(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

Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: European
Keyword: gluten free, grain free, keto, low carb
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 59 kcal

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.



For the chocolate coating (optional)


  1. 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!). 

  2. 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.

  3. With your mixer on low, add in half of your almond flour mixture- mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the rest.

  4. Wrap cookie dough with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

  5. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and have a baking tray handy.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.  

  8. Allow to cool on pan as they'll be very fragile when warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  

Recipe Notes

*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!). 

Nutrition Facts
(Toasted Almond!) Keto Shortbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 59 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 49mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 1.7%
Calcium 1.3%
Iron 1.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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The Cookie Monster 🍪


  1. 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???

  2. Shelley says:

    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!

  3. Andra says:

    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. 😄

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Thanks so much for reporting back with deets!! I love how much you guys are raving about these cookies!! 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. Jo says:

    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”.

  6. Sherry says:

    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……..

  7. 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!

  8. 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!!

  9. 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.

  10. Marion Robinson says:

    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

  11. Jill says:

    I am telling you that YOU have the BEST RECIPES out there for Keto! Seriously, we must have twin taste buds! Lol And I really enjoy your explanations, comments and tips about the recipes. I always read it before the recipe because you have advice specific to each recipe and an enjoyable sense of humor. Thank you! Keep it up!

  12. Jay says:

    Hi. I love your recepies! In addition to being Keto, I am allergic to dairy and egg. Can these shortbread cookies be made with coconut oil or vegan butter instead of dairy butter? Would be really great if you noted in your receipies where a vegan substitute would work for dairy and/or eggs. Thank you!

  13. Jolene says:

    Paola, have you tried making these in a shortbread cookie mold (makes 6 to 8 wedges)? Back in the day (using sugar and wheat flour), I made shortbread in gorgeous cookie mold pans. It would be wonderful if this recipe were to work in my shortbread pan. 🙂

  14. marguerite lindemann says:

    When I made regular short bread cookins ,I never rolled them out. I made the dough into a log, like refridgerator cookies. then freeze them. when I wanted to have some I just took a rool out of the freezor, slice them and bake. On fragale doughs I use dental floss to slice them. I think I will try this with this recipe.

  15. Patti says:

    So excited to see this recipe!! I was looking for a type of sugar cookie for me!! I was also playing with the idea of a keto royal icing. Meringue powder, powdered Monfruit, surkin clear syrup, vanilla and butter flavoring 🙂

  16. Sherry says:

    I love shortbread cookies so these are on my list for next baking day (tomorrow). All of your recipes are so wonderful!

    Would this dough work for a shortbread crust as a base for bar cookies? I have a recipe but I’m not 100% satisfied with it.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Sherry! It depends! My go to for bars is the graham cracker one because I like a bit more of a crunch- think Twix). These are softer and more buttery… either works really, just depends on the result you’re after.

  17. Carolina Cartagena says:

    Hello Paola, I love your recipes!!! I’ve made these 3 times already, but the last batch I made with allulose and they are fabulous bit they did not herdened. I was wondering if you knew why. Thanks!!!

  18. Rachelle Padgett says:

    Hey want to make some Christmas cookies with this recipe. Has anyone tried to frost these with a buttercream? Further is there a low carb recipe for homemade sprinkles? Just an idea and curious. Thanks love these recipes!

  19. Cheye says:

    I actually really don’t artificial sweeteners (I would rather just have things be a bit more savory). I have Lakanto monkfruit sweetener, but it tends to make my mouth feel kind of numb and make me feel dehydrated and headachey.

    Any chance I could sub the 6 tbsp of sweetener for maybe something like..3 tbsp of coconut flour? I wondered if it might give it some natural sweetness and extra crunch.

  20. Brenda says:

    I cannot wait to try the recipe.

    How do you toast the almond flour? I could not find those instructions anywhere.

    Thank you.

  21. Mikaelah M Morocco says:

    I made these shortbread cookies tonight and they are fabulous!!! Gnom- gnom is the perfect name for this blog as that was what I was saying as I finished them off tonight. I just started following keto and your recipes make this such a culinary adventure – the good kind of adventure! My goal is to make every single one of your recipes. And the new cookbook is lovely too – usually I don’t make hardly any of the recipes in the cookbooks I have – but yours are so inviting – that I really can see me making all of them. Thank you so much for the work that you do to make the recipes so good.

  22. Cresca S Albright says:

    That’s exactly why I haven’t made these yet!! They sound utterly delicious. I will have to make them eventually!!

    • Paola says:

      Lol yes! My trick with cookies is to freeze them un-baked (because I’m a total Cookie Monster too!). Then you can just bake them as needed straight from the freezer 🙂

  23. Carol says:

    Hi Paola,
    I just made your cookies and i regretted it cause it is super yummy and i ate half the batch (i managed to make 40)… And what made it even worst, i ate it when i am fasting.
    Just wanna let you know it is super, uber good. 🙂

    • Paola says:

      Oh no Carol!! I’ve been there…!! Just thank goodness you didn’t devour the entire batch 😉 xo!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Ashley! Yes of course, regular sugar is a 1-to-1 to the sugar sub (Swerve or xylitol) in all the recipes. If you use brown sugar they’ll just come out a little darker 😉 xo!

  24. Latika Chopra says:

    Hi Paola ! i love this recipe, have made it twice in last 2 weeks as my family is crazy about these cute cookies.
    though still i am confused as in both the batch my cookies were done in round 8 minutes…..in 10 minutes few of the cookies burn too….overall in 8 minutes as well my cookies are darker in color…..want to know what am i doing wrong….i have used gaur gum instead of xanthum….is that making them dark or the thickness or i am toasting the almond flour….it would be great if u help as i want to make 1 perfect batch of these babies .
    Thanks for the recipe xoxoxoxoxoxo

    • Paola says:

      Hi Latika! I’m sorry to have missed your comment earlier but really happy you’ve enjoyed these so much! Regarding the excessive browning, this could either be due to over-toasting the almond flour yes. But I think your problem lies more in baking them too long! Keep in mind that every oven is different (and most are actually not calibrated well at all). So the simplest suggestion is to just keep an eye out for them and take them out as soon as they’re lightly golden. Hope this helps xo!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Dixie! In all honesty I don’t have a way to measure them now, but you can hopefully eyeball the size from the picture of me holding one xo

  25. Cresca S Albright says:

    Hello Paola,

    I love your site and your recipes. I am going to make these some at point this week. Shortbread is a all time favorite. I am looking for the serving size which I don’t see. Can you tell me??

    • Paola says:

      Hi Cresca! I calculated the serving size per cookie (assuming you get 24). In the end you should get more than 24, depending on size. So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! xo and hope you enjoy!

  26. Krystyna says:

    I don’t do very well with most sweeteners so I try to avoid them. Can I put just a tiny bit of pure monk fruit (not the 1:1 stuff you can buy) instead of powdered sweetener, or is the sweetener needed for them to cook properly?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Krystyna! In all honesty, I have no idea as to what the exact results would be if using monk fruit as I’ve never worked with it. Though it might work (cannot guarantee it though), as the base of the cookie is the butter with the toasted almond flour. The thing is that they might spread somewhat as you don’t have the volume of the sweetener in it, so you’d likely need to cut the butter. Unfortunately I cannot give you precise measurements. xo!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Sue! I didn’t, I just went for straight melted chocolate for a thicker coating. But you can definitely thin it out with a little coconut oil if you so wish. xo

  27. Cami says:

    I want to use normal powdered sugar (instead of alternative sugar, I’m tired of the sickly sweet in them, my taste buds hone in on it too much)-do you know what the measurements would be?

    Also-how do you go about toasting your almond flour? Did i miss that part?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Cami! You can definitely do sugar (it’s a 1-to-1 to Swerve, so just sub straight!). The toasting of the almond is the first instruction in the recipe 😉 xo

  28. Camille Blackwell says:

    I’m new to Keto…struggling to find/create foods that satisfy my hunger and cravings…these cookies did the trick! They’re absolutely perfect. I can actually taste a tiny bit of salt every now and then with the sweet, which I LOVE. Great texture, great color, great aroma. I split the vanilla extract with almond (personal preference on shortbread) just to bring out the nutty flavor a little more. I can’t thank you enough!!! Delicious!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Camille! So happy you loved them so much! Also great idea on the almond extract! You may want to check out the amaretti too then, I’m fairly certain you’ll love those too 😉 xo!

  29. Lau says:

    Might just be my favorite keto cookies to date! Pure wow!!! You weren’t kidding about the toasted almond, it was even hard to resist eating the dough!

  30. Donna says:

    So what’s the texture like? I miss the crisp and crunch that gluten gives. It’s something you just don’t get from almound flour.

    • Stace K. Morgan says:

      Donna if you’re looking for a properly crunchy cookie I would make the thin mints Paola mentioned!! I ended up not covering all with chocolate and ended up with some seriously crisp chocolate cookies! I swear that with those no one could tell they were keto (kids thought they were store-bought!!!!!).

      I’m whipping up a batch of these already and let me tell you that the dough is DIVINE!!! Will report back after baking 🙂

      • Stace K. Morgan says:

        Paola! This are honestly some of the best shortbread cookies I’ve had WOOOOOW! Love how the toasted almond shines through!

        • Paola says:

          That’s awesome Stace so happy you loved them! I’m fairly in love with the toasted almonds myself 😉

    • Paola says:

      Hi June, most almond flours nowadays are finely ground (Bob’s etc). To get that soft texture you do want to try and make sure it’s at least blanched though. xo

    • Paola says:

      Hi Daniela, I would just leave it out in that case. They’ll be more fragile, but chia and flax don’t work here so well texture-wise. Just make sure they’re completely cool before you tough them and you’ll fine! xo

    • Morgan says:

      I usually don’t buy xanthan gum and typically replace arrowroot powder instead for recipes that call for it. You may be able to try that. I buy it at whole foods in a tiny bag for under $2.

      Can’t wait to try this recipe for Valentine’s day! This is my first week on Keto and I was starting to get sad seeing all this V-Day chocolate in stores that I can’t indulge in this year!

      • Paola says:

        Hi Morgan! That’s great to hear! Just keep in mind that arrowroot doesn’t work like xanthin gum here and the results won’t be the same xo!

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