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Gluten-Free Shortbread is drenched in chocolate and sprinkled with pecans. So delicious! All-purpose flour option included.

This easy gluten-free shortbread recipe is made in a tart pan and is dipped in chocolate for an extra special treat. So delicious!

I’m definitely a soft and chewy cookie type of gal. The only exceptions are these Swedish pepparkakor (ginger cookies) and shortbread. I’d never made shortbread before I started working on this post because I always just assumed that a homemade version wouldn’t come close Walker’s, my favorite brand of shortbread.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started trying out shortbread recipes. I tried 7 different recipes which basically only called for flour, butter and sugar but they all came out so differently. What I learned was that if you want anything truly like Walker’s shortbread, you’re just going to have to buy it. And the type of sugar plays a huge role!

Gluten-Free Shortbread is covered in chocolate and sprinkled with pecans. Simple and delicious. All-purpose flour option included.

I tried some recipes with powdered sugar and that resulted in shortbread that melts in your mouth. It was okay but not what I was looking for. Then I made some recipes with brown sugar and I was in heaven.

Traditional shortbread doesn’t call for brown sugar (or vanilla, for that matter) but when something improves the flavor, I don’t really care about what’s traditional and what’s not. I bet you’ll agree with me after trying these buttery shortbread cookies, which have something of a caramelized flavor to them.

Gluten-Free Shortbread is drenched in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts. Easy and delicious. All-purpose flour option included.

Something else I experienced is that rolling out cookie dough is far too fussy when you can just pat the dough into a tart pan, cut them into 8 pieces and call it a day. So much simpler and I think they look pretty neat that way when dipped (or more like slathered) in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts.

I made these cookies with all-purpose flour as well as this 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour. The gluten-free version was a little more sandy when you eat the cookies straight from the oven (which you shouldn’t do, anyway!) but after decorating, it was hard to tell a difference.

Gluten-Free Shortbread is covered in chocolate and sprinkled with crunchy nuts. All-purpose flour option included.

Throughout the entire shortbread testing period, my husband kept telling me that he doesn’t really like shortbread and so he only wanted a small bite from every batch. After I gave him his tiny trial of these chocolate dipped shortbread, he was yelling, “More! More! More!”

We enjoyed them so much that we decided to make them for our mailman, our elderly neighbor and for anyone else we feel like gifting with something ridiculously delicious. I can pretty much promise that nobody would be let down when they open up a tin of these shortbread!

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Gluten-Free Shortbread

By: Erin
4.29 from 21 ratings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This easy gluten-free shortbread recipe is made in a tart pan and is dipped in chocolate for an extra special treat. So delicious!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
  • ¾ cup milk chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate
  • cup finely chopped pecans or other nuts


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom.
  • In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla at medium speed until combined.
  • Gradually beat in the flour at low speed until the flour is well incorporated. Do not over mix!
  • Press the dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan and using a fork, poke holes about every 1".
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, place the chopped nuts on a baking sheet. When you remove the shortbread from the oven, toast the nuts for about 3-8 minutes or until they smell toasty (the time will depend on how finely the nuts are chopped).
  • Remove the shortbread from the oven and use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread into 8 wedges. The shortbread will be quite fragile so let it cool completely in the pan.
  • Carefully remove the cookies from the pan using a spatula.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on a baking sheet that will fit in your refrigerator.
  • Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat while stirring frequently.
  • Spoon the chocolate over the top and sides of a piece of shortbread and use the spoon to even it out. Place the shortbread on the parchment paper and sprinkle with nuts. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
  • Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden. You could alternatively let the cookies sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the chocolate has hardened.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


If you need this shortbread to be gluten-free, make sure all your ingredients are certified gluten-free.


Serving: 1wedge, Calories: 372kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 152mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Margaret Paris says:

    I wrote once but here are more questions. First these were gobbled up at dinner party; gluten free person was especially pleased. Questions: 1. The dough was especially sticky. I did put dough in pans in freezer for a minute or two. It helped a little. 2. 20 min. baking did not yield a firm cookie/crust. What to do for firm, slightly hard crust.   Did mix up all at once enought for three pans. Did this cause the problems?
    Many thanks. I want to do this again since my gluten free daughter loved it so much.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hello! Doubling or tripling baking recipes can often be a tricky business; not all recipes increase well, so that may have contributed to some of the issues. Depending on how your oven is calibrated, you may need more time; if you baked all of the pans at once, that could also have increased the baking time needed. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe, though, and hope you try them again! Happy baking.

  2. M.C. says:

    Could you spread the melted chocolate on the shortbread before removing it from the pan? It seems it would be easier.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hello – You probably could, but it will definitely give it a different look. It may also make it trickier to cut, but if you give it a try please let us know how it goes! Happy baking.

  3. Rachelle says:

    Thank for this option! Excited to try it! Would this dough work if you rolled it out and used cookie cutters? My kids love using cookie cutters, especially around the holidays. :)

    1. Jamie says:

      I think cookie cutters would be great with this recipe, Rachelle! Happy baking!

    2. Erin says:

      I think if you make the gluten-free version, it may be a bit too fragile for cookie cutters. I could be wrong, though! I haven’t tried the all-purpose flour version with cookie cutters, but I think that would probably work.

  4. Deb Graham says:

    Looking forward to making this recipe as I was just diagnosed with celiac disease this week and our usual “go-to” Christmas gifts have always been delicious ooey gooey cinnamon rolls. Well, now, even making them the traditional way would unnecessarily expose me to gluten, so I’ve decided to do this gluten free version of shortbread instead. Thank you again.

    1. Erin says:

      Hi Deb! I hope that you and the recipients of these cookies will enjoy them. You can’t even tell that they’re gluten-free, so everyone should be happy. I have lots of other gluten-free recipes, in case you’re interested. :) Thanks for your comment!

  5. Paula says:

    Wonderful!  My closest friend is gluten-intolerant, but she loves shortbread…she’s also lactose intolerant so any chocolate is out but there is always peanut butter or jam.  She will love this!

    1. Erin says:

      That’s great! I hope she’ll enjoy this shortbread if she or you try it out. :)

  6. Kristen says:

    This is beautiful, Jamie, and thanks for including a gluten free option! I never know what to make for gluten free guests!

    1. Erin says:

      Thanks, Kristen! Using that GF all-purpose baking flour makes things so easy for people who don’t want to buy a ton of unusual specialty flours. :)