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Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

These vegan chocolate chip shortbread cookies contain just 6 ingredients and are super easy to make. They are crunchy, “buttery” and sweet with a delicious chocolatey bite.

Stack Of 5 vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

I’m in the process of updating some of my reeeeally old posts, to make sure the recipes are still up to scratch. This week, I retested this vegan chocolate chip shortbread biscuits. Since I first created the recipe, I’ve discovered a much easier method with simpler ingredients, as you will see in my Scottish shortbread recipe.

Related post: 68 best vegan dessert recipes.

For those who want the quick, condensed version of the recipe, you’ll find it in the recipe card at the end of the post. Otherwise, keep reading for detailed notes, instructions and tips. enjoy!


Here’s what you’ll need to make vegan chocolate chip shortbread cookies.

  • Vegan margarine: Although all vegan ‘butter’ is technically margarine since it’s made with oils, I am referring to the soft, spreadable type that comes in a tub. Make sure to use this for best results, not the blocky type, which will leave your shortbread on the dry side.
  • Caster sugar: This is a superfine version of granulated sugar. It creates the best melt-in-your-mouth texture for shortbread.
  • Vanilla extract: For a touch of extra flavour.
  • Plain flour: Plain flour forms the structure of the biscuits. This is also known as all-purpose flour.
  • Cornflour: Cornflour (or cornstarch in the USA) will help to give your shortbread biscuits that classic crumbly texture. If you don’t have any to hand, you can substitute it for equal amounts of plain flour.
  • Chocolate chips: Of course, to make chocolate chip shortbread, we’ll need some chocolate! I’ve listed out some of my favourite dairy-free chocolate chips in the section below.

Vegan chocolate chip options

Dairy-free chocolate chips can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Most of the vegan ones I’ve come across are dark chocolate but there are a good few options out there. Check out my ultimate vegan chocolate guide for an extensive list of chocolate choices.

For this recipe and in the images shown, I used Dr. Oetker’s jumbo dark chocolate chips, which I purchased from Tesco. Some other vegan options for dark chocolate chips are:

And if you fancy milk chocolate chips in the shortbread, try these:

Of course, if you can’t get your hands on any vegan chocolate chips then just go for goold ole chocolate chunks instead! Simply chop up your favourite bar of vegan chocolate and use the chunks in place of chocolate chips.

How to make vegan chocolate chip shortbread

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 170°C/ 340°F (or 150°C/320°F if you’re using a fan or convection oven). Line a large tray with baking paper.

Step 2: In a large bowl, mix together 200g of vegan margarine (3/4 cup) and 100g of caster sugar (1/2 cup) until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Butter And Sugar Creamed Together In A Bowl

Step 3: Add 280g (2 cups + 1 tablespoon) of plain flour to the bowl, along with 2 tablespoons of cornflour/cornstarch. Mix it into the margarine mixture until it starts to stick together then use your hands to press it into a dough. The dough should be quite firm, not sticky or crumbly.

If the dough is too wet, add more flour. If it’s too dry or won’t stick together in a ball, add a splash of plant-based milk to help it come together.

Step 4: Add 100g of chocolate chips or chunks to the dough and knead them in using your hands. Cover the dough and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help it to hold its shape when baking.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Dough Ball

Step 5: After the 30 minutes are up, remove the dough from the fridge and gently knead it in your hands to get rid of any cracks. If it’s too sticky to roll at this point, you can add a bit more flour. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s around 1/2 an inch thick.

Cut out your cookie shapes. I used a 3-inch round cookie cutter and got 12 cookies (half-batch pictured below).

Unbaked Cookies On A Baking Sheet

Step 6: Bake the shortbread for around 25 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when they are firm at the edges but ever-so-slightly soft in the centre when you press on them. They should be pale in colour and will be a little on the soft side but they’ll firm up and become crunchy as they cool down.

Leave the shortbread biscuits on the tray until they are completely cool.

Step 7: Lightly sprinkle your shortbread with some caster sugar. This step is totally optional but highly recommended as it makes the shortbread taste more authentic! You can also use granulated sugar if you prefer.

Top tips

  • Use the soft, spreadable type of margarine, not the blocky ‘butter’, for best results.
  • If you can’t find any vegan chocolate chips, you can cut your favourite vegan chocolate bar up into small chunks.
  • Chill the dough before cutting out your shortbread cookies. This will ensure it holds its shape properly.


Can I replace the margarine with coconut oil?

I don’t recommend using coconut oil for this one. I haven’t tested it with this recipe but I know it can change the texture of cookie dough plus, the coconut flavour is quite overpowering. Shortbread is known for its “buttery” flavour and you won’t get this if you use coconut oil.

How should vegan chocolate chip shortbread be stored?

Store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll last about 4-5 days like this! You can also freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat them, just transfer them to a wire rack and let them sit at room temperature until defrosted. Do not refreeze.

Small Stack Of Vegan Shortbread With Chocolate Chips

More Scottish desserts

I hope you like this vegan chocolate chip shortbread recipe. If you make it at home, please leave a review below to let me know how it goes. Happy baking! xo

Thumbnail Of Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread Stack
5 from 4 votes

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Buttery vegan shortbread cookies with dark chocolate chips.

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan chocolate chip shortbread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chilling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 Cookies
Calories 250 kcal


  • 200 g Vegan margarine (¾ cup)
  • 100 g Caster sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 280 g Plain flour (2 cups + 1 tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 100 g Dark chocolate chips or chunks (⅔ cup)


  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/340°F (or 150°C/320°F if you're using a fan or convection oven). Line a tray with baking paper.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix again.

  3. Add the flour and cornflour and stir until it starts to stick together. Then use your hands to press it all into a ball of dough.

  4. Add the chocolate chips and press them into the dough.

  5. Cover the dough and place it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

  6. After the 30 minutes are up, remove it from the fridge and gently knead it in your hands to get rid of any cracks. If it's too sticky, you can add more flour and if it's too dry, add a splash of plant-based milk.

  7. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it's around ½ an inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out your shortbread. You should end up with around 12 pieces.

  8. Bake for around 25 minutes. They should be pale in colour but you'll know they're ready when they are firm around the edges and slightly soft to the touch in the centre.

  9. Leave them on the tray to cool completely, then sprinkle some caster sugar on top before enjoying!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread
Amount Per Serving (1 shortbread cookie)
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Sodium 105mg5%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 3g6%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.
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