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Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 52 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 dozen
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These Cranberry Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting are easy and fun to make and incredibly delicious to eat! Perfect for Christmas or anytime of the year! 


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • sprinkles, any kind, optional
  • extra dried cranberries, optional for decoration (see visual above of wreath)


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt




    1. Sift together the flour and salt and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the orange zest, juice and vanilla followed by the egg yolk. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. 
    2. Turn the dough out onto the counter top.
    3. IF YOU’RE ROLLING THE DOUGH INTO A LOG: form the dough into a 10 inch log. Roll it in plastic wrap and chill the dough for about 2 hours or until firm. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the cookie dough into rounds about 1/4″ in size. Place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 ” apart. If making cranberry wreaths, gently press dried cranberries in the dough once cookies have been cut out and before chilling them. Continue to step 5.
    4. IF ROLLING OUT THE DOUGH: Once the dough has been mixed, divide it in half. Roll each half out on sheets of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Roll out to a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place each circle on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill two hours in the refrigerator. Once chilled, take the dough out of the fridge. Lift the parchment paper off the tray and onto the counter. Run a long knife carefully between the parchment paper and the cookie dough. Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. If making cranberry wreaths, gently press dried cranberries in the dough once cookies have been cut out and before chilling them. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Continue to step 5. 
    5. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to racks to cool completely. 


  1. Beat together the powdered sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until light and smooth, 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla, a pinch of salt and the melted white chocolate and beat until just combined. 


  1. Transfer half the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small tip or ziplock bag and snip a very small portion of the corner off the bag. Pipe the icing on. Alternatively, use a knife to spread it on. 


*Makes a little over a cup of frosting. If you pipe the frosting on, you will have some leftover. Use it to top your favorite cookies, cake, or cupcakes.

Store these cranberry orange shortbread cookies in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freeze these orange shortbread cookies in an airtight for up to 2 months. Defrost them in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

The nutrition information provided is an estimate. The calorie accuracy is not guaranteed.

Keywords: shortbread, orange, zest, juice, cranberries, cranberry, white chocolate, walnuts, cookies, holidays, Christmas