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Panera Shortbread Cookie Recipe (Copycat)

Rich, buttery and crumbly, like a classic shortbread should be!

Elen Rustick By Updated April 4, 2023

This authentic Panera Shortbread Cookie Recipe will be your new favorite holiday cookie.

Panera Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Filled with simple ingredients like butter and sugar, it’s a comforting, timeless treat for your family to enjoy.

What makes shortbread so unique is its crisp exterior and crumbly buttery center. An abundance of butter gives this Panera shortbread cookie recipe its rich taste and a melt in your mouth texture.

These delicious buttery cookies are a popular teatime treat in Britain, especially Scotland where shortbread originates. Many American restaurants have their own spin on the recipe, including the popular bakery Panera Bread.

Traditional shortbread is made with 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter, and 1 part sugar. There’s no leavening agent like baking soda or powder, so the cookies stay dense and crumbly.

Panera’s recipe deviates from the traditional ratio slightly by adding powdered sugar and vanilla. The result is a slightly sweeter recipe, which is perfect for holiday cookie tins!

This Panera shortbread cookie recipe is so simple, it’s perfect to make with the kids. You can decorate the cookies with icing and sprinkles, or include add-ins such as chocolate like I did!

Easy Tips for the Best Panera Shortbread Cookies

  • Mix your Panra shortbread cookie dough until it’s just combined. Overmixed dough adds air, causing the cookies to puff up and then fall flat as they bake.

  • Chill your dough! This will ensure your shortbread maintains its shape while it bakes.

  • Pierce your shortbread with a fork. The holes allow heat to reach the center of the cookie so the whole cookie bakes evenly.

  • Bake using low heat to ensure your buttery shortbread cookies get that light crumbly texture. Raise the temperature too much and they’ll turn crunchy.

  • Remove cookies when the edges are golden brown. Shortbread is supposed to be a bit paler than other cookies, due to the high flour content.

Panera Shortbread Cookie

Panera Shortbread Cookie Recipe

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time20 min
  • Total Time1h5 min
  • ServingsQ
  • Yield24 cookies

Level: Easy

Chilling: 30 min




  1. Cream Butter and Sugar

    Add softened butter and both types of sugar to a large bowl. Use the spatula to blend until smooth.

  2. Add Vanilla Extract, Salt, and Cornstarch

    Add the vanilla extract, cornstarch, and salt, and continue to blend. The mixture should be smooth.

  3. Stir in Flour and White Chocolate

    Add the flour and white chocolate chips and mix until a dough forms. Do not overmix.

  4. Roll and Shape Dough

    Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop. Roll with a rolling pin or press dough until it is 1/4 inch thick.

    Mark rectangle cookie lines and cut the shortbread dough into 2-inch squares. Prick with a fork over the entire top of the cookie.

    Place the dough on two parchment paper lined baking trays.

  5. Chill Dough

    Place the cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

  6. Preheat the Oven

    Heat the oven to 300°F.

  7. Bake Cookies

    Remove chilled cookies from the refrigerator and place them in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the baking tray halfway through.

  8. Remove From Oven and Cool

    Remove cookies from the oven. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Panera Shortbread Cookie serve

Delicious & Fun Variations

Shortbread cookies are simple and classic, paving the way for all sorts of fun additions! In this Panera recipe I’ve included white chocolate for extra creaminess, but that’s just one option.

  • Add chopped nuts and dried fruit to truly give these buttery shortbread cookies that holiday flavor! If you’re a chocolate lover, try adding dark or milk chocolate chips right to the batter.

  • A chocolate drizzle on top would make these buttery shortbread cookies taste delicious and extra decadent. If you prefer warm flavors, give these cookies a drizzle of your favorite homemade caramel recipe.

  • For something more simple, you can add coarse sugar on top before baking for extra crunch. You can even blend the sugar with powdered cinnamon to give these Panera shortbread cookies a touch of spice!

What to Serve with Panera Shortbread Cookies?

  • In Britain, these cookies are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. They’re the perfect afternoon pick-me-up when you need something sweet, but not too overpowering.

  • They’re also a classic feature at holiday dessert tables. Serve to guests with hot chocolate for a comforting, cozy treat.

  • For kids, serve with a tall glass of milk for dipping! These cookies are also perfect for cookie dips like peanut butter or chocolate fudge.

  • These cookies have a light vanilla flavor which also pairs well with fruits like raspberries and strawberries.

Storage Instructions

The USDA recommends storing homemade cookies in an airtight container or cookie jar. They can be kept this way at room temperature for approximately two to three weeks.

If you want to store a batch of these shortbread cookies longer, keep them in the refrigerator for up to two months. It’s best to store them in a plastic bag to save space and keep bacteria out.

This Panera shortbread cookie recipe also freezes well! Use a heavy-duty freezer bag and freeze for eight to twelve months maximum.

Panera Shortbread Cookie Recipe - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 150Calories
  • 8.9g Fat
  • 16.4g Carbs
  • 1.4gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat8.9g 11%
Saturated Fat5.6g 28%
Cholesterol21mg 7%
Sodium108mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate16.4g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g 1%
Total Sugars5.5g
Vitamin C5mcg 27%
Calcium11mg 1%
Iron0mg 3%
Potassium24mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.