Cardamom Cookies

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These cardamom shortbread cookies are supremely tender and flavorful. With this recipe, you’ll get a soft, buttery shortbread cookie infused with the rich aroma of ground cardamom.

five cardamom cookies stacked

Cardamom cookies

There’s just something so cozy about the sweet aroma of cardamom! Cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of several plants native to India. I adore it and often use it to make vanilla cardamom scones.

But because it’s the world’s third-most expensive spice, I only use it for special occasions. And what’s more special than Christmas and cookie exchanges?

With cookie exchanges and office parties happening now, I thought it would be fabulous to add a delicate cookie infused with cardamom to the archives.

The cookie itself is nothing more than a classic shortbread. They are similar to my butter cookies and ice cream sandwich cookies but much more tender and crumbly.

If you like cardamom, you will love these cookies!!

cardamom cookies on a white plate

Ingredients for cardamom shortbread cookies

Flour – All-purpose flour is best for cookies

Cardamom – The main flavor of the cookie

Salt – To balance the sweetness

Vanilla – Use pure vanilla extract

Butter – For buttery richness

Shortening – Keeps the cookies tender and prevents spreading

Sugar – Confectioners’ sugar works best for shortbread cookies

How to make cardamom cookies?

Begin by creaming the butter and shortening together until smooth. But, be careful not to whip too much air in as this will affect the overall texture and appearance of the cookies.

Once the butter and shortening are creamed together, add everything else besides the flour.

Most baking recipes call for combining all the dry ingredients then mixing it into the wet ingredients. When testing these cookies, I found that the end result is more flavorful if you mix the cardamom into the butter mixture rather than sifting it into the flour.

Add the flour last and stir just until there are no visible streaks of flour. Try to avoid overmixing or the cookies won’t be as tender.

cardamom cookie dough in glass bowl

Shape the dough into a ball then flatten it into a disk. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It needs to be just cold enough to roll out but not so cold that it breaks while rolling.

If you begin to roll your dough and you find that it’s cracking, let it sit for a few minutes so it softens enough to roll without breaking. But don’t let it sit too long or it will become soft and sticky.

It takes practice to learn the right texture but you’ll get it!

Don’t roll the cookies to thin. Aim for a little less than ½-inch thick. I tried ¼-inch thickness but they came out too thin for my liking. Shortbread cookies are meant to be thick.

You can use any shape you desire for cutting out the cookies but it’s recommended that the cookie cutter is around 1 and ½-inches. Of course, you can go larger but you’ll get fewer cookies and they may need more time in the oven.

cardamom cookies cut out with red round cookie cutter

Bake the cardamom cookies just until the edges begin to brown. Let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

You are going to be so impressed with the tender texture of these cookies!

They go perfectly alongside coffee, tea, and even milk. And they make incredible gifts.

stack of cardamom shortbread cookies

How to store cardamom cookies?

Cardamom shortbread cookies should be kept in an airtight container either at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.

How long will cardamom cookies stay fresh?

The great thing about cardamom cookies is they stay fresh for quite some time as long as they are stored properly. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze them for up to 4 weeks.

Tips for this recipe

  • Let the butter and shortening sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes before you begin making the cookies. They should be soft but still slightly firm and not melty!
  • Measure the flour by weighing it or lightly spoon it into a measuring cup then level it off with the back of a knife. Avoid scooping the flour out with the measuring cup because you’ll end up with too much flour and the recipe will fail.
  • Try this recipe with vanilla paste! Use ½ tablespoon in place of the vanilla extract. YUM!

More cookie recipes you’ll love

Since you loved these cardamom cookies so much, you must try these chai cookies, chewy coconut cookies, white chocolate peppermint cookies, classic snickerdoodle cookies, and classic sugar cookies. They are all incredibly delicious and have been loved by many!

Cardamom Cookies

4.46 from 283 votes
stack of cardamom shortbread cookies
These cardamom shortbread cookies are supremely tender and flavorful. With this recipe, you’ll get a soft, buttery shortbread cookie infused with the rich aroma of ground cardamom. 
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Serving Size 36


  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (102 g) vegetable shortening, softened
  • ½ cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups (325 g) all-purpose flour


  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening together on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cardamom, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed just until combined.
  • Add the flour and beat on the lowest speed just until no visible streaks of flour remain. 
  • Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap the disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes, until the dough is firm enough to roll out.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough to a little less than ½-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes. (I used 1 and ½-inch fluted round cookie cutters.)
  • Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Bake 1 sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges and center is just set.
  • Cool cookies on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • To prevent spreading, the cookies should be cold when entering the oven. Don’t try to rush things by not chilling the dough or the cutout cookies!
  • Don’t roll the cookies too thin or they may spread! Aim for ⅓ to ½-inch thickness.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.4mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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Recipe Rating


  1. Kajal Schiller says:

    I don’t have vegetable shortening is there something else I can use as a substitute?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      Not with this recipe.

  2. These were awesome and everyone loved them, thank you! I did switch out the shortening for more butter which worked great! Wish they were a bit sweeter tho

  3. I made these. The dough was very crumbly, and I had trouble cutting out simple shapes without them breaking. The end taste was OK, but I think I’ll search out a different recipe next time, because I wanted cookies suitable for using my cookie cutouts.
    NOTE: I didn’t have ground cardamom handy, but I did have cardamom pods, so I got the seeds from the pods, then ground them in my (cleaned out) coffee grinder.

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      The dough shouldn’t be crumbly. There’s a video showing how it’s supposed to look. If the dough is overly dry, there was likely a mismeasurement with the flour.

  4. B. Lorence says:

    I was excited to make these since I like cardamom. However the cookies are not flavorful and are rather dry. What did I do wrong?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      It’s really hard to say what you did wrong since I wasn’t there to see you make them. They should be lightly flavored with cardamom and the texture of shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies are dry and crumbly.

  5. I found that rolling the dough between two pieces of parchment paper made all the difference in the world! I love cardamom and these cookies are so good!

  6. Jeyn E Johnstone says:

    Great recipe. I put an orange glaze on some and sprinkled allspice-sugar on some of them. Very good.

  7. I had some rose sugar to use up so I made this recipe and added lemon zest, then a Royal icing with lemon juice in a rose pattern before finishing with the decorating rose sugar. Very cute!

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      That sounds amazing, Rhi! And what a creative way to use rose sugar.

  8. These are very delicious but I found the dough quite crumbly to deal with. Too little mixing? Too much? I weighed ingredients so I don’t think Iused too much flour.

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      Yes, this is a crumbly dough. Make sure the butter and shortening are at room temperature and knead the dough together when shaping into a ball. Keep pressing and squeezing until it comes together.

  9. Roberta L Navarro says:

    can this recipe be used in a cookie press if I don’t chill the dough?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I don’t think it will work in a cookie press. This dough isn’t soft enough even when not chilled.