Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe

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When it comes to holiday baking, nothing warms my heart more than a batch of homemade cookies. This Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookie recipe reminds me of a winter getaway to a cozy cabin with my family. We spent our days skiing and our evenings gathered by the fireplace, enjoying delicious homemade treats. The vibrant flavors of fresh cranberries and zesty oranges bring a refreshing twist to the classic shortbread, making these cookies a delightful addition to any festive spread.

One of the things I love most about this recipe is its simplicity and versatility. You can easily switch up the flavors by adding different citrus zests or dried fruits. For a slightly sweeter twist, try drizzling some white chocolate over the cooled cookies. This variation adds a lovely contrast to the tart cranberries and makes the cookies even more irresistible. If you’re feeling adventurous, a dash of almond extract instead of vanilla can give the cookies a subtle nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with the orange zest.

These cookies are perfect for holiday cookie exchanges, family gatherings, or just a cozy night in with a warm cup of tea. They also make for a thoughtful homemade gift. Simply wrap a few in a decorative tin or cellophane bag, and you have a charming, edible present that’s sure to impress.

The recipe is straightforward and requires just a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry. The key to perfect shortbread is in the chilling process. Make sure to give the dough ample time to rest in the fridge; this helps the cookies maintain their shape and develop that tender, buttery texture that shortbread is known for.

Happy baking, and enjoy these delightful Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with your loved ones!

Making Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon zest of an orange
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch or extra all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 generous cup of chopped fresh cranberries


  1. Mix the softened butter and powdered sugar together for about 5-6 minutes until creamy, then add the vanilla extract if using.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt, then gradually incorporate this into the butter mixture. Stir in the orange zest and the chopped cranberries.
  3. Form the dough into a log shape, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. After chilling, slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  4. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F until the edges start to turn golden, approximately 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool fully on the baking sheet.

making Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies


Can I use dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries for this recipe?

Yes, you can substitute dried cranberries for fresh ones. However, since dried cranberries are more concentrated in flavor and sweetness, you might want to reduce the quantity slightly or soak them in a bit of orange juice to rehydrate them before adding to the dough.

What can I use as a substitute for cornstarch in this recipe?

If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use an equal amount of additional all-purpose flour. The cornstarch helps to create a lighter texture in the cookies, but using more flour will still yield delicious results.

How long can I store the dough in the refrigerator before baking?

You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to three days before baking. If you need to keep it longer, you can freeze the dough log for up to three months. When ready to bake, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Can I add nuts or other mix-ins to this recipe?

Absolutely! You can add chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, to the dough for added texture and flavor. Other mix-ins like chocolate chips or dried fruits can also be incorporated to customize the cookies to your liking.

What is the best way to ensure the cookies bake evenly?

To ensure even baking, make sure to slice the dough into uniform 1/4-inch rounds. Additionally, place the slices on the baking sheet with some space between them, allowing for even heat distribution. Rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time can also help.

How should I store the baked cookies, and how long will they stay fresh?

Store the baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for about one week. If you need to keep them longer, you can freeze the baked cookies for up to three months; just thaw them at room temperature before serving.

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Enjoy a simple and delicious recipe for Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies, perfect for sharing with family and friends this holiday season.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 24


  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch or additional flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 heaping cup of fresh cranberries chopped


  • Cream the butter and powdered sugar together for 5-6 minutes, then incorporate the vanilla extract.
  • Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt, then mix into the butter mixture. Add the orange zest and chopped cranberries.
  • Shape the dough into a log, wrap it up, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once chilled, slice into 1/4-inch rounds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F until the bottoms begin to turn golden, about 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.
Keyword Cranberry, Orange

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