These soft and buttery white chocolate strawberry shortbread cookies are the ultimate spring dessert! Made with freeze-dried strawberries and topped with a sweet white chocolate drizzle, these no-spread shortbread cookies are not only delicious but they're beautiful, too!
While these cookies look impressive, there are incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, the buttery shortbread dough comes together in minutes. Whether you're serving them at a special event or enjoying them as a sweet treat, these cookies are the perfect way to celebrate spring, Easter, and strawberry season!
Why You'll Love These Cookies
- Buttery shortbread - These cookies aren't too sweet, but they have a delicious, soft texture and buttery flavor with a hint of strawberry. So delicious!
- Easy to make - These cookies are incredibly easy to make with just five ingredients and one mixing bowl, making them super simple and convenient.
- No spread - No-spread shortbread cookies keep their shape perfectly in the oven, just like classic shortbread. While the edges are firm and crumbly, the centers remain delightfully soft and melt in your mouth.
- Freeze-dried strawberries - Sweet and delicious freeze-dried strawberries are mixed into the cookie dough and sprinkled on top for the ultimate strawberry flavor.
- White chocolate drizzle - To complement the buttery strawberry shortbread, add a drizzle of white chocolate for extra sweetness. Not only does it enhance the flavor, but it adds a beautiful touch.
How To Make Strawberry Powder
If you've never heard of strawberry powder, it's simply a fine, dry powder made from freeze-dried strawberries. There are plenty of pre-made strawberry powders available to buy online and in specialty stores, but you can easily make your own strawberry powder at home.
To make homemade strawberry powder, add about 1 cup of freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor or blender. Grind the dried strawberries into a fine powder, and then measure out the correct amount for the recipe. It helps to sift the powder to remove any clumps. I actually prefer to make my own strawberry powder at home because I can use the extra freeze-dried strawberries for other recipes. They also make a great sweet snack!
These shortbread cookies are only 5 ingredients! Talk about simple. Here are some helpful ingredient notes to give you the best results with the recipe:
- Salted Butter - Use slightly softened butter, but be sure it is not melted at all. Butter that is too soft and warm will make the cookies spread more, so it should still have some firmness to it. Salted butter balances the sweetness!
- Powdered Sugar - Powdered sugar mixes beautifully with the butter and gives the cookies a soft, smooth texture, unlike granulated sugar, which is more grainy.
- Vanilla Extract - Pure vanilla extract is best. It adds a delicious, rich vanilla flavor that compliments the strawberry flavor nicely.
- Flour - Sifted all-purpose flour will give you the smoothest cookies, but you can skip the sifting and still have delicious cookies. If you're gluten-free, these cookies work well with most gluten-free all-purpose flour blends.
- Strawberry Powder - Make your own strawberry powder at home by blending freeze-dried strawberries into powder. You can also use store-bought strawberry powder. This gives the cookies their wonderful strawberry flavor!
- White Chocolate - I love adding a drizzle of melted white chocolate on top of the cookies for a sweeter bite and a pretty finish, but this is optional.
Remember to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient info!
This cookie dough mixes together quickly in just one bowl. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to make strawberry shortbread cookies with freeze-dried strawberries:
STEP 1: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and strawberry powder until it is smooth and fluffy. This takes about 2-3 minutes.
STEP 2: Then, add the flour to the bowl and mix on the lowest speed until it is just combined into the dough. Be very careful not to mix too long, or the cookies will be tough and chewy. A few flour specks here and there are okay.
STEP 3: Use your hands to shape the dough into a thick log shape. It will be soft and sticky, so grease your hands if you need to. The log hould be about 2 inches in diameter and 9-12 inches long. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
STEP 4: After the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and use a sharp knife to slice the log into ½-inch cookies. I got about 16 cookies from a 12-inch log, but if yours is shorter or thicker you may have less cookies.
STEP 5: Place the cookie dough slices on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, with at least one inch between each slice. Bake the cookies at 350℉ for 11-15 minutes, or until the edges are set and just lightly golden.
STEP 6: Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for at least 10 minutes on the pan to firm up. Then, drizzle melted white chocolate on the cookies and top with a sprinkle of extra strawberry powder if you want a pretty finish.
TIP: The shortbread cookies are very delicate when they are warm out of the oven. Do not try to transfer them off the tray too soon, or they will crumble. Letting them set up on the tray for 10-15 minutes is critical to them keeping their shape.
If you don't have white chocolate on hand, you can also make a simple glaze with ½ cup powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons water. The cookies also taste delicious plain, without any toppings.
Expert Shortbread Tips
- Properly measure flour - With shortbread cookies, which are naturally on the drier side, it is critical you do not accidentally use too much flour, or the cookies will be too dry and crumbly! To properly measure flour, sprinkle it into the measuring cup and level the top with a knife.
- Don't overwork the dough - Overworking shortbread dough can make the cookies tough and chewy instead of tender and soft. Handle the dough as little as possible, and remember not to over-mix the flour into the dough.
- Chilling is critical - While it is tempting to skip this step, chilling shortbread cookie dough is very important. Chilling prevents the cookies from spreading in the oven, allows the flavors to develop, and makes the dough firm up so the cookies hold their shape after baking.
- Don't over-bake! - These cookies will look deceivingly under-baked when it is time to remove them from the oven. Resist the urge to bake them longer, or they'll be too dry and crumbly. The cookies are ready when the edges are just set and the centers look slightly puffy. They will set up more as they cool.
Strawberry Cookie Variations
If you have dietary restrictions, don't worry! You can still make these cookies to fit your needs. Here are helpful tips for making strawberry cookies vegan and gluten-free, plus another delicious variation:
- Gluten-Free - Instead of all-purpose flour, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend like Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour. The rest of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free, making it super easy to make these cookies celiac friendly.
- Vegan - Use vegan stick butter like Earth Balance and vegan white chocolate chips. There are no eggs in these cookies, so just use dairy-free ingredients and you're all set with vegan shortbread.
- Fresh Strawberry Shortbread Cookies - Instead of making cookies with freeze-dried strawberries, you can fold ½ cup of fresh chopped strawberries into the dough. You may need to add ¼ cup more flour to account for the added moisture from the strawberries.
If you love baking with fresh strawberries, these strawberry filled cupcakes are a hit!
Frequently Asked Questions
Shortbread cookies contain a higher proportion of butter to flour and sugar, resulting in a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture with a buttery flavor. Regular sugar cookies typically have a chewier texture and a stronger, sweeter taste due to the higher sugar content.
For perfect shortbread cookies, use high-quality butter for rich flavor, and sift the flour for a light and smooth cookie texture. Chilling the dough is very important to prevent spreading, and avoid over-baking so the cookies stay soft.
It's super easy to make strawberry powder at home using freeze-dried strawberries. Simply blend the dried strawberries in a food processor or blender until they are a fine powder. You can then sift the powder to remove any larger strawberry pieces for a more consistent texture.
Chilling is an important step in making good shortbread. If you don't chill the dough, the cookies will spread and lose their distinctive shape and texture. Chilling the dough solidifies the butter, which allows the cookies to hold their shape while baking and results in that classic melt-in-your-mouth shortbread texture.
Shortbread cookies will naturally have a slightly more crumbly texture compared to traditional sugar cookies. However, using too much flour and overworking the shortbread dough can result in cookies that are too crumbly, even for shortbread. Properly measuring flour is critical to getting the right cookie texture.
Storing & Freezing
To keep leftover strawberry shortbread cookies fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Make sure the white chocolate drizzle has time to dry and harden before stacking the cookies. They should last for 5-7 days.
While the cookies taste best freshly baked, you can freeze leftover shortbread cookies by placing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing, then keep them in the freezer for 2-3 months. Remember to let them thaw at room temperature before enjoying them again.
More Spring Cookie Recipes
Did you make these white chocolate strawberry shortbread cookies? Don't forget to leave a star rating and review. This really supports my blog and helps other readers! If you post a photo of your cookies on Instagram and tag me, I would love to share it. Remember to follow me on Pinterest and join my email list to stay updated with the newest recipes. Enjoy!
White Chocolate Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer
- 1 Large Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper
- Plastic Wrap for Chilling the Dough
- 1 cup salted butter, slightly softened *or vegan butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar sifted for best results
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder see notes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour **or gluten-free flour blend
- ¼ cup melted white chocolate, for drizzling optional
- To make your own strawberry powder at home, add about 1 cup of freeze-dried strawberries to a blender or food processor. Grind them into a fine powder, then measure out 3 tablespoons for use in the recipe.3 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder
- Add the slightly softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and strawberry powder to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.1 cup salted butter, slightly softened, ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder
- Add the flour and mix gently on low speed until just barely combined. The dough will be sticky and soft. Be very careful not to over-mix the dough; a few flour specks are okay!2 cups all-purpose flour
- Use your hands to shape the dough into a thick log shape. It should be about 2 inches in diameter and 9-12 inches long. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up. Don't skip this step!
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap from the log. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into ½-inch cookie slices. Place the cookie dough slices on the prepared baking sheet 1-2 inches apart.
- Bake the shortbread cookies for 11-15 minutes, or until the edges are set and appear dry and lightly golden. The centers of the cookies should look slightly puffy. They will be pale in color and visually look under-baked, but they will continue to set up on the baking sheet as they cool.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Shortbread cookies are delicate and crumbly, so be careful transferring them.
- If desired, melt white chocolate in a small bowl and use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over each cookie in a zig-zag motion. Sprinkle extra strawberry powder or freeze-dried strawberry chunks on the wet chocolate and let it dry to harden. Enjoy!¼ cup melted white chocolate, for drizzling