Learn how to make easy keto shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate! This quick low carb recipe is very adaptable with lots of optional flavor add-ins.
Keto Shortbread Cookies
This one bowl keto dessert will be one of your favorite quick recipes as soon as you try it!
It’s one of those really awesome base recipes that kind of just work with whatever flavor you throw at it.
We definitely love keeping these in the fridge and enjoying them as a treat after dinner, or even with a cup of bulletproof coffee earlier in the day.
How to Make Keto Butter Cookies
This recipe is super simple, and I love that you only need one bowl to make it. There are a few steps that make all the difference in the end result, though.
Cream the Butter
Start by mixing the butter with the vanilla. Then add in the Swerve Confectioners’ Sugar Substitute with the salt, and cream the butter.
The crystals of the sugar and salt will cut into the butter and allow little pockets of air to incorporate into the butter, which makes lighter and much more tender cookies.
Add in the Flours
I like to add in the flours a bit at a time and mix them until they’re fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go to get all of the flour.
Form the Dough
Sprinkle some almond flour on a cutting board and place the dough ball on it. Using either your hands or a pastry scraper, form the dough into a tightly packed square that’s about 4″ wide and 1″ tall.
If the dough is sticky or hard to work with, sprinkle some almond flour on top.
Let the Dough Chill
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
This is a critical step. The butter really needs to firm up some before baking, or the cookies will spread way too much during baking.
Slice the Cookies
Start by cutting the square of dough in half to make two even rectangles. Then slice each rectangle into about 10 cookies.
I like to cut these into roughly 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick slices, but Shane prefers them when they’re about 1/2″ thick. Either way will work, so it’s totally up to you!
Poke Holes with a Fork or a Wooden Skewer
You can make the holes in any pattern you like, so have fun with this!
It’s important not to skip this step because it allows the cookies to cook evenly. Without the holes, they won’t bake evenly and you’ll end up with cookies that are partially undercooked and partially overcooked and brittle.
Bake the Cookies
Place the cookies about 2″ apart on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet (they’ll spread a bit during baking).
Bake at 350 F (177 C) for 10 – 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time to ensure that the cookies bake evenly.
10 minutes was the perfect amount of time for me, so I’d definitely check them at 10 minutes.
You’ll know they’re finished baking when the bottom of the cookies are starting to look just barely golden at the edges.
Let the Cookies Rest
Since the base of these cookies is almond flour, and it doesn’t naturally have the same binding powder as gluten or regular all-purpose flour, it’s very important to let these cookies rest before moving them.
I’d let them rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely. After that you can either refrigerate them or leave them at room temperature. I tend to prefer them cold, so I store them in the fridge.
Dip Them in Chocolate (Optional)
So, this step is optional, technically. Don’t get me wrong, these basic shortbread cookies are delicious on their own, but they’re next level amazing after they’ve been dipped in chocolate.
Start by melting sugar-free chocolate or chocolate chips using the double boiler method. Add in about a Tablespoon of coconut oil and stir it into the chocolate until it melts.
How much oil you need depends on your chocolate. You don’t want to add too much, and you’ll know you’ve added enough when the chocolate looks just a bit shinier. If you’re unsure, just add a Tablespoon because that measurement should work pretty universally.
Dip the completely cooled cookies in the chocolate, and set them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet to dry. Sprinkle them with a little bit of sea salt flakes or your favorite chopped nuts!
Once you’ve finished dipping all of the cookies, place the tray in the fridge to let the chocolate set completely.
Shortbread Cookie Ingredients
There are only 6 ingredients in these cookies, and each plays a critical role in the taste and texture.
Butter binds the other ingredients in this recipe together. It also provides fat and flavor to the cookies.
This recipe calls for creamed butter, which means that air is incorporated into the butter, making the cookies less dense after they’ve baked.
Butter is made up of fat and moisture, and the moisture portion releases steam during baking. That helps lift the cookies just a little bit, making them more tender.
Unsalted butter is used in this recipe, but you could use salted (just omit the salt the recipe calls for).
Unsalted butter is usually used in baking, with additional salt then added in to the recipe, because there are no set standards between different brands of butter indicating how salty a stick of salted butter should be.
Two different brands could have wildly different amounts of salt.
That’s why unsalted butter is usually used in baking because it helps guarantee similar results for everyone regardless of the brand of butter they use.
We’re using the powdered Swerve (or confectioners’ Swerve) in this recipe because the powdered sugar replacement creates a fuller mouth feel. It has more of that stick to your mouth texture and creates a more tender cookie.
I definitely prefer it to granulated Swerve in this recipe, but feel free to use what you have on hand! You could also make your own by grinding granulated Swerve in a food processor until it’s light and fluffy.
The main ingredient in Swerve is erythritol, so if you want to substitute it with another brand, I’d recommend one that uses that so that you have similar results.
Lakanto is made from erythritol and monk fruit, and is roughly the same sweetness as Swerve, so it should act as a good substitution.
Almond flour is the primary flour in this recipe and it adds the structure to the cookie.
It’s so important to use super-fine almond flour and not almond meal. Almond meal is grainy because it isn’t ground finely enough, which won’t create very good baking results.
Even though I prefer these cookies with a bit of coconut flour added in, you can make them with only almond flour if you want.
Coconut flour is substantially lower in fat than almond flour is, which makes it much more absorbent.
Since coconut flour does a better job of holding onto liquid, it helps create a better structure in keto baking.
Even though you could make these cookies with just almond flour, the opposite isn’t true. You definitely cannot make these cookies with just coconut flour.
Coconut flour has a strong flavor that you typically want to mask in baking by using other flours. The end result of a strictly coconut flour cookie would honestly be pretty gross.
Salt is used in this recipe to both enhance the flavor of the cookies and to balance out the sweetness. If you use salted butter, definitely go ahead and omit the salt the recipe calls for.
You’ll notice that the salt in this recipe has a range rather than a specified amount. That’s because it’s really up to your taste preference.
We like things salty, so we use 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. If you don’t like things salty, I’d only use 1/4 teaspoon.
It’s important to note that kosher salt is less salty than other salts. That’s because of the coarse texture – there’s simply more air in a measured 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt than table salt. So, if you’re substituting the kosher salt with another salt, I’d halve the amount.
This is entirely for flavor, and I think it’s an important component in this recipe.
I tend to use pure vanilla extract because I prefer the flavor. That being said, the taste difference between pure vanilla extract and imitation vanilla isn’t hugely noticeable in baked goods, so feel free to use imitation if that’s what you have on hand.
This recipe is so adaptable and pairs well with so many flavors. You can either add flavor by mixing other ingredients into the dough, or by sprinkling something flavorful on top of the chocolate before it sets.
Some of my favorite add-ins are:
- Pecans (If you mix chopped pecans into the dough, it tastes like Keto Pecan Sandies!)
- Cranberry Orange (Just be sure to only use a small amount of unsweetened dried cranberries with your orange zest)
- Vanilla Bean Seeds
- Cream Cheese (A low carb cream cheese frosting would be a great addition to these!)
Can the Dough Be Made Ahead of Time?
Definitely! This dough for this recipe keeps extremely well. You can refrigerate the tightly wrapped dough for up to one week, or freeze it for up to 1 month. Just be sure to thaw it enough to slice the cookies easily before baking (not too thawed though, you still want the dough to be cold).
Butter Cookies vs. Sugar Cookies vs. Shortbread Cookies
These shortbread cookies are very similar to butter cookies.
Butter cookies just tend to have more sugar in them than shortbread cookies do.
Sugar cookies, on the other hand, also have eggs, and tend to be a texture that allows them to hold their shapes when rolled out and cut with cookie cutters.
Can You Make These Vegan or Dairy-Free?
Yes! You can replace the butter with coconut oil. Just be sure to start with coconut oil that’s solid, or you won’t be able to cream it at all (solid oil will be able to cream some, but not as well as butter). The results won’t quite be the same as they would be with butter, but it will still be delicious.
You could also use vegan butter if you prefer. My favorite brand for this type of baking is the Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks. It has less moisture than the tub varieties, which makes it ideal for baking. I also prefer the texture and flavor or this brand compared to others, and it has creamed well for me in other recipes that I’ve tested it with.
Are These Cookies Gluten Free?
Yes! This recipe is made with almond flour and coconut flour, so it’s naturally gluten free as it’s written.
If you’re looking for more delicious keto baking recipes, some of my favorites are:
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
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- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter (softened, 144 grams)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup Swerve Sweetener Confectioners Sugar (60 grams)
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon kosher salt (optional, depending on taste preference)
- 1 ¼ cups super-fine almond flour (132 grams, plus more for dusting)
- ¼ cup coconut flour (26 grams)
Optional Chocolate Dip:
- ½ cup sugar-free chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- Sea salt flakes (optional, for topping)
- Using either a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, cream the butter and vanilla together until light and somewhat fluffy.
- Add in the Swerve Sweetener Confectioners Sugar and the salt. Mix on low until fully incorporated.
- Add in the almond flour, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add in the coconut flour, and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed together.
- Dust a cutting board with almond flour. Turn the dough onto the cutting board and pat into a square that is roughly 4” wide and 1” tall.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C).
- Unwrap the dough, and use a sharp knife to cut the square into two rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 10 cookie slices that are roughly ¼” thick.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cookies 2” apart. Poke holes in each cookie with the tines of a fork to create the classic shortbread cookie look.
- Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The cookies should be golden at the bottom edges when they’re finished baking.
Chocolate Dip (Optional):
- If you’re dipping the cookies in chocolate, let them cool completely first. I even recommend letting them cool and refrigerating them before dipping them. They’ll be a bit more solid after resting in the refrigerator, and the added stability helps when you’re dipping them.
- Melt sugar-free chocolate using the double boiler method, stir in 1 - 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil. Continue to stir until the oil is melted and fully incorporated into the chocolate. How much oil you need depends on your chocolate. I know I’ve added enough when the chocolate looks a bit shinier.
- Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate.
- Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for an hour to set the chocolate.
If you use salted butter, skip the Kosher salt.
How much Kosher salt you add is up to you, but the salt really balances out the flavor nicely. I add ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, but we really like the salty moments in the cookies. I think that if you don’t like salty foods, ¼ teaspoon would be better. Kosher salt tastes less salty than other salts, so if you use table salt or sea salt, I’d recommend just a pinch or two.
Almond meal is not the same thing as super-fine almond flour. It's very important that you use super-fine almond flour (the texture will be way off if you use almond meal).
You can omit the coconut flour and use just use almond flour (increase the amount of almond flour to make up for the coconut flour that's omitted), but you can't omit the almond flour and use just coconut flour. The taste will be terrible if you use just coconut flour.
You don’t have to add anything to the top of the chocolate, but I definitely recommend you do! Sea salt flakes or chopped nuts are my favorite additions.
It’s important to refrigerate the cookies after they’ve been dipped in chocolate. It helps solidify it, and really makes the dipped cookies taste incredible. Even if you don't dip them in chocolate, I think they taste the best straight out of the fridge!
Serving Size:1/20 (1 cookie)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 9.3gCarbohydrates: 2gNet Carbohydrates: .8gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 0.4gProtein: 1.6g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. This is calculated without the optional chocolate dip.
The next time you’re looking for a simple keto dessert, try making these delicious keto shortbread cookies!