flour onto a work surface and place the dough in the middle.
  4. Place a second sheet of baking parchment over the dough and roll out until it is roughly 1/2 an inch in thickness. Using your chosen cutters repeatedly until all of that dough has been used. Place the cookies onto the prepared trays and place into the oven for around 12-14 minutes, until the underneath of the cookies are just slightly golden. Continue re-rolling any dough left until it has all gone.
  5. Leave on the baking sheets for a few minutes until you transfer onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. Transfer to an airtight box once completely cold and they will keep for 5 days. Alternatively, freeze them once cold for up to 3 months.

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