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Whipped Shortbread Cookies are 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
Table of Contents
  1. Best Whipped Shortbread Cookies
  2. Basic Ingredients in Whipped Shortbread
  3. How to make Whipped Shortbread Cookies
  4. Easy Whipped Shortbread Variations
  5. Easy Shortbread Cookies FAQ
  6. Whipped Shortbread Cookie Recipe Recipe
  7. Other Christmas Cookies to try

Best Whipped Shortbread Cookies

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 little fancy shortbread cookies are crumbly and full of flavor, with just a few simple ingredients and have a light and airy texture. They’re the perfect easy cookie recipe!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • We love to dress them up with nonpareils in whatever colors we feel like, but you can also add chocolate chips or candied cherries.
  • These are whipped shortbread with cornstarch, which makes them soft and crunchy.
  • You can even make them into colored shortbread cookies by adding food coloring!
whipped shortbread cookie recipe in a pile with rainbow nonpareils

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, room temperature 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 or even almond extract 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.

How to make Whipped Shortbread Cookies

  1. Combine Butter and Sugar: Cream butter and icing sugar with a hand 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.

Easy Whipped Shortbread Variations

  • Sprinkles: Make Christmas cookies or Easter cookies (or any holiday) by changing the color of nonpareils. 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 whipped shortbread cookies 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.

Why did my whipped shortbread spread?

Chances are your butter was too soft or you didn’t add enough flour.

How long do shortbread cookies last?

These will last up to 4 days in an airtight container.

Can I freeze whipped shortbread?

Yes you can freeze these in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

whipped shortbread in a pile with rainbow nonpareils
4.46 from 24 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 Video

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

Other Christmas Cookies to try

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

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 22, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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18 Comments

  1. Been making mine since 1973. Use salted butter. No vanilla and bake mine at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Use fork to make impression. The best!