Maple Oat Nut Shortbread is the ultimate Fall twist on traditional buttery shortbread ~ inspired by a Starbucks classic!
Some of us are still mourning the passing of Starbucks Oat Nut Scones. I think about them every fall when I make my first batch of copycat scones. This maple oat nut shortbread takes that best ever fall flavor combo into the world of buttery shortbread. Ahhhhhhh. (Now we don’t have to suffer for Starbucks’ bad business decisions!)
I’ve been at this game for over 10 years and you can bet I’ve built up a delicious little list of all time favorites. This maple oat nut shortbread is the latest addition to mine! I’m embarrassed to tell you how much of the first test batch I ate. It’s the texture, the crunchy nuts, and that lingering maple flavor that gets me every time.
maple oat nut shortbread ingredients
I played with the ratios of flour, oat flour, and cornstarch in this recipe to get the texture just right. If you’re a maple aficionado you could even use maple sugar instead of the dark brown sugar. The maple extract is essential, so grab some before you get too excited about this shortbread.
- salted butter
- dark brown sugar
- all purpose flour
- oat flour
- maple extract
- McCormick’s Maple Extract has great flavor, so I recommend it. If you’re new to maple flavoring, go with a reputable brand until you’ve had the chance to sample others. Some brands don’t give you that true maple flavor.
for the optional glaze
I tested my maple oat nut shortbread glazed and unglazed and concluded that you can go either way. For me the glaze is not necessary, but a nice touch if you like things on the sweeter side. It does emphasize the maple flavor, too, which is a big plus.
- maple syrup
- maple extract
- confectioner’s sugar
the maple oat nut franchise
The combination of maple, oats, and nuts like pecans or walnuts in an obvious one. But for me it was Starbucks that put it on the map with their maple oat nut scones, which debuted in the early 2000s and have since been discontinued. I’ve been obsessed with combining these ingredients in various way for years now and I’ve got a nice collection of recipes to show for it…
- Our Favorite Fall Maple Nut Recipes
- Maple Granola
- Maple Oat Nut Banana Bread
- Maple Pecan Pound Cake
- The BEST Maple Walnut Blondies
- Maple Walnut Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Related: Our Favorite Fall Maple Nut Recipes
your choice of pan
I baked this in multiple pan types, all 9 or 10 inches round or square. A 10 inch pan produces a relatively thin shortbread. 9 inches will yield slightly thicker pieces.
If you bake in a pie plate you will have to serve directly from the plate as the shortbread is too delicate to flip out.
A tart pan or springform pan works well if you want to remove the shortbread for perfect wedge shaped slices.
A square baker lined with parchment paper sling works great for serving in squares. Just let the shortbread cool in the pan a bit before gently lifting out using the sling. Or cut and serve from the pan, either way.
what to expect from maple oat nut shortbread
This shortbread has great flavor from the maple extract, the walnuts, the butter and the oat flour. I say great, but what I really mean is insaaaaaaane-ly great.
It is definitely crumbly. I love that texture ~ it’s soft and melts in your mouth, but if you love more structured desserts this may not be the recipe for you. (You can reduce the crumble factor by omitting the cornstarch and adding more regular flour. Corn starch makes baked goods lighter, softer, and more tender so leaving it out will firm up your shortbread.
The shortbread is at its most crumbly when warm (which is when it’s also incredibly delicious.) It will tighten up as it cools, if you can wait that long.
related: Maple Recipes for Maple Season!
Sue’s Styling Tips
With shortbread, what you see going into the oven is what you’ll get coming out ~ in other words, it pays to take a minute or two to perfect the surface before sliding your pan into the oven. I make sure it’s an even thickness across the top. Sprinkle a few extra chopped walnuts over the top and press them in with your palms. The visual cue of the nuts baked into the top of the shortbread makes all the difference.
Maple Oat Nut Shortbread
- 9×9 baking pan, round or square
- 1 cup salted butter at room temperature (that's 2 sticks)
- ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar.
- 1 tsp maple extract
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped, plus more for topping
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp maple extract
- Set the oven to 350?
- Lightly butter a 9×9 round or square or baking dish.
- Cream the softened butter and sugar together until well combined. Make sure there are no big lumps of brown sugar left. Beat in the maple extract.
- With the mixer on low mix in the flours and cornstarch Note: remember you are adding 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour. Then fold the nuts. Blend until everything is evenly combined and there is no dry flour left. I like to finish mixing by hand to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Drop the dough in clumps, evenly across the bottom of your prepared pan.
- Pat the dough down with floured hands, nudging it out so it fills the pan and covers the whole bottom evenly. You don't want a mound of dough in the middle, you want to flatten it out from side to side, evenly. I like to use an offset spatula to smooth the surface of the dough. If you like you can press a few extra walnut pieces into the top of the dough for a pretty look. Note: to smooth out the surface of your dough place a piece of parchment or waxed paper over the surface and smooth it out with your hands. Remove and discard the paper before baking.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. The top will still look pale, but the dough will be just beginning to turn golden around the edges. Let the shortbread cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before attempting to slice. It will be quite crumbly, so the longer you let it cool the easier it will be to slice.
- Stir the sugar, maple syrup, and maple extract together until smooth. Thin down with water to the desired consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cooled shortbread and top with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts, if desired.