Candy canes and vegan shortbread are a match made in heaven. If you adore scrumptious shortbread and crushed candy canes this recipe is for you. This holiday staple is perfect for Christmas cookie swaps and uses no dairy and no eggs with an easy gluten free option.
Why I Made This Recipe
It’s true that I am obsessed with shortbread, especially at Christmas time. Our kids also love candy canes so I wanted to combine the two to make this family favourite even more irresistible.
Why You Need This Recipe
Holiday baking is your time to shine and wow your friends by showing them that allergy friendly baking can be really simple, even if you have food allergies. This recipe uses no dairy, and no eggs and has a quick gluten free option. Using everyday pantry ingredients, you will be able to make this in no time at all.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This is a vegan candy cane shortbread recipe that is based on my traditional 1-2-3 ratio shortbread recipe. Read on for more details and also check out my FAQ for more recipe tips.
For the Shortbread
The 1-2-3 shortbread ratio works on the premise of 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter and 3 parts flour, which allows you to easily reduce or increase the quantities used. Following this measurement will always result in the perfect melt-in-the-mouth consistency that is firm enough to decorate yet still remains crumbly when you bite into it. Flavourings can also be added in addition to these ingredients.
- All Purpose Flour – we are using 260g (2 1/4 US Cups) of all purpose flour. Sub with a 1 for 1 gluten free baking flour blend.
- Icing Sugar – 40g (1/3 US Cup) of icing sugar to lighten the flour. This helps to create the melt-in-the-mouth crumbly texture. Sub with cocoa powder for chocolate shortbread!
- Plant Based Butter – 200g (14 tbsp or 1 3/4 sticks) of unsalted plant based butter. Sub with dairy butter if you are not dairy intolerant.
- White Sugar – 100g (1/2 US Cup) of white sugar (fine or granulated works equally as well). You could sub with golden sugar for a more caramel undertone.
- Vanilla Bean Paste – to add flavour and specks of colour.
- Salt – to cut back on the sweetness and enhance the flavour of the shortbread.
For the Toppings
- Icing Sugar – 120g (1 US Cup)
- Lemon Juice – 1-2 tbsp (see recipe card for note)
- Crushed Candy Canes – I picked these up from our local bulk store. You can also crush your own candy canes by placing them in a bag and rolling it with a rolling pin to break them up into pieces.
How to Make Candy Cane Shortbread
Add 100g sugar, 200g butter, 40g icing sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste and 260g all purpose flour to the mixing bowl. Stir with the paddle attachment until everything starts to combine.
Continue to stir until the dough clumps together. A great tip for cookie dough is that once it starts to clean off the sides of the bowl, it is ready to use.
Grease a 9 inch pan then add the shortbread dough to it, pressing it into place with your hands.
Score wedges in the dough then prick holes with a fork.
This will help the shortbread bake evenly.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 25 minutes until firm on top and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and score the wedges again after 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut the wedges and set aside.
Time to Decorate
Let’s take a moment to look at these gorgeous crushed candy canes. I love that one of our local stores sells them in bulk as we use so many during the holidays. You could also crush your own in a bag with a rolling pin if you prefer. Why not use different flavours of candy canes as well? I recently tried butterscotch ones and I can’t wait to use them on some fun holiday cupcakes.
Add 120 g (1 Cup) icing sugar to a mixing bowl or jug and add up to 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Stir until it forms a pourable glaze. Drizzle over the shortbread then top with crushed candy canes.
Isn’t this a thing of beauty? The icing will set firm after an hour but we couldn’t wait to dig in straight away!
Common Shortbread Questions
This recipe makes one 9 inch round of shortbread which can be cut into approximately 10 wedges. That being said, there’s is no size limit so you can cut the wedges smaller or larger depending on who you want to share this with.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Absolutely. Simply swap the all-purpose flour with your preferred gluten-free baking flour. I regularly use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour in my recipes with great success.
Many brands of icing sugar do not use bone char to whiten the icing sugar. Always check the ingredients if you are unsure. My go-to brand is Redpath which does not use any animal by-products in its refining process and the icing sugar comprises just cane sugar and corn starch (cornflour) (to prevent clumping).
Yes – simply swap the 40g of icing sugar with cocoa powder. Everything else remains the same. Warning – it’s pretty addictive and you may not want to share it!
Vegan Candy Cane Shortbread
One last look at this plate of deliciousness. I challenge you to not eat all of it in one day! Let me know if you try this vegan candy cane shortbread recipe in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think of this.
More Cookie Favourites
Craving more cookies? Check out the favourites that we keep going back to:
- Bake up a pop of colour with my funfetti cookies (vegan)
- Need a few cookies? Try my small batch strawberry lemonade no spread cookies (vegan option)
- Perfect cookies every time with my no chill no spread sugar cookies (vegan)
- The only Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe you’ll ever need (perfect for Santa!)
And if you’re looking for more Christmas baking recipes, check out the Bakemas 2021 playlist on my Youtube channel where I shared 8 fun holiday recipes. Happy Baking!
Vegan Candy Cane Shortbread Wedges
For the Shortbread
- 100 grams White Sugar (1/2 US Cup)
- 200 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted) (14 tbsp or 1 & 3/4 sticks)
- 40 grams Icing Sugar (1/3 US Cup)
- 260 grams All Purpose Flour (2 1/4 US Cups)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (5 ml)
- Pinch Salt
For the Topping
- 120 grams Icing Sugar (1 US Cup)
- 1-2 tbsp Lemon Juice (15-30 ml – use enough to make a pourable glaze)
- Crushed Candy Canes
To Make the Shortbread
- Add 100g sugar, 200g butter 40g icing sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste and 260g all purpose flour to the mixing bowl. Stir with the paddle attachment until everything starts to combine. Continue to stir until the dough clumps together.
- Grease a 9 inch pan then add the shortbread dough to it, pressing it into place with your hands. Score wedges in the dough then prick holes with a fork. This will help the shortbread bake evenly.
- Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 25 minutes until firm on top and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and score the wedges after 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut the wedges and set aside.
- Add 120 g (1 Cup) icing sugar to a mixing bowl or jug and add up to 1 tbsp lemon juice. Stir until it forms a pourable glaze. Drizzle over the shortbread then top with crushed candy canes.
- This recipes makes one 9 inch round of shortbread which can be cut into wedges.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
- For gluten free shortbread, swap out the all purpose flour with your preferred gluten free flour. I regularly bake with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour with great success.
- Nutrition information is based on 10 wedges of shortbread per recipe. The serving size is 1 wedge of shortbread. Please note that nutrition information is calculated based on the ingredients in this recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
- For more holiday baking recipes, check out my Bakemas 2021 playlist on my youtube channel.