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Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

These lightly sweet, whipped shortbread cookies, topped with a cherry, are easy to make and melt in your mouth – they’re perfect for Christmas!

shortbread Christmas cookies

These whipped shortbread cookies are my favourite Christmas cookie. Actually they’re my entire family’s favourite Christmas cookie.

They’re not overly sweet, just a crisp, buttery cookie, topped with candied cherries to add some sweetness, and to make them nice and Christmas-y looking.

whipped shortbread Christmas cookies

We make at least a double batch every year, and they’re still the first Christmas cookie to disappear.

If you’ve never made whipped shortbread cookies, you need to try this recipe! They’re so easy to make, and everyone loves these tasty, melt in your mouth cookies!

whipped shortbread cookies

Why is it called shortbread?

It’s called shortbread because of the large amount of butter in the cookies.

The term short means crumbly, like pastry should be.

So shortbread cookies are buttery cookies that are a bit crumbly. Don’t expect a chewy cookie – shortbread cookies are crisp, lightly sweet, and a bit crumbly.

whipped shortbread cookies

What does shortbread taste like?

There is a lot of butter in shortbread, but not as much sugar as you might expect, like sugar cookies.

Shortbread has a buttery, lightly sweet taste. They are not overly sweet.

If you like your cookies really sweet, you might prefer sugar cookies to shortbread.

whipped shortbread cookies

Can you freeze shortbread cookies?

I freeze my whipped shortbread cookies every year.

Place the cooled cookies in an airtight container with wax paper in between the layers of cookies to prevent them sticking together, and freeze for up to 3 months.

They defrost very quickly at room temperature, and are very good even when they’re still cold.

easy whipped shortbread

How to make Whipped Shortbread Cookies:

  • You can use a stand mixer, food processor or electric hand mixer to make these cookies – I’ve used all three with good results.
  • Make sure you whip the dough well. It will be crumbly at first and then will come together into a ball – this takes 2-3 minutes of whipping in a stand mixer or food processor, and 4-5 minutes with an electric hand mixer. It takes longer than most cookie doughs to mix but the cookies will be difficult to roll into balls if you don’t whip the dough long enough.
  • If candied cherries don’t appeal to you, you can make them without or put something else (chocolate, nuts, sprinkles, whatever you like) on top, but keep in mind that the cookies themselves aren’t super sweet.
  • If you have a cookie press, these cookies can also be shaped with one of those instead of rolling the dough into balls and pressing it down with a fork. It may depend on the cookie press, but mine makes the cookies quite small, so the bake time is only about 8 minutes instead of 12-14 minutes.
  • I have recipes for 4 other flavours of whipped shortbread cookies. You can find them here: 5 Tasty Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Here are some more great Christmas cookie recipes for you:

easy, homemade whipped shortbread
Yield: 30 cookies

Whipped Shortbread

easy whipped shortbread

These lightly sweet, whipped shortbread cookies, topped with a cherry, are easy to make and melt in your mouth - they're perfect for Christmas!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup (0.5 lb, 227g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1.4oz, 40g) corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5oz, 213g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 57g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5mL) vanilla
  • 15 candied cherries, sliced in half


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the candied cherries in half. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the corn starch, flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and whip until light and fluffy. Make sure to whip the dough until it comes together into a ball and isn't crumbly at all (see Notes).
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each, and place them about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Dip a fork into a small bowl of flour and press the cookies down with it to flatten them. Make sure to dip the fork into the flour and shake off the excess before flattening each cookie so that it doesn’t stick.
  5. Place half a cherry in the middle of each cookie, pressing it down lightly.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


Be sure to measure the flour correctly for these cookies. I use the dip and sweep method to measure my flour (fluff up the flour in the bin first, then scoop with your measuring cup and level it off with a knife or flat edge). I also measure my powdered sugar and cornstarch this way. I've included the weights as well, so you can use a kitchen scale instead if you have one.

When whipping the dough, be sure to keep whipping until the dough has come together into a ball and is light and fluffy. It will be crumbly at first but will be smooth after whipping it for 2-3 minutes in a stand mixer or food processor, or 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer.

If candied cherries aren't your thing, chunks of chocolate are good, or sprinkles, or nothing at all - the cookies are great on their own too!

Source: My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 8.9gFiber: 0.2gSugar: 2.8gProtein: 0.7g

Sheena Royle

Monday 17th of December 2018

These were quick easy and yummy!! I did have to add a few tablespoons of milk to get it to form a dough, otherwise it was just staying powdery.


Friday 14th of December 2018

Just wondering if these would need any salt since the recipe calls for unsalted butter?


Friday 14th of December 2018

I never add any. That being said, I have made them with salted butter instead and they are just as good. So you can definitely use salted butter instead if you like - I don't actually find it matters too much for these cookies.


Saturday 8th of December 2018

I used a recipe from Best of Bridge that called for mixing ingredients for 10 minutes (said more mixing the better) so I used my food processor. The butter melted and mixture separated. Can I still use when butter hardens or should I throw out.


Saturday 8th of December 2018

I've never had that happen Amy, that's too bad! I would certainly still try using it once the butter hardens again - worth a try. I would put the dough into the fridge and let it firm up again (not cold and rock hard, just firm enough that it's solid and about room temp again) and then try mixing it to bring it together again (maybe with cookie paddles in a stand mixer instead if you have one?), and bake them. I've never had that happen (and I've made these with my food processor many times - but I mix for 2-3 minutes in the food processor) so I'm not positive it will work, but it's worth a try. Good luck!


Sunday 2nd of December 2018

For powdered sugar can I use icing sugar As we don’t get powdered sugar here in Canada... have seen super fine grain sugar...



Monday 17th of December 2018

Powered sugar is same as icing sugar. For some odd reason Americans tend to refer to it as powdered.


Tuesday 4th of December 2018

Powdered sugar and icing sugar are the same thing. I tend to use either word - I'm in Canada and have always called it icing sugar, but always got a lot of questions asking what it was when I said that so have started saying powdered sugar more often now. I need to just start putting both words I think!


Monday 1st of January 2018

I’ve made these for years, but mine are called “Pastel Melt-Aways”. You can tint the dough too, also roll two colors in a log and cut or roll in colored dots. I don’t use the candied jellies. Great recipe.

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