Shortbread Cookies are a soft, crumbly, and classic buttery Christmas cookie that melts in your mouth. These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites.

When I bite into one of these delicious shortbread cookies, it just brings me back to my Grandma’s kitchen filled with butter cookies, sugar cookies, and these beauties.

shortbread cookies on a christmas plate

What Are Shortbread Cookies?

Everyone has that one Christmas cookie that just tastes like the holidays… this is mine!

Shortbread cookies are actually very simple to make and require ingredients you likely already have on hand! They are a butter-based cookie that will literally melt in your mouth! I use a cookie press to make these cookies so they do look similar to a Spritz Cookie. The texture and flavor are different as spritz cookies generally contain an egg while shortbread does not.

One thing to remember is that all of the flavors in these cookies comes from butter and vanilla.  This is a good place to splurge and buy a butter you know and love (rather than a store brand), it will definitely show in the flavor of your cookies.  I use high-quality vanilla as well.

shortbread cookies on a christmas plate

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

This shortbread cookie recipe is especially close to my heart. I didn’t eat a ton of cookies but I could never resist my Grandma’s shortbread cookies. This recipe has been tested over and over and recently updated to make it easier and for the best flavor!

Easy Shortbread Cookies on a baking sheet before cooking

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients and blend in butter mixture until combined.
  3. Use a cookie press to press out the dough onto ungreased cookie tray. (Or, if you don’t have a press, follow the recipe suggestion)

To ensure the shortbread cookies don’t turn out too dense make sure to measure the flour properly.

Easy Shortbread Cookies on a baking sheet made with a cookie press

How To Bake Shortbread Cookies

Make sure the oven is preheated to 350°F. I like to line the tray with parchment for perfect cookies every time. However, without parchment, your cookies will still turn out great, just bake them following the recipe instructions below!

I am lucky enough to have an old vintage cookie press that I’ve had for years (check your local thrift shops, they turn up from time to time).  It creates the same beautiful cookies from my childhood! But if you don’t have a cookie press, use a fork or alternatively, a glass to press the cookies into a flattened shape about 1/4 inch thick on the tray.

shortbread cookies on a plate

Can You Freeze Shortbread Cookie Dough?

Shortbread dough can be frozen for up to three months. Once you thaw it and bake it, it shouldn’t be refrozen again, so alternatively, try baking the cookies before freezing in tins (there really is nothing quite like the taste of a frozen shortbread cookie!) You can freeze them with or without icing.

Shortbread cookies are a staple at Christmas. The holidays just wouldn’t be quite the same without them!

Delicious Holiday Cookies

Note: While this recipe has been made many times as written, measurements have been slightly adjusted to create more consistent results.

shortbread cookies on a plate
4.62 from 62 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Whipped Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)

Easy shortbread cookies are simple and classic buttery cookies that melt in your mouth. These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites. High-quality butter and vanilla will produce the best results.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 24 cookies


  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Mix in cornstarch and salt.
  • Add flour a little bit at a time. Beat until just combined.
  • Place dough into a cookie press and press onto an ungreased pan. Add sprinkles or colored sugar if desired.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes or just until done. Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool.


If you don't have a cookie press, you can make small balls about ¾" and press flat with fork.
4.62 from 62 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 116 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cookies, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American

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The Best Shortbread Cookie Icing

Of course you can use classic sugar cookie icing to decorate shortbread cookies.

  • Or, try serving them up on a platter with chocolate buttercream frosting and a knife for spreading it!
  • My kids love to drizzle or dip shortbread cookies in melted chocolate. Mix a cup of chocolate chips with half a teaspoon of oil, and microwave at 10 second intervals, stirring until the chips melt. You can use white chocolate chips for this, caramel, or peanut butter, too!
  • Or, the heck with it, just grab a jar of Nutella or make your own and have at it!
Easy Shortbread Cookies made on a baking sheet with a title
Easy Shortbread Cookies on a baking sheet with a title
Easy Shortbread Cookies and a cookie press with writing
making Easy Shortbread Cookies with a cookie press and a title
process of making Easy Shortbread Cookies with a title


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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    1. Sorry you didn’t love the recipe as we did but 1/2 cup of cornstarch is correct! Our recipe is an old family recipe but is similar to the recipe printed on the cornstarch package!

  1. This is one of my favorite Christmas cookies. I have been using this recipe for the past 5 years. One year part of my cookie press batch fell apart once it was cooled. Nevertheless, I improvised by making it into several sandwich cookies filled with homemade frosting. They were a huge hit. My ugly sandwich cookies were the first to go over the other perfectly pressed cookies. Lol. I am looking forward to making them again.5 stars

  2. Bland flavorless cookies, weird mouthfeel.

    Dough so thick that it couldn’t be squeezed through a cookie press.

    These are terrible cookies.1 star

  3. As others mentioned, the cookie dough was crumbly and dry. I added some milk to get them to a point where they could form into a cookie. Not good. Did you mean a 1/2 CUP of corn starch? That sounds like an awful lot. It that correct?1 star

    1. Yes, 1/2 cup of cornstarch is correct as written. While the ratios in this recipe are actually from my Grandma’s recipe, it’s also similar to the recipes printed right on the cornstarch package. (Ours contains a bit more butter and flour).

      I made these again this week and they turned out perfectly.

      When measuring your dry ingredients, did you spoon them gently into the measuring cups? Scooping with the measuring cups can add extra flour. Did you cream the butter 3 minutes before adding the other ingredients? I hope that helps.

  4. Would you be able to add the weight conversions you use beside the volume measurements of each ingredient for this recipe? (Except for the vanilla, of course.) I find weighing much more accurate than measuring by volume in cups. I would do it myself, but I find there are variations in the conversions depending upon who is writing the recipe so that is why I am asking you if you can post these for us. Thank you.

    1. Hello Michelle, I am unable to provide conversions however there are online converters that may help you.

  5. Hello, I’m interested in trying these, however I’m not sure which step the powered sugar is used in. Is it creamed with the butter initially?

  6. hi i made theae in my cookie press and they tasted amazing however they baked super thin im not sure how to get them thicker (if you know what i mean

    1. I’d suggest that you lift your cookie press as you pressing the cookies and make sure that you push out enough dough. Make sure to not overbake, as they may start to spread. Hope that helps Zeennie!

  7. Hi! I’ve been looking forever for a cookie press recipe without eggs, or unfortunately dairy. I was wondering if anyone has tried this with a vegan butter or shortening? My boy has severe allergies and my girl LOVES using the cookie press. He’s getting to the age now where he knows someone is eating something he’s not so I’m trying to find a recipe that suits everyone. Thanks!5 stars

    1. That is tough Sara. We have not tried this recipe with vegan butter or shortening but I would love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

  8. This recipe is one of the biggest fails I’ve had in baking. Same as a couple of others commented, the dough was crumbly and didn’t come together at all, and yes, I did measure the flour correctly. I tried to add an egg as one of the commenters recommended and although it did bring this together into an actual dough it was a disaster in there cookie press. Normally, I would just scrap the cookie plan and eat the dough, but it tasted so bland I tossed it. I just made a different recipe last week that was a cocoa version and it was much better and this was very disappointing.

    1. Oh no, that’s disappointing Kate. I made this three times this year as written for Christmas and had no problems so I can’t say what went wrong for you.

  9. Fabulous but why the corn starch as it’s in the powdered sugar already? Wouldn’t cream of tartar be better? I know you create recipes so this is not meant as a criticism I really want to know. I appreciate your time thank you for reading 5 stars

    1. Hi Paige, this is just what we found worked best in this recipe. If you try it with cream of tartar instead I would love to hear how it turns out!

  10. Can you use a pastry bag with large star tip? Also, can you use an egg white wash for the sprinkles to stick? Thank you

    1. You could definitely try a pastry bag Christie, that should work fine. As for the sprinkles we found they stuck to our cookies as is! Have fun baking.

  11. Having a hard time with batter not holding together, very dry. Hard to get into press. No liquid other than vanilla?

  12. Great flavor, I used almond & vanilla extracts. But 350 seems low. And my oven tends to run hot. I baked these at 350 for close to 15 mins before they would hold together.4 stars

  13. You have some wonderful recipes that I look forward to trying! First up is the shortbread that I can make in my cookie press!

    1. Hi Minnie, you can order one, pick one up at your local supermarket, or we have even found some great ones at our local thrift store.