Candied Shortbread Cookies

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Candied Shortbread Cookies are a delicious old fashioned recipe with just 5 ingredients. Easy to make buttery, airy cookies with holiday candied cherries.

This simple Dessert Recipe is just a simple change to Classic Shortbread Cookies. They’re just as quick to make, but with red and green candied cherries on top that make them into a perfectly festive Christmas treat.

Candied Shortbread Cookies in Christmas gift box


Candied Shortbread Cookies are the perfect Christmas Cookie recipe. They’re a great recipe to serve at a holiday party, package as a Christmas gift, or just enjoy at your home throughout the season.

With just butter, sugar, flour, and cornstarch you can make this delicious dough recipe. Whipping the butter and sugar together helps make the shortbread biscuit much airier and light, instead of dense without a lot of extra work. It’s a quick and easy recipe. Plus the baking time is just 20 minutes, so you’ll be enjoying these rich, buttery cookies with candied cherries in no time at all.

The cherries give the cookies a lot of extra sweetness and give them a beautiful, cheery look. However, if you want to add different toppings to the cookies try spreading Chocolate Ganache or Sugar Cookie Frosting over the top.


  • Prep: Start by preheating your oven and lining the baking sheet with parchment paper. This will make sure the dough doesn’t stick to pan.
  • Dough: Add in the butter and powdered sugar to your stand mixer or use an electric mixer to cream it together. Whip it together on high speed for 1-2 minutes until light and airy. Lower the speed before adding the flour and cornstarch to the butter mixture. Be careful not to overmix at this step. Shortbread can be dense, so you want to keep all the airiness created by whipping the ingredients.
  • Shaping: Roll the dough into 1″ balls and place them on your prepared baking sheet. Use a fork dipped in flour to press the cookie down gently. This adds a signature shortbread pattern and stops the dough from bubbling up while baking. Add the candied cherries to the top.
  • Bake: Let them cook until lightly gold for 20-22 minutes. They’ll be fragile and easily to fall apart, so wait to move them until completely cooled and still be careful.



You can make this recipe ahead of time and keep the cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months. Making your holiday cookies in advance is a great way to make your Christmas less stressful.

  • Prepare the cookie dough, and bake the cookies as usual.
  • Once the recipe has cooled to room temperature, put them in the freezer still on their parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  • Leave them in the freezer for an hour, then you can transfer them to an airtight container. This ensures that the cookies won’t stick together in the freezer.
  • To thaw the shortbread let it sit uncovered at room temperature. After the recipe has defrosted you can reheat them in the oven for a couple of minutes to make them warm again.

Candied Shortbread Cookies in stack

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  • Chocolate: To make a chocolate shortbread biscuit replace half of the all-purpose flour in the cookie recipe with unsweetened cocoa powder. To add even more chocolate try mixing in some mini chocolate chips with the dough.
  • Mix-ins: There are plenty of mix-ins you can add besides candied cherries. For some crunch top the cookies with almonds, walnuts, or pistachios. You could also mix in raisins or cranberries for some other fruits.
  • Flavor additions: For some different flavors in your Shortbread Cookies add a teaspoon of vanilla, almond extract, or lemon juice.
  • Sugar: To make a slightly darker sweet flavor in your Shortbread recipe, you can use half brown sugar and half confectioner’s sugar.
  • Gluten-free: To make a gluten-free Candied Shortbread Cookies replace the regular all-purpose flour with oat flour, almond flour, or any other gluten-free alternatives.



  • Serve: You can keep Shortbread Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If you’re in a humid environment put a paper towel at the bottom of the container.
  • Store: Candied Shortbread will last for up to a month in the fridge in an airtight container separated by parchment paper.
  • Freeze: Shortbread cookies will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Candied Shortbread Cookie with bit removed on cooling rack

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Candied Shortbread Cookies

  • Yield: 24
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Candied Shortbread Cookies are a delicious old fashioned recipe with just 5 ingredients. Easy to make buttery, airy cookies with holiday candied cherries.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup candied cherries , chopped (green and red)


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add butter and powdered sugar to a stand mixer and cream on high speed for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

  3. Lower speed to the lowest setting and add in the flour and cornstarch slowly until just combined.
  4. Roll the dough into 1" balls then place it onto the baking sheet.
  5. Press the cookies down gently with a fork (that you've dipped in flour) then top with candied cherries.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes then cool completely before removing from pan (they will be fragile).

Nutrition Information

Yield: 24 , Amount per serving: 122 calories, Calories: 122g, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 11mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 236g, Calcium: 3g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Candied Shortbread Cookies

Candied Shortbread Cookies collage

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