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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!

Love,

Karlynn

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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. #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
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
Canadian
Servings
24
Calories
107
Author
Karlynn Johnston
Keywords
whipped shortbread

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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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Christmas Cookies / How To Make Perfect Whipped ShortbreadLast updated on February 1, 2019
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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. Jenna says

    Just made these! Never made shortbread before and decided that I’d try to make some and heard that whipped ones are better than normal.

    And these are amazing! I added three caps of natural Vanilla extract and a drop of lemon essence to the recipe and only used butter and omg it’s so good!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. Lesia says

    I ❤️ Whipped shortbread! I’ve made these cookies a bunch of times with variable success. After trouble shooting and dissecting my process many times, I’ve discovered the true success to this sometimes finicky cookie is butter quality. Here in Sk, Canada, Beatrice butter doesn’t work (found at Costco). The cookie does not hold its shape (even if you chill it) and it spreads and does not hold together, at all. The same with Co-Op centcibles butter. Dairyland works. It’s the only butter I use for these now. The quality is in the price at around $8/pound, but it’ll save you garbaging a bunch or failed batches. Apparently poor quality butter has a high water content which makes it awesome for table butter and spreading, but terrible for a lot of baking. Hope this may help some ppl who are having issues with their whoipped shortbread.

  3. Erica D says

    Wow, these are delicious!!! My family loves them… even my husband who is stuck on Granny’s shortbread! He said these were just as good if not better. Once out of the oven I added 3 chocolate chips to the center for decoration since I didn’t have cherry’s or sprinkles and mmmmm….. yummy! Suggestion: my cookies tasted better when they were not covered or put in a container and even better the next day. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Happy Holidays to all.

  4. Carole says

    I just made these tonight, and while they taste divine, they’re quite powdery. But they do melt in your mouth and taste absolutely delicious. The only thing I did differently, and just out of habit, was I measured the flour (AP) and then sifted it.

  5. Germaine Dubois says

    I’ve been making whipped shortbread for many years… cam across your your version so I opted to try it out this year… so far simple as my recipe but I have used cornstarch in mine – giving yours a chance.. I love whipped shortbread along with the twenty plus family members that will be here Christmas Day… I will drop by after Christmas and let you know the out come….

  6. Terri Smith says

    Some of the best shortbread ive had! Lots of compliments, super yummy

  7. Gail says

    Do NOT whip this dough for 6 minutes as suggested. The dough completely separated into butter and sludge and I had to throw out a whole batch. 4 minutes is plenty

    • Germaine Dubois says

      Mine came out perfectly great and their baking right now will know in about 20 minutes..?

    • Erica D says

      That’s strange I whipped mine for the 6 minutes as suggested and they didn’t separate and baked up perfectly fine, I used a hand mixer – maybe you used something stronger and better? I hope they still turned out for you.

  8. Colleen says

    I just made these today, but they all flattened out to thin pancake like disks. I refrigerated the dough, like you said, but it didn’t make a difference. What am I doing wrong?

      • Colleen says

        I used all purpose flour. I think it is pre sifted. Should I add more flour then?

    • Kelly C says

      I think u have to whip the butter and the powdered sugar until pale and very first, before adding in the flour. Can also try to replace half of the butter for hard margarine ,or vegetable shortening should be fine.

      • Kelly C says

        Whip the butter and the powdered sugar until pale and very fluffy first.

  9. Lori says

    Can these be made with the same measurements only using gluten free flour and vegan butter?

  10. Kristine Miles says

    I just pulled these out of the oven and they are SOOOO good! Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  11. Virginia Peters says

    I know I’ve seen whipped shortbread made with mini chocolate chips, I’m just curious how toffee bits would work with these….what are your thoughts!

  12. Rita says

    Best shortbread recipe I have tried. They turn out perfect every time.

  13. Michelle Martin says

    How would these work out if I were to chill over night before scoop and baking?

  14. Sarah says

    I make these EVERY Christmas, and I’ve passed along this recipe more times than I can count! Sometimes I throw in a splash of clear vanilla or almond extract just for an extra little pop of flavor. WHIP the crap out of them and you won’t be disappointed! Can I give a a 6 star rating?

  15. Patti says

    Hi I haven’t made these yet but really wish that the ingredients were in weight. I am going to try them out anyway this week.

  16. Simone says

    I love shortbread and I tried making it once with not mug success, however I followed your recipe and everyone can’t stop eating them! Thank you for an awesome recipe!!!

      • Rick says

        After scrolling through upteen shortbread recipes online, I finally settled on your recipe to give it a try. They look pretty good coming out of the oven – perfectly white on top and a very light brown on the bottom. A little chocolate drizzled on the top to spice things up. They’re a gift for a friend’s birthday tomorrow. I like this girl. You’re my wingwoman tomorrow – in cookie form.

  17. Debra Stromquist says

    Love this recipe, best shortbread I’ve ever made!!

  18. Kathie says

    The whipped shortbread cookie I’ve been looking for. Absolutely the best.

  19. Lisa Mullins says

    Made this recipe, following the directions. so dry I could not form balls to bake. this recipe gets a thumbs down…..

    • Marina says

      Lisa, the recipe calls for using a small scoop, but I’m thinking you tried to “form balls” with your hands. In that case, you may have followed the ingredients list, but you did not follow all the directions. I suggest you try this again, assiduously following ALL directions, so you can give this a thumbs up rating this time. These are melt-in-your-mouth delish! Merry Christmas 🙂

  20. Dena Ferretti says

    Delish! Just whipped some up tonight 🙂 thank you for this recipe

  21. Beverley Gauntlett says

    Thank you for sharing the secret of shortbread. Whipping. I love my Kitchen Aid. 👍My grandchildren and I made these as part of our Christmas baking. They melt in your mouth 🤗❤

  22. Claudia Straka says

    I just made these tonight instead of my usual whipped shortbread. My husband’s verdict: “These are amazing!” I have to agree.

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Awesome! Yes, most have cornstarch which I don’t like as much. This is my fave!

  23. Jerri Merle says

    Made those few days ago , super easy and delish … Making macaroons right now ,your recipe , but they seem kinda soft after baking … Should they be sticky and soft ?

  24. Ida Pence Waterous says

    I made these today oh my stars! Sooo good, I have to go out and get more butter.

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      That’s fabulous Ida!! So glad that you liked them!

  25. Annabeth Boyle says

    I have been making shortbreads for almost 40 yrs. These are the easiest and the best. My new go to!!

  26. Karen Vancouver Island says

    Good Morning…snowy day here on Vancouver Island so decided to make a double batch of your shortbread…kitchen smells wonderful!!! I did it three different ways…as well as the traditional cherry on top I also made 18 thumbprint cookies (rolled cookies in ground walnuts and made indent in centre of cookie and filled with seedless raspberry jam…the remaining dough I rolled in log refrigerated for 10 mins and cut into 1/4 ” rounds which I drizzled a lemon glacé on as lemon is one of grandkids favourite flavours. So I got 18 good size each of the cherry and thumbprint and my log made 22 cookies…others may get more but no use making “dainty ” cookies for my crew!

    Have a wonderful Christmas Season

    Karen from BC

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Karen Vancouver Island You too! I hope you had a lovely holiday!

  27. Wendy Collins says

    Melt in your mouth goodness! Made them today & loved them. This will be my go to Christmas shortbread cookie recipe from now on. Thanks Karlynn 🙂

  28. Cody Creelman says

    Cool you are making Tasty style videos, keep it up!

  29. sheila boisson says

    Do you use all purpose flour, or pastry flour?

  30. Phil Ball says

    I get these every Christmas, my wife makes a wonderful whipped shortbread, one year, I thought about sharing, the thought only lasted for seconds and then went away. \U0001f60e

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Phew, that was a close call. Don’t do that again! \U0001f602

  31. Kristina Craig says

    My little helper and I whipped up a batch this morning!

  32. LeslieMae says

    How well do these freeze? I’m trying to decide if I should be making these ahead or waiting a couple weeks! 

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      LeslieMae They are AMAZING from frozen! They are amazing eating while frozen too lol! Make them ahead now!

  33. Cheryl Dee Digulla says

    These were incredible!!! So easy to make & even easier to eat! LOL Thank you!

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