Orange-Nut Shortbread Cookies

A delicious shortbread cookie is a perfect canvas for showcasing your artistic side. Don’t worry — we’ll walk you through exactly how to decorate them to perfection! And even if you decide to keep it simple, the blend of orange and nutty taste inside the buttery cookie will be no less incredible.

Prep Time
20 minutes
45 minutes chilling time
6 hours drying time
Cook Time
8 to 10 minutes
Shortbread cookies decorated to look like oranges on a white and green plate.

Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar & Redpath® Icing Sugar

Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar

Light-coloured and just right for baking, the subtle notes of caramel and moist texture make it ideal for allowing delicate flavours to shine through in your creations.

Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar
Redpath® Icing Sugar

Use it to make the smoothest frostings, icings, and glazes you’ve ever seen for the finishing touch on your cakes, cupcakes, and more.

Scale OR dry measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Small bowl x 2

Microplane OR box grater

Medium bowl


Stand mixer with paddle attachment OR large bowl with hand mixer

Large rubber spatula

Plastic wrap

Baking sheet x 2

Rolling pin

Parchment paper

2½-inch round cookie cutter

Wire cooling rack

Toothpicks OR skewers

Small piping bags x 4

Round/plain piping tips (#2 or #3) x 2

Round/plain piping tips (#3 or #4) x 2

24 cookies (2½-inch diameter)
For the cookies:
  • ½ cup (109 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp (6 g) orange zest, finely grated
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (60 g) walnuts, lightly toasted, finely chopped (see Chef’s Tips)
  • ¼ cup (34 g) cornstarch
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
  • 1 cup (227 g) butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract (see Chef’s Tips)
For the royal icing:
  • ½ recipe “The Best and Easiest Royal Icing
  • ¼ to ½ tsp (1 to 2 ml) pure orange extract (omit vanilla extract)
  • Orange gel food colouring
  • Green gel food colouring
For the cookies:

Step 1

In a small bowl, combine the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar and orange zest. With the back of a spoon or with fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until fragrant. Set aside.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, finely chopped toasted walnuts, cornstarch, and salt until well combined.

Step 3

Place the cubed butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the sugar mixture and cream until pale and fluffy; at least 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Step 4

Add in the flour mixture and beat on low speed until a dough forms.

Step 5

Shape dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place into the fridge to chill; 30 minutes.

Step 6

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 7

Roll the disc between 2 pieces of parchment paper to ¼-inch thickness. With a 2 ½-inch round cutter, cut out as many circles from the dough. Carefully place the circles onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the scraps of dough together, wrap back into the plastic wrap, and place them into the fridge to chill and rest; for at least 5 minutes. Reroll the chilled scraps of dough and cut out as many oranges from the dough as possible.

Step 8

Place the cookies into the fridge to chill; at least 15 minutes.

Step 9

Place completely chilled cookies into the preheated oven; 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time.

Step 10

Remove cookies from the oven. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

For the royal icing:

Step 1

Make the royal icing as directed in the linked recipe, adding the orange extract in place of the vanilla extract.

Step 2

Place ⅓ of the royal icing into a small bowl. With a toothpick, add 1 or 2 drops of the green gel food colouring or until desired green colour is reached. Stir to evenly distribute the food colouring throughout the icing. Place half of the green icing into a piping bag fitted with a #2 or #3 round/plain piping tip.

Step 3

Add a small amount of water, about a ½ to 1 teaspoon at a time, to slightly thin out the remaining icing in the bowl; it should have the consistency of honey. If it gets too thin, add more icing sugar. This will be used to flood the leaf part of the cookie. Place the thinner icing into a piping bag fitted with a #3 or #4 piping tip.

Step 4

Add 2 to 3 drops of orange gel food colouring, or until desired orange colour is reached, to the remaining ⅔ of the icing left in the bowl. Remove half of the orange icing and place it into a piping bag fitted with a #2 or #3 round/plain piping tip.

Step 5

Add a small amount of water, about ½ to 1 teaspoon, in the bowl until the remaining orange icing is the consistency of honey. This will be used to flood the orange part of the cookie. Place this icing into a piping bag fitted with a #3 or #4 piping tip.

Step 6

With the green icing (flooding consistency), pipe an outline and fill the shape of a leaf onto the upper part of the cookie using part of the upper contour of the cookie as one side of the leaf. Repeat process with all the cookies. Going back to the first cookie, outline the remaining edge of the cookie with orange and flood with the orange flooding consistency icing. Repeat process with the remaining cookies.

Step 7

Allow cookies to dry for at least 20 minutes before adding the finishing details. Outline the leaves with the green icing (thicker icing with the piping tip #2 or #3) and add veins to the leaves, if desired. With the orange icing (thicker icing with piping tip #2 or #3), add a couple of small dots, a few smaller than others, along one side of the orange to mimic the dimpling of the skin of an orange.

Step 8

Place the decorated shortbread cookies back onto the wire cooling rack to dry completely; 6 hours or overnight.

Shortbread cookies decorated to look like oranges shown with whole and sliced oranges and orange tree leaves.