Classic Shortbread

Perfectly simple but perfectly classic biscuit! This recipe has options for making gluten and dairy free shortbread biscuits.

Gluten free, dairy free, vegan
shortbread biscuits

DF: Dairy Free

GF: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 125g Margarine
  • 60g Caster sugar
  • 115g Gluten free plain flour (Use normal flour for non-GF version)
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (omit for non-GF version)
  • Pinch Salt
shortbread biscuit ingredients

Recipe Tips

Classic shortbread biscuits with gluten free and vegan recipe versions

Shortbread biscuits, with their rich, buttery flavour and crumbly texture, are a timeless indulgence that has delighted taste buds for centuries. Originating in Scotland, dating back to the reign of Mary, queen of Scots, these delectable treats are characterised by a simple yet exquisite combination of just three ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour. Of course I have dithered a little from this classic recipe to make my gluten free and vegan version but at their roots these shortbread biscuits are still very simple.

What sets shortbread apart is its melt-in-your-mouth quality. Whether enjoyed with a cup of tea, as a base for decadent desserts, or savoured on their own, shortbread biscuits epitomise the art of uncomplicated, pure, and irresistible sweetness that transcends culinary traditions and continues to captivate palates worldwide.

Shortbread biscuits are  traditionally cut into triangle shapes know as petticoats, and are often given as gifts at Christmas.

vegan gluten and dairy free shortbread biscuits

Butter/Margarine

Of course although these biscuits are famed for that buttery flavour, I don’t actually use butter in the dough, I substitute the butter of a dairy free margarine and found the biscuits are perfectly good with this swap. You however could swap back to butter if you can, but I think they are just as good either way.

Vegan option

If you do swap the butter for dairy free margarine this makes these biscuits vegan! They are such a versatile biscuit that they work perfectly well whether you are baking the normal version, gluten free, dairy free of vegan versions!

gluten and dairy free shortbread biscuits

Gluten Free Flour

The texture of gluten-free flour in biscuits presents a unique challenge compared to traditional wheat-based flour. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, provides elasticity and structure to baked goods, giving them their characteristic chewiness and structure. In contrast, gluten-free flours lack this protein, resulting in a notably different texture.

Biscuits made with gluten-free flour tend to be more crumbly and fragile. The absence of gluten can make them prone to crumbling apart or having a sandier texture. Achieving the desired light and airy quality of biscuits becomes a delicate balancing act when working with gluten-free flours. It often requires the addition of various binders, such as xanthan gum to mimic the stretchiness and cohesiveness of gluten.

However, the texture of gluten-free biscuits can also have its advantages. Some people appreciate the tender, delicate crumb that gluten-free flours can impart, creating a biscuit that practically melts in the mouth, and this is particularly good when baking shortbread biscuits! 

Try the Gluten and Dairy Free Shortbread biscuits

This recipe is adaptable for dairy free, vegan and gluten free dietary requirements but it’s also great with an option for normal diets too. Perfectly simple but perfectly classic biscuit! Buttery but without the butter.

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vegan gluten and dairy free shortbread biscuits

Classic Shortbread

Perfectly simple but perfectly classic biscuit!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 15 Biscuits
Calories 96 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 125 g Margarine Use the hard block version
  • 115 g Gluten free plain flour Use normal flour for non gluten free version
  • 60 g Caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum Omit if already in gluten free flour blend or you are baking the non gluten free version
  • Pinch Salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C /180°C (fan).
  • Soften the butter to room temperature and cream together with the sugar.
  • Weigh out the dry ingredients and mix them into the mixture (do not over mix).
  • When the dough comes together, pop it in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough onto grease proof paper or a baking mat (see below link*) to roughly 1-1.5cm thick and cut into shapes (I like cutting into fingers) and spread these out on the sheet. Use a fork to prick the top of the biscuits.
  • Bake at 190°C /180°C (fan) for 15-20 minutes. The biscuits should be golden but a little soft, these will harden up as the biscuit cools.

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary.
Keyword dairy free, ginger biscuits, gluten free, shortbread

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gluten and dairy free shortbread biscuits