Cranberry Shortbread Cookie Recipe (2024)

by Diane Hoffmaster

Looking for easy cranberry recipes this month? This mouthwatering homemade shortbread takes only minutes to assemble and has a rich but simple flavor. Since I stock up on cranberries every fall, I am always looking for new ways to use them. I mean, cranberry sauce is delicious but I don’t want to eat it every day! However, I would happily gorge myself on shortbread cookies all year round! I added fresh orange zest to this cranberry shortbread cookie recipe and I think the two flavors blend beautifully together!

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Table of Contents

What are Shortbread Cookies?

Shortbread cookies are seriously the simplest cookie you can possibly make. Just butter, flour, a small amount of sugar and whatever flavor or add in you want to include. Today’s shortbread cookies used cranberries and orange zest. But if you want something more exotic, try my lavender shortbread cookies. If you have a bit more time for rolling and cutting, make my easy gingerbread cookies.

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What are shortbread cookies made of?

What is the difference between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie? Sugar cookies tend to me MUCH sweeter and have a ton more ingredients like eggs, vanilla, etc. The beauty of homemade shortbread is in it’s simple ingredients and buttery flavor. Basically, the ingredients are just one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.

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Why are shortbread cookies called shortbread?

Why do they call it shortbread? The term short, when applied to biscuits and pastry, means crumbly. The large percentage of butter in a shortbread cookie recipe makes the texture very crumbly. Hence, the name ‘shortbread’.

More Cranberry Recipes

  • Cranberry Blue Cheese Spread
  • Fresh Cranberry Butter Recipe with Orange and Vanilla
  • Cranberry Bliss Bar

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Tips for Making Homemade Shortbread Cookies

Ok, shortbread cookies are incredibly simple to make, but, these tips will make them even easier. Use only REAL butter. There is no substitute! You will need it to be very soft. I recommend leaving it at room temperature overnight so that it is soft enough to blend easily in with the rest of the ingredients.

In addition, finely chop your add ins. You don’t want large chunks of stuff in your shortbread cookies. It will be much harder to slice. I used a food processor to finely chop the fresh cranberries. Don’t worry about baking the dough immediately. You can store the rolled dough in the refrigerator for several days.

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How do you know when shortbread cookies are done?

This cranberry shortbread cookie recipe really does not really brown much, even when they are done cooking. You will just be able to see a slight browning around the edges. Do not overcook!

If you want a shape other than round, check out Amazon for some beautiful shortbread pans. You can get some amazing patterns in your shortbread by making them in a traditional shortbread pan.

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Cranberry Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Thiseasy shortbread cookie recipe is perfect for fall entertaining. Make up the dough ahead of time and bake right before your guests arrive. And if you have extra cranberries, use them in my homemade cranberry scrub or makeCranberry Wreath DIY Place Cards!

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Yield: 2 dozen

Cranberry Shortbread Cookie Recipe

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Orange zest and freshcranberriesgive these homemade shortbread cookies loads of flavor. This Cranberry Shortbread Cookie recipe is seriously addictive!

Prep Time2 hours

Cook Time20 minutes

Total Time2 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries finely chopped
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest


  1. Combine the butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  2. Add flour about 1/2 cup at a time and mix until combined.
  3. Add cranberries and orange zest. Mix well.
  4. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to three days
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  7. Cut dough into 1/4 inch rounds.
  8. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies start to brown.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet.
  10. Makes about 2 dozen


This shortbread dough will stay good in the refrigerator for several days.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 248Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information not always accurate.

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Diane Hoffmaster

Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician atGood Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at theUniversity of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.

Cranberry Shortbread Cookie Recipe (2024)


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