These melt-in-your-mouth gingerbread shortbread cookies are simple to make and will be a hit at any holiday party.

Two cookies on folded red napkin with tall mug of coffee and more cookies in background.

More cookies! I have to say, I think these cookies are my favorite new cookie creation of this year. It’s no secret that I love shortbread cookies.

  • They are super easy to make (hello slice and bake!).
  • They are endlessly customizable (try my peppermint shortbread or some other favorites at the end of this post).
  • They taste soooo good. Butter is a KEY ingredient and you can tell by the way it the cookie melts in your mouth and of course the wonderful flavor that butter gives to the cookies.

I’m on a gingerbread kick this season. Did you happen to see my gingerbread breakfast cookies or gingerbread muffins with white chocolate chips? I knew I had to add gingerbread shortbread cookies to my baking list.

I’m so happy with the way these turn out. Thanks to ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, cardamom, and cloves, gingerbread cookies are not lacking in flavor. They are downright exciting to eat. The dried cranberries add a bit of chewiness as well as tartness that really rounds the flavors out perfectly.

Front view of two cookies on folded red napkin.

The great part about shortbread cookies is that you can make them ahead of time (although Christmas is quickly approaching!) and freeze them. Pull them out of the freezer and slice and bake as many as you want. It’s always nice to serve guests fresh cookies.

Hint: If you’re having a hard time slicing the frozen dough, let it sit at room temperature for about thirty minutes before taking a super sharp knife to it.


Front closeup of gingerbread cookie on red cloth, with more cookies in background.

Craving more shortbread cookies?



Front view of 2 gingerbread shortbread cookies on folded red napkin.

Gingerbread Shortbread Cookies with Cranberries

Yield: about 24 depending on thickness
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These melt-in-your-mouth gingerbread shortbread cookies are simple to make and will be a hit at any holiday party.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries


  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, powdered sugar, molasses, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Gradually add flour and spices and mix on low until combined. Add in cranberries and mix until combined, by hand if needed. On wax paper or parchment paper, form into a 12- to 14-inch log and freeze at least 30 minutes or until firm.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the shortbread dough into 1/4-inch slices and bake for 11-14 minutes on parchment lined baking sheets.


  • If you freeze the dough for longer than 30 minutes, you may have to let it set out at room temperature for 30 minutes or so to achieve uniform slices.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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