Easy Chocolate Chip Shortbread: Dairy-Free, Nut-Free and Vegan!


Once a month we’re featuring a new family-friendly dish for our Kids Can Cook section from the Hatfields. The dairy-free teen cooking star is Katherine and this week she is sharing a fun and gift-worthy recipe for chocolate chip shortbread. Her mom, Sarah, has the pictures and details for us …

Easy Chocolate Chip Shortbread - a Kids Can Cook recipe! Made with brown sugar, a surprisingly dairy-free and vegan treat that everyone will love.

This recipe for chocolate chip shortbread is our adaptation of Shuttemup Cookies from Peg Bracken’s The I Hate to Cook Book. We removed the nuts and made them dairy free. This is a great “first chocolate chip cookie” recipe because it’s so easy and because you don’t have to worry if kids taste test some of the egg-free dough! Also, there is no rolling, shaping, or cutting out to worry about. Even your littlest helpers can easily pat the dough into the pan.

This is the only chocolate chip cookie we make anymore because it is so easy and so tasty! Katherine made some for a family reunion this summer and people could not believe they were dairy free. They are also a quick cookie to whip up when an allergy-friendly treat is needed on short notice for school, church, activities or events. Plus, this chocolate chip shortbread doesn’t call for any ingredients that aren’t usually found in a dairy-free kitchen!

Reader Raves

Thanks to Tishina for sharing feedback and her variation on this chocolate shortbread recipe via our Facebook Page:

A variation I did was add 2 eggs and a teaspoon of baking soda, and they turned into fabulous cookies. Drop by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

Easy Chocolate Chip Shortbread - a Kids Can Cook recipe! Made with brown sugar, a surprisingly dairy-free and vegan treat that everyone will love.

Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Chip Shortbread

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

To keep this chocolate chip shortbread soy-free and “nut-safe” be sure to select the right brands of margarine and chocolate chips. Earth Balance offers several soy-free varieties, and for chocolate chips, Enjoy Life Foods has good allergy-friendly options.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Chocolate Chip Shortbread (Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
No one will believe these delicious cookies are naturally vegan and contain just four ingredients!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies
  • 1 cup dairy-free non-hydrogenated margarine*
  • 1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips**
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the flour and blend. Add the chocolate chips and blend. The dough will be crumbly, not wet.
  4. Press the dough evenly into the pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown.
  6. Let cool for one minute, then cut the cookies while they are still warm.
  7. Leave them in the pan until completely cool, then remove to an airtight container--or to gift bags!
*You can use a "buttery spread". We use Earth Balance or Smart Balance. If you use unsalted margarine, you will want to add ¾ teaspoon salt.
**We use either Kirkland Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (pictured here)

About Author

Sarah is the Associate Editor for Go Dairy Free. Her previous experience includes work as a copy editor at Thoroughbred Times magazine, a content writer at Travelago.com, and an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Sarah was a 'mom blogger' for many years but now mostly hangs out on Go Dairy Free and Instagram.


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  2. Sharon Binkis on

    I’m so disappointed these didn’t turn out. They were very oily! No so bad they won’t be eaten but won’t make again.

    • I’m sorry you had difficulty with the recipe, Sharon. These are a family favorite my daughter makes at least once a month!

      Do you live at a high altitude? Vegan cookies can become greasy when baked at higher altitudes unless the recipe is modified. Unfortunately, modification is difficult with recipes such as this one that have few ingredients.

      Another suggestion would be to try a different dairy-free margarine. We like using Earth Balance Original or Smart Balance Original for these cookies.

      I hope this helps.

  3. I actually just started making shortbread this year, what was I waiting for it’s delicious?! I definitely want to try this chocolate chip version, sounds amazing!

    • I’m with you on not venturing into shortbread until later Sara – I think it’s because store-bought just doesn’t even compare to homemade, so you don’t really know how awesome it is until you take the risk!

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