These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are so rich and buttery, with the most delicious combination of flavors. They’re the perfect holiday cookie to share with friends and family this Christmas!
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Orange Cranberry Christmas Cookies
I love to bake all types of cookie recipes during the holiday season. These cranberry shortbread cookies have a great Christmas flavor and are so tender and delicious! I also love to make ginger molasses cookies, spritz cookies and white chocolate cranberry cookies.
I’m so excited to share these adorable and delicious cranberry orange shortbread cookies with you today! They’re crisp with a buttery texture, studded with dried cranberries, and have the perfect hint of orange citrus flavoring. They take the traditional melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies up a notch!
These are the ultimate Christmas cookies and are a fun addition to any cookie exchange or Christmas dessert board. They also make a great gift for friendly, family and neighbors!
How to Make Cranberry Orange Shortbread
Scroll down for the printable recipe below.
- Make the dough. Beat butter and powdered sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add orange zest, vanilla and orange extract and mix until combined. Then add the flour, salt and dried cranberries and stir to form a thick dough.
- Shape and chill. Form dough into a log shape that’s about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour.
- Bake in oven. Near the end of chilling time, preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices and place 1/4 inch apart baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges.
Dipping them in white chocolate is optional, but it adds a sweet and creamy taste and makes these cookies extra fancy. Use melted white chocolate wafers or almond bark and dip about half of each cookie into the chocolate. Then let cool on a baking sheet. You could even drizzle them with white chocolate, too!
5 star review
“Thank you for this recipe!!! It came out perfectly. The orange zest was right there, not fading in the background. I didn’t change a thing! I have to say this will be the #1 pick for Christmas! All the ingredients were right on hand.”– Trish
Make Ahead & Storing
You can prepare the dough in advance, wrap it in plastic wrap and then store the dough in the fridge for up to 1 week. Then just slice and bake when ready.
Once baked, the cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container or bag for up to 1 week. These also freeze really well and will keep in the freezer for about 3 months.
Great for Gifting!
One great thing about these cookies is that they are pretty sturdy, so they would be perfect for shipping to friends or family far away. They’re also perfect for neighbor gifts, cookie trays, and holiday parties!
Other seasonal recipes with cranberries that we love to make during the holidays include this cranberry banana bread, it’s a favorite!
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
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Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup butter , at room temperature
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- white chocolate candy melts or white almond bark , optional
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, vanilla and orange extract, and mix until combined. Add the flour, salt and cranberries. Mix to form a thick dough.
- Shape the dough into a log that is approximately 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Near the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone. Slice the cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices, and place 1/4 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- If desired, melt the candy melts according to the package directions. Dip each cookie into the candy melts and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Recipe contributed by Alicia from The Baker Upstairs.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes definitely :)
Can you substitute lemon zest and lemon extract for the orange?
I haven’t tried but I don’t see why not! Let me know how it goes if you give it a shot :)
Thank you for this recipe!!! It can out perfectly. The orange zest was right there, not fading in the background. I didn’t change a thing! I have to say this will be the #1 pick for Christmas! All the ingredients were right on hand. Christmas is a bit away-so they will likely be made several times.
I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them! Thank you for your kind comment and review. :)
I put some pistacios in it aswell and candied orange peel for more of an orange flavour and it was amazing, thanks to your recipe for dough :D thank you!!
Sounds delicious! Thanks for your comment!
A new family favourite! Delicious and easy to make!
I’m so glad to hear! Thanks for your comment Mary. :)
I made these lovely cookies. I just love the flavor of orange and cranberry together. It is so good any time of year but I especially like them around Christmas time. Can I say just one little thing here? I have used orange drink mix in my cookie dough, in fact I used 1 TBSP of it instead of the orange extract. WOW what a difference this has made. Thecookies are really full of the orange flavor now and with the tart cranberries what a hit. I do dip them in the white chocolate too. Please give this a try and see if you like them as much as me.
Thank you for sharing! I am going to give it a try. So glad you enjoyed these cookies! :)
Can I use fresh cranberries?
Hi Sonia! I think the fresh cranberries would bring too much moisture to the cookies unfortunately.