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Apr 27, 2023

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies

These buttery ginger shortbread cookies are crispy and crumbly, and are flavored with both candied ginger and vanilla. 

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies in a bread pan.

A wonderful thing about these cookies is that you can make them on impulse! No chilling of the dough is required. Okay, you do have to let the butter reach room temperature, but if you cut it into pieces, it reaches room temperature pretty quickly.

The ginger flavor is mild and sweet and the ingredient list is relatively short. Instant (almost) cookie gratification.

While these ginger cookies were baking, even though it was mid-April, my house smelled like Christmas.  These cookies would definitely be a wonderful addition to any holiday cookie tray. 

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies in blue bowls.

There are lots of reasons why you need to make these cookies. They're just flat out delicious. 

Ingredients in These Ginger Shortbread Cookies:

From your Pantry and Fridge: Unsalted butter, all purpose flour, salt, pure vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste. 

Superfine/Baker's Sugar: This is sugar that has been ground extra finely. You can find it at the grocery store or make your own by pulsing it in a food processor. 

Crystalized/Candied Ginger: It's delicious and hard to resist snacking on while you're making the cookies. I find the grocery store crystalized ginger in the spice section can be expensive so I like to buy it online by the bag

Sparkling Sugar: For topping the cookies. You can also use granulated sugar. 

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies on a blue plate.


First, beat the butter until fluffy and then beat in the sugar, vanilla, and ginger, and mix until light and fluffy. 

Next, on a lower speed, slowly add the salt and flour until incorporated. 

After that, roll out the dough between sheets of wax or parchment paper and cut it with a round scalloped edge cookie cutter. Sprinkle them with the the sparkling sugar

Finally, bake the cookies for about 12 to 13 minutes. 

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies in a bread pan.

These were a huge hit in this house for both residents and visitors (grandkids! My favorite customers).

Recipe notes:

  • The recipe calls for superfine sugar. To make it, just pulse granulated sugar in a mini food processor a few times. 
  • If you would like a stronger ginger flavor, you could add some powdered ginger to the dough. 
  • To get the dough to lift off of the wax paper, roll it out, lift off the top piece, place it back onto the dough, flip the dough over between the two sheets of paper, remove the (now) top piece of paper, and cut the cookies with the cookie cutter. This method will keep the cookies from sticking. 
  • If you'd like an even stronger ginger flavor, try my homemade ginger snap recipe, my molasses ginger cookies, or my ginger and amber ale cookies.  

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies on a black plate.

More Gingery Cookies from my Friends:

More Shortbread Recipes:

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Slice and Bake Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies with Nutella

Praline Pecan Coconut Shortbread Bars

Updated Post: First published November, 2014 and revised April, 2023. 

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies stacked on a plate.

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies

Buttery Ginger Shortbread Cookies
Yield: 24 cookies
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 40 MinCook time: 13 MinTotal time: 53 Min
These buttery ginger shortbread cookies are crispy and crumbly, and are flavored with both candied ginger and vanilla.


  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
  • 95 grams (1/2 cup) superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 248 grams (8 3/4 ounces) (2 Cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • Sanding or granulated sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. One of the oven racks should be in the middle of the oven.
  2. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix it with the paddle attachment on medium for about a minute.
  3. While continuing to beat the butter, slowly pour in the sugar, the vanilla, and the candied ginger. Mix for another 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the salt. Then add the flour in thirds, mixing about 15 to 30 seconds between additions. The flour should be just incorporated. Don't over mix.
  5. Gather up the dough and place it on a large piece of wax or parchment paper. Moosh the dough together and pat it into a rough circle.
  6. Place another piece of wax/parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll it out, between the two pieces of paper, to 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch rounds with a scalloped or ruffled edge cookie cutter.
  8. Place the cookies onto the parchment lined baking sheets.
  9. Gather up and roll out the scraps and cut more cookies.
  10. Sprinkle the cookies with the sparkling or granulated sugar.
  11. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for about 12 to 13 minutes minutes, until the edges are beginning to brown.
  12. Cool the cookies on the pan.
  13. The cookies can be stored up to five days in an airtight container. They freeze quite well.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

7.75 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.86 g

Carbs (grams)

14.7 g

Fiber (grams)

0.28 g

Net carbs

14.42 g

Sugar (grams)

6.76 g

Protein (grams)

1.15 g

Cholesterol (grams)

20.25 mg
cookies, shortbread
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Recipe inspired by Sarabeth's Bakery. It's from the same folks who produce the legendary spreadable fruit. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Bring on the butter! I love holiday cookie baking and will add these to my list. I agree-- perfect for packing and gifting.

  2. Amazing that you did not refrigerate your dough. Your stack of cookies look like the ones from Benes Bakery! Thank you for the great tips, Karen. Makes sense to cube up the butter to make it soften faster =) As does pulsing sugar to make superfine sugar.

  3. Shortbread cookies on impulse = awesome!! or dangerous as I have such a hard time resisting any shortbread cookies.

  4. Your cookies look great so pretty. I bet they taste great also.

  5. A good recipe to bake with candied ginger. The cookies look really good.

  6. These are on my list to bake! I must say this Cookie Exchange is turning out a good motivation for me!! LOVE how pretty yours look!

    1. I agree Ansh, it's been a big inspiration for me too!

  7. I love any kind of shortbread--I bet these are delicious!

  8. These look perfectly buttery and tender! And I love candied ginger. I'm sure they are delicious!

    1. It was hard not to eat the ginger before putting it into the dough =)

  9. These cookies looks perfect.... I need to try them, for my friend who has an egg allergy...

    1. Shortbread is perfect for anyone with an egg allergy.

  10. What beautiful cookies, Karen! I love their crispiness!

  11. Gingerbread shortbread sound amazing!

  12. Butter and ginger are such homey flavours and scents, I love it

  13. Those look so buttery and tender, delicious!

  14. I just acquired pulverized ginger in a bottle - think I will try it in these. I like experimenting!

  15. I just got a new jar of crystalized ginger. I need to make these stat!

  16. I love short bread cookies and the addition of candied ginger sounds yum! Both my favorites in one and your cookies have turned out gorgeous.

  17. Such a gorgeous little cookie! And one packed with so much flavor! I'm excited to try this recipe!


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