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close up of cranberry orange shortbread cookie
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Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Jazz up classic shortbread cookies by adding cranberries and orange zest. These easy Cranberry Orange Shortbread cookies are great for the holidays and look great dressed up or dressed down.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 27 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked goods, cookies, fruit, Winter
Servings: 16 Cookies
Calories: 246kcal


for the cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

for the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons half-and-half


  • Finely chop your cranberries in a food processor, then put the cranberries in a small bowl and set aside.
    Finely chopping cranberries in a food processor.
  • Add the butter, sugar and orange zest to the food processor and cream together until well combined.
    creaming butter and sugars with orange zest in a food processor
  • Add the flour and vanilla to the food processor and pulse just until the ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be crumbly.
    adding flour to shortbread cookie dough
  • Add the dough to the cranberries and gently fold them in until they are distributed.
    hand mixing cranberries
  • Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it with your hands until no longer crumbly.
    shrotbread cookie dough in a pile on a white counter
  • Form the dough into a 10-12 inch log. Wrap the log tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 2 hours, up to overnight.
    wrapping a log of shortbread dough in plastic wrap
  • Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice the dough into slices (I cut mine to be about 1/3" thick) and place each slice on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden.
    slicing dough into cookies
  • Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing all the glaze ingredients together by hand until smooth, adding more half-and-half if a thinner glaze is desired.
    mixing ingredients for glaze
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. The cookies will firm up as they cool. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies, add 2-3 sugared cranberries, serve and ENJOY!
    drizzling glaze over shortbread cookies


  • Be careful not to over-beat the butter. When making shortbread cookies you do not want to beat a lot of air into the butter, you want more of a dense cookie than a fluffy one!
  • Frosted cookies will keep, in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 409IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg