4.34 from 157 votes

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

These delightful holiday whipped shortbread cookies will melt in your mouth. They are light, buttery, and SO easy to make.

plate of whipped shortbread cookies

Whipped Shortbread Cookies are a classic holiday cookie that are always a hit. They are easy to make, light as air, melt in your mouth with every bite, and are perfect for cookie exchanges. I love how light and buttery they are and prefer them over the traditional shortbread cookies.

They don’t require any hard-to-find ingredients, either. The recipe is made with only butter, powdered sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour. Pretty simple, right? In fact, you probably have everything you need to make these delicious cookies in your pantry and fridge right now!

This whipped shortbread cookie recipe makes a batch of 18 cookies. You can easily double or triple the recipe if you’re making a holiday cookie tray for a cookie exchange or want to make extras to put in the freezer for Christmas.

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    I’d love to get back into holiday cookie exchanges again. I participated in one in a previous year and ended up with so many delicious varieties of cookies. I had more Christmas cookies than I knew what to do with! I might ask a few friends this year if they’d like to get one going. If we do, I’ll make this easy whipped shortbread cookie recipe.

    Ready to start baking? Here’s what you need to know.

    Why You’ll Love These Whipped Shortbread Cookies

    • A super simple recipe you can make using ingredients you already have in your pantry or fridge
    • Bake up in under 30 minutes, so they’re the perfect last-minute holiday treat
    • A classic cookie recipe that can be built upon with various spices, extracts, and mix-ins
    • Perfect addition to your holiday cookie trays
    • Great for freezing so you don’t have to do all of your holiday baking all at once
    plate of whipped shortbread cookies


    Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make the best shortbread cookies you’ve ever tasted. For a complete list of ingredients, measurements, and instructions, go to the full recipe below.

    • Butter: Unsalted butter is used for this recipe, and it gives the cookies their delicious buttery flavor. If using salted butter, omit the salt listed on the recipe card.
    • Powdered Sugar: Also called confectioner’s sugar, this adds sweetness and helps create the cookies’ light texture.
    • Salt: Plain table salt works just fine. Omit the salt if you’re using salted butter.
    • Cornstarch: This helps bind the ingredients together and makes the cookies light, fluffy, and puffy. They’ll melt in your mouth!
    • All-Purpose Flour: Make sure you measure your flour carefully using dry measuring cups or a kitchen scale. Too much flour will make your cookies crumbly, and too little flour makes the dough spread while baking.
    Ingredients to make whipped shortbread cookies.

    How to Make Whipped Shortbread Cookies

    • Step One: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grab a cookie sheet, and set it aside.
    • Step Two: In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together: butter, powdered sugar, salt, corn starch, and flour. Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture creams together. It will be crumbly at first. Don’t panic! After you’ve mixed it for at least five minutes, it will come together and resemble cookie dough.
    Steps to make whipped shortbread cookies.
    • Step Three: Drop by teaspoonfuls on the ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
    • Step Four: Remove the shortbread cookies from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
    Steps to make whipped shortbread cookies.
    • Step Five: Store cooled cookies in a covered airtight container.

    Equipment Needed

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    3 whipped shortbread cookies on a plate

    What to Serve with Whipped Shortbread Cookies

    Enjoy a couple of cookies with a cup of my cinnamon hot chocolate. It’s cozy, sweet, and delicious—the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold winter’s day. 

    This gingerbread latte is an excellent choice, too. It’s my go-to fall and winter drink with rich spices and indulgent flavor that pairs perfectly with a tender cookie.

    To continue with the buttery theme, try this yummy butterscotch steamer. Hot, sweet, and brimming with butterscotch flavor, you can whip up a couple of cups in under five minutes to enjoy with your favorite cookies.

    There’s never a bad time to enjoy a cinnamon cappuccino. The sweet and warm combination of cinnamon and coffee topped with whipped cream is an irresistible treat, especially when paired with these cookies!

    Go for a deeper flavor with this mocha latte. The richness of the coffee and chocolate pair perfectly with the simple buttery cookies. 

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • Allow your butter to soften to room temperature before mixing up your whipped shortbread cookie dough.
    • To prevent spreading, chill the cookie dough for 15-30 minutes in the fridge before baking.
    • Press down on the cookies with a fork to add some visual interest (plus they make great ridges for holding sprinkles!)

    Variations and Substitutions

    • Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to up the flavor factor. Try ¼-½ teaspoon of almond extract or lemon extract for a different flavor variation. These are more potent flavors, so you’ll need less than you’d use for vanilla extract.
    • Top with sanding sugar sprinkles right before baking for shimmer and a festive touch — perfect for holiday baking.
    • Add a thumbprint in each cookie to fill with jams or preserves before baking
    Whipped shortbread cookies on a plate with a bite out of one cookie

    Storage Instructions

    Best Way to Store Whipped Shortbread Cookies

    These classic holiday cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days. You can store them for an additional week or so in the fridge. Allow cookies to come to room temperature before serving.

    Can I Freeze Whipped Shortbread Cookies?

    Yes, you can freeze these cookies baked or unbaked.

    For unbaked cookie dough, drop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet by the teaspoonful, and flash freeze for about an hour. When the dough is firm, transfer it to a zip-top freezer bag or an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. The cookies can be baked from frozen, adding about 2-3 minutes to the baking time.

    For baked cookies, let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container. Thaw frozen cookies on a plate lined with a paper towel. 

    christmas planner image

    What is the difference between whipped shortbread and regular shortbread?

    Although they both use the same basic ingredients, whipped shortbread requires you to beat the ingredients together for much longer. We recommend whipping the ingredients for five minutes for this recipe. This process adds more air to the cookie dough, which makes cookies that are lighter and fluffier in texture. Regular shortbread cookies, on the other hand, are denser.

    If your whipped shortbread spreads and flattens on the cookie sheet, it’s likely you didn’t add enough flour. Remember to use dry measuring cups for non-liquid ingredients. A dry measure cup allows you to level it off perfectly, ensuring you have just the right amount.

    Another reason for spreading is that the butter is too warm. Remember to use softened butter, not melted butter, to get the consistency just right.

    Can I use a butter substitute for this whipped shortbread recipe?

    While you can substitute margarine in equal measure for the butter, I don’t recommend it unless it’s a must for dietary reasons. The main flavor and ingredient in this recipe is butter, so margarine, plant-based butter, and other butter substitutes change the flavor. When possible, use real butter for the perfect whipped shortbread cookies.

    Can I bake more than one sheet of cookies at a time?

    I don’t recommend baking more than one sheet of cookies at a time. The cookie sheet should be placed in the middle rack of your oven for even heat distribution while baking. If you have one on a higher rack and one on a lower rack, the cookies on the lower one can burn on the bottom. 

    stack of whipped shortbread cookies
    • Cinnamon Roll Cookies: Get all the flavors of a fluffy cinnamon roll in a soft and chewy cookie. The cinnamon-spiced sugar cookie dough is swirled with brown sugar and cinnamon filling, baked until golden brown, and topped with a sweet powdered sugar glaze.
    • Fudge Cookies: Rich, chewy, and chocolatey… perfect with a tall glass of cold milk. Not only are they perfect for the holidays, but you can indulge in these delectable bites anytime during the year. Kids go crazy for them!
    • Rice Krispie Cookies: Cookies that are both crunchy and tender at the same time? Yes, please! These yummy cookies are loaded with Rice Krispies, shredded coconut, salted caramel chips, and oats for lots of texture and flavor.
    • Cream Cheese Cookies: My cream cheese cookies are very similar to this recipe, but they’re super creamy. The recipe makes 5 dozen, so it’s perfect for your holiday cookie exchange. Dress them up with sprinkles if you’d like!
    • Fiddle Diddles: These no-bake cookies are easy to make, cheap, and incredibly delicious. Dress them up with chocolate or butterscotch, or make the plain version, which is perfectly tasty, too. 

    Try Cool Whip Cookies and Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies.

    I’d love to hear about the cookies you’re baking up this holiday season. Do you make them for cookie exchanges or just to serve to your friends and family?

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes. 

    If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!

    4.34 from 157 votes

    Whipped Shortbread Cookies

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 18
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 12 minutes
    Total Time 27 minutes
    These delightful holiday cookies will melt in your mouth. They are light, buttery and SO easy to make.


    • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ cup cornstarch
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour


    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Add butter, powdered sugar, salt, cornstarch and flour to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture creams together.
    • Drop by teaspoonfuls on to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.


    You will need to beat the mixture for at least 5 minutes. It will be crumbly at first, but eventually will cream together.


    Serving: 1g | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.8g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 10.2g | Saturated Fat: 6.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.4g | Cholesterol: 27.1mg | Sodium: 66mg | Sugar: 2.7g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Desserts
    Cuisine American
    Keyword christmas cookies, cookies, holiday cookies, whipped shortbread cookies

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    4.34 from 157 votes (155 ratings without comment)

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    Recipe Rating


    1. 5 stars
      So easy to make and delicious

    2. 5 stars
      Followed exact recipe !! Turned out perfect!! A very fragile cookie tho but delicious indeed!!

    3. Can I use almond flour as an all purpose flour sub?

      1. I haven’t tried that personally, but have seen shortbread cookies made with almond flour so thinking it would be ok.

    4. Will these turn out the same if I use a gluten-free 1:1 flour ? (Like Bob’s Red Mill)

      1. I’m not that experienced with gluten free baking, but from what I’ve read I think they should still work ok!

    5. I just made these delicious cookies. But they are
      As flat as they can be. What happened? They look like

    6. Sandra Ross says:

      To make them more festive, can you put colored sugars on them before you bake them?

    7. Can I make with a stand mixer? If so would I use the paddle attachment or the whisk one?

    8. I’m planning to make these & im then goin to dip 1/2 in chocolate .

    9. Can this be made on a baking sheet and cut into squares? I was thinking of adding chopped pecans. Has anyone done this?

    10. Hi is it really 1/2 Cup Cornstarch ? Or 1/2 teaspoon I wax thinking cornstarch is salty

      1. Just made them. They are salty aren’t they.

        1. Hmm… did you use salted butter? 1/2 teaspoon of salt seems like a reasonable ratio to the other dry ingredients and shouldn’t make these cookies overly salty.

    11. Can you add sprinkles or something to them they just look so plain..

    12. I loved this recipe! They literally melted in your mouth. I believe it’s because of the cornstarch which some recipes don’t add. I got 35 cookies and I did drop them from tablespoons onto to cookie sheet. I also baked them a few minutes longer until they just started to turn a light brown on the bottom.

    13. ‘Seems a bit silly to have to ask, but is the flour an AP flour? This recipe seems perfect for the holidays – Can’t wait to make a few batches.

    14. I love shortbread cookies, these look so good! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend and come back soon!
      Miz Helen

    15. This looks incredible! They look light and sound delicious! Thank you for sharing at Celebrate it!

    16. These sound wonderful! I love a plain shorbread cookie. Just printed and added to my Christmas cookie recipes. Visit me for some delicious grape recipes!

    17. They look awesome. I love the simple old fashioned cookie recipes. This is very similar to one of my grandma’s recipes. 🙂

    18. Elizabeth Vlug says:

      Whipped Shortbreads are one of my favourites. Pinning your recipe.

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