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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
Whipped Shortbread

How to Make Whipped Shortbread

Over the years I have finally perfect 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.Whipped Shortbread

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 is using a cookie scoop. 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.
  • 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.
  • Also – and purists are going to argue with me- we have always used half margarine and half butter. Always. Just like my buttertarts we have run taste tests and sampled and baked and it’s always half and half that wins the taste test. We aren’t purists, we are about taste. What’s the use having all butter and it doesn’t taste as good just to be a purist?  Try it and see what you think, get a good tasting margarine and I bet you’ll love them. Let’s face it, it’s not like they are healthy for us anyway, the cookies may as well taste as good as possible!
  • If you use a hard margarine, it helps to keep the dome shape. Do NOT use light margarine or whipped butters or any “tub” margarine. The water content will flatten these cookies! You need the blocks of margarine.
  • You can use all butter for taste if you like, but the secret to the dome shape is the hard margarine used. All butter is absolutely amazing as well, so you choose which you prefer. I don’t guarantee the dome shape with all butter though!

Without further adieu, here is my whipped shortbread recipe!

Happy Baking everyone!




How to make perfect whipped shortbread! This is my Grandma's shortbread recipe that we have been using for decades now. #shortbread #whippedshortbread #christmascookies

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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.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time
7 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Total Time
42 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup hard margarine
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour


  1. Whip the margarine, butter and icing sugar together well. You can use all butter for sure, then it is a shortbread for the purist. Once it looks all deliciously creamy, resist from eating it by the spoonful, and get your flour ready.

  2. 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. 

  3. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet. 

  4. Top with sprinkles or a piece of Christmas cherry. 

  5. 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: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 80mg, Potassium: 10mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 5.9%, Calcium: 0.4%, Iron: 2%

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. The Kitchen Magpie says

    LOL and you can see below that most people just change it to butter on me. Ahem Candice Patterson 😉

  2. Melissa Ainsworth says

    I made 4 batches of half butter half marg and they are divine!

  3. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Yes, that’s how I usually make it but everyone seems to make it all butter! Did you like the margarine version?

  4. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Make at least a double batch, mine was triple. If you’re already making the mess…

  5. Candice Patterson says

    made it today with all butter they are amazing!!

  6. Melissa Ainsworth says

    I made it off the blog and it called for a half cup butter and a half cup hard marg

  7. Danielle DenAdmirant says

    Ooooo yay! I am gonna make a gluten free for my daughter and some regular for my nephews. Thanks for posting! 🙂

  8. Susan Ireland Then says

    But the recipe that i have that you have called for margarine

  9. Susan Ireland Then says

    Made these today they literally melt in your mouth. Delicious

  10. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I’ve heard it works beautifully and is delicious!

  11. Sheryl L McDonald says

    I need to make sure I have this pinned. I’m definitely making these!!

  12. Raeleen Tascona says

    Made this the other day… Fantastic! Will try a gluten free flour next time

  13. Shawna Marie O'Reilly says

    Thank you!! Hmmmm… maybe I can make some tonight!!! Ribs are in the oven yet. Happy Baking!!

  14. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I have some in the oven, again! I make them about two or three times during the season. I figured I’d share the whole recipe here for everyone to make it easier!

  15. Shawna Marie O'Reilly says

    I was suppose to makwe these this weekend…havent quite got their yet!! haha… Tomorrow I will.. : )

  16. Krystle says

    Thee cookies are perfection. This is my second year making them for Christmas. My husband is so picky with shortbread, and this recipe takes the cake- he loves them!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      @Krystle Woohoo! I am so glad to hear it! 

  17. Zayga says

    This recipe is from heaven. Thank you X 1,000 for sharing Karlynn. And I’m going to kick my neighbor’s butt in the shortbread bake-off!!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Zayga LOL! That made me smile this morning!! Go and kick butt!

  18. Kim Brown-Laplante says

    Made these today!!!! So yummy. Will be making another batch next week:)

  19. lisa says

    I just made these this morning!! So delicious and melt in your mouth goodness. I used all butter because margarine is nasty stuff.

  20. Kim Brown-Laplante says

    Awesome!!! I have a cookie exchange next week and I need 7 dozen:). Thanks:)

  21. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Oh a good 3 dozen but I always double it! If you’re bothering to make the mess, just double it!

  22. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Well….this might be a recipe I’m working on…. 😉

  23. Kim Brown-Laplante says

    How many cookies would you say this recipe makes?

  24. Elaine Aschenmeier says

    I love whipped shortbread! I used to make lots of it for Christmas!

  25. Joy Vieira Velozo says

    Question … Sitting here eating the cookies and wondering if you’ve ever substituted cocoa powder for part of the flour to make a whipped chocolate shortbread? If so, does the cocoa make them heavier or change the texture?

  26. Joy Vieira Velozo says

    They are fantastic! Melt in your mouth,my 10 yr old loves them. thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂

  27. Joy Vieira Velozo says

    baking in the oven right now… I can’t wait to try them 🙂

  28. Linda E Zavitz says

    These are great I made them last year and will be again in the next few days! Thanks!

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