Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies: quick, easy and oh-so buttery

When it comes to shortbread cookies, it’s all about the texture and crunch, right? Well, today we’re sharing a gluten-free spin on this classic cookie using almond flour instead of all-purpose flour.

We’ve talked about almond flour before and the many ways you can use it in your baking (gluten-free or not), and these shortbread cookies are a perfect example. The almond flour not only helps to keep them light and tender; but its high fat content means we don’t have to use as much butter as we do in traditional shortbread. But don’t worry, even though there’s less butter, these cookies are still every bit as crunchy, flaky and delicious – just like a true shortbread should be.

But most of all, what we really adore about these cookies is that they only require five ingredients. Yes, five. That’s it!

They’re a cinch to whip up, they bake in under 10 minutes, and really it’s just a bonus that they’re gluten-free. So whether you’re new to gluten-free baking or are just looking for a quick and easy cookie, these almond flour shortbread cookies are sure to be a hit. They truly make the most scrumptious dessert (and pair quite nicely with afternoon tea or coffee, if we do say so ourselves). Enjoy!

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies via @kingarthurflour

To start, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl (or stand mixer), combine:

1 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients together until a cohesive dough forms.

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Scoop 1″ balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. You could use a teaspoon cookie scoop or just roll them in your hands. Arrange the balls of dough about 1 1/2″ to 2″ apart, then use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/4″ thick, making a crosshatch design.

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until they start to turn light golden brown on top.

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool them on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely before serving.

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies.

Print just the recipe.

Alyssa Rimmer
About

Alyssa grew up in Vermont, attended the University of Vermont and now lives in New York City, where she bakes and writes recipes for her blog Simply Quinoa. She's been living gluten-free for over four years. Alyssa also authors her own food blog and enjoys ...

comments

  1. Nicole

    Is the confectioners sugar essential? I don’t have any. Just wondering if you use it because it is easier to incorporate or if the dough needs the tiny bit of cornstarch. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Nicole. The confectioners’ sugar is preferred because it melts in so nicely with the butter and didn’t promote too much spreading. If you only have granulated sugar it isn’t the end of the world! They’ll look a little different but still taste incredible. Annabelle@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for reaching out, Shahab. Because the butter is such a crucial ingredient in shortbread, we wouldn’t recommend using almond butter in its place, though you are always welcome to experiment! Annabelle@KAF

  2. Sherry andrew

    Quick question, I’m not a huge baker but recently my daughter and husband are trying gluten free so I thought I would give this recipe a go. Is the confectioners sugar icing sugar? Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’re correct, Sherry — they’re the same product Happy baking! Annabelle@KAF

  3. Rosa

    Just made the King Arthur shortbread cookies and it is delicious, who would of thought what almonds can do and taste so good. I know the whole batch is 500 cal. But do u know how many cal in one cookie,

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you divide the full batch of dough into 15 cookies, each cookie will have about 60 calories. You can find these details and more by clicking on the “Nutrition information,” link on the right-hand side of the page in the At a Glance box. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We haven’t tested the recipe using sugar substitutes, Bonnie, but you’re welcome to give it a go! Just take care to follow any conversion recommendations from the sugar-substitute company for best results. Annabelle@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sure thing, Linda. Let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container in your freezer for 1-2 months. Annabelle@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This dough is quite crumbly because there’s no gluten to hold things together, so you might have a hard time rolling it out. Cut-out cookies might also not hold their shape well, which could be a disappointment after all that work getting the dough to roll out. If you’re looking for a gluten-free roll out cookie dough, consider using this recipe here. It’s a breeze to work with, and you can have confidence that the cookies will hold their shape. Happy GF baking! Kye@KAF

  4. Fion Toh

    Hi, can I ask if I can mix the almond flour with all purpose flour? Like maybe 2/3 of almond flour with 1/3 of all purpose flour?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We haven’t tried that in this recipe, Fion, but you’re welcome to give it a try. You may need to increase the butter by 1-2 tablespoons to account for the lower fat content of all-purpose flour. It will help hold the cookies together and ensure they’re still tender. Kye@KAF

  5. Nathan Jeon

    How do you scale up this recipe? I want to bake about 50 cookies for friends and family but I hear that you can’t just double or triple a baking recipe when it comes to baking.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Nathan, we wrote a full blog article on our post about baker’s percentage, which is the most precise way to scale recipes. Using this method becomes particularly important when making yeasted dough. This recipe, however, is relatively straight forward and you would be able to make a double batch successfully to make about 30 small cookies. If you’re hoping to make 50, we’d recommend making two double batches so that the dough is still easy enough to mix and handle. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  6. Natalie

    These are extra delicious made with the KA Princess Cake and Cookie Bakery Emulsion in place of vanilla extract.

    I’ve also tried them with a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder and a teaspoon or two extra butter, which is also excellent.

    Reply

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