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Shortbread Cookies


Shortbread is a staple in the cookie world, but it’s generally made from a heavy mix of flour and butter. Here’s a healthy shortbread cookie recipe that omits the badness and still satisfies your craving for something “naughty”.

Prep Time: 20 minutes. 

Cook Time: 18 minutes.

Makes: 16 servings.


1/3 cup coconut flour

½ cup cacao butter or coco butter

2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

2 Tbsp raw cacao (optional)

4 Tbsp coconut oil


Preheat the oven to 350°F. These cookies will become golden quite quickly, and this is all you are really looking for in baking them.

In a large bowl, cut plant butter into the coconut flour using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the butter turns pea-sized. This can also be accomplished more quickly in a food processor – pulsing several times. Cacao butter is the fattiest part of the fruit and makes up the outer lining of the inside of a single cacao bean. It is white in color and has a rich, buttery texture that resembles white chocolate in taste and appearance. Another option if you are avoiding cacao (because of caffeine or otherwise) is pure coco butter which is creamier and richer than coconut oil. You really want a butter substitute that will make the pastry slightly flakey instead of crunchy- and the plant butters achieve this.

Once the plant butter is cut into the flour, add in the salt, maple syrup/ honey and vanilla extract and cream into the dough until a smooth dough is created. It is important to remember that coconut flour is really absorbent, so resist the urge to add more as it will fluff up. Decide how many cookies you would like (12 to 16 is about a spoonful of dough each). Roll each piece into a ball, place on a greased baking sheet, and gently flatten with the back of a fork. You can also flatten out the mound of dough with a rolling pin and cut into shapes whatever suits you. Personally, I like more rustic cookies, but they work really well with cookie cutters as well. Simply roll out the dough and let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or so, then cut.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, watching carefully so they don’t burn. You will not believe how delicious these cookies smell. They are perfectly reminiscent of old school shortbread. At this point you may choose to make a chocolate icing for the cookies but this is optional. If using, while the cookies are baking, melt the cacao into the oil by setting on the stove top or over a double boiler for 1–2 minutes, stirring frequently. Let cool a bit, then pour the melted chocolate into an icing piping bag, a small plastic bag or you can just spoon it over the cookies when it is time. Once the cookies are baked and fully cooled, drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Allow the chocolate to harden before enjoying!

Store these cookies in a tin, and note that as they have no preservatives (like sugar or whatever is in dairy butter, you will need to eat them within a few days. Which let’s be honest, should be no problem. Enjoy your healthy shortbread cookies!

3.6/5 (17 Reviews)

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5 thoughts on “Shortbread Cookies”

  1. Hey Ariel, this recipe sounds amazing and I can;t wait to try it! I just have a question about something… Cream is not listed in the ingredients list, but it is mentioned in the third paragraph, you wrote “…add in the salt, maple syrup/ honey and vanilla extract and cream into the dough.” Are we suppose to use a cream with this recipe?

  2. Hi Tali! Thanks for your comment That! That should say coconut oil. In a previous version I used coconut cream, but the oil creates a dough that is more rich, slightly crunchy on the outside and more true to shortbread.

  3. Thank you for the recipe!
    Unfortunately, it did not work out for me (tried it once with cacao butter and once with coco butter) and I didn’t like the taste of the cookies either.

  4. These did not work at all for me; cookies fell apart literally into tiny crumbs; had to eat it with a spoon and didn’t taste like shortbread. Disappointing.

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