Melt in the mouth, gently spiced, buttery ginger shortbread speckled with little pieces of sweet and spicy stem ginger. Very seasonal and truly delicious!
Shortbread cookies or biscuits even though not as synonymous with Christmas as mince pies or gingerbread biscuits (at least here in the UK), they've definitely become a substantial part of festive baking traditions.
The fact that they make most wonderful edible gift shouldn't be overlooked here either.
My ginger shortbread (even though vegan) is still beautifully crumbly, short and with that melt in the mouth quality we want to see in good shortbread.
It is sweet and spicy at the same time. Spice comes not only from ground ginger but also candy like stem ginger pieces which makes these lovely little biccies so special.
Do add these to your festive baking list this year!
For soft and chewy cookie alternative, make sure to check out my Chewy Ginger Biscuits which are out of this world delicious
✔️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick and easy festive bake.
- Perfect edible gift for family and friends.
- They store and freeze well too.
- Nice little change from mince pies.
- Easy to adapt recipe which you can use as a base and adapt flavours as required.
- As crumbly and buttery as dairy butter shortbread but fully vegan, dairy and nut free.
Here's what you will need to make my Ginger Shortbread:
Plain (All-Purpose) Flour - Do not be tempted to use self-raising flour here.
Cornflour (Corn Starch) - This extra ingredient is well worth adding as it gives shortbread that melt-in-the mouth, delicate texture.
It can be substituted with equal amount of rice flour or potato starch.
***Quick Tip*** Although I do recommend using cornflour or equivalent for that tender texture, you can make shortbread without it. Simply substitute with equal amount of plain flour.
Caster (Fine) Sugar - You can also use icing sugar here but I wouldn't recommend regular granulated sugar as it will make your shortbread gritty.
Vegan Butter - Use vegan block butter like Flora Plant (UK) or Naturli. I would recommend using salted butter or adding a small pinch of salt to the dough.
If you eat dairy products, standard dairy block butter can be used here instead.
Ground Ginger - Our base of flavour for ginger shortbread.
Stem Ginger (In Syrup) - This is stuff of dreams if sweet and spicy is your thing. I absolutely adore it's chewy, almost candy like texture which adds a little surprise as you bite into the shortbread.
I love this one but there are lots of supermarket own brands which are just as good.
Ingredient quantities & detailed instructions to be found in recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Put room temperature butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat it with hand mixer until pale, light and fluffy.
***Quick Tip*** If you don't have hand mixer you can use stand mixer with paddle attachment or mix it by hand with a wooden spoon.
Next, sieve flour, cornflour and ground ginger into a bowl with butter and sugar mixture.
Start rubbing dry ingredients into the butter mixture with your fingers until it starts coming together in small lumps.
Add chopped stem ginger and mix all of the ingredients together until you are able to form the dough.
Shape it into a log (approximately 17cm/6.7in long, 5cm/2in in diameter), wrap tightly and put in a fridge for 30 minutes.
Towards the end of chilling time preheat the oven to 150°C(Fan)/300°F/Gas Mark 3.
Take the dough out of the fridge and slice it into approx 17-20 rounds.
Place them on baking trays lined with baking paper making sure to leave some space between the rounds.
Bake in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven you might want to rotate baking trays half way for even baking).
Once out of the oven, sprinkle your shortbread with some caster sugar (optional) and let it sit on baking trays for a few minutes before transferring onto wire rack to cool completely.
Store: Shortbread will keep in the air tight container for up to 10 days.
Freeze: You can freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months. Flash freeze them in single layer first and once rock solid, transfer to freezer friendly bag. This way they will stay separated and won't clump together.
You can also freeze shortbread dough, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.
Defrost: To defrost baked shortbread cookies, let them sit at room temperature for an hour or so.
Shortbread dough should be defrosted in the fridge overnight before you can proceed with baking as per recipe card below.
💭 Pro tips
For best results use digital scale when measuring out ingredients for baking.
Don't overwork the dough. Mix it with your hands only until it comes together.
Always chill shortbread dough before baking. Warm dough is prone to spreading.
If you choose to roll the dough out to cut out festive shapes, I would recommend to chill cut out cookies on baking trays for another 15 minutes before baking. If you are cutting the rounds as per this recipe no second chilling is needed.
Keep an eye on your shortbread and adjust baking time as needed as our ovens vary. You want your shortbread to be light golden or even pale.
Shortbread will be a bit soft when it comes out of the oven hence it's important to let it sit on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring onto wire rack.
No you don't but it does help with its delicate, melt in the mouth texture.
Yes, feel free to roll the dough out once chilled and cut out some lovely shapes. I would then chill the cut out biscuits once again for 15 minutes before baking to help them keep their shape and avoid spreading.
Also, make sure not to roll the dough out too thinly.
Prepared dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you need to keep it for longer I would recommend freezing it instead.
Have you tried my Ginger Shortbread Cookies?
Please consider giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in recipe card below and share your views or tips in the comments.
- 115 g vegan block butter - salted or unsalted at room temperature; see notes
- 50 g caster sugar see notes
- 150 g plain (all-purpose) flour
- 25 g cornflour (corn starch) see notes
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 30-50 g stem ginger in syrup finely chopped; see notes
- pinch of salt if using unsalted butter optional
- extra caster sugar for sprinkling on baked cookies optional
- Put room temperature butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat it with hand mixer until pale, light and fluffy.***Quick Tip*** If you don't have hand mixer you can use stand mixer with paddle attachment or mix it by hand with a wooden spoon.115 g vegan block butter - salted or unsalted, 50 g caster sugar
- Next, sieve flour, cornflour, ground ginger and salt (if using) into a bowl with butter and sugar mixture.150 g plain (all-purpose) flour, 25 g cornflour (corn starch), 1 teaspoon ground ginger, pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
- Start rubbing dry ingredients into the butter mixture with your fingers until it starts coming together in small lumps.
- Add chopped stem ginger and mix all of the ingredients together until you are able to form the dough.30-50 g stem ginger in syrup
- Shape it into a log (approximately 17cm/6.7in long, 5cm/2in in diameter), wrap tightly and put in a fridge for 30 minutes. Towards the end of chilling time preheat the oven to 150°C(Fan)/300°F/Gas Mark 3.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and slice it into approx 17-20 rounds. Place them on baking trays lined with baking paper making sure to leave some space between the rounds. Bake in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven you might want to rotate baking trays half way for even baking).Once out of the oven, sprinkle your shortbread with some caster sugar (optional) and let it sit on baking trays for a few minutes before transferring onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Nutritional information is approximate, per cookie (based on 20 cookies) and should be treated as a rough guideline only.
- When using unsalted butter, I like to add a pinch of salt for extra flavour.
- Feel free to use icing sugar instead of caster but not granulated.
- Cornflour can be substituted with rice flour or potato starch or if you don't have any, equal amount of plain flour. However, I would recommend adding it as it contributes to lovely, tender texture of shortbread.
- I usually use 2 balls of stem ginger in my shortbread but feel free to adjust amount to your liking.
- Store in the airtight container for up to 10 days or free for up to 3 months. For more details on freezing baked cookies and raw dough see 🥡 Storing above.