Gluten Free Wholegrain Shortbread (with vegan option)

gluten free whole grain with dairy free option shortbread stacked with lemon and blueberry sarah maughan photography

Gluten Free Shortbread
Makes about 18 – 20 small 1×1 inch cookies
Sarah Maughan

1/2 cup cold butter  (vegan option – coconut oil – it will have a coconut flavour)
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (or corn starch)
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1 cup brown rice flour – plus a little more for dusting if rolling out
Add flavour of choice (see below)

*The consistency should feel a bit dry, but not crumbly. It should be able to form into a large round ball.


  • (FAVOURITE & PREFERRED) Lemon Blueberry – zest from 1/2 a lemon + 2-3 tbsp dried blueberries (Eden Organic – sweetened with juice)
  • Cranberry – 2-3 tbsp chopped dried cranberries (there are brands sweetened with apple juice)
  • Chocolate – 2-3 tbsp mini chocolate chips or crushed chocolate pieces (or dip in chocolate after cooking)
  • Chocolate Hazelnut – 2 tbsp finely chopped chocolate and 1-2 tbsp finely chopped/shaved hazelnuts
  • Savoury Lemon Rosemary – zest from 1/2 a lemon and 2 tbsp dried rosemary

1. Cut cold butter into small squares. Mix butter and sugar together with a fork by pressing down on the butter until mostly combined (or use a stand mixer). Then add in starch and mix until combined. Then work in rice flour with your hands (or again continue using the stand mixer). Add only a 1/2 cup rice flour to start and add a little more as you go. The dough should feel easy to form into a dough, but not sticky.

2. Form into a ball, cover with saran wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. If rolling them out (versus using the recommend silicone pan below**) Remove the dough from fridge, and dust surface and roller with rice flour. Roll until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes – solid shapes like circles or squares work best. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and place back in fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking.

**I find the most effective way to make these shortbread cookies is by using a silicone baking pan with tiny square cut outs. Just press the dough into them leaving a little space from the top. These can cook right away and do not need added fridge time. When cooked, just let cool, and pop them out.

4. Bake at 375F for 15 – 20 minutes until the edges look slightly browned. Cookie size and thickness will change cook time so look for edges that are slightly browned. Mini cookie cutters will be about 10 minutes of cooking, whereas with the silicone baking pan it’s about 15 – 20.

About Sarah Maughan

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, ON and has been consulting since 2009. Her website aims to educate you, make you laugh, help you live and inspire you to eat whole food! To stay up to date sign up for free blog and recipe updates! In the meantime, empower your body with food!
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