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My Whipped Shortbread Cookie recipe is seriously the BEST shortbread I’ve ever eaten. They are a melt in your mouth shortbread cookie, have just a few ingredients, and you can make them with any color sprinkles for any holiday. They are so good – I know you’ll love them!

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close up of mini shortbread cookies with sprinkles on them

This post was sponsored by Mirum in 2020, but all opinions are my own.

Table of Contents
  1. Easy Whipped Shortbread Recipe
  2. How to make Shortbread Cookies Video
  3. What is the best Shortbread Cookie Recipe?
  4. Basic Ingredients in Whipped Shortbread
  5. How to make my Whipped Shortbread Cookie Recipe
  6. Shortbread Dough Variations
  7. Easy Shortbread Cookies FAQ
  8. Other Christmas Cookies to try
  9. Whipped Shortbread Cookie Recipe Recipe

Easy Whipped Shortbread Recipe

Cookies abound this time of year and one of my favorites are SHORTBREAD cookies! These aren’t your typical roll-out shortbread cookies. Instead they’re Whipped Shortbread Cookies that are perfect on a holiday cookie tray.

These cookies are crumbly and full of flavor, with just a few simple ingredients and an airy texture. They’re the perfect easy cookie recipe that are one of our favorite cookies.

We love to dress them up with nonpareils in whatever colors we feel like, but you can also add chocolate chips or candied cherries.

However you make them, I know you’re going to love how easy and delicious they are.

How to make Shortbread Cookies Video

whipped shortbread cookie recipe in a pile with rainbow nonpareils

While traditional shortbread cookies are rolled and cut and baked flat, Whipped Shortbread is scooped in a drop cookie style. Scooping and rolling them between your palms is so much easier than using a rolling pin.

I’m calling Whipped Shortbread the BEST shortbread cookie because it’s easy and tastes even better than the classic traditional recipe.

Basic Ingredients in Whipped Shortbread

There are only 4 main ingredients (and a few flavorings) that go into this recipe:

  • Unsalted Butter: Start with softened butter and use unsalted if you have it. If not, you can omit the salt in the recipe to make up for it. Room temperature butter is key! Also, be sure to use real butter!
  • Powdered Sugar: Using confectioners’ sugar in place of granulated gives the cookies a tender crumb.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the best for cookies.
  • Cornstarch: the cornstarch adds a binding quality but also keeps the cookies soft – these are soft AND crunchy – tender cookies that melt in your mouth.
  • Vanilla and Salt: Both are for flavoring. Feel free to use any kind of extract you want to change up the flavor (lemon extract for lemon shortbread cookies would be fantastic).

Be sure to measure your ingredients properly: spoon and level the flour and powdered sugar so you don’t accidentally pack it and use too much. Learn how to measure flour here. I love using a kitchen scale for this.

  1. Combine Butter and Sugar: Cream butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer with a very large mixing bowl. Beat on high speed it until it’s nice, light and fluffy and smooth, about 3-5 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl during mixing. (3 minutes for a stand mixer, 5 minutes using a hand mixer.)
  2. Add the other ingredients: Add the flour, cornstarch, salt and vanilla, to the butter mixture and mix until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. Scoop: Scoop 1 tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough with a small cookie scoop and roll them between your palms to form a ball. Place on cookie sheet. These don’t spread so you don’t have to space them more than 1-2” apart. I like to bake these on parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Press: Press the cookies flat with the tines of a fork. You can dip the fork in flour or powdered sugar so they don’t stick.
  5. Sprinkles: Add nonpareils to the top of the cookies. We love rainbow or Christmas colors, but you can use any you like. The sprinkles add a festive touch!
  6. Bake: Bake at 300°F for about 20-22 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Yes – that’s 300° NOT 350°!
  7. Store: Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Shortbread Dough Variations

These buttery cookies have some fun variations. Change them up to make delicious cookies for the Christmas season or all year long.

  • Sprinkles: Christmas or Easter (or any) color nonpareil mix. You can use other kinds of sprinkles, but they need to be small to fit the small grooves of the small cookie, which is why nonpareils are the best.
  • Chocolate: use mini chocolate chips in the dough or press a few Mini M&Ms onto the top before baking.
  • Fruit: Press candied maraschino cherries onto the top before baking and the cookies will look like thumbprints!
  • Add almond extract in place of the vanilla or add lemon zest to the batter.
stack of whipped shortbread on plate with christmas nonpareils

Easy Shortbread Cookies FAQ

Can you use a cookie press for this recipe?

No, it’s not created for a cookie press. It’s best to make them as written.

What’s the baking time for whipped shortbread?

These bake at a lower oven temperature for a longer time. Bake them for about 20-22 minutes.

How do you know shortbread cookie are done?

The finished cookies don’t change in color much but the bottoms are lightly golden brown.

What does cornstarch do for shortbread?

It keeps them soft and tender and adds that crunchy yet crumbly texture.

Are butter cookies and shortbread cookies the same thing?

No – these don’t have egg. Butter cookies usually have an egg yolk inside.

Other Christmas Cookies to try

Have you made this recipe?

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whipped shortbread in a pile with rainbow nonpareils
3.15 from 7 votes
These little bites of shortbread are a drop cookie that are buttery and crunchy and soft, and they really are the perfect shortbread cookies! Use your favorite color sprinkles to decorate the top.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Yield 36 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup (57g) powdered sugar measured correctly*
  • 1 ½ cups (186g) flour measured correctly*
  • ½ cup (61g) cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Nonpareils for decorating

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. (Yes, that’s 300 – not a typo.)
  • Cream the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or hand mixer with a very large bowl. Mix it until it’s nice and light and fluffy and smooth, about 3-5 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl during mixing. (3 minutes for a stand mixer, 5 minutes using a hand mixer.)
  • Add the flour, cornstarch, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon size balls of cookie dough and roll them between your palms to form a ball. Place on cookie sheet. These don’t spread so you don’t have to space them more than 1-2” apart.
  • Lightly flour a fork and use the tines to press down the cookies. Top with nonpareils in your desired color.
  • Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool slightly before removing from pans.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

*To measure powdered sugar and flour, spoon them into the measuring cup and level with a knife. See how to measure flour for more information, powdered sugar is measured the same way.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword cookie

If holiday recipes like these have a way of aggravating your frequent heartburn, don’t forget to grab Omeprazole ODT from your local CVS for daily relief!

box of Omeprazole ODT with cookies around it

I love shortbread cookies because of their buttery sweet taste, but all that butter kicks up my frequent heartburn. However, I don’t let my frequent heartburn stop me from enjoying my favorite things, so I keep it in check with CVS Health Omeprazole ODT.

I’m proactive about my frequent heartburn treatment: I treat it daily with CVS Health Omeprazole Orally Disintegrating Tablets*. It melts in on your tongue with a pleasant tasting strawberry flavor – no water needed. Take it every morning for 14 days before eating and it provides 24-hour relief for frequent heartburn.

*Use as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn (occurring 2 or more days a week). May take 1-4 days for full effect. Not intended for immediate relief.

Whipped Shortbread Cookies melt in your mouth! These easy cookies with cornstarch and flour are the BEST Shortbread recipe EVER! Add sprinkles in whatever color you like – these are the perfect cookie all year, but we love them especially around Christmas.

Last Updated on November 29, 2021

Dorothy Kern

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16 Comments

  1. They are not bad, but they have a starchy taste and the dough must be allowed to rest and cool in the fridge before baking, otherwise they will stick and that is not mentioned in the recipe.

    1. I did not have that problem – they shouldn’t need to be chilled. If the dough is too soft, possibly your butter was really soft when you started – if it’s hard to press with the fork you can dip the fork in powdered sugar or dampen it and it should be just fine.

  2. I made these but I sure could taste the starchy cornstarch. I have tried another shortbread cookie recipe that used regular flour and a bit of rice flour. They were wonderful. Is there a reason you use cornstarch? Is it to hold the cookies together? Help.

  3. Hi Dorothy~
    I cannot yet comment about making these cookies, as I haven’t done so, but I will!
    Shortbread is dangerously addicting for me!

    I was quite pleased to see cornstarch as an ingredient. I prefer it for shortbread as it’s so silky.

    I read through a couple times, but was unable to figure out why the recipe is called “whipped” cookies. Wouldn’t “Drop Cookie Shortbread” be more accurate (yes, I understand i can call them anything I want once I bake them, LOL)?

    Thank you!

  4. These cookies look delicious! Just wondered if you grease or line your cookie sheet? Also, can you use colored sugar to decorate the cookies – do the nonpareils roll off? Thank you! Looking forward to trying these.

    1. You can for sure use colored sugar, the nonpareils shouldn’t roll off if you get them in the grooves. I use parchment paper or silicone baking mats when baking.

  5. The dough was much too soft to roll balls between your hands so I just dropped spoonfuls on the cookie sheet and pressed them down with a fork. The cookies are delicious but do not store well. They crumble easily. Until you get to the bottom of the bag you’ve stored them in, they are nothing but crumbs.