Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies (Gluten-Free Option)

These Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies come in two flavours: cranberry-pistachio or chocolate-hazelnut and both are delicious. They are buttery, crunchy, sweet and crispy with a golden edge – perfect for holiday baking.

These cookies are a bit of a revelation to me. I have wanted to make slice and bake shortbread biscuits for a while now and the holiday season seemed like the perfect time. I chose to go with two festive but classic flavours that while they are great at Christmas, will be just as delicious throughout the year.

How amazing are these Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies?

They are a delicious cookie and are so easy to make:

  • Buttery and sweet
  • Crunchy and crisp on the outside
  • Tender in the middle
  • Packed with nuts and dried fruits
  • Coated in chocolate
  • Easy to make
  • Easy to slice
  • Naturally vegan with gluten-free options
  • Perfect for the holidays

These cookies are so delicious and I hope you will love them as much as we all do – they might be my new favourite cookie! Skip ahead to the recipe card to make these now or let’s see what goes into them.

Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies on a metal tray
Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Hazelnut Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies
Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies

What ingredients go into the cookies?

The basic cookie dough is simple, sometimes you can’t beat butter and sugar:

  • Vegan butter: nothing beats it for these shortbread cookies so I suggest sticking to vegan butter. This is the block kind of butter as opposed to the spreadable variety.
  • Caster sugar: to add the sweetness of cookie dough. You can swap this for coconut sugar although the overall cookie dough will be much darker in colour.
  • Light brown sugar: to add a richness of flavour. You could swap this one for coconut sugar but the latter tends to be more coarse which isn’t ideal for cookie dough.
  • Vanilla essence: for the cookie dough flavour.
  • Plain or GF flour: this keeps the cookie dough super light and crisp. If you are using gluten-free flour, make sure it’s a blend that you usually bake with and that contains xantham gum to help bind the mix.
  • Salt: to enhance all the flavours.
  • Granulated or coconut sugar: this is for rolling the cookie dough logs in before slicing them so that when they bake they have a lovely golden crisp edge.

Simply blend, stir and combine the ingredients together for the cookie dough and then divide into two doughs to make the two flavours.

A stack of Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies
Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies

For the cranberry and pistachio cookies:

  • Cranberries: dried and unsweetened are best. You could swap this for other dried fruits, if you like. Chop them slightly smaller, too, for neater cookies.
  • Pistachios: chop them small to make slicing the dough easier and other nuts (or seeds) will also work.

As for the chocolate hazelnut cookies:

  • Dark chocolate: use your favourite chocolate for the tastiest Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies. Any dairy-free chocolate will work so you can try white or milk chocolate, too.
  • Hazelnuts: most of the hazelnuts go inside the cookie dough but there is extra to sprinkle on top of the cookies when they are baked. These will also work with other nuts like pecans or cashews.
A stack of Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies
Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies

How to make these Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies perfectly shaped?

There are no tricks to this cookie dough as long as you follow the recipe and method in order and allow the cookies enough time to chill.

  • Make the dough: by beating and blending together all the ingredients:
  • Fold in the flavours: to make the two separate doughs.
  • Roll into logs: shape each ball of cookie dough into a solid log shape and wrap tightly with clingfilm.
  • Chill: this is best either overnight in the fridge or for at least 2 hours. You can also freeze the cookie dough at this stage for 2-4 weeks and allow the logs to de-frost in the fridge overnight.
  • Roll in the sugar: this creates the crisp exterior.
  • Slice the log into cookies: use a sharp big knife to do this but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy this is to do and how neat the cookies are. If pieces of nut do fall out, just press them back in.
  • Bake the cookies: one tray at a time and keep the others in the fridge so the cookies keep their shape.
  • Chill and decorate: make sure they are 100% cool before dipping into chocolate or decorating as you please.

Can I make these cookies with other flavours?

Yes, the base cookie dough recipe is really simple so you can adapt it as you please. Swap the nuts and dried fruits for an equal amount of other nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate chunks for example.

Are these cookies gluten-free and nut-free?

To keep these cookies nut-free, swap the pistachios and hazelnuts for more dried fruits or chocolate or use seeds, instead. To make the Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies gluten-free, use your favourite GF flour blend with xantham gum.

Close up of Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies
Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies

How long will these keep?

These cookies were a huge hit at home so they did not last very long at all, but they are good cookies to make for the holiday time as they keep well for up to 1 week at room temperature and as mentioned above, the cookie dough logs can be chilled ahead of time.

I love these cookies, what other festive recipes cookies can I make?

Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies (Gluten-Free Option)

  • Servings: 28-30
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies come in two flavours: cranberry-pistachio or chocolate-hazelnut and both are delicious. They are buttery, crunchy, sweet and crispy with a golden edge – perfect for holiday baking.


    For the base dough:
  • 200g vegan butter, room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 70g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 260g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut or granulated sugar, to coat
  • For the cranberry-pistachio cookies:
  • 50g pistachios, chopped small
  • 50g dried cranberries, chopped small
  • For the chocolate-hazelnut cookies:
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped small
  • 50g hazelnuts, chopped small
  • 75g dark chocolate, melted
  • Extra hazelnuts
  • Flaky salt


  1. Add the butter and both sugars to a large bowl and beat with an electric or freestanding mixer until fully incorporated and fluffy. Add in the vanilla essence and beat again.
  2. Pour in the flour and salt and beat to reach a thick, sticky dough. The mix will be crumbly to start but keep mixing to get a thick cookie dough.
  3. Divide the cookie dough into two bowls and add the cranberry-pistachio ingredients to one and add the 50g chocolate and 50g hazelnuts to the second bowl. Fold bot of the doughs using a spatula.
  4. Tip one dough out onto a surface and roll into a log about 20cm or 8-inch long. Make sure it’s even all the way along. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Repeat to make both logs. You can now freeze the dough for 2-4 weeks. Allow the dough to de-frost overnight in the fridge before using.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line 2 or 3 trays with parchment paper.
  6. Tip the 1 tbsp of sugar onto a large plate and roll both cookie dough logs in it to coat with sugar.
  7. On a chopping board, carefully use a sharp knife to slice off the ends and then slice each cookie log into about 14 cookies (just over 1-cm thickness) and place each one onto the baking tray, leaving a good 4-cm around them as the spread. If any bits of filling fall out, press them back in.
  8. Bake one tray at a time, keeping the other sliced cookies in the fridge. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the tray around and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until evenly baked and golden brown.
  9. Cool the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes then on a wire rack to cool fully. Repeat to bake all the cookies.
  10. Once cool, dip the chocolate hazelnut cookies in the melted chocolate and decorate with some extra chopped hazelnuts and flaky salt. Set on a parchment lined tray in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  11. Store the cookies in a sealed container for up to 1 week at room temperature. You can freeze the cookies for up to 1 month.
Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies close up
Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies

I hope you will love these Vegan Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies so please let me know what you think in the comments below. If you do bake them, I would love to see so please tag me in your bakes, I’mI’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With slice and bake love x

  1. Vegan is delicious and no impact on other living beings and nature. Thank you 🌍😊

  2. Heya Amy. Another super bake and shortbread is definitely delicious 😋😊for sure! Splendid photography as always and your food board that you use is great. I so want one haha and saved to my WordPress saved collection as always.
    I don’t know which bakes to bake first and can’t wait to catch up on reading your e newsletters! Your Nourishing amy socials are super. Your posts make me smile each day for sure.
    Best Wishes Sophs 😊xx

  3. So sorry to have taken me so long to comment on your blog posts

  4. […] you have for the hidden biscuity base to the cheesecake. If you want to make your own, try my Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies, Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies or Monster […]

  5. Anonymous says:

    Should I freeze raw or cooked biscuits? Thank you so much for the recipe, it’s wonderful. Furthermore, it is an excellent, very versatile dough that can be flavored in a thousand different ways.

    • Hey, you can freeze the dough as it is or you can freeze the cookies once baked. if you’re making them to eat in a week or so, best to freeze the dough and then continue so they are freshly baked! So happy you love these – enjoy!

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