Are you looking for a new gluten-free holiday cookie?  This delicious buttery, chai shortbread is easy to make and the extra-fine flours make it hard to believe it’s gluten-free!  Not only does it make a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie, it’s also quite simply one of the best gluten-free cookie recipes I’ve created. I love taking a gluten-filled recipe and adapting it to a gluten-free diet. A good friend of mine sent me this gluten version from Cooking Light and asked that I make a gluten-free recipe from it, so Kelly, this one is for you!

Making GF Chai-Spiced Shortbread
The spices and the butter are key ingredients in this delicious gluten-free shortbread.

I started off with a gluten-free flour base of extra-fine rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch and extra fine almond flour. One distinct give away that a cookie is gluten-free is the texture. Most rice flours are a bit on the gritty side. Using extra-fine rice flour and extra fine almond flour will help give your cookies the “I can’t believe this is gluten-free” texture. The spices used are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper. Yes, I did use black pepper in my cookies! After working the butter into the flour mix, form around an 8″ log from the dough. Cover it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for about 30-40 minutes. Slice firm dough about 1/2″ thick. Place on cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Then enjoy a deliciously light, crunchy, full of spice shortbread. And I bet you can’t eat just one!

Buy Ultra-fine flours:

I love Christmas, the fresh scent of pine in the air, snow on the ground, presents thoughtfully chosen and carefully wrapped under the tree. It is a magical time of year, no matter the age. My mom loved Christmas. My dad always joked that if there were ever a question as to my mom’s favorite holiday, one would only have to step into their basement and see the plethora of Christmas items. She would often come home and say, “Oh would you look at this beautiful Christmas item I found!” My dad would smile and say, “That’s nice, honey”. But inside his head he was thinking, I need a bigger house!

Holiday baking is another favorite in our home. And if you’re afraid of gaining a few pounds during the season, just remember, tis the season for gift giving. Save a few for yourself, and then find a gluten-free friend to share with, or any friend, for that matter. Remember, these shortbread cookies are hard to tell they’re gluten-free!

Gluten-free Chai Shortbread Cookies

Serves 16
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
Occasion Casual Party, Christmas, Formal Party
These gluten-free chai shortbread cookies are a buttery, tasty treat. The ultra-fine gluten-free flours make the cookie nearly impossible to tell it's gluten-free!


  • 1/2 cup Ultra-fine White Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Ultra-fine Almond Flour
  • 1/3 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1/4 cup Potato Starch
  • 3/4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 10 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Step 1
In a medium size mixing bowl, add rice flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch. Combine. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper, and salt. Blend well.
Step 2
In a separate bowl, combine softened butter and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed for one minute and high speed for two minutes.
Step 3
Gently fold butter mixture into flour mix until well combined. Add one tablespoon of ice water if needed to shape the dough.
Step 4
Roll cookie dough into a log shape approximately eight inches long. Place in freezer for 30-40 minutes.
Step 5
Remove cookie log from freezer and gently remove plastic wrap. Cut cookie slice 1/2" each. Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are a soft brown.


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