Whole Wheat Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies

These easy, buttery, whole wheat vanilla chai shortbread cookies are perfect for the holidays! Made entirely in your food processor, these delicious cookies are filled with loose chai tea. Nut free, soy free and vegetarian.

A white plate stacked with Chai Shortbread Cookies and a jar of milk in the background.

Note: This recipe is NOT dairy free. It was published before Cook Nourish Bliss transitioned to dairy free recipes and remains popular with long time readers. You can try using substitutions to make it dairy free, however I have not tested this myself and can’t say how it will turn out.

It’s cookie time! I am slightly ashamed that this is my first and only cookie post for the month of December.

But. These chai shortbread cookies are most definitely good enough to hold their place as the sole cookie I present to you this holiday season.

I’m not sure what my deal is, but I’ve been all about the savory, like real foods, since Thanksgiving. Apparently I reallllly overdid it on the sweets for turkey day?

But anyway, let’s get back to the shortbread at hand.

These are so worthy of your cookie trays this year!

Buttery, lightly but oh-so-perfectly sweet cookies that melt in your mouth. Exactly the way shortbread should be.

A white plate with four Chai Shortbread pieces and a tea bag to the side.

About These Chai Shortbread Cookies

They are filled with just the right amount of chai tea – giving them a touch of something interesting, yet at the same time they still have that classic shortbread goodness going on.

Plus, the whole wheat flour adds this delicious nuttiness to the cookies. Perfect-o.

Have I sold you yet?

Wait, I have one more selling point. They are incredibly simple to pull together. The dough is completely mixed up in your food processor and then just formed into a log to chill.

And then all you need to do is slice and bake.

You can even freeze the cookie dough log and slice / bake whenever you like. Perfect for any last minute holiday treats, yes?

The dipping in dark chocolate / sprinkle with flaky sea salt part is totally 100% optional. We actually couldn’t decide which way we liked better – chocolate or plain.

So I recommend doing half and half. That way you can have your cake and eat it too.

A white plate with stacked Vanilla Chai Cookies and a tea bag in the background.

Additional Cookie Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Easy, buttery whole wheat vanilla chai shortbread cookies! A simple recipe made entirely in your food processor! Filled with chai tea!

Whole Wheat Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies

Yield: about 26 to 28 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 27 minutes

These easy, buttery, whole wheat vanilla chai shortbread cookies are perfect for the holidays! Made entirely in your food processor, these delicious cookies are filled with loose chai tea. Nut free, soy free and vegetarian.


For the cookies:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon loose chai tea
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp and cut into chunks
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the topping (optional):

  • dark chocolate chunks or chopped dark chocolate
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


For the cookies:

  1. Add the flour, chai tea and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the tea is evenly distributed throughout the flour. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Next, add in the vanilla extract, the butter and egg yolk. Pulse until the dough comes together in a sort of large clump.
  3. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap. Bring the dough together and then form / pat into a log that is about 2 inches in diameter and 12 inches long.
  4. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill until nice and firm, at least 1 ½ to 2 hours (you can let it chill longer too - even overnight!).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Slice the chilled dough with a sharp knife into rounds that are about ⅓ to ½ inch thick. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until the edges are just lightly browned.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes directly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping (if using):

  1. Add some dark chocolate chunks to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Alternatively, you can use a double-boiler.
  2. Dip the cooled cookies partially in the melted chocolate, then place on wax paper. Sprinkle immediately with some flaky sea salt. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Let the chocolate set completely before removing from the wax paper.


About 3 or so tea bags will give you the 1 tablespoon chai tea (if you don’t have the loose kind).

If baking in batches, be sure to keep the unused dough in the refrigerator until ready to slice and bake.

Prep time does not include time for dipping the cookies in chocolate (if using).

Adapted from the Food Network

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 28 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.