Special Gluten-Free Vegan Shortbread

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Special shortbread cookies that are tasty, grain-free and allergen-friendly.

We all need a treat once in a while! These Special Gluten-Free Vegan Shortbread cookies also happen to be grain-free and allergen-friendly!

I think these cookies are exactly the kind we should bake for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day. Especially if your loved ones have food allergies or sensitivities.

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Special Gluten-Free Vegan Shortbread

I first made these cookies when I was craving and missing the texture of classic well-known shortbread cookies. That version is traditionally made with refined sugar, wheat flour and butter.

When you are faced with a challenge of avoiding those ingredients, you need to get creative and make your own cookies!

This shortbread recipe is what I came up with but made them even better by using coconut palm sugar and grain-free ingredients.

Allergen-Friendly Cookie Recipe

This shortbread cookie recipe is really good made with almond meal/flour but because this is an allergen-friendly blog, it’s important to let you know that you can use homemade seed flour as a substitute.

It’s as simple, as using a coffee/spice grinder or small blender to mill your raw organic seeds or dry plain roasted seeds into a fine flour. You can sift the flour to remove any unwanted larger bits.


To replace the wheat flour that is traditionally used in shortbread cookies I included a combination of different grain-free ingredients.

Almond meal/flour, cassava flour and tapioca flour or arrowroot starch are the main 3 flours use in this very simple cookie recipe. 

If you can’t consume almond meal/flour due to allergies, you can use seed flour instead. See recipe for details.

Also, I need to mention that these cookies include a twist! I added some raspberry jam to the dough mixture to add extra natural flavour.


To make these cookies you will need:

  • Medium Mixing bowl
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups
  • Large Kitchen Knife (to Chop Chocolate)
  • Cutting Board
  • Cookie/Baking Sheet
  • Unbleached Parchment Paper
  • Cooling/Wire Rack
Soft free-form Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls recipe by freshisreal.com

Previous Recipe

This Soft Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls recipe is one you’re going to want to try if you miss squishy bread! You can bake them free-style like in the photo above or closely together as pull-apart rolls. You can watch this video to help you make them! 


Simpler Shortbread Cookies

You can make these cookies without the addition of jam, powdered sugar or the chocolate drizzle and the recipe will work equally well!

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Gluten-free, vegan shortbread cookies with a raspberry twist! Once baked, the cookies are dusted with organic powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate. These cookies are also grain-free and allergen-friendly.

Special Gluten-Free Vegan Shortbread

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  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1618 cookies 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven-Baked
  • Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan, Allergen-Friendly, Kid-Friendly
  • Diet: Gluten Free


An easy to make shortbread recipe with a twist—raspberry jam! The optional dried cranberries, powdered sugar and chocolate drizzle, make these gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, and allergen-friendly cookies extra special! 



6 tablespoons vegan butter, softened* 
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1 cup almond meal/flour** 
1/2 cup Otto’s cassava flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour (or arrowroot starch)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt*
1/4 cup raspberry jam***
1-4 to 1/3 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped

Decoration (optional)
2 tablespoons organic dried cranberries, finely chopped 
1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dark chocolate, chopped 
1 teaspoon coconut oil 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. To a medium bowl, combine the soft butter and sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the flours, salt and mix well. Note: It might appear crumbly at first but keep mixing and pressing down on the butter and mixture until well combined.
  4. Add jam and mix in. Add chopped chocolate and mix.
  5. Scoop out 16-18 small dough balls and gently flatten (just a little) each top with your fingers or a spoon. 
  6. Decorate each cookie with a few pieces of chopped dried cranberries (optional).
  7. Bake the cookies for 17 to 20 minutes on the middle oven rack. The edges will be slightly golden. 
  8. Remove from the oven, leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. 
  9. Once cooled, dust a thin layer of powdered sugar on each cookie with a tight mesh sifter/shaker (optional).
  10. Melt some dark chocolate with a little coconut oil, mix and drizzle over top of each cookie and enjoy!


1) TIP: When I bake this recipe, my cookies are usually ready in 19 minutes. 2) Kitchen Hack: I often use my tea strainer to dust a thin layer of powdered sugar on my baked goods! It works well! 3) Simpler Shortbread Cookies: You can make these cookies without the addition of jam, powdered sugar or the chocolate drizzle and the recipe will work equally well!

*If your vegan butter is salted, the 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt might not be necessary. Taste the dough, if it needs it, add a touch. I used soy-free Earth Balance. Six tablespoons of butter is a little less than half a cup if you don’t feel like measuring it out.
** Or try a 1-cup combo: pumpkin seed, tiger nut, almond meal/flour. For a nut-free version, replace the nut flour with more seed flour. You can use sunflower seed flour too with the pumpkin and tiger nut flour. TIP: To make seed flour, you will need a spice grinder or small blender. Add your raw organic seeds to the container, cover and blend until transformed into a fine flour. Don’t blend too long as it might turn into butter. Sift the flour to remove unwanted larger bits. You can also dry roast (in a cast iron skillet) the seeds beforehand to create an even more amazing flavourful flour.
*** I used a no sugar added store-bought raspberry jam. Incorporating a good quality jam will make your cookies taste amazing. If you have a homemade jam, it will be even better!


  1. Stephanie Perez

    Hi can you substitute the cassava flour? Thanks

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    • Hi Stephanie! Great question! Are you trying to keep them grain-free? If you want to try making the cookies without cassava flour you could increase the almond meal/flour and tapioca starch to replace the cassava flour. Please note that I haven’t tried the recipe that way but I’m pretty sure it could work. If that’s not how you want to tweak it, let me know and I can suggest something else.

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Make sure the ingredients you purchase are prepared in a facility free from the top allergens YOU AVOID. Gluten-free products should be certified GF and clearly labelled. Consult your medical professional with your dietary questions.

Even certified gluten-free ingredients such as GF oats, corn, seeds, etc., can create health problems for individuals following a GF diet. Always consult a medical professional if unsure about ingredients for your needs.