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(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 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
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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The Cookie Monster 🍪


  1. Jill says:

    5 stars
    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!

  2. Jay says:

    5 stars
    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!

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. Carolina Cartagena says:

    5 stars
    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!!!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 🙂

  13. Carol says:

    5 stars
    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. 🙂

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Camille Blackwell says:

    5 stars
    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!

  19. Lau says:

    5 stars
    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!

  20. 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 🙂

    • 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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