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Irresistibly Delicious and Fruity Orange Shortbread Cookies! These citrusy treats are a must-have in your holiday baking collection! A delight for all the senses.

Orange Shortbread Cookies with icing on a wire rack
Table of Contents

This recipe for homemade Orange Shortbread Cookies will transform your cookie jar into a fragrant citrus oasis. These little delights are not just a feast for the eyes, but also enchant with their fresh, fruity aroma. Perfect for anyone looking for a refreshing change from traditional holiday Christmas cookies!

macro shot of orange cookies

Orange Cookies blend the sweet, crisp texture of traditional cookies with the delicate aroma of fresh oranges. This combination creates a unique and enjoyable taste experience. Whether as a sweet snack in between, an accompaniment to afternoon tea, or a festive treat – these cookies are simply irresistible!

Let me show you how to prepare this simple Orange Shortbread Cookie recipe at home. In the blog post, you’ll find many tips and tasty variations to spice up these fruity holiday cookies.

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

  • White Flour – Forms the base for the cookies and ensures the perfect consistency. Feel free to swap all-purpose flour with spelt flour.
  • Orange – Use preferably an organic orange, as the zest will be used too. Freshly squeezed orange juice gives the cookies their characteristic fresh and fruity aroma. Grated orange zest intensifies the orange flavor and brings an additional freshness.
  • Butter – Room temperature butter provides a wonderfully buttery note and ensures a tender texture. I like to use vegan butter to make this recipe dairy-free.
  • Sugar – Use fine caster sugar. This recipe uses a reduced amount of sugar to save some calories.
  • Egg – Helps bind the ingredients and contributes to the dough’s smoothness. If possible, use organic quality.
  • Salt – Only a pinch is used to balance the flavors.
  • Powdered Sugar & Fresh Orange Juice – These make up the fruity glaze.
Orange Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

Visual Step-by-Step Guide

I’ve created a visual guide with step-by-step images to ensure success on the first try. This is especially recommended for baking beginners.

MAKE THE DOUGH: Whip room-temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until peaks form. Add egg, grated orange zest, orange juice, sugar, and salt, mix until creamy.

Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe Step1-2

CHILL: Fold in the flour and mix into a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. → The dough can be refrigerated for up to two days. If so, let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature before rolling it out. 

Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe Step3-5

CUT & BAKE: Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out, using a rolling pin, to about ¼-inch (½ cm) thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all dough is used. Transfer the cookies to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe Step 6-9

ICING: Mix powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl.

Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe Step 10

Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze, let the excess drip off, then let dry on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. If desired, sprinkle fresh orange zest on the glaze while still wet.

Orange Shortbread Cookies on a wire rack

Variations

  • Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies: Dip half of each cookie in melted dark chocolate instead of the powdered sugar glaze.
  • Vanilla-Orange Cookies: Add one teaspoon vanilla extract to the dough. The combination of vanilla and orange makes for a wonderfully aromatic experience.
  • Cranberry Orange Cookies: Fold dried cranberries into the dough.
  • Poppy Seeds: Stir some poppy seeds into the dough.
  • Lemon: Use an organic lemon instead of an orange for a zestier citrus flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Version: Replace the wheat flour with a gluten-free flour mix to adapt the recipe for those with gluten intolerance.
  • Glitter: Sprinkle some edible glitter or stars on the still wet glaze.

Make-Ahead & Storage Instructions

Prepare the dough ahead of time: You can store the raw cookie dough for up to 2 days in the fridge. Then shape and bake. → If the dough is hard to shape, it might be too cold. Let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before continuing.

Store baked cookies in a cookie tin or airtight container at room temperature. They keep fresh for at least one week.

Freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months in a freezer bag and thaw single cookies for 1 hour at room temperature.

More Fruity Cookies

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📖 Recipe

Orange Shortbread Cookies on a wire rack

Orange Shortbread Cookies

Irresistibly Delicious and Fruity Orange Shortbread Cookies! These citrusy treats are a must-have in your holiday baking collection! A delight for all the senses.
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 2 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :25 minutes
Cook Time :10 minutes
Chill Time :1 minute
Total Time :36 minutes
Servings : 40
Calories : 53kcal

Ingredients
 

Cookies

  • 1 stick (125 g) butter room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 orange only grated zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • cup (80 g) sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour

Icing

  • ½ cup (50 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice oder etwas mehr

Instructions
 

  • Whip room-temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until peaks form. Add egg, grated orange zest, orange juice, sugar, and salt, mix until creamy. Fold in the flour and mix into a smooth dough.
  • Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. → The dough can be refrigerated for up to two days. If so, let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature before rolling it out. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out, using a rolling pin, to about ¼-inch (½ cm) thickness.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all dough is used.
  • Transfer the cookies to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
  • Mix powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl.
  • Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze, let the excess drip off, then let dry on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. If desired, sprinkle fresh orange zest on the glaze while still wet.

Notes

Store them in a cookie tin at room temperature.
Keeps fresh for one week.
Make-Ahead: You can store the raw cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature, then continue to shape and bake the cookies.
Freeze cookies for up to 3 months in a freezer bag, and thaw single cookies for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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