Low FODMAP orange and cardamom shortbread

I love the build up to Christmas, the last-minute shopping, the twinkling, decorated streets and the chilly nights. But my favourite part of all has to be the cooking. With time going faster than ever this year (I’m sure of it) and only a few days of leisurely, Christmas-songs-are-allowed-kitchen-time left, I thought I’d muster up a low FODMAP shortbread recipe, that’s quick, simple and perfect for edible gifts. With a rich orange flavour from the orange zest and just a hint of cardamom, these are a lovely festive treat. We’re talking low FODMAP shortbread that’s still buttery and crumbly, all made in one bowl and as simple as it is delicious.

These are especially great for making with little family members and not a bad option to leave out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve too. It’s time to fully embrace the Christmas vibes. To make these vegan, you can sub coconut oil for the butter, just note they’ll be slightly more biscuit like in texture. If you don’t have a stamp don’t worry – use whatever cutters you have on hand; just make sure their similar-sized to not affect your cooking time. I used a fork for the star (I’m going to call it that) effect.

Serves 12-16


90g butter, or lactose-free butter (at room temp)
120ml maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
280g gluten-free plain flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional, but does help to bind)
Zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon ground cardamom


Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Prepare a rolling area with two more sheets of baking parchment and have your cookies cutter and stamp ready.

Add the butter to a large mixing bowl and whip until creamy. Pour in the maple syrup, vanilla and salt and mix again to combine. Sieve in the flour, then add the orange zest and cardamom, using a wooden spoon to mix together until just combined. Use your hands and work the dough slightly, then shape into a ball.

Roll the dough between the two sheets of baking parchment to about 1 cm thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies, then use your Christmassy stamp, if you have one. Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet as you go, spacing them roughly 1 cm apart. They won’t spread as they bake.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. The cookies will harden in a few minutes and are delicious finished with a sprinkle of caster sugar.