Whipped Shortbread

Whipped Shortbread - Easy to make, light and sweet whipped shortbread cookies - perfect for Christmas and fun to make with the kids!

It’s awfully close to Christmas – which means it’s time to make some whipped shortbread cookies!  Anyone ready?  Or is everyone else as shocked as I am that it’s already December, let alone the 8th?  Honestly I feel old just typing this, but seriously is time ever flying!  Whatever, I am old, it’s all good.  I’m allowed to think that time goes too quickly!

Maybe it has something to do with having kids, because I swear that time has been speeding up exponentially ever since they arrived.  Or maybe I’ve just been really tired and busy since then!  Possibly.

At any rate, Christmas!  And Christmas means far too much baking and sugar and treats.  We still have Halloween candy in these parts, but oh well, I’m baking anyways.
Whipped Shortbread - Easy to make, light and sweet whipped shortbread cookies - perfect for Christmas and fun to make with the kids!

I absolutely love Christmas baking.  The only problem as the years pass, is that I am starting to have too many favourites!  We have to pick and choose every year now.  Especially since I DO love to bake, and there’s all my childhood favourites, all my husbands childhood favourites, and I have this need to try new things every year too!  That makes for FAR too many cookies. So not everything gets made, or we’d have Christmas baking in the freezer all year long.

But these whipped shortbread cookies get made every single year.  Without fail.  They’re my absolute favourite Christmas cookie.  And, oddly enough, even though it’s my mom’s recipe, it’s virtually identical to the one my mother-in-law makes.  So it’s on both mine and my husband’s list!

Whipped Shortbread - Easy to make, light and sweet whipped shortbread cookies - perfect for Christmas and fun to make with the kids!

Whipped shortbread were the only cookie that my whole family would always make together every year when I was growing up.  I think we’d usually make a double or triple batch because they were everyone’s favourite!

We’d all have jobs.  Dad would mix the dough and roll it into little balls, I’d press each one down with a fork, and my sister and brother would stick the cherries on top.  I figured I had the best job cause I never liked touching the sticky cherries!  My son agrees with me on that and won’t help with that part!  Evidently my mom got stuck with cleanup?  I don’t remember.  But I do remember that making whipped shortbread equated to Christmas being just around the corner.

And it kind of still does.  It’s the first cookie I make every year.  Sometimes with the kids, sometimes not, but as they get older, I think that this one may be one we make together every year.  That would be a fun tradition to continue, although maybe I’ll mix up the dough and stick my husband with the cleanup!

Whipped Shortbread - Easy to make, light and sweet whipped shortbread cookies - perfect for Christmas and fun to make with the kids!

Whipped Shortbread
Yield: 30 cookies
Note (updated 2015/12/16): 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. When whipping the dough, be sure to keep whipping until the dough has come together 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.
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 15 candied cherries
  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. Add the corn starch, flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and whip until light and fluffy.
  2. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each, and place them about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. 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. Place half a cherry in the middle of each cookie, pressing it down lightly.
  3. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Source: My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. No clue where she got it!

Related Recipes


  1. Premeshwar says

    Hi can you please give me the measurements in ounces. That would be great because I do not have cup measure. Thank you!

    • stacey says

      I get 5 ounces of flour per cup when I weigh it. I haven’t weighed the other ingredients for this recipe yet, but am planning to update it with all the weights this year when I make them! You could probably find the conversions online for most of the other ingredients though.

  2. im says

    I just made these and they seemed to be perfect – Until I started baking them..the whole cookie sheet is one big cookie! it just melted together. I measured as descried and used standmixer..

    • stacey says

      Oh no! I’m not sure what could have happened, I’ve never had that happen with these. I use a shiny aluminum baking pan and don’t grease it, not sure if you did anything different there that could affect things. I’ve also read that an oven that runs even 25 degrees hotter then it’s supposed to can cause that. Other then that I’m not sure what it could be! Sorry they didn’t work out for you!

  3. Ei says

    Hi Stacey. I have made these cookies twice in the past week and they were delicious! I mixed for several minutes with a wooden spoon. The dough went from crumbly to smooth in a few minutes. These have become a family favourite. Merry Christmas, Ei

  4. Kelly says

    How long should you whip the butter before adding the other ingredients? How long do you whip the dough? Mine didn’t turn out quite right and I measured like you said.

    • stacey says

      I whip the butter for 1-2 minutes in a stand mixer before adding the other ingredients – basically until it’s fluffy and there aren’t any more lumps in it. Then I add the rest of the ingredients and whip again, for probably 2-3 minutes. It will be very crumbly at first and then come together into a dough at which point I mix for another 30 seconds or so until it’s smooth. It will be a smooth, tacky cookie dough. What went wrong with yours?

      • Kelly says

        I had mixed reviews. I think it’s more of a persons preference. My husband didn’t like that they were kid of paste like in his mouth, for lack of a better words. My coworkers loved them.

        • stacey says

          I think most things are like that – everyone isn’t going to like everything! I’m glad your coworkers enjoyed them! :)

    • stacey says

      I’m sorry they didn’t work out for you Roxanne. All I can think is maybe you measure flour differently then I do? I’ve been making these cookies for years and have never found them crumbly. I use the dip and sweep method for measuring flour which will give about 5 ounces of flour per cup, and I sift after measuring, not before. I also whip the dough for several minutes before it comes together into a smooth dough, it is crumbly at first. Hopefully that helps!

    • stacey says

      Hi Michelle – I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out for you – I’m not sure what went wrong. My family has been making this recipe as long as I can remember and they are always wonderful. I use the scoop and sweep method to measure the flour/corn starch in this recipe so maybe if you use a different method you ended up with a different amount of flour in your dough? That’s all I can think that could cause the difference.

  5. Michelle says

    I have been searching online for a shortbread cookie recipe and my gosh there are plenty to choose from! Your recipe seemed to be one that I could make so I printed it off, got all the ingredients and made it tonight. It’s the first time ever I made shortbread cookies so I was a little scared I would fail. I am so happy to say these cookies turned out perfectly!!! In fact they were sooooo good I made a second batch while the first one was still cooling on the counter! It was so important to me to find a recipe like this one.This recipe makes shortbread cookies that are very light,fluffy and melt in your mouth as soon as you eat them! My friend who always made them for our family every year as a X-Mas gift passed away earlier this year so I really wanted to make shortbread cookies like hers so in a way her spirit is still with us as we enjoy shortbread cookies. I know she is with us in spirit but it just seemed to feel better with cookies around like the ones she made and this recipe is so close to hers , I think she would be very proud of me for how these turned out! I like to believe her hands were helping mine as I was making these delicious shortbread cookies! thank-you so much for sharing this recipe. I will be making these every year! Merry Christmas! :)

    • stacey says

      I sift after measuring. I use the scoop and sweep method for measuring my flour (and powdered sugar), fluffing up the flour a bit before scooping it so that it’s not packed down at all, and then sweeping the excess flour off the top of the measuring cup with a knife. I find I get the most accurate measurement this way. I then sift it into the bowl I’m using to make the cookies.

  6. says

    Great photos of the most delicious shortbread cookies EVER! When I asked Dad what his favourite Christmas cookie he wanted me to bake ‘for sure’ this year, it was, as you mentioned, our family favourite, Whipped Shortbread. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them! Yours look PERFECT! I hope mine look as yummy, so that my grand-kids enjoy mine as much as yours! (even if it IS the same recipe)
    One thing you’ve shown me that is different, though, is to roll the dough into balls and flatten them slightly with the fork. I’ve always done them as ‘drop’ cookies, and they end up in various sizes …. thanks, Stacey!

    • stacey says

      I really like the whipped short bread. It’s much lighter and more delicate than the regular shortbread. I know my husband and father-in-law don’t even like regular shortbread, but they love these, so it is different. I have never used a cookie press for them myself, but my aunt always uses a cookie press for this recipe, and I think my sister has too, so you definitely can! Hope you enjoy them!

  7. Jessica says

    wow! I’m so glad you are doing this. Whipped shortbread is my favorite too. I do almost no baking at my house ( because we would eat it and we don’t need any more treats) but, it’s not Christmas without it. However, my mom always did them like a drop cookie rather than a ball but it still had that cherry thing on top. I can remember as a child, hiding those discussing things all over the house. Now I have fun experimenting with other thing to put on top. I’ve tried pecans, m&m’s, smarties, And chocolate. Pretty much anything I have that’s sweet. Keep blogging girl!

    • stacey says

      Thanks Jessica! Glad you like it! I will admit, I’m not a huge fan of the cherries myself, but most people love them, and I will say that they look pretty! I may have to switch it up for chocolate one year though, that would be fantastic.

  8. says

    These are so pretty and easy to make too! I wanted to let you know that I am linking to this post if you don’t mind. You’re welcome to share your photos at my site if you’d like.

  9. says

    These are my all time favorite cookies Stacey! And we also like to make them together with my family! Yours are zoo cute! Pinning and making them soon!

  10. says

    I definitely cannot believe it’s well into December … I feel like I’ve gotten nothing done yet! But I guess I feel like that just about every year! :)

    Cookies like this are my favorite … the ones that are family recipes we make over and over. These look wonderful!!

  11. says

    You still have Halloween candy? That’s so funny! It’s also such a coincidence that your own family’s recipe is so similar to your in-laws! That sure worked out well! These cookies are super pretty and they look so buttery and delicate. I’ve never tried whipped shortbread (that concept is brand new to me actually), and I must try these soon! I know what you mean though… so many recipes to try! I hate narrowing down! Haha. :)

    • stacey says

      I know! It’s hard not to make everything! I really wish there was a way to make like a quarter batch of everything, but the one egg in most recipes always messes me up! So hard to use half an egg! :) If you’ve never tried whipped shortbread, you need to, I love it. It’s so much better than the regular shortbread which I find kind of dry and hard. Maybe I just haven’t had a good one though!

  12. says

    I can’t believe that it’s December 8th either! Christmas will be here before we know it! These shortbread cookies are so adorable, Stacey! I love the candied cherries in the middle. These are some of my favorite Christmas cookies, love them!

    • bob says

      I’ve made this recipe too from my Mom’s collection. I also make it by replacing the sugar with 4 year old cheddar cheese and a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder depending on your appetite for a bite! Try it – their great with a glass of wine or a cocktail.

    • JEAN JENSEN says

      Hi Stacy,
      I made your whipped shortbread cookies they were delicious, Ive made whipped shortbread for years but used double the cornstarch and my recipe never called for vanilla and i think that’s the secret to the taste of your cookies ,cant wait to try some more of your recipes .

      • stacey says

        So glad you liked them Jean! Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know! I hope you find more recipes you love here! :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *