Blood orange shortbread cookies are the perfect dessert to make this winter. These buttery cookies are super crisp and light, and the sweet frosting on top is simply divine! Blood orange juice gives the frosting its deep pink hue and a fresh citrus taste.
Winter can really bring on the blahs. I tend to feel a little more tired and a little more bored with our food choices.
That’s where wintertime citrus comes in. There are so many nice citrus fruits available in the winter months, and using them in my cooking and baking is a refreshing break from the boredom.
These blood orange shortbread cookies are a new favorite dessert over here. The orange zest adds a nice flavor to these buttery cookies, and the dark pink blood orange juice creates a beautiful shade of pink frosting.
Blood oranges are usually able to be found at the grocery store between December through April. Their flesh is a very deep burgundy red, and the juice is perfect for adding a bright pop of pink to a drink or a dessert.
If you can’t find blood oranges, you can certainly make these shortbread cookies with regular oranges. They will still taste great, although the icing will not be bright pink.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – I use Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread. You could use the baking sticks if you prefer, they would work just fine.
- Powdered Sugar – I like Wholesome brand powdered sugar, which is corn free.
- Gluten Free Flour – Namaste Perfect Flour Blend works very well for shortbread cookies. If you have a favorite store bought blend that you prefer, that will probably work okay. Most cup to cup blends should work well as an equal substitute. I don’t recommend coconut flour or almond meal in this recipe. Those are heavier flours, and the texture of the cookies won’t be light with those ingredients.
- Blood Orange Zest and Juice – If you can’t find blood oranges, regular oranges are just fine!
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Step by Step Instructions
- Cream the vegan buttery spread and powdered sugar. Add the dry ingredients, including the orange zest.
2. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. It will be thick.
3. Roll the dough into balls, then flatten with your hand or the back of a spoon.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-14 minutes.
5. While the cookies are cooling, make the orange frosting.
6. Frost the cooled cookies.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make these cookies.
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Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies (Gluten Free, Vegan).
Bright pink icing tops these melt in your mouth shortbread cookies, making them irresistible! The freshness of citrus shines through in this easy gluten free dessert.
For the cookies:
For the frosting:
- 3 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 Tablespoons blood orange juice from approximately one orange
Place the vegan buttery spread and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat until smooth.
Add the gluten free flour blend, salt, and blood orange zest, then mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop out a tablespoon of dough at a time. Roll the dough into balls, and place on the cookie sheets, leaving about 1.5 inches in between cookies.
Flatten the dough with your hand or the back of a spoon.
Repeat with remaining dough. You can probably fit about 12 cookies on a cookie sheet
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 12-14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely before moving.
Make the frosting:
Place the powdered sugar, the vegan buttery spread, and blood orange juice in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed. If the dough seems too thin, add a little more confectioner's sugar. If it's too thick, add a little more orange juice.
Once the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency, turn off the mixer.
Frost the cooled shortbread cookies. Store leftover cookies in the refrigerator.
Nutrition facts are for one 2.5 inch cookie with frosting.
You can freeze this shortbread dough if you wish – just store wrapped discs of dough in a freezer bag. It should stay fresh for up to three months. You could also shape the dough into a log to freeze it. That way you could slice the dough before baking.
Store leftover cookies in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for about 5 days.