Vegan Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

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These 5-ingredient vegan chocolate shortbread cookies are the perfect treats to make for any occasion. They are buttery, crumbly, and full of chocolate flavor!

vegan shortbread cookies stacked on a cooling rack.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • If you love my lemon shortbread and whipped shortbread cookies, get ready to fall in love with this chocolate-infused version. Enjoy them as they are, or have fun with different shapes and toppings!
  • Simple and easy. Shortbread cookies require minimal ingredients, mainly flour, sugar, and butter. All you have to do is mix, chill, slice, and bake!
  • Texture. Enjoy crumby, melt-in-your-mouth cookies!
  • Fun and Festive. Shortbread cookies are an end-of-year holiday staple. While they are the perfect addition to my vegan Christmas cookie collection, they can be shaped and decorated to match any holiday or celebration, like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and birthdays.
  • Easy to shape. Since the dough does not contain any leavening agent, it is easy to mold and shape without fear of the cookies spreading too much as they bake. Form them into stars, hearts, or rounds – whatever your heart desires!
vegan chocolate shortbread cookies on a baking tray.

Key Ingredient Notes

  • All-purpose flour – use unbleached flour. This will give the cookies more structure. However, bleached flour would work in a pinch.
  • Granulated cane sugar – choose a brand with fine granules for a more tender cookie.
  • Vegan butter or margarine – gives the cookies their signature flavor and texture. Use a high-quality brand such as Country Crock Plant Butter, Miyoko’s or Earth Balance for the best result.
  • Cocoa powder – use unsweetened or natural cocoa for this recipe. Dutch-processed cocoa powder can be used as a substitute but will give the cookies a more subtle chocolate flavor and darker color.

How To Make Vegan Chocolate Shortbread

crumbled dough in a bowl.
  1. Add the flour, sugar, and vegan butter to a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips or a fork until the mixture is crumbly. To get the ideal texture, the butter must be cubed and chilled, not soft or melted.
chocolate shortbread dough in a bowl.
  1. Sift in the cocoa powder and add the vanilla. Mix until a dough is formed. Avoid overmixing because the cookies will become dense and tough.
  2. Add the dough to a clean surface or cutting board. Roll and shape it into a 10-inch log. Lightly sprinkle some flour on the surface if the dough is sticky.
wrapped chocolate shortbread dough log in paper tube.
  1. Wrap the dough tightly in a large sheet of plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or until firm in the fridge. Use a cutout paper towel tube for an evenly rolled dough. This will also help keep its rounded shape as it chills.
  2. Arrange two oven racks just above and below the middle rack position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
slices of chocolate shortbread cookie dough on cutting board.
  1. Unwrap the dough on a cutting surface. Slice off the ends to make them neater, using a sharp, straight-edged knife and a slicing (not sawing) motion. Mark and cut the remaining dough into 17 half-inch or 34 quarter-inch slices. Arrange the rounds at least 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
slices of chocolate shortbread cookie dough arranged on baking tray.
  1. For thinner cookies, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, and thicker cookies for 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets and switch them on the shelves halfway through baking. Add more time to make the cookies more crisp, if desired.
chocolate shortbread cookies on a baking tray.
  1. Cool the cookies on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Storage Tips

Cooled shortbread cookies should be placed in a lidded jar or container to keep them tender and crumbly. They can be stored at room temperature for at least a week or freeze them for up to a month.

The cookie dough log can also be made and stored in the fridge for up to three days before slicing and baking.

More Chocolate Cookie Recipes

vegan shortbread cookies stacked on a cooling rack.

Vegan Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Calories:91
Servings: 34 cookies
Print Pin Rate
These 5-ingredient vegan chocolate shortbread cookies are the perfect treats to make for any occasion. They are buttery, crumbly, and full of chocolate flavor!
Recipes: For more accuracy, use Metric measurements & measuring spoons.
How To Measure Baking Ingredients Correctly

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated cane sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan butter or margarine, stick or block form, not unsalted, cubed & chilled
  • ¼ cup (20 g) unsweetened or natural cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Add the flour, sugar and vegan butter to a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips or a fork until the mixture is crumbly.
    2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour ,¾ cup (150 g) granulated cane sugar ,1 cup (226 g) vegan butter or margarine
  • Sift in the cocoa powder and add the vanilla. Mix until a dough is formed. Avoid overmixing.
    ¼ cup (20 g) unsweetened or natural cocoa powder ,2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Add the dough to a clean surface or cutting board. Roll and shape it into a 10-inch log.
  • Wrap the dough tightly in a large sheet of plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or until firm in the fridge. Store the dough in a cutout paper towel tube to help keep its rounded shape.
  • Arrange two oven racks just above and below the middle rack position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap the dough on a cutting surface. Slice off the ends to make them neater, using a sharp, straight-edged knife and a slicing (not sawing) motion.
  • Mark and cut the remaining dough into 17 half-inch or 34 quarter-inch slices. Arrange the rounds at least 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake thinner cookies for 15 to 20 minutes and thicker cookies for 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets and switch them on the shelves halfway through baking. Add more time to make the cookies more crisp, if desired.
  • Cool the cookies on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Notes

  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder can be used as a substitute for natural cocoa, but it will give the cookies a more subtle chocolate flavor and darker color.
Tried this recipe? Snap a photo & share it in the comments below!
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Serving Size
 
1 cookie
Amount per Serving
Calories
91
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Sodium
 
41
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
19
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Fiber
 
0.4
g
2
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
0.1
IU
0
%
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.4
mg
2
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

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