For years, I’ve been wanting to see how dairy-free butter alternatives compare in baking. And I finally got around to it. For the test, I chose the most butter-reliant recipe I could think of. I made dairy-free shortbread cookies. You can read how several plant-based butters compared to one another and to dairy butter in my Dairy-Free Butter Comparison post. But the recipe I used for testing is below!
This basic dairy-free shortbread is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe. Since so few ingredients are used, your end result (spread, texture, and taste) will depend almost entirely on the dairy-free butter you use. This is a classic, time-tested formula with very few variables.
Special Diet Notes: Shortbread Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 1 ½ cups dairy-free buttery sticks (see Butter Note below), brought to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a mixing bowl, beat or whisk the buttery sticks, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla until combine.
- Sift in the flour. Mix or stir until combined. The dough will be crumbly. Work it with your hands to bring it together into a ball.
- Flatten the dough slightly, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out to ½-inch thickness, and cut into 3x1-inch rectangles, or with cookie cutters.
- Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the tops with sugar, if desired.
- Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, or freeze to enjoy later.
I just found out I’m allergic to milk by products. I’m allergic to nuts. I’m celiac disease for a year now. I’ve always been a happy person and I still am but this is starting to bother me where I find myself sad and crying because I miss my boiled eggs (2 M-F for my 1st 15 minute break) then I would have Greek yogurt with a slice of pulled cheese. I can’t eat walnuts, almonds, coconuts or milks. I’m drinking oat milk and plant based milk. I’m not allergic to sheep’s milk. I bought goats butter and hoping the inflammation doesn’t get worse. I’m going to NC next month (4 weeks) and staying with family. I have already sent her a list on everything I can’t eat and also what I can eat. Had a blood test done and received tests 2 weeks ago. I’m at a lost. My son bought me Audrey Roberts book The everything gluten free and dairy free cookbook. I want a recipe for bread. Gluten free dairy free and nut free. I can’t have my famous potato salad anymore. Nothing with eggs. No Mayo, mustard, miracle whip. No soy. Can you help me with a bread? I was using almond and coconut flour but I can’t anymore.
Hi Terry, I’m a little confused. You state no gluten, no dairy, and no nuts. Is there a reason you are avoiding eggs too? Have you been tested for an egg allergy specifically, since eggs and milk / dairy are not related foods? We do have plenty of bread recipes on this site that are gluten-free and nut-free (everything is dairy-free), and some that are vegan and egg-free too. Just use the search at top to search for “gluten free bread.” Some will contain nuts (like almond flour) but many do not.