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Imagine biting into a tiny square of pure joy – that’s exactly what you get with this Small Batch Shortbread Bites recipe. This recipe takes the classic, buttery shortbread and dresses it up with a festive confetti of sprinkles, making it a delightful treat to brighten up any day. Whether you’re whipping up a batch for a cozy evening at home or looking for that perfect holiday gift, these small batch shortbread bites are baked to perfection in just about 15 minutes.

If you’re looking for more small batch cookie recipes, you’ll love our Sugar Cookies, Butter Cookies, Ginger Cookies, and M&M Cookies!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple to Make: Easy steps and common ingredients allow you to whip up these shortbread tidbits with minimal effort.
  • Personal Touch: With colorful sprinkles, you can customize these treats to match any event or to brighten any ordinary day.
  • Just Enough: The recipe is designed to make a small, satisfying batch, ensuring no leftovers and every bite enjoyed fresh.
  • Universally Enjoyed: Ideal for gatherings of any size, these small cookies are a hit with all ages. Need more? Doubling the recipe is easy.
  • Fun to Bake: Making these shortbread bites is an enjoyable activity, perfect for getting kids involved or for a peaceful time in the kitchen.
a plate of funfetti shortbread bites next to a container of colorful sprinkles.

What Are Shortbread Bites?

Shortbread bites are miniature versions of the traditional Scottish shortbread, a crumbly, butter-rich cookie. These tiny treats incorporate colorful nonpareils (candied sprinkles), adding a playful touch to the classic recipe. They’re easy to pop in your mouth and offer the perfect combination of sweet flavor and tender texture.

Ingredients

shortbread bites ingredients on a kitchen counter.

This section provides a quick rundown of the ingredients used in this small batch shortbread bites recipe. For complete measurements and step-by-step instructions, please scroll to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Butter: Salted butter is the key to rich and tender shortbread. For a vegan option, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks are an excellent substitute. Remember to use the stick form for the best results in texture.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness to each bite. If you’re looking to cut down on sugar, opt for a granular sugar alternative that’s suitable for baking.
  • Vanilla Extract: This ingredient deepens the flavor profile of the shortbread. For a different twist, try using almond extract.
  • Flour: Gives structure to the cookies. For those avoiding gluten, a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend works perfectly.
  • Sprinkles: Adds the funfetti flair; use any color combination to fit the occasion. If you’ve got leftover sprinkles, use them to decorate a Frozen Chocolate Banana, or top Vanilla Cupcakes, Oreo Balls, or a Strawberry Milkshake.

Recipe Variations

Switch up your shortbread cookies with these creative twists:

  • Chocolate-Dipped: Dip one side in melted chocolate for a decadent upgrade.
  • Zesty Lemon: Add lemon zest to the dough for a citrusy variation.
  • Nutty Flair: Press a pecan or walnut half into each bite before baking.
  • Spice Infusion: Mix in a pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for a warm flavor.
  • Herbal Note: Incorporate finely chopped rosemary for an aromatic twist.
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How To Make Shortbread Bites

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make shortbread cookie bites. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preheating the Oven: Begin by setting your oven to 325°F (165°C). Prepare a 5×5-inch baking dish by lining it with plastic wrap, allowing an overhang of a few inches for easy removal. Put the pan aside.
butter and sugar creamed together in a mixing bowl.
  1. Mixing Base Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
shortbread cookie dough in a mixing bowl.
  1. Incorporating The Flour: Slowly add the flour to the mixture, blending until the dough comes together.
funfetti sprinkles mixed with shortbread cookie dough in a mixing bowl.
  1. Adding Sprinkles: Fold in the funfetti sprinkles into the dough.
shortbread dough kneaded into a ball in a mixing bowl.
  1. Forming the Dough: In the bowl, gently knead the dough 4-5 times until it forms into a ball.
shortbread cookie dough pressed into a square baking dish.
  1. Shaping the Shortbread: Press the dough evenly into the lined dish.
16 unbaked shortbread cookie bites on a baking sheet.
  1. Cutting the Bites: Lift the dough out using the plastic wrap overhang and cut into 1/2-inch squares. Arrange these squares on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
  1. Baking: Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until you see the edges just starting to brown.
baked funfetti cookie bites on a small baking sheet.
  1. Cooling: Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes after baking. Then, move them to a cooling rack to cool down completely.

Expert Tips

  • Before you start, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your shortbread bites turn out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Butter Temperature: Keep the butter at room temperature to ensure a smooth dough.
  • Mixing Technique: Avoid overmixing to maintain the shortbread’s delicate texture.
  • Cookie Size Customization: While this recipe is tailored for bite-sized cookies, you have the flexibility to cut them into larger pieces if you prefer a bigger treat. Adjust the size to your liking to create the perfect cookie for your occasion.
shortbread cookie bites in a mason jar next to a flowered napkin.

Serving Suggestions

Holiday shortbread bites are versatile and delightful in many settings. Here are some ways to enjoy them:

Frequently Asked Questions

What size baking dish should I use to make these shortbread cookie bites?

For optimal results, use either a 5×5 inch baking dish or a 4×6 inch baking dish. This recipe is specifically tailored to fit these sizes.

How do I store these shortbread bites?

Store the shortbread cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.

Can can I freeze these cookies?

Yes, store the cookies between sheets of wax paper in an freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 2 months.

My dough is crumbly, what should I do?

Gently work the dough with your hands to bring it together.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve made these festive shortbread bites, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you. Please rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Snapped a photo? Tag us on Instagram; we’d be thrilled to see your creation!


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Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Shortbread Bites

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 small shortbread cookie bites
Whip up a batch of fun and festive Funfetti Shortbread Bites in just 15 minutes! These bite-sized treats are perfect for holidays or any special occasion.

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons multi-colored nonpareils "sprinkles"
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
    Prepare a 5×5-inch baking dish by lining it with plastic wrap, allowing an overhang of a few inches for easy removal. Put the pan aside.
  •  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
  • Slowly add the flour to the mixture, blending until the dough comes together.
  • Fold in the funfetti sprinkles into the dough.
  • In the bowl, gently knead the dough 4-5 times until it forms into a ball.
  • Press the dough evenly into the lined dish.
  • Lift the dough out using the plastic wrap overhang and cut into 1/2-inch squares. Arrange these squares on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
  • Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until you see the edges just starting to brown.
  • Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes after baking. Then, move them to a cooling rack to cool down completely.

Notes

  • Before you start, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your shortbread bites turn out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Butter Temperature: Keep the butter at room temperature to ensure a smooth dough.
  • Mixing Technique: Avoid overmixing to maintain the shortbread’s delicate texture.
  • Cookie Size Customization: While this recipe is tailored for bite-sized cookies, you have the flexibility to cut them into larger pieces if you prefer a bigger treat. Adjust the size to your liking to create the perfect cookie for your occasion.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(1/2 inch square) cookie, Calories: 45kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 0.4g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 23mg, Potassium: 5mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 87IU, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 0.2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. Delores Robertson says:

    These are truly scrumptious! I have now made this my go to “happy” for myself and to give to friends and family for a birthday treat.

  2. LC says:

    Good recipe. Will make again. Dipped bottom of cookies in chocolate.

  3. Sherri says:

    Under instructions you say to line a 5 x 5 baking oan with plastic wrap, I am assuming you mean parchment paper.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      The recipe indeed calls for lining the baking pan with plastic wrap, not parchment paper. I prefer plastic wrap because it clings more effectively to the pan, helping the cookie dough take on the pan’s shape easily. However, if you prefer, you can use parchment paper as an alternative. It might not adhere as closely to the pan, but it will still work for the recipe.

  4. J. Hegyi says:

    Great recipe.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you so much!

    2. LC says:

      Great recipe. Added 1 teaspoon of milk to help dough stick together better. Also dipped bottoms of cooled cookies in chocolate.