How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread

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How to make perfect whipped shortbread! This is my Grandma's shortbread recipe that we have been using for decades now and this is the only shortbread that we ever make at Christmas! It makes great gifts and is perfect for your holiday dessert table.

Whipped Shortbread

Perfecting Whipped Shortbread

Over the years I have finally perfected my Whipped Shortbread Recipe to the point where I won't fiddle around with it anymore. Usually when someone asks me about my treasured Christmas recipe, it's all about my Grandma's Christmas Pudding. While that is one hundred percent a family favorite, whipped shortbread has always and I do mean always been something that my family bakes at Christmas.

It seems to be something that a lot of Canadian Prairie folk make at Christmas as well. It's never any other shortbread than whipped. Ever. This is all that graces our dessert tables at Christmas for shortbread.

That might change with my perfecting my Scottish Shortbread recipe however, as those are crispy, buttery perfection! Give those a try if you are looking for a harder shortbread.

Can I use margarine for this recipe?

Over the years, we've had to change from a 50/50 split of butter and margarine to all butter. Margarine lately has been declining in quality and lots of brands, specifically Imperial, just do not work with this recipe. It's better with all butter anyway but if you are curious if you can use margarine, I do not recommend it any longer.

How to Make Whipped Shortbread

To make this whipped shortbread, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • candied cherries
  • sprinkles

Directions

  • Whip the butter and icing sugar together well. Once it looks all deliciously creamy, resist from eating it by the spoonful, and get your flour ready.
  • Start the mixer and slowly add in the flour, until it has all been added in. Then you can proceed to let your mixer do all the work for you and whip it for 6 minutes. You are wanting lighter than air shortbread here. 
  • Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet or alternatively, use a piping bag and pipe it out. You can also use a cookie press to make shapes.
  • Top with sprinkles or a piece of Christmas cherry. 
  • Bake them in a 275 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes; you want to dry out the shortbread in essence, not bake it, thus the low temperature. (If you have a warm kitchen or live in a warm climate, cool the cookies in the fridge then bake. They won't flatten out).

How to Store Whipped Shortbread

Whipped Shortbread freezes very easily but also breaks easily so my recommendation is to store in an airtight container in layers between sheets of wax or parchment paper. You can store it in the freezer for a few months easily so if you make them a couple of months prior to Christmas, you can easily thaw them out in time for the holidays and they will taste amazing as always!

Whipped Shortbread Tips and Tricks

  • Whipped shortbread is notoriously fragile and while using cookie presses are so much fun, when I gifted the shortbread I wanted it to stay together a bit more. After experimenting, I found that the best way to make it for gifting is using a cookie scoop or piping bag. The rounded dome and thickness helps these airy bites of buttery delight stay together much better than being dropped by the teaspoonful or shapes from a cookie press.
  • You can use a cookie press like I did, but they are more fragile and finicky
  • Whipping it for at least 6 minutes is also mandatory; most people don't whip it long enough and then it's just not as airy as it should be. These cookies should literally melt in your mouth.
  • We never have used cornstarch and never will. I find it gives a weird mouth feel to it that I don't like.
  • Baking it a low temperature is the way my family has always made it. We dry it out, like a meringue, and don't bake it so much. Most recipes are 350 degrees but we have always baked it at 250. However over the years I have found that 275 works the best. This also helps the shortbread melt in your mouth instead of baking up a little bit harder which is what baking it at 350 is going to do.

Without further adieu, here is my whipped shortbread recipe!

Happy Baking everyone!

Love,

Karlynn

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How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread

How to make perfect whipped shortbread! This is my Grandma's shortbread recipe that we have been using for decades now.
4.97 from 110 votes
Prep Time
7 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Total Time
42 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
Canadian
Servings
24
Calories
106
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • sprinkles for topping if desired
  • candied cherries for topping if desired

Instructions
 

  • Whip the butter and icing sugar together well. Once it looks all deliciously creamy, resist from eating it by the spoonful, and get your flour ready.
  • Start the mixer and slowly add in the flour, until it has all been added in. Then you can proceed to let your mixer do all the work for you and whip it for 6 minutes. You are wanting lighter than air shortbread here. 
  • Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet. You can also use a cookie press and make shaped cookies!
  • Top with sprinkles or a piece of Christmas cherry. 
  • Bake them in a 275 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes; you want to dry out the shortbread in essence, not bake it, thus the low temperature. (If you have a warm kitchen or live in a warm climate, cool the cookies in the fridge then bake. They won't flatten out).

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

You can top this whipped shortbread with whatever sprinkles or cherries you prefer!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 106kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 68mg, Potassium: 11mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 236IU, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Mrs. Claus says

    I used all salted butter. First time baking in a couple years! These are delicious! I love the simple ingredients and after getting a handle on using my mixer again, batch 2 went much better! I didn’t mix well enough with batch one, so it tasted too salty. Second batch I mastered the mixer and the batter was deliciously airy as you describe, and voila this batch didn’t taste so salty! So follow the mixer at least 6 mins and you’ll all be good. After rolling into balls (slightly watered hands to avoid sticking) I gently pushed the 24 cookies with a fork and pushed in half a candied cherry on each..trying to keep at raised up as possible still. These hold their shape great, I went for middle of the line on cooking time you suggested. I might try unsalted butter with a dash of sea salt next time just to better control what’s going in the cookies. Love them, especially out of the fridge! Family will be enjoying these for Christmas 🎄 Thanks for sharing your family recipe!!5 stars

  2. Linda Tanzini says

    Karlynn, I got frustrated with my snowball cookies being to fragile so I started putting an egg in them or even just a yolk. I’m wondering if this might work for the short bread cookies,your thoughts?, Linda

  3. Tiff says

    Hello felloe albertan

    I am going to make these later in the week and i know they’re going to be be amazing. I know that they will be simply based on your chii recipe. As we all know there is usually that one that just doesnt quite know goog food, however when I made your chili….. EVERYONE asked for more or when i am making it again.
    And just so you have a full understanding of when anyone i cook for asks for more you should know that i have been the one that is at a neighbor’s for leftovers or at the drive through window on christmas eve enjoying watching everyone else. Basically, i am i hermet. And i am shy always second guessing my efforts. So when i say i am confident and very pleased to serve any of your recipes, even the ones i havent but plan to make, then you better believe… its because is gonna be delicious enough for even the quietest of mice to ask for more.

    Thanks so much

    Much love
    Tiffani

  4. Alyssa says

    I hear ya on the margarine quality. I’ve had bad luck with parkay as well. I’m in southern AB. Thanks for the recipe though!5 stars

  5. Mary says

    Oh my these are the best! I must have missed the part that says let the mixer do the work- used my hand mixer & 6 minutes! Very much worth it! First time I ever heard of whipped shortbread, but glad I saw this. YUMMY5 stars

  6. Sandy Mcallister says

    I enjoy reading all your recipes. I have been making whipped shortbread for almost fifty years. Butter is definitely better for flavour but doesn’t give the body you get using half marg. Use really good marg. Also the long beating incorporates air making the cookies very light therefore I do not recommend using a cookie press as it squeezes out the air and therefore makes the cookies more dense. Another tip is to let the cookies age a couple of weeks and they won’t crumble as easily. These cookies do not rise so make them the size you want the finished product..

  7. Lesley Leith says

    I used all salted butter. I find they taste a little too salty. Can I use all unsalted butter
    Please. Mine were quite flat too.

  8. Eric says

    Hi, made your recipe and turned out great.
    Now to be a purist “Without further adieu” means ‘Without further GOOD BYE” Adios amigo!
    The expression is “Without further ADO”
    Now, without further ado I’ll go and make another batch of biscuits.

  9. Tara says

    Sry you can’t add margarine to shortbread. That’s not shortbread.

  10. Jacki says

    I wish you would be more specific on the scoop size. I used too small a scoop (estimated it to be a heaping teaspoon) but cookies are only about 2×2″. I even heaped the dough in the scoop.

    It would help if you specified the size of the scoop (IE 2 TBSP size scoop) or whatever! Maybe next time I’ll weigh them out instead, based on total dough weight and your estimated yield.4 stars

  11. Monica says

    It says in the recipe that if your kitchen is warm to put the pre-baked cookies in the fridge or freezer for a while (I put mine in the freezer for 10 minutes) before putting in the oven.

  12. Foofit says

    I made these exactly as written with Earth Balance as my margarine (which I like!). However, I think you have to really enjoy the flavor of margarine to like this version. In a shortbread, I much prefer the flavor of butter. The texture is a bit like sand and does definitely melt in your mouth. They’re not sweet, so would be suited to folks who prefer a less sweet dessert. This is my third batch of whipped shortbread this year, and I believe I prefer a version with cornstarch over this one. However, it’s not a totally fair comparison because in the cornstarch version I used 100% butter. I’ll give this version another try with all butter, but as written I didn’t particularly love it.5 stars

    • Laura says

      These are awesome, everyone that has by has tried them, I got rave reviews from them. Thank you for the recipe5 stars

  13. Eileen says

    I am done making whipped shortbread cookies. I have tried many recipes including this one, with and without cornstarch.
    They are too soft. You can’t have a bite. You have to put the whole thing in your mouth or it falls apart.

    You can hardly hold one in your hand! I would like a nice shortbread cookie instead of bar that doesn’t melt in your mouth but that you can bite once or twice before finishing it off!

  14. Kathy Watson says

    So easy and good. I just dipped partway in chocolate and added sprinkles. So light, they really melt in your mouth, Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  15. Eileen says

    I used straight butter and the recipe was awesome and they taste delicious. Using gas stove I found I had cook them a little less than the suggested time.5 stars

    • Amanda says

      Can I use a hand mixer instead of a stabd mixer? Will i get similar results?
      Thanks in advance for your help.

  16. Wendy says

    I’m going to try these! What brand of hand mixer do you have?

  17. Moira Slater says

    I baked these whipped shortbread last night and they are perfect. I had taken out non salted butter in the morning so used it and added a touch of salt. I have baked other whipped shortbread that just fell apart!

    Thank you for the great recipe and instructions.5 stars

  18. Kathryn Smith says

    I’ve never heard of hard margarine. What brand is the best?

  19. Rachel says

    I found the cookies to taste/smell a little to much like margarine.. and a little salty.4 stars

  20. Linda Finke says

    I came across this recipe after using another recipe that used cornstarch. My husband said it had a funny taste and he didn’t like it. I thought I would search out another recipe so in your recipe you suggested not to use cornstarch I thought great idea.The oven temperature was another good idea because I found the other cookies over baked and got done in half the time so cooking them at a lower temperature might help. When I looked at other recipes they also said to use an electric mixer so that might be another good idea as I always use my kitchen aid. This is my first attempt at whipped shortbread. My husband thinks I did something wrong but I followed the recipe exactly and every recipe is the same except for this one without the corn starch and the temperature being lower. I always make icebox shortbread and it turns out perfect every time, there’s so many different things that you can do with it once they are baked.

  21. Sharon Campbell says

    I cooked my whipped shortbread at 275 and they went flat. Why is that and how can I stop it from happening again? Thanks
    Sharon

    • Raelene says

      Sharon mine did the same, I am wondering if cornstarch was left out accidentally?

      • Karlynn Johnston says

        This is a no cornstarch recipe, and if you use half margarine they will keep their dome shape. however humidity in the house, the weather, it all affects your baking as well. You can refrigerate the cookies then bake to keep their shape as well.5 stars

        • Lee-Ann says

          I used all butter and they kept their shape perfectly.. I think making sure they are nice a cold before baking is the key to keeping the dome shape 😞

    • Joe says

      You need cornstarch (look up what cornstarch does) and chill the dough for at least 30 mins before baking.

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