Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Indulge in the delightful blend of tangy cranberries and zesty orange with our Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies recipe. These buttery treats are perfect for any occasion, from holiday gatherings to cozy evenings at home. With a melt-in-your-mouth texture and bursts of fruity flavor, these cookies are sure to become a favorite in your baking repertoire.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped


Preheat Oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream Butter and Sugar:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

Add Flavorings:

  1. Mix in the vanilla extract and orange zest until well combined.

Combine Dry Ingredients:

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add this to the butter mixture, mixing until a dough forms.

Fold in Cranberries:

  1. Gently fold in the chopped dried cranberries until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Shape and Chill:

  1. Roll the dough into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until firm.

Slice and Bake:

  1. Slice the chilled dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.

Cool and Enjoy:

  1. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Enjoying and preserving the freshness of your Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies ensures they remain delightful from the first bite to the last. Here are some tips to enhance your experience:

Serving Tips:

  1. Accompaniments: Pair these cookies with a hot cup of tea, coffee, or a glass of milk to complement their buttery richness and fruity flavors.
  2. Presentation: Arrange the cookies on a decorative platter or in a cookie jar for a charming display at gatherings or as a thoughtful gift.
  3. Garnish: For a festive touch, dust the cookies with powdered sugar or drizzle with melted white chocolate before serving.
  4. Variations: Experiment with different citrus zests, such as lemon or lime, to create unique flavor profiles.

Storage Tips:

  1. Room Temperature: Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Layer cookies between sheets of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. Refrigeration: If storing for longer periods or in warmer climates, refrigerate cookies in an airtight container to maintain freshness. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  3. Freezing: To freeze, arrange cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag, separating layers with parchment paper, and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw cookies at room temperature before enjoying.
  4. Reviving Freshness: If cookies lose their crispness, place them in a 300°F (150°C) oven for a few minutes to restore their texture.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies retain their irresistible taste and texture, whether served as a daily treat or shared on special occasions. Enjoy the delightful blend of flavors and buttery goodness with every bite!


  1. Chocolate Drizzle: After baking and cooling, drizzle melted dark or white chocolate over the cookies for a decadent touch.
  2. Almond Twist: Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract to the dough and sprinkle sliced almonds on top before baking for a nutty flavor.
  3. Citrus Blend: Use a combination of orange, lemon, and lime zest for a citrus medley that adds complexity to the flavor profile.
  4. Glazed Cookies: Dip cooled cookies halfway into a simple glaze made with powdered sugar and orange juice for a sweet finish.
  5. Coconut Cranberry: Fold in shredded coconut along with the dried cranberries for a tropical twist.
  6. Spiced Option: Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the dough for a warm, aromatic flavor.
  7. Sandwich Cookies: Sandwich two cookies together with a layer of orange marmalade or cream cheese frosting for an indulgent treat.
  8. Whole Wheat: Substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a heartier texture and nuttier flavor.
  9. Cranberry Pecan: Replace dried cranberries with chopped pecans for a crunchy texture and nutty undertone.
  10. Lemon Glaze: Drizzle cooled cookies with a glaze made of powdered sugar and lemon juice for a tangy-sweet contrast.
  11. Oatmeal Cranberry: Replace 1/2 cup of the flour with rolled oats for added texture, and use dried cranberries as usual.
  12. Cranberry Pistachio: Substitute chopped pistachios for the dried cranberries to add a colorful green hue and nutty flavor.

These variations allow you to customize your Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies to suit different tastes and occasions, adding a creative twist to this classic recipe while maintaining its delightful buttery base and fruity essence. Enjoy experimenting and discovering your favorite flavor combinations!


  1. Can I use fresh cranberries instead of dried cranberries?
    • Fresh cranberries can be used, but they may add more moisture to the dough. Chop them finely and adjust the amount accordingly to maintain the cookie’s texture.
  2. Can I freeze the cookie dough?
    • Yes, you can wrap the cookie dough log tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.
  3. How can I make these cookies gluten-free?
    • Substitute a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for the regular flour in the recipe. Ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free, including the baking powder if used.
  4. What if I don’t have powdered sugar?
    • You can make powdered sugar at home by blending granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until finely ground. Use this as a substitute in the same quantity.
  5. Can I omit the orange zest?
    • The orange zest adds citrusy flavor to the cookies. If omitted, the cookies will have a milder taste. Consider substituting with lemon zest for a different citrus twist.
  6. How do I prevent the cookies from spreading too much?
    • Chilling the dough thoroughly before slicing and baking helps prevent excessive spreading. Ensure the dough is firm when slicing and place cookies on a cool baking sheet.
  7. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
    • Yes, you can use salted butter, but adjust the amount of additional salt in the recipe to balance the saltiness.
  8. What’s the best way to store these cookies for freshness?
    • Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Layer with parchment paper to prevent sticking. They will stay fresh for up to a week.
  9. How can I make these cookies eggless?
    • Shortbread cookies traditionally do not require eggs. This recipe does not use eggs, making it naturally eggless.
  10. Can I add other nuts to the dough?
    • Yes, chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts can be added along with or instead of cranberries for added texture and flavor. Adjust quantities to suit your preference.

These FAQs address common queries about making, storing, and customizing Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies, helping you create and enjoy this delightful treat with confidence and ease.

Savor these delicious Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with a cup of tea or coffee for a delightful treat that combines buttery richness with vibrant citrus and cranberry flavors. Perfect for sharing or enjoying on your own, these cookies are a surefire way to add a touch of sweetness to any moment.