Cranberry Shortbread Stars

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch


about 3 dozen

Updated: Apr. 11, 2023
My family loves shortbread and I love cranberries, so I decided to put the two together to make cranberry shortbread cookies. The star shape is a festive addition to my holiday cookie tray. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
Cranberry Shortbread Stars Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter, confectioners' sugar and salt until blended. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in cranberries.
  2. Shape dough into a disk. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-in. star-shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
Cranberry Shortbread Cookies Tips

Can you use fresh or frozen cranberries to make cranberry shortbread cookies?

This recipe calls for dried cranberries, and that’s the easiest way to guarantee success. However, you can use fresh or frozen cranberries with a few adjustments. For each 1/2 cup of dried cranberries that the recipe calls for, you’ll need about 1 cup of whole cranberries. You may want to coarsely chop them so that a whole berry doesn’t dominate a shortbread cookie. Also, keep in mind that commercially available dried cranberries usually have some sugar added, so you may want to increase the sugar measurement just a little to compensate if you're using fresh or frozen berries. If you’re looking for more ways to use up your cranberries—fresh, frozen or dried—check out our collection of cranberry recipes.

Do you have to refrigerate the dough before baking cranberry shortbread cookies?

You do need to chill the cranberry shortbread cookie dough before rolling it out, and we definitely recommend chilling the cutout cookies before baking them too. Chilled dough is much easier to handle, and won’t smear or stick to the roller or cutter. Chilling the cutouts is a great way to give your finished cookies a cleaner edge; whereas room temperature dough will spread more as soon as it hits the heat. For more cookie tips, check out our ultimate guide to baking cookies.

Can you make cranberry shortbread cookies ahead of time?

These crisp cranberry shortbread cookies are ideal for storing, either as baked cookies or as unbaked dough. Baked cookies will last about 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature, and the dough will stay good for about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, try freezing them: Frozen baked cookies and dough alike can both stay fresh for up to 6 months. Always wrap cookie dough in plastic and keep it in an airtight container. Baked cookies should be stored in containers in layers separated by waxed paper. Find out more about how to store cookies.

Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 87 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 74mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.