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 28 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. Betsy Williams Kirby Reply

    I’ve got a batch cooking right now! The batter was so yummy

    • Betsy Williams Kirby Reply

      The Kitchen Magpie they are awesome, they literally melt in your mouth

    • Betsy Williams Kirby Reply

      The Kitchen Magpie just bought 2 of your cookbooks

    • Heather Pollock Reply

      What would happen if I put a Hershey’s kiss in the middle?

    • The Kitchen Magpie Reply

      Oh I think they might melt all together in a puddle…. but try one ( out of a sheet of sprinkle ones lol)

  2. Stacey LeMoine Reply

    Best shortbreads I have ever made (apologies to my dearly departed Mother)…

  3. Around the World in 80 Cupcakes Reply

    I LOVE you use a hand mixer. That’s what this chick has. If I want to make any kind of bread/buns/pizza dough etc, I bring out the two big guns attached to my shoulders \U0001f602

  4. Melissa Lynne Biele-Bousset Reply

    Video has an error. Says corn starch instead of powdered sugar.

  5. Moira Armstrong Slater Reply

    What are they like with all butter? I was in a few stores and no one had hard margarine.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      VERY delicious but they flatten out, which is fine. You can also use them in a cookie press!

  6. judyjuster Reply

    Just tried this recipe, my cookies DID NOT, look the the picture. They were much flatter (even with fridgerating the batter) and adding extra flour. The batter looked a bit wet to me, not dry like usual cookie batter. The cookies had a floury taste, not buttery and did not smell up the kitchen with baking goodness. I did follow the 6 minutes of whipping time, but I will stick to using all butter. I could taste the difference. I agree with the other post, these cookies are very fragile.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      judyjuster You must have had a high moisture butter or margarine because this is the driest dough out there, there is so little moisture.

      • Perhaps! And of course I don’t even recall what brand I grabbed that first time. I am going to try again this week so I will let you know 🙂

    • RobinYeatman Reply

      judyjuster I have made this recipe for years with no problems until last week.  My first mistake was using self-rising flour (it was all I had in the house so gave it a try) and the cookies tasted awful and fell apart.  The next time I made them I used unsalted butter.  They tasted better but still fell apart.  The third time, I made them like I have in the past with all purpose flour and salted butter and they came out perfectly. 

      I hope you’ll try them again.  They are soooo good.

  7. Yes,
    I will be making these! Just picked up your cookbook too!

  8. Arlene DeJong Reply

    Has to be a Canadian recipe,they don’t know shortbread here in USA..similar to mine,except we make cut outs.Ty

  9. Helen Richards Reply

    I’m making your shortbread this weekend! I loooove your cookbook! ❤

    • Helen Richards Reply

      They are in the oven right now, they puff up so beautifully in the oven and smell amazing! Thanks!

  10. Wendy Lavalley Reply

    That’s because it’s an awesome recipe Karlynn! I think it’s what introduced me to you!

  11. Judith Hilborn Ball Reply

    I have been making whipped shortbread for over 40 years……love them , they are the number one cookie at our place and make for a wonderful gift . So so easy to make and so much better to eat LOL

  12. Dawn Tiller Reply

    This recipe is the absolute best \U0001f60b!!! Nothing compares to it!!! Aunt KKimberly Marlene Perry

  13. Lisa Patchet Ferrie Reply

    So weird….about an hour ago I was thinking “I NEED to make whipped shortbread” and was going to google the recipe. Then this popped up in my newsfeed. Perfect timing! I’ve always used the Best of Bridge recipe but I’m going to try yours instead. Thanks!!

    • Karlynn Johnston Reply

      My family’s doesn’t have cornstarch, which I prefer. Does the Best of Bridge use it?

    • Lisa Patchet Ferrie Reply

      Karlynn – no, just butter, icing sugar and flour (and it specifically says NOT margarine, lol). My late mother-in-law used cornstarch though, but in a traditional shortbread recipe, not whipped.

  14. Louise Gray Reply

    I first made these in 1979
    And believe me when I say I’ve no idea how many multiples of 1000 I’ve made
    At least 200 dozen each Christmas

    • Karlynn Johnston Reply

      Oh I bet! Once you start baking them, you keep on baking every year! Then people ask for them…and you gift them…. \U0001f609

  15. Re: the whipping time, I was thinking the same so I will give that a go, as well as adding a touch more flour. Thank you!

  16. The taste of the shortbread is amazing however, for me they come out so fragile. You can barely get them to your mouth before they crumble everywhere. I am not a novice baker at all but I am sure it’s something I’m doing.

    Also despite following the directions to a “t”, mine still spread :s

    Any suggestions?

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      Darcie_R Hmmm. Cut your whipping time in half ( adds less air) and try adding in another 1/4 cup flour. Your butter could have a higher water content, or you know, the cookie gods were mad that day ;). More flour will stabilize them in case it is your other ingredients and less whipping means less air. It’s VERY forgiving if you want to add in some dry ingredients!

  17. You have 2 posts of this recipe, one using 250 degrees, and one using 275. Which would be best please?

    Also, would the timings alter?

    I’m assuming this is degrees Celsius?

    They sound lovely and cannot wait to try making, but could you also provide imperial or metric measures rather than U.S cup system please?

    Many thanks

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Lesley Hi Lesley,

      There are converters online for Imperial measurements, my cookbook is also in the US cup system, so it’s what we use here. You can do either temp – you are in essence drying it out. If you use 275, it’s faster timing than 250. My Grandma would use 250, but I am a modern impatient gal and use 275 and cut out about 7-8 minutes of bake time!

  18. Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  …best whipped shortbread cookies ever.  In past years, I’ve always made this recipe using only butter.  But thought I’d follow your recipe exactly as written (i.e. using margarine, chilling batter before scooping and using the lower oven temperature). 

    They kept their nice cookie shape (they didn’t flatten like the pure butter ones do).

    Thanks to your tip of using 1/2 butter and 1/2 margarine, I have started doing this with other cookie recipes and find that all of my cookies now keep their shape.

    We also found the tip for chilling the dough made it much easier to come out of the scoop.

    And your lower cooking temperature ensured a light, airy, melt in your mouth cookie.

    …like my husband said—this recipe is a keeper!

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe and explaining your methods.  You have raised the bar on this one.

    Happy New Year!

  19. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    There is absolutely something wrong with your butter or margarine! That’s from a watery product.

  20. Chantel Mcevoy Reply

    My fave.. I make these often. Tomorrow I am making them with a touch of peppermint extract and candy cane kisses

  21. Wendy Craig Reply

    I made a batch of these cookies yesterday. I followed your advice and used 1/2 margarine and 1/2 butter, even though I normally only use butter. They are the best shortbread cookies that I have ever had. I am going to make a double batch this afternoon.
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  22. I’m excited to try this recipe! Would it work it i added some jam on the top? Not sure how fragile these babies are. TIA!

  23. Kimberly J. Stonehouse Reply

    Thank you for posting this is the best recipe works out perfectly.

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