How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread

Perfect Whipped Shortbread in a white plate

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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 with Christmas cherry on top
Whipped Shortbread

How to Make 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.Perfect Whipped Shortbread in a white plate

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.
4.96 from 91 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


  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 80mg, Potassium: 10mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 295IU, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 0.4mg

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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Tara says

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Wendy says

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

  11. 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

  12. Kathryn Smith says

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

  13. Rachel says

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    • 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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