With a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and rich chocolate buttercream frosting, these Chocolate Frosted Shortbread Cookies are a decadent treat that's perfect for any occasion! They're easy to make with simple ingredients you may already have on hand!
Shortbread is a classic Scottish dessert that's made with just a few simple ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour. The result is a crumbly buttery cookie that practically melts in your mouth. But why stop at plain old shortbread when you can take it to the next level with a rich and creamy chocolate buttercream frosting?
The addition of chocolate buttercream is the perfect way to elevate and add flavor to a classic shortbread cookie. The smooth and rich frosting adds a layer of indulgence that perfectly complements the buttery texture of the cookie. And with just a few simple ingredients, this frosting is easy to make!
Frosted shortbread cookies are perfect for special occasions like birthdays and holidays or just as a sweet treat to enjoy with your morning coffee or tea. They can be decorated with festive sprinkles or left plain. Whether you're serving them up at a fancy party or just snacking on them at home, these cookies are the best way to enjoy traditional shortbread!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These chocolate frosted shortbread cookies are the perfect blend of buttery, crumbly shortbread, and rich, creamy chocolate buttercream frosting.
- With just a handful of pantry ingredients, this recipe is simple to make but looks professional bakery style impressive!
- The addition of chocolate buttercream frosting adds a layer of indulgence and decadence that you won't be able to resist.
- These cookies are incredibly versatile and can be decorated with festive sprinkles, drizzled with extra chocolate, or left plain for an understated yet delicious dessert.
- These versatile frosted shortbread cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of warm coffee or tea, or they can be made for a special event!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Softened Butter - The main ingredient that gives the shortbread its buttery, crumbly texture.
- Powdered Sugar - Used to sweeten the shortbread dough and add a slightly crunchy texture to the finished cookies. Its fine texture allows it to dissolve easily and create a smooth consistency.
- Vanilla Extract - Used to flavor the shortbread dough and add a hint of warmth and sweetness.
- Flour - Makes up the base ingredient in the shortbread and helps to create the crumbly texture. It also acts as a binder to hold the shortbread dough together.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Softened Butter - Used in the frosting as the base ingredient to create a rich, creamy texture.
- Cocoa Powder - Adds a rich chocolate flavor and depth without adding extra sweetness.
- Vanilla Extract - Complements the rich chocolate taste of the frosting.
- Powdered Sugar - Provides sweetness and creates a smooth consistency.
- Heavy Cream - Gives the frosting a smooth and creamy texture. It helps to thin out the frosting and make it easy to spread on the shortbread.
- Sprinkles (Optional) - Sprinkles are a fun and festive addition to the frosting and can be used to add a pop of color and texture. They are completely optional and can be omitted if desired.
How To Make Chocolate Frosted Shortbread Cookies
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Assemble the cookie dough: Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and vanilla extract. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and blend until the sugar and butter are well combined. Add flour ½ a cup at a time until all the flour has been added. Mix until the dough forms a large ball.
Shape the cookies: Remove the shortbread dough from the bowl, then place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out until it's ½ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes.
Bake and cool: Place the cookie shapes on the lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookie are slightly browned. Place the cookies on a baking rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Mix ingredients: Add the softened butter and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until light and fluffy. Then, mix in the cocoa powder slowly. Next, add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until all of the ingredients are fully mixed, followed by four tablespoons of heavy cream. If the frosting is too thick, add one tablespoon of cream at a time until you've reached the desired consistency.
Frost the cookies: Add the chocolate frosting to a piping bag fit with a round tip. Carefully start at the edges of the cookies and work your way into the center.
Garnish and serve: If desired, add sprinkles to the top while the frosting is still wet. Enjoy!
- When creaming together the butter and powdered sugar for the shortbread dough, make sure the butter is at room temperature and softened. This will help the mixture to become light and fluffy, resulting in a perfect shortbread texture.
- If you're working in a warmer environment, make sure to chill the dough before rolling it out and cutting it into shapes. This will help the cookies to maintain their crumbly texture and shape during baking without spreading.
- Sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar before adding them to the chocolate frosting mixture. This will help to remove any lumps and create a smooth and creamy frosting.
- If the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Alternatively, if the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar until it thickens up.
- Make sure the cookies are completely cooled before adding the frosting, as you don't want the frosting to melt off of the cookies.
- If using a garnish, make sure you add it before the frosting hardens on the top.
- For a citrus twist, try adding the zest of a lemon or orange to the shortbread dough before rolling it out. This will give the cookies a bright and refreshing flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate frosting.
- Add a handful of finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the shortbread dough for a nutty flavor and crunch.
- To add a touch of spice, try adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the shortbread dough. This will give the cookies a warm and cozy flavor that's perfect for fall and winter.
- Instead of chocolate frosting, you can also use a classic vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Store chocolate frosted shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Be sure to separate the layers of cookies with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
Freezing: To freeze unfrosted cookies, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in a freezer-safe container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. When you're ready to enjoy them, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours before frosting. Freezing may slightly alter the texture of the shortbread, but it will still taste delicious.
Yes, you can use unsalted butter in this recipe. Just make sure to add a pinch of salt to the shortbread dough to ensure that it has the right balance of flavors.
Yes, you can make the shortbread dough in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days before baking. When you're ready to bake the cookies, simply remove the dough from the fridge, let it soften slightly at room temperature, and then roll it out and cut it into shapes.
You can use gluten-free flour in this recipe to make the cookies gluten-free. Just make sure to use a gluten-free flour blend that is suitable for baking. Be sure to check your other ingredients for wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.
More Easy Cookie Recipes
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Birthday Cake Cookies with Cake Mix
- Hostess Cupcake Cookies
- Crumbl New York Cheesecake Cookies
- Carrot Cake Mix Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Coconut Cake Mix Cookies
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Chocolate Frosted Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter softened
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 4-6 tbsp heavy cream
- sprinkles If desired
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and vanilla extract.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar and blend until the sugar and butter are well combined.
- Add flour ½ a cup at a time until all the flour has been added. Mix until the dough forms a large ball.
- Next, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's about ½ an inch thick. Cut using whatever shape you desire.
- Place the shapes on the lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 mins or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and place them on a baking rack to cool.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Using a stand mixer, mix together softened butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add in the cocoa powder and mix well.
- Mix in the powdered sugar ½ a cup at a time until all the sugar has been added. Next, mix in 4 tbsps heavy cream. Mix until all the ingredients are light and fluffy. If the frosting is still too thick, add 1 tbsp of cream at a time until you reach the desired constancy.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, frost them using a piping bag and a round tip. Start on the edges and carefully work your way to the center.
- Add sprinkles if desired. Serve and enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.