Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

by Alli

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies include bits of cranberries throughout the cookies and are perfect for the holidays.  These cookies are pretty and oh, so tasty. 

When it comes to Christmas cookies, my favorites are shortbread and gingersnaps. Of course, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.

Shortbread cookies are tasty and easy to make. These cookies are not sugar cookies. Sugar cookies are sweeter and have more ingredients. Shortbread cookies don’t require a lot of ingredients. 

These shortbread chocolate chip cookies are always a hit at my house too. 

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Holiday Cookies including Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

I had some fresh cranberries leftover when I made Cranberry Apple Mocktails a few days ago.  Cranberry Shortbread Cookies came to mind when I was wondering what to do with the leftover cranberries.

I froze the cranberries first so that it would be easier to process the berries in the food processor. You can also use frozen or dried cranberries for this recipe. 

Ingredients for Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Frozen cranberries
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Vanilla extract
  • Orange zest
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt

How To Make Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

I had fresh cranberries on hand, so I froze the berries before pulsing them in a food processor. Pulse until the cranberries are the size of peas.

With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium until well combined. Beat in vanilla extract and orange zest.

Turn the speed to low and gradually add the flour and salt, just until combined. Mix in the chopped cranberries.

cookie dough in mixing bowl

Form the dough into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 45 minutes.

cranberry shortbread cookie dough shaped in rectangle

Preheat the oven to 325ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies 1/4″ thick. Space the cookies 2″ apart on the baking sheets.

cranberry cookies on baking sheet

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are light brown. Cool completely before serving. 

Shortbread Cookies on Red Serving Tray

Yield: 26-28 cookies

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies


The cranberries look like little jewels in these delicious shortbread cookies.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a food processor, add frozen cranberries and pulse until the cranberries are in pea-sized pieces.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium until well combined. Beat in vanilla extract and orange zest.
  3. On low speed, gradually add the flour and salt, mixing just until incorporated. Add chopped cranberries and mix until combined.
  4. On a piece of plastic wrap, form dough into a rectangle (7-1/2x2-3/4x1 inch). Freeze for 45 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick and space cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are light brown. Let cool before serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 86Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 13mgSodium 20mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 1g

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