Is Walker shortbread gluten free?

Walker shortbread is a popular Scottish shortbread brand that has been around since 1898. Many people enjoy the buttery, crumbly texture of Walker shortbread for a snack or dessert. But an important question for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is: is Walker shortbread gluten free?

The short answer is no, regular Walker shortbread contains wheat flour and is therefore not gluten free. However, Walker does make some gluten free shortbread options that are free of wheat, barley, and rye.

What is Walker Shortbread?

Walker shortbread is a traditional Scottish treat that is made with a simple combination of flour, butter, and sugar. The ingredients are combined and baked into the classic crumbly, crispy shortbread that just melts in your mouth.

Walker’s shortbread uses all natural ingredients and has been made in Scotland according to the original Walker family recipe for over 100 years. Some key facts about Walker shortbread:

– Made with wheat flour, butter, and sugar
– Known for its rich, buttery taste and crumbly texture
– Shortbread is crumbly because of the high proportion of butter to flour
– Comes in different shapes like rounds, fingers, and petticoat tails
– Popular flavours include original, chocolate, and brown sugar

The wheat flour is what gives Walker shortbread its signature sandy, crumbly texture. But it also means that regular Walker shortbread contains gluten and is not suitable for gluten free diets.

Why Walker Shortbread Contains Gluten

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Here’s why regular Walker shortbread contains gluten:

– Made with wheat flour – Wheat flour contains gluten, so shortbread made with wheat flour also contains gluten. Specifically, Walker shortbread is made with soft wheat flour.

– No gluten-free options originally – When Walker shortbread was first created in 1898, there were no gluten-free flours commonly available. So the original recipe contains gluten from wheat flour.

– Texture relies on gluten – The distinct crumbly, sandy texture of shortbread comes from wheat flour and the gluten it contains. Replicating this texture without gluten is difficult.

So in summary, Walker shortbread contains gluten because its traditional recipe is made with regular wheat flour, which naturally contains the protein gluten. The brand did not originally offer any gluten-free options.

Cross Contamination Risk

Even if a product doesn’t contain gluten ingredients, there can still be a risk of cross contamination with gluten.

With Walker shortbread, cross contamination is a risk in facilities that also process wheat flour. Shortbread dough could pick up traces of gluten from shared equipment, surfaces, or airborne flour particles.

Those who are highly sensitive should be aware of this potential for cross contamination. Walker does process some gluten-free products on dedicated gluten-free lines to reduce the risk.

What Kinds of Wheat are in Walker Shortbread?

As we know, Walker shortbread gets its gluten content from wheat flour. But what specific kinds of wheat are used?

Walker shortbread is made with soft wheat flour. Soft wheat is lower in protein than hard wheat, resulting in softer baked goods like cookies and cakes.

Common varieties of soft wheat used in baking include:

– Pastry wheat – Very low protein, ideal for making crumbly, delicate items like shortbread. Pastry wheat flour is sometimes labeled as “cookie” wheat.

– Cake wheat – Medium protein content, creates tender, fine-crumbed baked goods.

– Biscuit wheat – Slightly higher protein than cake wheat.

So in summary, Walker shortbread is made with a soft wheat flour like pastry wheat, cake wheat, or biscuit wheat. This results in the characteristic tender, crumbly, sandy texture.

Does Walker Make Any Gluten-Free Shortbread?

Walker does offer some gluten-free shortbread options for those who need or prefer to avoid gluten:

Walker’s Free From Shortbread

– Made with corn flour instead of wheat flour
– Butter, sugar, corn flour are the only ingredients
– Gluten-free certification by Coeliac UK
– Comes in rounds and petticoat tails shapes

Walker’s Gluten Free Oats and Brown Rice Shortbread

– Made with gluten-free oats and brown rice flour
– Also uses butter, sugar, and celery juice powder
– Gluten-free certification by Coeliac UK
– Round shape

So in summary, people who need gluten-free shortbread do have some options from Walker that are made with alternate non-wheat flours. Those with celiac disease or sensitivities should always double check the labels to confirm gluten-free status.

Are All Walker Shortbread Products Gluten Free?

No, not all Walker shortbread products are gluten-free. Here’s a summary of which Walker shortbread contains gluten and which are gluten-free:

Contains Gluten:
– Original Walker Shortbread
– Walker Chocolate Chip Shortbread
– Walker Salted Caramel Shortbread
– Walker Brown Sugar Shortbread

– Walker’s Free From Shortbread (made with corn flour)
– Walker’s Gluten Free Oats and Brown Rice Shortbread

So, in general, Walker’s classic shortbread like original, chocolate chip, etc. are NOT gluten-free because they contain wheat flour. The exceptions are the specific gluten-free lines made with alternate flours like corn, rice, and oats.

What About Walker’s Shortbread Cookies?

In addition to traditional round shortbread, Walker also makes shortbread cookies in fun shapes and packaging like Mini Shorties, Wedding Coins, and Hearts.

Unfortunately, these shortbread cookies are also made with wheat flour containing gluten. So Walker’s shortbread cookies in various shapes are not gluten free.

The only exception, again, is the dedicated gluten-free line such as the Walker’s Free From Shortbread which comes in petticoat tail shape.

So if you see shortbread cookies from Walker in fun shapes, unless the package specifies “gluten-free”, these contain gluten. Stick to the certified gluten-free options for a gluten-free treat.

Can You Make Shortbread Gluten-Free?

Yes, it is possible to make gluten-free shortbread at home using alternate non-wheat flours. Here are some tips:

– Use a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend – This replaces wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio. Options include:
– Cup4Cup
– Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour
– King Arthur Measure for Measure

– Consider gluten-free oat flour or almond flour – For extra texture and flavour. May need to experiment with proportions.

– Add xanthan gum – About 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour helps mimic the texture of gluten.

– Adjust sugar and butter – More butter and sugar helps compensate for lack of gluten and results in crispy, crumbly texture.

– Chill dough well – Chilling allows the dough to firm up which helps hold its shape without gluten.

So with the right gluten-free flour blend and some adjustments, you can modify shortbread to be gluten-free for homemade treats!

Are Other Walker’s Products Gluten-Free?

In addition to shortbread, Walker’s makes other baked goods and treats. Here is the gluten-free status of some other popular Walker’s products:

Walker’s Pancakes – Not gluten-free, contains wheat flour

Walker’s Waffles – Not gluten-free, made with wheat flour

Walker’s Mallow Puffs – Gluten-free

Walker’s Shortcake – Not gluten-free

Walker’s Pure Butter Crimped Oatcakes – Gluten-free

So in summary, most of Walker’s traditional baked goods contain gluten from wheat flour. Exceptions are treats like mallow puffs and oatcakes, which are naturally gluten-free. Always check labels to confirm gluten status.

Is Walker Shortbread Dairy Free?

No, Walker shortbread is not dairy free. Here’s why:

– Contains butter – All Walker shortbread varieties contain real butter, which is made from milk/dairy.

– Often contains milk chocolate – Walker chocolate chip shortbread and many other flavours contain milk chocolate, which is not dairy-free.

– May contain lactose – Shortbread can have small amounts of lactose due to the butter component.

So in summary, Walker shortbread is not dairy-free due to its use of real butter and sometimes milk chocolate ingredients. The brand does not currently offer any dairy-free shortbread options. Those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance should avoid eating Walker shortbread.

Is Walker Shortbread Vegan?

No, Walker shortbread is not vegan. Here are the reasons why:

– Contains butter – All Walker shortbread is made with butter, which comes from dairy cows. This is not permitted on a vegan diet.

– May contain milk or dark chocolate – Walker chocolate shortbread varieties contain non-vegan chocolate.

– Often not labelled as vegan – Walker does not claim their products are vegan or label them as vegan.

While butter and cream used in shortbread give it a rich taste, these dairy ingredients mean Walker shortbread is unsuitable for vegans. Those following a vegan diet will need to find plant-based, dairy-free alternatives to enjoy shortbread cookies.

Is Walker Shortbread Kosher?

No, regular Walker shortbread is not certified Kosher. However, some retailers do carry Walker shortbread that is certified Kosher Dairy by KLBD.

Here are some details on Kosher status:

– Regular Walker shortbread does not have Kosher certification.

– Some production runs are certified Kosher Dairy. This means the ingredients are Kosher and it contains dairy (the butter component).

– Look for the KLBD logo to confirm Kosher Dairy status on packaging if this is important to you.

So while Walker does not claim all their products are Kosher, some batches produced for certain retailers are certified Kosher Dairy. Check labels for Kosher status if needed.

Is Walker Shortbread Organic or Natural?

No, Walker shortbread would not be classified as organic or natural. Here’s why:

– Not certified organic – Walker does not label or claim their shortbread is organic. It’s made with conventionally grown wheat and likely other non-organic ingredients.

– Contains refined sugar – Walker shortbread contains white, refined granulated sugar. This is not considered a natural sweetener.

– No “natural” labelling – Walker does not market its shortbread as “all natural” or use natural claims.

While a simple product, Walker uses regular wheat flour and refined sugar in their recipe. So their traditional shortbread would not be considered organic, natural, or unprocessed. The focus is on great shortbread taste!

Where Can You Buy Walker Shortbread?

Walker shortbread is sold widely:

Grocery stores – Found in the bakery or cookie aisle of most major supermarkets like Safeway, Kroger, Publix, etc.

Warehouse clubs – Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s often carry Walker products.

Online – Can purchase directly from Walker’s website or retailers like

Specialty shops – Some gift shops, gourmet markets, and specialty Scottish/British stores may carry Walker shortbread.

Internationally – Available in many countries around the world in retail stores and online.

Walker shortbread is a widely available product that can be purchased in many grocery and big box stores. Gluten-free options may be harder to find, but are available in certain retailers.

Does Walker Shortbread Go Bad or Expire?

Yes, Walker shortbread does have an expiration date and can go bad eventually if stored incorrectly. Here are some tips on shelf life:

– Unopened, up to 9 months – Unopened packs kept in proper conditions may stay fresh for up to 9 months after the baked date.

– Opened, up to 4 weeks – Once opened, it’s best to consume Walker shortbread within 3-4 weeks for optimal freshness and texture.

– Refrigerate after opening – You can prolong freshness by storing opened shortbread in the fridge. But it may absorb fridge odours.

– Watch for staleness – After long storage, shortbread loses its signature crispiness and becomes hard and stale instead. Discard if this occurs.

– Note best by dates – Shelf life varies by product, so always go by best by / sell by dates on packaging as well.

Properly stored in cool, dry conditions, Walker shortbread stays fresh for months. But opened products should be consumed more quickly and watch for staleness. The product can go bad eventually if left too long.

How Should You Store Walker Shortbread?

To maximize the shelf life of Walker shortbread, use these storage tips:

– Store unopened at room temperature – Keep packs sealed and store in a cool, dry cupboard away from direct heat and light.

– Once opened, seal tightly – After opening, immediately roll and clip bags tightly or seal containers airtight. Air exposure dries out shortbread.

– Refrigerate opened packages – You can refrigerate opened shortbread to prolong freshness, especially in humid climates. Place in airtight container.

– Use within 4 weeks of opening – For best texture and taste, try to use openedWalker shortbread within 3-4 weeks.

– Freeze for long term storage – To keep unopened packs of shortbread much longer, place in freezer bags and freeze up to 6 months. Thaw before using.

With proper storage methods, you can enjoy Walker shortbread before thebest by date. Just keep it in cool, dry conditions and avoid humidity. Refrigerating or freezing extends the shelf lifeafter opening.


Walker shortbread is a delicious classic, but does contain wheat and is therefore not gluten-free. Walker has created some gluten-free products using alternate flours for those with gluten intolerance. When in doubt, check labels for allergen information.

While not its traditional form, shortbread can be adapted to be gluten-free by using custom flour mixes. With some adjustments, you may be able to enjoy shortbread again. Just be aware that regular Walker products contain gluten so avoid cross contamination.

Carefully check labels to purchase Walker’s certified gluten-free options if you require a wheat-free diet. When stored properly in cool, dry conditions, Walker shortbread remains fresh for many months past its baked date, retaining its signature sandy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

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