Wonderful Gluten-Free Christmas cake and Shortbread Cookies

Here are two recipes that you can  be proud to serve to anyone visiting your house, and they are both gluten-free!    I remember growing up my mom would start baking shortbread  at the beginning of December and to me, that was the signal that the holiday season had begun.   For the past 10 years I have been sorely disappointed with any attempt to make gluten-free shortbread cookies or Christmas Cake.  The shortbread would either be too crumbly or too crunchy and they never tasted like I remember my mom’s tasting.    This year I’m thrilled because I feel I’ve got the ingredients and proportions right and these Christmas goodies are sure to be winners in your house too!

You will need to get personally involved in making this recipe but the proportions are the same for each ingredient which makes it very simple.

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour (I also tried white rice flour & a GF flour mix – all were good)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  1. Sift all dry ingredients together
  2. Add butter
  3. Mix with hands until you have dough that you can knead.  Knead it a couple of times and roll into a log about 12″ long. (if you want smaller cookies make the log longer and thinner, if you want larger cookies make the log shorter and fatter)
  4. Wrap in Saran wrap and place in the fridge for about an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  6. Take roll out of fridge and slice cookies about 1/2″ wide or thicker if you wish.  Place on cookie sheet about 1-1/4″ apart and poke with a fork two or three times.
  7. Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Voila!  Here they are:

cropped softened shortbread photo

Now, the Christmas cake takes a bit more time but it’s well worth it!

full Christmas cake  GF

I made this in a 7″ round spring form pan but it will work in a two smaller loaf tins as well, you’ll just need to adjust the baking time.

  • Prep time: 2 days
  • Bake time: one hour and 50-55 minutes
  • Oven temperature 325 degrees


  • 1/4 cup dried apricots diced
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apples
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup Southern Comfort
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Chop and prepare fruit and place in a container.  Pour the Southern Comfort over the dried fruit and mix thoroughly.  Cover and let the mixture soak for two days.
  2. After two days, drain the fruit and keep the liquid for use later.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the three egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon zest and continue mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter.
  5. Fold the fruit mixture into the batter and stir.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter and mix.
  7. Add pecans into batter and mix gently.
  8. Pour the batter into a well-greased 7-8″ round spring form pan.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour and 50 – 55 minutes.  (less time if you are using a smaller pan)
  10. Pour the saved Southern Comfort over the hot cake and let it cool before taking it out of the pan.
  11. You will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious this cake is.  I had several people sample this and they all said it was spectacular!

Enjoy these two recipes!  I am positive your family and gluten-free friends will have a hard time believing these are gluten-free!

If you make either of these recipes I’d love to hear your feedback on how you liked them.

slice of Christmas cake with fork full

Come back Monday for another episode of Sunday night dinner at Julia’s Place!


About Julia

I am an RHN who's passionate about helping people live their best lives. My focus is on body mind and spirit and I guide people on work life balance and holistic nutrition. Join me as I wind my way through this wonderful world we live in.
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1 Response to Wonderful Gluten-Free Christmas cake and Shortbread Cookies

  1. J Oulton says:

    Fabulous Julia! So PROUD OF YOU!!!

    For photography, I went to the Sally Ann and found some great dishes to use for presentation.

    Can’t wait to try the shortbreads this weekend.

    Have another wonderful day!



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