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Vegan Oat Shortbread {Gluten-Free}

VGFNF

Decadent and delicious oat shortbread that is both vegan and gluten-free! A variation for coconut oil shortbread is also included.
vegan oat shortbread on a china plate

Just when I think that there’s no time for cookies, I remember shortbread.

It may be the only cookie you ever need. Go classic with minimalist bars, roll it into balls and dab with jam for thumbprints, use it as a bar cookie base for just about any topping you can dream of (I can fantasize endlessly on this topic), or play with endless add-in possibilities and permutations including spices, extracts, chopped chocolates, zests, nuts and seeds.

Thank you, shortbread, for all that you do.

And thank you, British Isles, for this brilliant, baking invention.

Shortbread Made with Gluten-Free Oats

This dandy version has Scottish flair, relying on oats that have been ground to a fine flour, plus a bit of potato starch (the latter is the secret to yielding a crisp-tender texture).

You can buy ready-made oat flour, or grind your own in a high-speed blender, handheld coffee grinder, or food processor. It will take about 1 and 1/4 cups of rolled oats to yield 1 cup of fine oat flour. So long as you use certified gluten-free oats, that makes this recipe your go-to gluten-free cookie, especially considering all of the options mentioned above.

The remaining ingredients are simple and straightforward: coconut sugar, vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks), and salt. I have options for using other sugars, as well as a coconut oil option. 

ingredients for oat shortbread

No Mixer Required

No need to unearth the stand-mixer for these cookies; simply cream the margarine and sugar with a wooden spoon. (I’ve completed the calculations: you burn enough calories from 1 to 2 minutes of hand-mixing to equal one–perhaps two– cookies.)

metal bowl with the dough for oat shortbread

As you nibble away on your finished results, don’t forget that you are doing your body some serious good. Oats are fiber-wonderful, true, but they also contain a range of antioxidants and plant chemicals that help keep the heart and arteries healthy, such as avenanthramides (a plant chemical with antibiotic properties), saponins and vitamin E. Boom.

slate board covered with oat shortbread

My general observation is that kids love these cookies as much as adults; my particular experience indicates that these are favorites with both my 9-year-old and my husband alike.

Happy baking!

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slate board covered with oat shortbread

Vegan Oat Shortbread {Gluten-Free}


  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 16 1x

Description

Decadent and delicious oat shortbread that is both vegan and gluten-free! A variation for coconut oil shortbread is also included.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups oat flour (see note about grinding your own)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (see note about other options)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks), softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

Instructions

  1. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing paper to overhang on the sides (for removal of the shortbread).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, potato starch  and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together (I used a wooden spoon) the margarine and coconut sugar until blended and somewhat fluffy. Add the oat flour mixture, stirring until combined (it may look slightly crumbly).
  4. Press dough evenly and firmly into prepared pan. Prick with a fork. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  5. Preheat oven to 325F.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until shortbread is cooked through and pale golden. Cool completely in pan.
  7. Using paper overhang, carefully remove shortbread from pan; place on cutting board. Cut into 4 quarters; cut each quarter in half, then in half again, making 16 rectangles total.

Notes

Potato Starch Subs: An equal amount of rice flour, cornstarch or arrowroot can be used in place of the potato starch.

Butter Options: If you eat dairy, feel free to use 2 sticks of butter in place of the margarine.

Sugar Options: An equal amount of the brown sugar or granular sugar of your choice can be used in place of the coconut sugar.

Oat Flour Tip: You can grind your own oat flour in a high-speed blender, food processor, or blade (not burr) coffee grinder. It will take about 1-1/4 cups of rolled oats to yield 1 cup of oat flour.

Coconut Oil Shortbread: Add the coconut sugar to the oat flour mixture in step 2. Add 1 cup melted coconut oil to the oat mixture, stirring to combine. Press into prepared pan and place in freezer for 30 minutes to harden. Proceed with remaining steps.

  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British, Scottish

Keywords: vegan, gluten-free, shortbread, oat shortbread, vegan gluten-free oat shortbread

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Recipe rating

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Renee

Thursday 17th of December 2020

Lovely light shortbread. I subbed tapioca flour for the potato starch. Think I need to adjust the ratio, the cookies were very crumbly but light and delicate. I added orange zest and a some candied ginger. Great flavor.

r

Vittoria

Monday 11th of May 2020

These tasted INCREDIBLE but were very crumbly (falling apart in our hands) and had a bit of a dense "mouth feel". However the flavour was beyond good and my entire family (husband plus 2.5 and 5.5 year old) absolutely adored the flavour. I am wondering if I tried to roll them thinner and have them bake that way if that might fix it? Either way, I'm impressed with this combo and am determined to get it to work! Thanks for the recipe!

Shelley

Wednesday 21st of December 2016

These turned out wonderful! I added a scraped vanilla bean. I'm rolled the dough to about a 1/4 in thickness and cut out with cookie cutter. I baked them for about 10 min. Perfect! I served these at a cookie exchange and they were a huge hit with the non gluten free crowd as well! This will be my go to cookie now! Thank you for this recipe! I am extremely limited on what I can eat due to an auto immune condition. This fits the bill perfectly!

Kate

Friday 16th of December 2016

Just so you know, these cookies are excellent for ice cream sandwiches! I just roll them out thin & cut rounds. Thanks for the recipe!

Camilla

Thursday 6th of April 2017

Yum! Thanks, Kate :)

Tracy

Monday 28th of November 2016

This recipe also makes wonderful thumbprint cookies. Make balls about 1 - 1.5 inch wide and push down to make a thumbprint and fill with preserve of choice. I also find that dried apricots quartered make a great center piece.

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