Cranberry and Orange Shortbreads | CBC Life

(Geoff George/The Great Canadian Baking Show)

Shortbread cookies can be enjoyed any time of the year, but when the holidays roll around, the buttery biscuits come decked out for the festive season.

Flavored with dried cranberries and orange zest, these cookies are covered in a sweet icing with a little Christmas tree piped on top, making them a tempting addition to your holiday baking.

Season 1 fan-favorite Linda presented Cranberry and Orange Shortbreads for her Signature Bake in this year’s The Great Canadian Baking Show holiday special.

Cranberry and Orange Shortbreads

By Linda Longson



  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (255 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (85g) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1½ cups (213 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (56 g) cornstarch
  • ½ cup (60 g) finely chopped dried cranberries


  • 3 cups (339 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp white corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp milk, divided
  • blue food coloring
  • white sanding sugar
  • white sprinkles
  • edible silver flakes


Heat the oven to 350 F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat together the butter, icing sugar and orange zest in a large bowl until smooth.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch and cranberries. Add it to the butter mixture and stir them together until combined.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll it to ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough into 3-inch shapes and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets, gently rerolling scraps as needed.

Bake until the edges of the cookies begin to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Set them aside to cool completely.

Whisk together the icing sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Reserve one-third of the icing for later use, covering it with wet paper towels to keep it from drying out.

Add the food colouring, to drop at a time, to tint the remaining icing light blue. Transfer about one-quarter of the blue icing into a piping bag fitted with a writing tip. Cover the remaining icing with wet paper towels.

Pipe a line of icing along the outer edge of each cookie and allow it to dry. Add the last tablespoon of milk to the remaining blue icing until it’s loose and pourable. Carefully spoon the icing within the lines on the cookies and spread it out to flatten. Allow it to dry.

Transfer the reserved uncoloured icing to a piping bag fitted with a writing tip. Pipe a Christmas tree on each cookie, then decorate with the sanding sugar, sprinkles and silver flakes.

Makes 24 cookies

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