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Corn Shortbread Cookies

These corn shortbread cookies are made with corn flour, which is finely ground cornmeal. They are crispy, have a mild corn flavor, and hold their shape when baked. Dress up these cookies with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Shortbread Cookies Made with Corn Flour

If you like cornbread, then these corn flour shortbread cookies will appeal to you. They have the flavor of cornbread presented in crunchy cookie form. They also mimic traditional shortbread but have a slightly coarser texture from corn flour.

Corn Flour Shortbread Cookies

What is Corn Flour?

If you aren’t familiar with corn flour, it is made from ground corn kernels, including the hull, germ, and endosperm. It is similar to cornmeal and can be made from yellow, white, or blue corn. Click here and here for two sources of corn flour. Or, jump to How to Make Corn Flour below by clicking here.

Corn Flour Shortbread Cookies
In some grocery stores, corn flour is found in international foods.

What Is Corn Flour Used For?

In addition to making these cornbread shortbread cookies, you can use corn flour for the following:

  • Make fine-grain cornbread.
  • Use as a breading.
  • Make waffles or pancakes.
  • Mix with cornmeal or all-purpose flour to reduce the amount of wheat gluten in recipes.
Corn Flour Shortbread Cookies
What is the difference between Corn Flour and Other Corn Products?
There are many corn products to choose from, including corn flour, cornmeal, corn starch, cornflour, maize flour, and masa harina. Here is a breakdown to show how they differ.
Corn Flour versus Cornmeal
Corn flour is very similar to cornmeal, but the difference between them is their textures. Corn flour is ground very fine, whereas cornmeal has a coarser texture.
Corn Flour versus Cornstarch
Corn flour is made from the whole corn kernel–hull, germ, and endosperm. Corn starch is made only from the endosperm of the corn kernel. It is finely ground and very light and powdery. Furthermore, this starch is usually used as a thickener for liquids. Corn flour and cornstarch are two different products and are not interchangeable.
Corn Flour versus Cornflour
There is a difference between corn flour and cornflour. While one is two words and the other is one word, the differences don’t end there because they mean two different things. In the U.S., corn flour means finely ground corn meal and cornflour (one word) is not used to refer to corn products. However, the U.K., Australia, and Israel use the word cornflour to mean cornstarch. It is essential to understand this difference when using international recipes because corn flour and cornflour are not interchangeable!
Corn Flour versus Maize Flour
In the U.K., maize flour refers to the same thing as U.S. corn flour. Both of these terms are used to refer to finely ground flour made from corn.
Corn Flour versus Masa Harina
It is easy to confuse corn flour with masa harina because they are similar products. However, there is one main difference: the corn kernels that masa harina are made from are soaked in limewater or calcium hydroxide before grinding. Corn flour kernels are not.

Preparing the Dough for Corn Shortbread Cookies

Here are photos of the steps for making these cookies.

Baking the Corn Shortbread Cookies

The dough holds its shape well and does not spread much when baking, which allows you to space it closely on the baking sheet.

Corn Flour Shortbread Cookies
Place the cutouts on a cookie sheet and refrigerate them.

Sprinkle Corn Shortbread Cookies with Powdered Sugar

If you prefer a little sweeter taste or want to dress them up, sprinkle powdered sugar on these cookies after they come out of the oven. Like many shortbread cookies, they aren’t overly sweet, so the powdered sugar doesn’t overwhelm them with sweetness.

Corn Flour Shortbread Cookies

How to Make Corn Flour

Since corn flour is a specialty product and you may not have any on hand, here are two ways to make your own:

  1. Place corn meal in a food processor or coffee grinder and grind until the corn meal is silky smooth, like wheat flour.
  2. Grind plain popcorn kernels in a food processor or heavy-duty blender until they become smooth flour.
Corn Flour Shortbread Cookies

Other Cookie Recipes

Here are other cookie recipes you might like to try. Click on the name to link to the recipe.

Corn Flour Shortbread Cookies
Corn Shortbread Cookies

Corn Shortbread Cookies

Cutout shortbread cookies made with corn flour and wheat flour.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 47 minutes
Course Anytime, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 60
Calories 52 kcal


  • Rolling Pin
  • 2 large baking sheets
  • parchment paper or 2 silicone baking mats
  • (1) 2-inch round cookie cutter


  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (125 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons (250 g) salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (240 g) corn flour (see note for corn flour products)
  • 1 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for garnish (optional)


  • Beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until pale and creamy (1-2 minutes). Add the butter and beat until thoroughly mixed and creamy.
  • Whisk the corn and all-purpose flour together. Add them to the sugar mixture. Beat on low just until blended. Do not overbeat.
  • Lightly flour a working surface. Turn the dough onto the surface and pat it to flatten. Divide the dough in half and form two discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the discs for 30 minutes.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and rub flour on the rolling pin. Unwrap one disc and roll it to 1/4-inch thick. Then cut out 2-inch round circles with a cookie cutter. Reshape leftover dough and cut cookies until it is used. Do not overwork the dough when reshaping and rolling it out. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet 1/2 inch apart. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill the dough again. Repeat for the other chilled cookie disc.
  • While the cookies chill, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 17-19 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Rotate the cookie sheet after 9 minutes. If baking two sheets at a time, rotate them from the top to the bottom rack and turn pans around to help all the cookies bake evenly.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes. Then place them on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or in the freezer for a month.


Freezing the Dough

You can make the dough ahead of time and store it in the freezer for up to three months if wrapped well and kept in an airtight container. Thaw overnight or for 3 hours at room temperature before rolling.

Corn Flour Sources

Click here to link to Maseca Traditional Instant Corn Masa Flour or here to link to Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Corn Flour.


This recipe is adapted from the book Poilâne, The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery by Apollonia Poilâne via the New York Times Cooking.


Calories: 52kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 18mgPotassium: 23mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 71IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword Cookie Recipe, Corn Flour Shortbread, Shortbread
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