Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies, the best Christmas baking treats. They are perfectly soft, crumbly, buttery, pure delish.

Cranberry Orange Cookies with 2 halves of an orange, and a cup of coffee

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la! So, Christmas again! Ah, don’t you just love this time of the year? With the preparations in full swing and Christmas tree already up, there is no time to rest.

I have in mind a few dishes that l would like to cook for the big day, but today l’ll be sharing a lovely recipe for shortbread cookies.

I am a big fan of shortbread cookies/biscuits, I often have them with a nice cup of tea. Although lately I haven’t said no to coffee either.

Oranges and cranberries together say Christmas, what a lovely fragrance! There is nothing I love more than being joyful, baking and spending time with my loved one!

After all, that’s what celebration is all about, sharing the magic with families and friends. And, of course, sharing some cookies too 🙂 So, what are your favourite cakes/cookies you bake for Christmas?

Collage of 4 photos to show how to make cranberry orange shortbread cookies

How do you make the best cranberry orange shortbread cookies?

I can’t possibly imagine Christmas without the fresh aroma of cookies in the oven. It’s one of those fragrances that stays with you for the rest of your life, and takes you back to your childhood days whenever you fill your kitchen with it.

And making these beauties is dead easy. But, there are a few tricks if you want to get perfect shortbread cookies every single time.

  • use chilled salted butter
  • refrigerate the dough for at least one hour before baking
  • pre-heat the oven 

Most dessert recipes call for soften butter, and ingredients at room temperature. Shortbread cookies are the exception from the rule. We want the butter cold straight from the fridge, so that when it’s rubbed with the flour it crumbles nicely.

Salted butter works better, it gives the cookies a good taste and texture, where the unsalted butter tends to taste pretty bland in this recipe.

Sift the flour, add the butter cut into cubes, and rub it in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the orange zest, orange juice and orrange essence, plus sugar and dried cranberries, and knead gently to form a dough.

Shape the dough into a big sausage, cover in clingfilm, and refrigerate for at least one hour. If the dough is not chilled, the cookies will spread too much during baking.

Overhead shot of a white plate with 4 cranberry orange shortbread cookies

How long do you bake shortbread cookies for?

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (360 Fahreneheit) Slice the sausage dough into about half a cm thick rounds, arrange on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, and bake for about 20 minutes.

The cookies will still be soft at that point, and will have a pale yellow colour. Remove them from the oven, and leave to cool on the tray, they will harden once cooled off.

How do you store shortbread cookies?

Once cooled, the cookies can be transferred to an air-tight container, they will keep fresh for at least 3-4 days.

Can you freeze the cranberry orange shortbread cookies?

If you want to make the dough in advance, you can freeze it once it’s shaped into a sausage. If it’s too difficult to slice, leave on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes, then slice with a good bread knife.

The cookies can be baked even if they are still slightly frozen.

If you like shortbread cookies, how about some coconut shortbread cookies? They are super delicious, and they melt in your mouth.

Crnaberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with 2 halves of oranges

If you’ve liked my CRANBERRY ORANGE SHORTBREAD COOKIES or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.


4.34 from 3 votes
Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Chilling Time
1 hr
Total Time
25 mins

Cranberry orange shortbread cookies, the best Christmas baking treats. Buttery, soft, crumbly, sheer perfection.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: christmas cookies
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 195 kcal
Author: Daniela Anderson
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 150 g butter
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 50 g dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange essence
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. (360 Fahrenheit).
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flour and add the butter, and rub it in until the flour resembles breadcrumbs.

  3. Add the sugar, cranberries, orange essence and orange zest, then the orange juice and knead gently until the mixture forms a dough.

  4. Work the dough into a large sausage shape.
  5. Transfer to the fridge for at least one hour.

  6. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 1/2 cm thick slices and spread them on a baking tray.

  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies are firm to touch, but careful not to bake them for too long, otherwise the colour will turn into golden brown, and we want a light golden colour.
  8. The cookies will still be soft when out of the oven, but will harden once cooled.

Recipe Notes
  • Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
  • The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 89mg 4%
Potassium 23mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Sugars 9g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 6.2%
Vitamin C 0.9%
Calcium 0.6%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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  • Reply
    December 3, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Another great holiday treat!

    • Reply
      Daniela Apostol
      December 3, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Thank you ?

  • Reply
    November 3, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Could you freeze the dough?

    • Reply
      Daniela Anderson
      November 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Hello! Thank you for your comment! I have not tried to freeze the dough, so l do not know if freezing would change the texture in any way. I would probably cut the dough into cookies and freeze them uncooked, and bake when needed, rather than wait for the dough to thaw and then cut into cookies. It might be a quicker process. Let me know if that helps.

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