These vegan shortbread cookies came about because the older I get, the more friends that I have with food allergies or intolerances. They’re not alone, I’m sure that you’ve read about my adult-onset broccoli allergy, and I’m sure that there are some of you out there that have adult-onset allergies as well – and dairy seems to be one of the worst culprits out there!
These dairy free shortbread cookies (unlike my original whipped shortbread) have been years in the making, as I have finally found a vegan “butter” that bakes like butter and tastes SOOOO close that Mr Magpie and my daughter can’t tell the difference!
Which Vegan Butter to use in your Vegan Shortbread Cookies
Here’s the thing: Regular margarine contains trace amounts of animal products such as whey or dairy casein extracts which means that you can’t use margarine as a vegan product, and second, this isn’t really a margarine. It’s a “plant-based spread”. SO for the sake of clarity when it comes to making shortbread, I am just going to call this “vegan butter”, because it’s a pretty good butter pretender!
First of all, I apologize for the condition this block of vegan butter came in. I accidentally used all of it and then realized I needed to show everyone what it looked like, so I ordered a new one for this picture and it came rather beaten up. But hey, at least I can show you what I used right? This Becel “plant spread” is perfect in these cookies and comes in both blocks like this and individual sticks (which I prefer myself).
And I have tried a ton over the years. I’ve made vegan buttercream icing (and I will be redoing that recipe with this vegan butter ASAP) and dairy free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and tried different vegan butters. THIS ONE is the best I have tasted in years and bakes like butter.
How to Make Vegan Shortbread Cookies
Over the years, I’ve been making the same shortbread recipe but since both my sister and a friend are unable to eat dairy based products, I thought I’d try my hand at making a vegan version for Christmas for them.
I found the Becel plant spread and gave it a whirl and, lo and behold, my kids and husband could barely tell the difference! I have to agree, it’s really really close to my original recipe that I’ve been making for years so I decided to write this up for those of you who are in the same boat and can’t eat dairy. I hope you like it!
To make this vegan shortbread, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- salted margarine (the Becel I used above is a good one or any other kind you like)
- icing sugar
Whip the margarine and icing sugar together well. Once it looks all creamy, get your flour ready.
Start the mixer and slowly add in the flour, until it has all been added in. 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 un-greased baking sheet.
Top with sprinkles or a piece of Christmas cherry.
Bake them in a 300°F 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). I did have to bakes these a little higher than usual in order to get them to dry out with the vegan butter.
Vegan Powdered Sugar
Not all icing sugar/powdered sugar/confectioners’ sugar is vegan, but Red Path Sugar is for sure! Some companies use bone char in their process of making it powdered so make sure you check before assuming it’s vegan! However if it’s just the dairy that you are worried about, then it’s not as big of a deal.
I have literally made my living baking with butter, and I am incredibly impressed with this product! I hope you enjoy these! Let me know what you think by rating the recipe and leaving comments!
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Vegan Shortbread Cookies
- Prep Time
- 7 minutes
- Cook Time
- 35 minutes
- Christmas Cookies
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup Becel Plant Based Spread in stick or block form, not a tub
- 1/2 cup icing sugar/powdered sugar dairy free, but check each brand to make sure it has no animal byproducts
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 300 °F. Whip the Becel and icing sugar together well. 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 3-4 minutes. You are wanting lighter than air shortbread here. These whip up faster than normal butter.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough out onto an un-greased baking sheet.
- Top with daity free sprinkles or a piece of Christmas cherry.
- Bake them in a 300 °F 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).
- Some powdered sugars use bone char in their process, check with each company to see for full vegan, not just dairy free
- Make sure you get the sticks or the block form, not a soft spread in a tub when it comes to the Becel.
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.