Vanilla Oat Milk Latte Shortbread Sticks

published Dec 3, 2021
Vegan Vanilla Oat Milk Latte Shortbread with Oat Milk Espresso Drizzle Recipe

A latte in cookie form is the dreamiest Christmas indulgence.

Makes18 (3x1.5-inch) shortbread bars

Prep30 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

This recipe is from our Cookie Time Machine — a trip through the most iconic cookies of the past 10 decades, paired with 10 fresh twists for right now. Click here to see the most important cookies of the 1920s through today — and gaze forward with our Cookie of the Future!

If Walker’s Shortbread cookies — the rectangular ones wrapped in their individual, red foil packaging — are your kind of cookie, then do I have a treat for you. With a subtle(ish) nod to the popular oat-milk latte, ubiquitous in many of our neighborhood caffeine-supplying haunts, not only do these shortbread share all of the attributes of Walker’s (the shortbread gold standard, IMHO) but they are also vegan to boot.

Moreover, they are made with oats, in addition to all-purpose flour, and they have just about the tastiest espresso oat drizzle you ever did taste. Oh, and like all the best sweets, they are easy-peasy to assemble.

The cookies themselves call for nothing more than flour, oats, sugar, and vegan butter (with a little vanilla and salt thrown in for good measure). And once your butter is softened and your oats finely ground, you are practically good to go. Although you do mix the dough in a stand mixer, it’s important not to overdo it. The texture of these bars benefits from a gentle hand. The oats add the most wonderful texture and earthy vibe to the bars. (For the best texture, finely grind the oats in a blender or spice grinder.)

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

The dough is pressed into a pan, scored, poked with fork, and baked for about 40 minutes. After the shortbread is completely cool, the crumbly, buttery bars get a delicious oat milk and espresso powder glaze that you may consider drizzling on every sweet that comes out of your oven moving forward. And what a treat to enjoy a cup of coffee (with a splash of oat milk, please) and one of these cookies, in the comfort of your own home — no neighborhood coffee shop needed.

The Classic

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

For the classic 1990s cookie recipe, check out the Simple Espresso Shortbread.

Our Three Most-Loved Cookie-Baking Tools

Before you preheat the oven, gear up with these cookie-making essentials.

  • The Sheet Pan Every Kitchn Editor Owns: This sturdy, won’t-ever-warp pan is great for cranking out a ton of picture-perfect sweets. Bonus: It comes in great colors, which makes baking even more fun.
  • Our Tried-and-Tested Favorite Cooling Rack: We love these racks for their criss-cross design, which adds stability, makes sure your precious treats won’t slip though, and prevents the rack from wobbling or warping.
  • The Little Spatula That Every Baker Needs: This thin-but-sturdy spatula is great for gently loosening your cookies from the pan and transferring them to the cooling rack. It’s particularly handy for moving small or delicate treats.

Vegan Vanilla Oat Milk Latte Shortbread with Oat Milk Espresso Drizzle Recipe

A latte in cookie form is the dreamiest Christmas indulgence.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Makes 18 (3x1.5-inch) shortbread bars

Nutritional Info


For the shortbread:

  • 2 1/2 sticks

    (10 ounces) unsalted vegan butter, such as Earth Balance

  • Cooking spray or softened vegan butter, for coating the pan

  • 1 1/3 cups

    old-fashioned oats

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

For the espresso drizzle:

  • 1/4 cup

    unsweetened oat milk

  • 2 teaspoons

    instant espresso powder

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract


Make the cookies:

  1. Place 2 1/2 sticks unsalted vegan butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray or softened vegan butter and line the bottom and 2 sides of the pan with parchment paper to form a sling.

  3. Grind 1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats in a blender or spice grinder into a coarse meal (or finer if your blender is high-speed). Transfer to a medium bowl, add 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk to combine.

  4. Add 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on the lowest speed just until combined, about 2 minutes. Don’t overmix. Add the flour mixture and mix on the lowest speed until just combined, 30 to 40 seconds.

  5. Scrape the dough into the pan. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the pan and smooth the top. Cut the dough in the pan with a paring knife to make 18 rectangular bars: Make 2 parallel horizontal cuts that divide the slab into thirds, then make 5 parallel vertical cuts; cut all the way through the dough. For the cleanest cuts, wipe the knife clean between each cut. Poke each bar with the blunt end of a skewer 6 times, poking about halfway down.

  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Recut the lines and re-poke the holes. Rotate the baking pan and return to the oven. Bake until the shortbread is lightly browned, dry to the touch, and is pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes more.

  7. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cut the shortbreads along the scored lines, cutting all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Let cool completely in the pan, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan, trim the edges with a serrated knife if desired, and place them on a wire rack fitted over a baking sheet.

Make the drizzle:

  1. Place 1/4 cup unsweetened oat milk in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until hot, about 30 seconds. Add 2 teaspoons espresso powder and whisk with a fork until dissolved.

  2. Place 1 cup powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and whisk in the espresso-oat milk mixture a teaspoon at a time until combined and smooth, adding a drop or two more espresso-oat milk if the glaze is too thick, or more sugar if it is too thin. (You may not use all the espresso-oat milk.)

  3. Dip a fork or spoon into the mixture and gently drizzle back and forth over the bars a few inches above the bars, letting it fall over the bars in a decorative pattern. (Alternatively, dip half of each bar in the drizzle and return to the rack.) Let the drizzle set before serving, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The shortbreads can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.