Shortbread Sprinkle Cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray! These buttery shortbread cookies are a take on a traditional whipped shortbread recipe, topped with sprinkles before baking gently in the oven.
This classic holiday cookie bakes up soft, tender, melt in your mouth cookies, making them perfect addition to a cookie exchange or cookie trays.
Not only are these Christmas cookies a delight to make, they are one of my favorite cookies to prep and freeze for later!
What are whipped shortbread cookies?
Shortbread has a rich, buttery flavor that kind of melts in your mouth. Equally delicious are apple crumble bars with shortbread crust, but there's just something about the simplicity of these cookies.
They're a decadent cookies perfect for this time of year. With the addition of rainbow colored sprinkles, everyone loves them.
The reason I like this particular recipe is that there's no cookie cutters required and no fancy technique in rolling of the dough. It's a scoop and drop cookie which is how I roll.
I love this recipe because it uses simple ingredients - nothing fancy required.
- Salted Butter - you have to use real butter here, margarine won't do for this recipe. If you have unsalted butter, you can add ¼ teaspoon salt to the recipe.
- Powdered Sugar - also known as confectioners' sugar. It's the fluffy white stuff.
- All Purpose Flour
- Corn starch - the addition of cornstarch makes these extra light and fluffy and is one of my secret ingredients.
- Vanilla Extract - look for pure vanilla extract at the store or make your own.
- Almond Extract
- Sprinkles - you can add a festive sprinkles to any holiday with this fun addition! Go red and green for the holiday season, or use pastels for spring time. The color of the sprinkles is totally up to you!
How to make sprinkle shortbread cookies
Before starting, be sure you have everything ready to go and your oven preheated. This cookie recipe requires you to keep things moving along.
Step 1. Cream the butter and powdered sugar in an electric mixer.
Step 2. Add in the flour, cornstarch and extracts. Give the bowl a scrape to make sure everything is incorporated.
Step 3. Dust your hands lightly with some cornstarch to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Use a cookie scoop and lightly roll into a ball.
Dip the tines of a fork into the cornstarch and press the cookie flat (ish).
Step 4. Top with sprinkles of your choice.
Step 5. Bake until the edges just start to turn golden. Let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
Fun tip: The cooling rack is actually very important! It allows the air to circulate to the bottom of the cookies which keeps them tender and crisp instead of mushy.
As I said before, you do need move a little quickly with this cookie batter. Because of the high butter content, the cookies will spread more if the batter gets too warm.
Add lemon zest or orange zest. Just a tablespoon or so will do!
Instead of topping with sprinkles, you can frost them instead. These frosted sugar cookie bars have a great icing recipe.
Cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
This cookie dough actually freezes well. Make up a batch and wrap in cling wrap and place in a freezer safe container. Freezer for up to 6 months.
Definitely. If using unsalted butter, add a ½ teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
I would not recommend it. Shortbread cookies have so few ingredients, that the quality of the butter in particular in absolutely important. Only use a high quality butter.
Cornstarch adds a softness to the baked goods it is added to. These shortbread cookies are so super soft and delicious and it’s due to the high quality butter and the cornstarch added.
It’s likely your dough was too warm before baking. Next time place the dough into the refrigerator for 20 minutes before the chilled dough goes in the oven.
More delicious cookie recipes
If you make these sprinkle shortbread cookies, leave a recipe review or rating below. I'd love to hear from you!
Shortbread Sprinkle Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch + more for dusting hands
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 300° F.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the room temperature butter and powdered sugar on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until it's light and fluffy. Scape down the sides of the bowl. You can use an electric hand mixer and a large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer.
- Add in the flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, vanilla extract and almond extract on low speed. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
- Dust your hands lightly with some cornstarch to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop about one tablespoon of the shortbread dough into your hands and roll into a ball.
- Place the cookie dough ball onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Dip a fork into extra cornstarch and lightly press the tines of a fork on top of the cookie ball. Top with sprinkles of your choice.
- Bake cookies for about 15 minutes in the middle of the oven, removing before they begin to brown.
- Transfer to a cooling rack after about 5 minutes to cool completely.