When unexpected family and friends show up at your door and you have nothing to offer, this is a great quick recipe to put together to tantalise their taste buds to go with some warming tea or coffee.

Makes 12* small bites


250g plain flour
75g caster sugar
175g plant based butter (I use Vitalite in the UK and Earth Balance Original in US)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
Pinch of sea salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 165C
  2. Grease a flat baking tray or use a piece of baking paper
  3. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together before rubbing in the butter and vanilla essence
  4. The mixture will start to come together into a ball.  If the mixture is too dry, add a little plant based milk of your choice (I use Oat or Almond)
  5. Put the cookie mixture onto a floured flat surface/chopping board.  Flour a rolling pin and roll mixture out until the mix is 1/2 inch thick
  6. With a cookie cutter shape and size of your choice, cut out 12* pieces and put onto your baking tray
  7. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until lightly golden
  8. Leave to cool and then enjoy

1. Chocolate Shortbread:  Add 1/3 cup of dairy free chocolate pieces/nibs at Stage 3 above
2. Fruity Shortbread:  Add 1/3 cup of mixed dried fruits at Stage 3 above
3.  Lemon & Ginger:  Add 1/2 tsp of natural lemon extract and 1/2 tsp of ginger powder
4.  Gluten Free flour works well with this recipe by simply replacing the flour with a Gluten Free self raising one (Doves Farm is one I use) and adding 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

*12:  the amount this recipe will make will depend on the size of shortbreads you make.  There is no right or right.  You can even put the whole batch into a square baking tray and with a spoon, flatten the mixture out and with a sharp knife make an indent of your cookie to create square or rectangular pieces, finished with poking a fork in the top for design.  When you remove the shortbread from the oven, you can sprinkle some caster sugar over the top and once cool, simply break the shortbread into the pre-cup pieces.

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