Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Shortbread

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on December 10, 2011

I don’t think these need any introduction.  Everyone knows a shortbread cookie and I did nothing to change these except use whole wheat flour, which I actually think I like better.  They still have that smooth but sandy shortbread texture, so no need to worry about that, in fact that’s what I love about shortbread.  I still think back and remember my grandma’s shortbread cookies, and I can almost taste them.  While these are differently flavored, differently shaped and I think she might shake her head at the use of whole wheat flour, shortbread(among other things!) will always remind me of my grandmother.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s a small batch.  Feel free to double if you’d like them around for at least a few days 🙂  These hold their shape best when rolled in nuts but taste great either way.  As much as I like making recipes more nutritious, I’ll always make room for cookies like these 😀




Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Makes between 1-2 dozen small cookies

  • 1/2C butter
  • 1/4C powdered sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour from soft wheat
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4C dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2C toasted almonds for rolling in(optional)


Beat butter until light and fluffy.  Mix in the icing sugar and orange zest and juice.  When completely combined, add the flour and salt and mix well before adding the cranberries.  Chop the almonds fairly well if you choose to use them, not leaving any large chunks.  Take the mixed shortbread dough and shape into a rough log then roll in the nuts.  Continue to roll the dough into a 2″ in diameter log, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.  The dough can also be frozen for up to 6 months before placing in the fridge for a few hours to bring up to your fridges temperature and then slicing and baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and unwrap it, slice off 1/4″-1/2″ cookies and place on a lined baking sheet.  Immediately place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until just barely golden around the edges – watching them carefully as they can be over done quickly.  Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until completely cool.


Leave a Comment

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin @ Texanerin Baking December 19, 2011 at 13:52

I made these today! On the first batch, I used whole spelt but that didn’t work (I probably needed to add more flour). And I somehow even forgot the cranberries! On the second batch, I used plain whole wheat flour and that did work. I added a little more orange zest and they were fantastic! I also love how this makes such a small batch. I’m not a huge butter fan but for the occasional shortbread it has to be okay. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂


2 Richa@HobbyandMore December 16, 2011 at 15:26

ahh my favorite combination.. cranberry orange and a whole lotta nuts! these shortbreads look so beautiful!


3 Sonia The Healthy Foodie December 15, 2011 at 11:01

Wow, these look good! How I wish there was a way to make shortbreads without using any butter. Happy to know that whole wheat flour does the trick, tough! That’s one step closer to a healthy shortbread! 🙂


4 Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen December 14, 2011 at 15:41

I love shortbreads as well! Grandmothers always love the recipes the way they are. I could imagine her shaking her head 🙂 These are just a must for the holidays!


5 Eat Good 4 Life December 13, 2011 at 12:47

These shortbread pieces look really good 🙂 The orange and cranberry flavor goes really well together so I am sure they were really good!!


6 Lottie @ Lottiesworldofcakes December 13, 2011 at 07:49

I like the idea of wholewheat flour! It’s almost making them a little bit healthy! They look really good.


7 Nicole @ Wonderful Joy Ahead December 12, 2011 at 17:59

I’m not an orange lover, but I bet these would be great with lemon subbed in for it. I’m always on the look0ut for making sweets/treats healthier, too. 🙂


8 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum December 12, 2011 at 16:22

Cute! I was just thinking about making something cranberry/orange…


9 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} December 12, 2011 at 13:46

These look fantastic! Clearly I’m not an experienced baker as I have no idea what icing sugar is. Is it the same as powdered sugar?


10 Heidi @ Food Doodles December 13, 2011 at 12:15

Thanks for mentioning that! It is the same thing – I think I’ll change it because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that calls it icing sugar – I don’t even know why.


11 Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) December 11, 2011 at 19:12

That looks great! Love all the texture too, great that you made them a bit healthier too with whole wheat flour. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

How many cookies does this make again??


12 Heidi @ Food Doodles December 12, 2011 at 08:39

Thank you! It makes about 1.5 dozen. Thanks for asking, I’ll add that to my post too!


13 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 10, 2011 at 15:14

They look perfect with a mug of tea I just made cranberry almond biscotti and did just that sitting next to the newly decorated tree today. 🙂


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