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

5 from 27 votes
How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread
Prep Time
7 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
42 mins
How to make perfect whipped shortbread! This is my Grandma's shortbread recipe that we have been using for decades now.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: whipped shortbread
Servings: 24
Calories: 107 kcal
Author: 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 Facts
How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 107 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Potassium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Sugars 2g
Vitamin A 5.9%
Calcium 0.4%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.






Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!


  1. Jennifer Print Reply

    So making these!!! Does it make a difference if you use a darker cookie sheet?

  2. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    I’ve been sharing a lot on here, scroll down for my roll cookies and my walnut raspberry thumbprint ones!

  3. Shelley Smiley Reply

    I’m going to use this awesome recipe to make thumbprint cookies with the jam in the top (likely strawberry). 🙂 I’m making 3 dozen for a cookie exchange. Any other recipes you can recommend to me as I need 2 more cookie recipes for the exchange so I have 9 dozen all together. 🙂

  4. Margaret Hudson Reply

    I will try this year. Something new for my Christmas baking! \U0001f600 thanks for posting

  5. Melissa Kathryn Reply

    Made these last Christmas and lost the recipe! Thank you for posting it again!

  6. Jacque Tanner Levine Reply

    Made these last Christmas , they are soooo good! Yum

  7. Raeleen Tascona Reply

    This is my go to recipe! Shhhh… Don’t tell grandma!

  8. Sheila Flett Slaney Reply

    I made them with your recipe last weekend and sent them to my son at the Royal Military College. They currently being enjoyed by officer cadets there.

  9. Pamela Sawyer Reply

    Hi I was wondering if you can freeze these whipped shortbread and how long do they keep at room temp. I would like to make some for Christmas…thanks Pam

  10. DANG!!!

    These were SO simple to make and they’re seriously yummers!!

    Used half marg and half butter… and added a 1/2t of Mexican vanilla 😉

    Thank you thank you for making Christmas baking this year so easy!!

  11. asavard4711 Reply

    are you using salted or unsalted butter for your whipped shortbread 

    cookies ?

  12. NatashaGonzalez Reply

    Made this recipe 3 times, we love them! I added an extra half cup of icing sugar for a little more sweetness. Thank u for the great and easy recipe!

  13. Thankyou for doing all the leg work and sharing this!

    Made exactly as you say…. (with the marg) And I’m done, this recipe is it for me 🙂

    Thanks again

  14. I followed the recipe exactly and used a small scoop. They stayed nice and high, baked at 275 for 22 minutes. They looked perfect! However I was not crazy about the texture or the taste. Perhaps I prefer basic shortbread. This was my first attempt, and I added nothing to the top. I wanted to see how they tasted “naked”. Lol. I will try one more time with different margarine. Perhaps the brand I used had an ” odd” taste. More experimentation to follow!

    • Pamela Sawyer Reply

      NonnaT hi I made these last year and I too found they had a bit of an after taste..maybe I will try 1/2 butter and 1/2 margarine if I can find some not in a tub..glad It was”t just me.

    • I lIke all butter…definitely taste better even if they don’t hold the shape as well.

  15. RobinYeatman Reply

    I don’t understand.  I have made these cookies 100s of times and the biggest problem I had was burning out the mixer motor.  I tried to make them over the weekend and they didn’t turn into a dough, it looked more like the crumbly mixture you would use for making a pie crust.  I figured it was because I started with cold butter so I just tried them again and got the same result.  I’m using a stick of butter and beginning to wonder if a stick is actually a cup.

  16. DeniseStewart1 Reply

    Have made these twice now. My husband “Mr. Fussy” loved the recipe so much he came home tonight with a bag of M&Ms to decorate the tops and demanded a batch to use up the extra margarine I had from Xmas. He had to convince me that the M&Ms would not melt all over the place. I do admit I added 1/2 tsp of Vanilla extract for a little something extra.

    I also love your humor.  ”resist from eating the dough by the spoonful”. LOL  Your chocolate chip recipe was also a huge hit.

    For the post below. Icing sugar is also known as powdered sugar or confection sugar. Regular sugar cannot be substituted.

  17. Loretta Cameron Reply

    Have made these for years .. so delish BUT mine do not look as perfect as the pix

  18. Is it possible go chill the dough before dropping onto baking sheet instead of after they’re on the cookie sheet?

  19. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Aw thanks! I look forward to the day I have it all written up LOL!! Very exciting!

  20. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    I don’t think the taste will be as good but hey, you might like it! They will still bake up fine, it’s about taste.

  21. Jessica Tremblay Mullen Reply

    I made these with half butter, half margarine last week and they are so good!!

  22. Susan Ireland Then Reply

    Yes it was really good, I think that is how I will continue to make them. I didn’t have a cookie scoop so they flattened out I little too much, but they were good.

  23. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    The margarine? I really do love them the best that way! I edited it into the bottom of the recipe. Some people just won’t trust me haha!

  24. Melissa Ainsworth Reply

    I took your advice that they turned out better that way and I love them!

  25. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  26. Melissa Ainsworth Reply

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

  27. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  28. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  29. Melissa Ainsworth Reply

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

  30. Danielle DenAdmirant Reply

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

  31. Susan Ireland Then Reply

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

  32. Susan Ireland Then Reply

    Made these today they literally melt in your mouth. Delicious

  33. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    I’ve heard it works beautifully and is delicious!

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