The Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are definitely short, really short. They’re perfectly crumbly and totally just melt away in your mouth. Then the Passionfruit Icing, for something so easy, it is truly amazing.

A batch of small round vanilla shortbreads with passionfruit icing over the top

So the Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are actually made using my melting moments recipe. I use this cookie recipe a lot. This time I turned it into a mini cupcake shape and adorned it with that glorious Passionfruit Icing. And if you love passionfruit, you’ll love this easy Homemade Passionfruit Slice too.

A batch of small round vanilla shortbreads with passionfruit icing over the top

5 ingredient cookies

I love these cookies and this is seriously the best shortbread recipe ever. They’re easy to make, they look beautiful, they’re perfectly sweet-and-treat like and a texture like no other.

These cookies have just 5 ingredients

  • Butter
  • Icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar….. see, I know all the lingo, haha
  • Plain (all purpose) flour
  • Cornflour (cornstarch)
  • Vanilla extract

A batch of small round vanilla shortbreads with passionfruit icing over the top

The intriguing cookie dough

I always find it to be quite an intriguing cookie dough because when you mix it all up together, it’s quite a sticky dough. Not the sort of dough you could use to roll and cut out shapes, depending on your patience level. I have none though, so I’ll suggest you don’t try that.

No, this dough is quite a wet dough. You can let it firm up in the fridge a little before rolling into small cookies which is exactly what I do to make melting moments but for these little sweeties, you just scoop and bake in a mini muffin tin. Couldn’t be simpler. Just a tip, let them cool completely before handling them. They are fragile when warm and you don’t want to bake a batch of cookie crumbs, right?

Shortbread cookie dough in the holes of a mini muffin tin

Ice and repeat

The icing is sweet and full of that lovely passionfruit flavour. I like to pour some onto the cookie, let it ooze down the side and set for a couple of minutes, then go right ahead and repeat. I’m an icing girl, if ya didn’t know 🙂

This icing is made using tinned passionfruit pulp, but if you can’t get it or you prefer the real deal go right ahead. You may find you need to add a little water or milk though as the tinned version already has some water added to thin it out a little.

The consistency of the icing should be so that it pours off the spoon very slowly. It will settle into a smooth icing after 10-12 seconds. Too runny and it will just run straight off your cookies. That’s not a huge problem. You can just re-coat them a few extra times or add a little more icing sugar to thicken consistency slightly.

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A batch of small round vanilla shortbreads with passionfruit icing over the top

Now go bake up a batch of these cookies and have a fantastic weekend.

More melting moments and shortbread recipes

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with Passionfruit Icing - the best shortbread recipe ever with easy icing

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with Passionfruit Icing

5 from 3 ratings
Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with Passionfruit Icing - siimply the best shortbread recipe ever with easy icing


For the Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

  • 226 g unsalted butter, softened (1 cup / 2 sticks)
  • 70 g icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar (½ cup)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 195 g plain (all purp) flour (1 ½ cups)
  • 70 g cornflour (½ cup)

For the Passionfruit Icing

  • 5 teaspoons butter, melted (notes)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tinned passionfruit pulp (notes)
  • 1 cup 140g icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar, sifted

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided


For the Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Have a 24 hole non-stick mini muffin tin at the ready (if your tray is not non-stick you’ll need to grease and flour each hole)
  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat well.
  • Sift together the flour and cornflour then add it to the butter mixture in 3 parts, gently mixing between each until just incorporated.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to divide the dough among 20 of the muffin tin holes.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until they are just golden around the edges. Leave to cool in the tray before using a knife to very gently pry them out. Make sure they are totally cool before you ice them.

For the Passionfruit Icing

  • Mix together all ingredients into a smooth icing. Spoon the icing over the cooled cookies, allow them to set for a few minutes and then repeat for a thicker coating.


  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. All ovens vary. Check for doneness 3-4 minutes before the recipe suggests
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Have you tried this recipe?Don't forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.

A batch of small round vanilla shortbreads with passionfruit icing over the top