Home » cookies » (Toasted Almond!) Shortbread Cookies 🍪 gluten free & keto

(Toasted Almond!) Shortbread Cookies 🍪 gluten free & keto

These grain free and keto shortbread cookies (with toasted almond flour!) are buttery soft and ridiculously aromatic. Prepare to be obsessed!

Almond Keto Shortbread Cookies With Chocolate
Almond Keto Shortbread Cookies With Chocolate

Toasted Almond Keto Shortbread Cookies


Shortbread, the Scottish cookies par excellence, are nothing more than one parts sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. To make these guys gluten free and keto I tried a few different routes, but tbh each one made me miss the original even more. Or at least what I remember them to taste like during my university years in Scotland itself!

And given that I’ve vowed to never give you a version that will actively make you miss the original even more (because that’s just horribly depressing!), I was about to give up on a keto shortbread.

That is until I thought about toasting the almond flour (Mexican wedding cookie-style!). Which simply makes these keto shortbread some of the most complex, yet ridiculously simple, cookies you’ll ever make.

You can also indulge in these guys solo, or go ahead and dip them in a little dark chocolate and sprinkle with some flakey sea salt. Honestly to-die-for, and you probably know already I don’t take these statements lightly.

Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread
Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread
Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread
Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread

The Flours

I found here that super fine almond flour did a killer job (solo!). Add a touch of xanthan gum, and we’re golden.

But you must toast the almond flour beforehand, it’s the difference between a good and an exceptional cookie. The moment the toasted almond flour is incorporated with the butter, the cookie dough becomes ridiculously aromatic. Pure magic really.

In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds.

Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread
Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread

The Sweetener

This recipe works best with erythritol, without a doubt. Not only is it roughly 1-to-1 in sweetness to sugar (and the volume is important here), but it lends a very similar crunch and chew. No other sweetener does that.

I did find that powdering it prevents unpleasant minty crystals from forming post bake. But the great news is that I found the cooling effect to pretty much disappear overnight #magic.

So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.

Or you can always grab a bag of Powdered Swerve (i.e. confectioner’s).

Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread
Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread
Dunking Keto Shortbread Cookies in Chocolate
(Toasted Almond!) Keto Shortbread Cookies
Toasted Almond Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Shortbread Cookies 🍪 Less than 1g net carbs a pop! #ketocookies #ketosweettreats #ketoshortbread

(Toasted Almond!) Keto Shortbread Cookies

These grain free and keto shortbread cookies (with toasted almond flour!) are buttery soft and ridiculously aromatic. Prepare to be obsessed!
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
4.96 from 22 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine European
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 59 kcal


For the chocolate coating (optional)


  • Add almond flour to a dry skillet or pan, and toast over medium heat until golden and fragrant (3-6 minutes). Remove from pan, whisk in xanthan gum, salt and set aside to cool completely (very important!). 
  • Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, 2-3 minutes. Add in sweetener and continue to beat until thoroughly mixed and much of the sweetener has dissolved. Add in vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
  • With your mixer on low, add in half of your almond flour mixture- mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the rest.
  • Wrap cookie dough with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least an hour. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and have a baking tray handy.
  • Roll out dough between parchment paper and either simply slice with a knife or do cutouts. Place shaped cookies with parchment paper on the prepared baking tray and place in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to baking.
  • Bake until just lightly golden. Baking times will vary widely depending on size of cookies and oven, but think 10-13 minutes for the small ones or 15-18 minutes for the larger ones.  
  • Allow to cool on pan as they'll be very fragile when warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  


*Please see section on Sweeteners for more deets on powdering and sweetening options. 
The shaped dough can be frozen for up to 3 months, and they can be baked straight from the freezer (adding 2-3 minutes more to the baking time).
Please note that we calculated nutrition facts for two dozen cookies, but we actually got more like 35 out of the batch (with loads of munching on the actual cookie dough!). 


Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 49mg | Vitamin A: 85IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Keyword gluten free, grain free, keto, low carb
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!

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  1. Linda Miller says:

    5 stars
    My husband is diabetic and I have been checking out all recipes using Agave or erythritol and these cookies are the bomb.

  2. Anna says:

    Hi Paola!

    If I wanted to use allulose, would I lose the crispness that comes from the erythritol? I made lace cookies with allulose and they never crisped back up. I’m thinking that since it acts like an inverted sugar, it’s more prone to wetness and I wouldn’t want that in a shortbread cookie. But I also hate the cooling effect/aftertase from erythritol and monkfruit! I know this is an older recipe from before you were using allulose, so I was curious if you had tried it that way! Thank you!!

  3. Liz Goetze says:

    5 stars
    Paola, I made this recipe before Dec 25th for a “nutrition for learning” bake sale for teaching staff. Another baker made regular full carb short bread. Yours sold out first :-)! Thanks fo helping me raise funds for high school students who don’t have enough to eat.

  4. Mary says:

    I just found this site , and I am in” loving my eating plan” heaven. As a type 2 diabetic who requires no medication, I’m always on the search for delicious recipes. It seems that a modified keto eating plan works well in being able to manage my glucose levels. By the way I love sweets and now I can incorporate them into my plan.
    Did I say I’m ecstatic, well I am

  5. Martha says:

    5 stars
    I made these last night. SOOOO DELICIOUS!! and so easy. The only change i made was rolling the dough into 24 one inch balls and smashing them down so i had a 1 1/2 inch cookie. I had originally intended to make strawberry thumbprints, then i realized the strawberry jam I have was loaded with sugar. Guess I’m on the hunt for a good sugar free strawberry jam now. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!!

  6. Liz T. says:

    5 stars
    I am very anxious to try to make them as they look just like the real thing but, regrettably, when I hit US Cups/Metric, nothing happened. Any chance you could fix that part please? I am located in Massachusetts, USA by the way. But I must tell you I have tried and loved all of your other recipes I was able to convert to US Cups/Metric. And I already receive your best recipes weekly! Thank you!

  7. Liz goetze says:

    5 stars
    Really easy and really tasty! I made these (without the extra salt) for a nutrition fund raiser at work, along with the keto choc. chip cookies (also on this site). These disappeared in record time, followed by the choc chip cookies. Cookies made with sugar did not disappear until the end of the day. Paola, you are some sort of kitchen chemistry genius! Thanks for your help in raising funds to feed kids 🙂

  8. Emma Curtis says:

    Hiya Paola, I don’t know if you can help! I haven’t managed to make a dough, it’s like the texture of a crumble topping, it won’t hold together at all! I don’t know if my almond flour is too fine? Do you have any tips to get it to come together as a dough? Sorry!

  9. Pauline says:

    5 stars
    These were absolutely delicious! I used allulose (only 5 TBS) but probably could have gotten away with 4. The consistency and taste was awesome! I melted some Pascha 100% dark chocolate at the end and drizzled it over the cookies. I threw them into some Halo Top ice cream for a 4th of July dessert! So good. Thanks for the recipe. I am going to try to make a vegan version for an upcoming party I am having. Have you ever tried using a non dairy butter? I imagine it should work the same? Thanks for any input.

  10. nagendra says:

    5 stars
    Delicious look and I want to try this cookie with my as fast as I can. Thank you so much for posting amazing cookies.

  11. Denise says:

    5 stars
    The first keto shortbread cookies our family loves. There have been many keto fails from the internet and I was getting discouraged. I even see people put up fake photos or steal photos from another blogger which look amazing and then when you try to make it, it’s a total fail. Saw this just happened for Carolyn Ketchum from All Day I Dream About Food, with her fabulous Italian cream cake on Pinterest. So, lesson learned, I’m sticking with Paola and Carolyn and a couple others bloggers who have integrity and genuine passion for all they do. Accolades to you.

  12. Janet in Boulder says:

    5 stars
    Paola, so happy I found your website. Every recipe I have tried is amazing and tasty! Your recipes are not just the ordinary keto recipes that you’ll find anywhere else. I love the innovative ideas you have incorporated into these recipes to make them so good (i.e. yeast in the cinnamon rolls, using a french pastry method to make soft doughnuts, and toasting the almond meal for an Oreo-like crust for the no-bake cheesecake!) I made a batch of the shortbread cookies and they are so delicious! This tastes more like a decadent treat than what one would expect a keto cookie to taste like. Being the first time I made them, it did take me a while to get the dough just to the right temperature and rolling out cookies does seem to take a little time. But I figure I will be making these cookies more often and will get the hang of it. Thank-you so much for sharing your amazing culinary skills. Makes it so much easier to feed my keto family and keep them happy!!!

  13. Elizabeth Sinko says:

    Not sure what I did wrong but my cookies came out very dark and grainy. Not good. I think I may have cooked the almond flour too long? Also,
    I may have gone wrong converting he measurements from metric? Maybe my flour wasn’t fine enough? I used swerve confectioners sugar. Where do you think I went wrong???

  14. Shelley says:

    5 stars
    This is the best Keto recipe! Tastes just like regular shortbread cookies. I did simplify by rolling the dough into 1” balls, covered with parchment paper and used a glass to flatten into round cookies. I also used a trick Paola used on another recipe which was to cover the cookies with foil half way through cooking to keep the edges from looking burnt. So happy to find such an amazing cook and website!

  15. Andra says:

    5 stars
    Holy cow, Paola, these are *magnificent*. Made a batch for my honey for Valentine’s Day. I was expecting them to be good, everything I’ve tried from your recipes has been, but these exceeded ALL expectation. Light, soft, aromatic, perfectly textured. They were exactly right for shortbread, and toasting the almond flour put these completely over the top.

    I used silicone spacers on my rolling pin to make these 1/4 of an inch thick, and a small glass to get 28 round cookies with little left over. They went from freezer to oven and came out golden 16 minutes later. The whole house smells like shortbread now.

    Thanks again for another hit! My wife says we should send you a present. 😄

  16. Virginia Neely says:

    I am making these for a small party. Have you ever made these into bars instead of cookies? Do you have an estimate for baking time? Thanks for your help!

  17. Jo says:

    4 stars
    These are tasty but a lot of fuss. I wanted to make them heart shaped but the dough did not stay cold enough for long enough (even after freezing) so the hearts could not be moved onto the baking sheet. I reformed the dough, then rolled it out to cookie thinness, froze it, then used the cookie cutter and put them on a baking sheet. By the the time I was finished doing that, of course the dough was soft again. So the cookies (2 inch hearts) were done in about 8 minutes, and darker than “golden”.

  18. Sherry says:

    5 stars
    These cookies are great! My husband was picking them off the cookie sheet before they even cooled with an “Mmmmm – these are good!”. I forgot to put them in the freezer🙄 so I only baked them for 6 minutes.

    I got 34 cookies from the batch and will dip some in melted chocolate and leave some plain for him😁

    • kerstin kobetitsch says:


      first time I made them I forgot to put them in the freezer. Mine were very thin. The picture shows them much thinker and even. Then I burned 1/2 of them. My dough was very dark almost like a graham cracker ( I wish).
      But I don’t give up that easy. I will try them again. Had to press hard to get them flat. I need practice with the rolling pin. How do you use it properly?
      I didn’t bother with the chocolate chips because they were too expensive to waste on this batch. How many chips do you use to coat half the heart on 24 cookies, like the pic?

      let me know….I’m dying for a delicious cookie……..

  19. JF says:

    Just made this cookie recipe for a friend. I am not sure how you got more than a dozen cookies from this! I used a cookie cutter for the hearts and got only 8 hearts and a few smaller round cookies from it.

    The cookie is very flaky and tasty though. One note though – when making the first batch I realized that the butter should not just be at room temperature – but that it should be really soft or the dough will be too crumbly to work with. So on the second batch I made I adjusted this and they came out fine.

    Hopefully my friend on the Keto diet will enjoy them!

  20. Donna says:

    I sooo want to make these for Valentine’s Day…but I am wondering if there is any possibility of substituting the Xanthan Gum for another ingredient. Here in France, it is so difficult to find! I must have been to five different Bio stores and no luck!! I DID find little packets of powder in the baking section with a MIX of Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum and a tad of citric acid (to stabilise egg whites)…could this possibly work?!…Could I otherwise try ground psyllium husks, cornstarch or konjac/glucomannan powder…or even yuzu powder?! I can locate all of these items. Thank you for any insight and advice as your baking acumen runs so very deep!!

  21. Helen says:

    These cookies are addictive. OMG!!! They taste really good, I am afraid I could eat the whole batch. Thank you for this great recipe.

  22. Marion Robinson says:

    5 stars
    Hi there Paola, from my little cottage on the beautiful West Coast of Scotland.
    I was thrilled to find your website, & even more thrilled to know you have stayed
    in Scotland your self. I’m sure you would have enjoyed it .
    Now to this most delicious of recipes ! I have been a Chef for around 58 years,
    since I was 17 ( oh boy, I sound so old, but I’m wonderful for my age )
    & as such, I never stop looking for top recipes…especially ones that are suitable
    for Type 2 diabetics like me ! This shortbread recipe was spot on, & all my family & friends love them, in fact I can never make enough for them.
    I really like the ” toasting ” almond flour bit, as it makes such an amazing difference to the finished recipe ( I also warm ” keto sugar ” when I’m making meringues )
    This weekend, me & my Husband, are off for a trip up to Glen Coe, it looks stunning
    with a wee ” Skiff ” of snow on the top…it looks like icing sugar ( Keto of course “)
    So I’ll be making these to go in our Keto picnic box !
    Thanks once again for the magic that is gnom-gnom. I look forward to more magical
    recipes from you. I also hope we will see you back in Bonnie Scotland one day…
    or as you will know our ” Scottish saying ” HASTE YE BACK ” XXX

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