One bite of this buttery crisp gluten free cranberry shortbread with dried cranberries and pistachios and you will be hooked! These simple gluten free slice and bake cookies make a delicious treat for the holidays!

A stack of four gluten free cranberry shortbread cookies.

I am really excited about these gluten free citrus shortbread cookies with pistachios. They are buttery and full of flavor. I love to use lime zest instead of orange zest when baking with cranberries. It adds delicious tanginess.

Dried cranberries are available all year long. I love to use Ocean Spray cranberries to make my shortbread cookies. There are many other brands of dried cranberries, too, but our grocery store seems to carry this one brand mostly.

If you prefer to try a regular drop-style cookie, these gluten free cranberry white chocolate cookies are also really good.

Why you will love these cookies:

  1. They are full of buttery shortbread goodness. They melt in your mouth!
  2. These cookies are made with dried cranberries, so you can enjoy them all year long.
  3. You can cut them out in circles or use your favorite cookie cutters!
  4. They are made with only five simple ingredients.

This is a great, easy recipe to make if you are looking for the perfect gluten-free slice-and-bake cookies. If you love cookies as much as we do, check out all of my delicious gluten free cookies recipes.

These homemade cookies are easy to make for Thanksgiving; these are the perfect gluten free Thanksgiving cookies! I also have an amazing traditional Gluten Free Shortbread recipe that is really easy to make.

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Ingredient notes:

Photos of the cranberry shortbread ingredients.
  • Gluten free flour blend – I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. For some reason, Bob’s blend needed a little more flour. If you notice the dough is a bit wet, add a little more flour using Bob’s 1 to 1. (That doesn’t mean others will not work; I just have not tested other flours, and I can not guarantee the recipe will work if you use other mixes.)
  • Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  • Butter – To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
  • Cranberries – Use dried cranberries because fresh ones will add too much moisture.
  • Pistachios – If you are nut-free, omit them. You can also use other types of nuts, like pecans.

How to make gluten free cranberry cookies:

Photos of steps 1 and 2 of making the cranberry shortbread cookies.

Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend them all.

To measure your gluten free flour, I recommend using the spoon or leveling method. In a perfect world, people weigh their flour, but most do not own a kitchen scale.

Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.

Use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour.

Step 2: Add the wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.

Photos of steps 3 and 4 of making the cranberry shortbread cookies.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them into a dough.

Step 4: As I mentioned above, for some reason, I found that Bob’s GF 1 to 1 blend was a bit wetter than the King Arthur blend. If you notice this, it is okay to add more flour so the dough isn’t too sticky.

Photos of steps 5 and 6 of making the cranberry shortbread cookies.

Step 5: Form the dough into a log and wrap it with plastic wrap. Chill it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Remove the dough and preheat the oven to 375º F. I use a higher heat to set the cookies quickly so they don’t spread.

Step 6: Slice the cookies into circles and put them onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

Step 7: Bake at 375º F for 8-10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t overbake.

You may also love this simple Gluten Free Maple Shortbread or these Gluten Free Lemon Shortbread Cookies recipes.

Make it fancy:

Make your citrus cranberry shortbread fancy by drizzling or dipping half of the cookies in melted white chocolate. You can sprinkle them with crushed pistachios or sprinkles.

Tips and Recipe FAQ:

What is the difference between shortbread and sugar cookies?

The main difference between shortbread and sugar cookies is that sugar cookies have eggs, and shortbread does not.

Can you use fresh cranberries in this shortbread cookie recipe?

Unfortunately, you can’t use fresh cranberries in this recipe. They add too much moisture to the shortbread.

Can you make shortbread dairy-free?

You can make these gluten free pistachio and cranberry shortbread cookies dairy-free by using vegan butter.

How long will these cookies keep fresh?

These cookies will keep fresh for up to 3 days in an air-tight container. They will keep up to 4 months in a freezer bag in the freezer.

Baked cranberry shortbread cookies on a baking sheet.
A stack of four gluten free cranberry shortbread cookies.

Gluten Free Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Sandi Gaertner
Delicious buttery melt in your mouth gluten free cranberry shortbread cookies. These cookies are easy to make and are perfect any time of the year.
4.86 from 7 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cookies
Calories 294 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ¼ cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • ½ cup sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup butter softened to almost melted
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • cup pistachios removed from the shells and chopped
  • 2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Add your dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend them all together.
  • Add the wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them into a dough.
  • Note: or some reason I found the Bob's GF 1 to 1 blend was a bit wetter than with the King Arthur blend. If you notice this, it is okay to add more flour so the dough isn't too sticky.
  • Form the dough into a log and wrap it with plastic wrap. Chill it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove the dough and preheat the oven to 375º F. I use a higher heat so that the cookies are set quickly and don't spread.
  • Slice the cookies into circles and put them onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375º F for 8-10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don't overbake.
  • Remove from the oven to a cooling rack.
  • Optional: drizzle or dip in white chocolate.

Notes

  1. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours. You may need a bit more of Bob’s blend so the dough isn’t too wet.
  2. Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
  4. To measure your gluten free flour, I recommend using the spoon method or leveling method. In a perfect world, people weigh their flour, but most do not own a kitchen scale.
    Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
    Use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour.
  5. These cookies will keep for up to 3 days in an air-tight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 136mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 3gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 487IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

4.86 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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14 Comments

  1. My cookies also crumbled a lot when cutting and used Bob’s Red Mill. They also took a lot longer at 375 than recommended. Hoping they taste good.

  2. 4 stars
    They were very difficult to cut. The dough kept breaking apart in crumbles. I let the log sit out for about 20-30 minutes and it became a little easier to cut. They baked up really nice and are delicious.

    1. Hi Stephanie, I haven’t heard of this happening, but I suspect it is probably due to your flour blend. Some blends are very starch-heavy and need more liquid ingredients. I would recommend either adding a little more butter or cutting back 2-3 TBSP of flour next time.

  3. Hello there,
    Is it possible to use a sugar substitute like monk fruit or stevia? Please advise, I’d love to make these!

  4. I used ghee instead of butter. I weighed out everything on a scale. I ended up with puddles instead of cookies. I’m guessing ghee is significantly wetter than regular butter? I googled it and was told 1:1 ratio? Perhaps not in baking. I will try this again with less ghee.

  5. Hi there! Would you share the weights for each ingredient? I prefer to weigh out my ingredients. Can’t wait to make these cookies!!

    1. Hi Ida, unfortunately, I do not weigh my ingredients. Every gluten free flour blend weighs something different and I do not have the resources to buy and test a lot of gluten free flour blends to weigh and test multiple gluten free flour blends.

  6. thanks for sharing this recipe! I was looking at the nutrition and wondered whether the calories are right, 1 cookie 294 kcal??
    Regards,
    Diana

    1. It is hard to say if that 294 is 100% correct. Shortbread has a lot of butter, but not a lot of sugar. No nutrition calculator is ever 100% accurate. Also, everyone makes different-sized cookies and different thicknesses. I suspect the number is a bit high, the recipe probably makes 14 cookies if cut thinner. Calorie content also depends on whether someone uses sugared dry cranberries or unsweetened.