Recipe: To Live For bakery’s how-is-there-no-butter vegan shortbread

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      To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Nanaimo Street vegan bakery To Live For, we asked founder Erin Ireland to share one of her favourite recipes. Just in time for the holidays, enjoy making this vegan shortbread at home. And take note: the bakery is whipping up a bunch of festive treats this season including turtle cookies, peppermint chocolate cookies, ginger snap cookies, a gingerbread loaf, ‘nog lattes, and polar bear cupcakes.

      This is really a perfect shortbread recipe that is extremely buttery-tasting—it falls apart when you bite in, but it’s still a tiny bit moist.

      It’s a great base for adding other flavours, too, like orange zest and rosemary or chocolate dip. 

      After learning about the dairy industry, we chose dairy-free butter for this recipe (and all of our recipes at To Live For). We are big advocates of newborns staying with their moms; most of the time in the dairy industry, they are separated within 24 hours of birth. The male newborns become veal, and the female cows become dairy cows. And since we can’t taste the difference between dairy butter and plant-based butter, the choice, for us, is easy.

      To Live For vegan shortbread

      Yields 17 shortbread pieces


      • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 cup icing sugar
      • 1/2 cup cornstarch
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted Becel Plant Butter (chilled)
      • 1 tablespoon vanilla


      1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
      2. Mix the dry ingredients together.
      3. Cut the chilled butter into the dry mix along with the vanilla until you can form the dough into a ball.
      4. Wrap and let chill for 30 minutes.
      5. Using a silicone mold (with rectangular holes approximately 3 inches by 1 inch), divide the batter evenly between 17 holes (or 32 grams per hole).
      6. Bake for 14 minutes.
      7. Indulge.