Last Updated on June 24, 2022
This Keto Scottish Shortbread recipe comes after a fair amount of searching and trial and error. But I finally found the winning combination which creates a shortbread cookie that is rich, buttery, salty-sweet, and has the perfect balance between crumbly and firm. This is an easy, and essential low-carb cookie recipe to have in your Keto baking repertoire.
The truth is, baking low carb and Keto breads and desserts is not the same as traditional baking. I did not realize this when I first began, and let’s just say there have been some failures along the way. The reality is that you can’t just swap sugars and flours and expect the same results (as I originally thought.) There is a learning curve, as different sugar alternatives and flours react differently. Additionally, when you remove wheat flour, you lose the gluten which is an essential element of many baked goods.
For low carb, Keto baking, certain flours and sugars are best used for certain recipes and there are a number of additional ingredients that help create the consistencies and textures that are needed. (Stay tuned for my fall Keto baking guide for the essential recipes and ingredients for a rich, creamy, crumbly, sweet, decadent fall season.)
Being British, shortbread has always been a staple treat. Growing up there weren’t usually many cakes and cookies in the pantry, but there were always shortbread. We had a sailboat when I was growing up; my parents and I went sailing nearly every Sunday. I can remember on particularly cold days they would give me a bit of sherry to warm up and a shortbread cookie.
I started searching for the perfect Keto shortbread recipe to pair with one of my favorite desserts, Strawberry Rhubarb Compote With Cheesecake Cream. This is one of my go-to quick summer desserts which I used to serve with Walker’s shortbread fingers to dip in and use as a spoon. I was searching for a Keto-friendly alternative to these. After some trial and error and trying a number of different recipes I found that Carolyn Ketchum’s recipe in her book The Ultimate Guide To Keto Baking was the best. If you haven’t seen this cookbook I highly recommend it. It is a wealth of information on Keto baking with essential recipes, tips, and techniques.
Shortbread is very easy to make, requiring only a few ingredients which you most likely have on hand: butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Keto shortbread is the same, requiring only two substitutions.
The first being the flour, instead of wheat flour this recipe uses almond flour. I use the Super-Fine Natural Almond Flour from Bob’s Red Mill. The key is to use an almond flour with a very fine grain, some of them can be courser than others.
The sweetener is the key swap here, and the reason why I think this recipe works the best. This recipe uses a powdered sugar alternative instead of a granular. I use the Confectioner’s Sweetener from Swerve. It measures the same as powdered sugar, so no tasting or guessing to get the amounts right.
I should also mention that in almost all of my recipes I use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. I love the flecks of vanilla bean that it adds and I think the flavor is warmer and more intense. My favorite is the Vanilla Bean Paste by Nielsen-Massey
First, preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (Sometimes alternative flours and sugars brown more quickly than traditional ones, the baking mat will give this a little more protection.)
Next, place almond flour, sweetener, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the chunks of butter and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Then add the water and vanilla paste and process on high until the dough forms a ball.
A genius suggestion from Carolyn Ketchum is to take the ring from a 9″ springform pan and use it as the mold for your shortbread. Place the ring on your prepared cookie sheet and place the dough inside. Press the dough firmly and evenly to create a circle. Then remove the sides, voila!
Next, use a sharp knife to cut the circle into 16 wedges. Keep these intact for the initial bake. Using a fork prick the wedges in a decorative pattern. I crimped the edges with the fork as well.
Bake at 300°F for about 30 minutes, until the edges are becoming golden. Remove them from the oven, recut along the initial lines, and separate the slices, spread them out on the sheet. Turn off the oven, prop the door open a bit, and return the shortbread to the oven to firm up more – about 10-20 minutes. Watch to make sure you don’t brown them too much! Remove them from the oven and let cool completely.
After much trial and error I am so pleased with this recipe. It creates a rich, salty, sweet shortbread that is the perfect mix of crumbly and firm. Firm enough to scoop my Strawberry Rhubarb Compote like a spoon, but also easy enough to crumble on top too.
If you make this Keto Scottish Shortbread be sure to leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!
Keto Scottish Shortbread
This Keto Scottish Shortbread recipe creates a rich, salty, sweet shortbread that is the perfect mix of crumbly and firm. The recipe is from Carolyn Ketchum’s cookbook The Ultimate Guide To Keto Baking.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 50 Minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 16 1x
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Preheat oven to 300°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Put almond flour, sweetener, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add chunks of butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add water and vanilla bean paste and mix until mixture forms a large ball.
- Take the ring from a 9″ springform pan and place on prepared cookie sheet. Put dough inside and press firmly and evenly to create a circle.
- Remove ring and slice into 16 wedges with a sharp knife. Do not separate.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden.
- Remove from oven, recut lines, and separate the wedges on baking sheet.
- Turn off oven and prop the door open. Return shortbread to oven to firm up for about 10-20 minutes. Make sure they do not brown too quickly.
- Let cool completely and enjoy!
Keto-Friendly, Low Carb
- Serving Size: 1/16th
- Calories: 139
- Sugar: 0.6 g
- Sodium: 73.3 mg
- Fat: 7.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.1 g
- Fiber: 0.6 g
- Protein: 2.5 g
- Cholesterol: 11.4 mg
Keywords: cookies, keto baking, shortbread