Orange Shortbread Cookies

Orange shortbread cookies couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Pair them with a mug of tea and your afternoon is complete!

Orange shortbread cookies couldn't be easier or more delicious. Pair them with a mug of tea and your afternoon is complete!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Twinings. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that continue to make My Baking Addiction possible.

Being that I am a food blogger, I sometimes get caught up in the hype of making making over-the-top desserts like Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake and Coca-Cola Cupcakes and I forgot about the simple things like shortbread cookies.

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for shortbread cookies because of my Nana. Now, I don’t remember Nana ever making shortbread cookies, but she often had a blue tin of them on hand during the holidays.

And of course, my faves were the one ones with the extra sprinkling of coarse sugar. I’ve also always had an affinity for Trefoils over any other cookie from the Girl Scouts.

As a kid I loved dunking them in a glass of ice cold milk and as an adult, I love them paired with a mug of hot tea.

Orange shortbread cookies couldn't be more delicious. Pair them with a cup of Earl Gray for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

Shortbread cookies are one of the most simple and delicious cookies you’ll ever make. And since they require only a handful of ingredients, you probably won’t even need to make a special trip to the market.

You really only need butter, sugar, flour, and an egg. I mean, it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Using those basic ingredients, you can make crispy, buttery cookies that are perfect for just about any occasion. Or, you can kick things up a notch by adding in extract, citrus zest and even herbs to take your shortbread cookies to a whole new level.

Twinings Earl Gray Teas in Jasmine, Lavender and Extra Bold.

When the lovely folks at Twinings contacted me to create a recipe to pair with one of their new blends of Earl Gray teas, my mind immediately thought of shortbread. But not just any shortbread.

I decided to take cue from my friend Emily’s recipe for Rosemary Lemon Shortbread and add in loads of fresh orange zest. This butter citrus combination paired perfectly with Twinings Extra Bold Earl Gray which was only enhanced by the natural orange flavor in the orange shortbread cookies.

If you know anything about tea, you know Twinings. They’ve been in business for more than 300 years! Earl Grey Tea actually came about when the Prime Minister in 1831, Charles Grey, asked Richard Twining to replicate a tea he had been given by a Chinese Mandarin.

It’s pretty awesome that a tea blend created over 186 years ago is still going strong, and in fact, growing. Twinings has three new blends of bergamot-flavored tea; Jasmine Earl Gray, Lavender Earl Gray, and my personal favorite, Extra Bold Earl Gray.

Orange shortbread cookies couldn't be easier or more delicious.

If you’re not familiar, bergamot is a citrus fruit similar to an orange, but more like a lemon in flavor. I’d love to get my hands on some to make more baked goods with them, because I’m obsessed with the flavor in tea. But, since bergamots certainly aren’t going to grow in too-cold-for-its-own-good Ohio, I’m simply going to relish a steaming mug of Extra Bold Earl Grey like five times a day. Kidding not kidding.

Because it’s a citrus fruit, pairing it with other citrus is a no-brainer. These Orange Shortbread Cookies are delightful and just perfect for dipping and nibbling while you sip any one of these new varieties of Earl Grey tea.

Now let me tell you how to make a perfect cup of Earl Grey tea. Start with fresh, cold water. I prefer to use an electric kettle for boiling water. My friend Amber convinced me to buy one years ago, and I’ve never looked back. If you’re British and reading this post, you’re probably thinking, “Um, yeah, duh, who doesn’t own a kettle?!”, but they’re not commonplace in the U.S. I think they should be.

Orange shortbread cookies couldn't be more delicious. Pair them with a cup of Earl Gray for the perfect afternoon treat.
Boil water in a stove-top kettle or electric kettle. Do not use the microwave. It makes tea taste funny (to me, anyway).

When the kettle is just boiled, add a tea bag – Extra Bold Earl Grey for me, thanks! – to your tea cup, and pour water over it. Don’t over-boil the water, it can make the tea taste flat once brewed.

Allow the tea to steep for 2-4 minutes, but no longer. Any longer and you might end up with a cup of tea that tastes bitter and overdone.

Sometimes I prefer my Earl Grey with a bit of milk, or if I’m feeling extremely decadent, half and half. You can add a bit of sugar now too, but the cookies also provide plenty of sweetness if you eat them together.

I’m here to tell you there’s not much more restorative on a cold day than a steaming mug of tea. Except maybe a steaming mug of tea and some Orange Shortbread Cookies!

Orange Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • zest from 2 large oranges
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • coarse sugar for rolling, optional


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Use a fork to work the zest into the sugar until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low, gently add dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix until ingredients are well combined and a stiff dough is formed.
  5. Cut two large pieces of plastic wrap. Divide dough in half placing one half of the dough on each piece of plastic wrap. Use your hands to form two 1 ½-inch diameter logs. Open the plastic wrap and sprinkle logs with sanding sugar (if using) and roll a bit more to coat the logs well in the sugar. Wrap logs tightly in the plastic wrap, place on baking sheet and freeze logs for 1 hour or until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Remove dough logs from the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Slice dough into ¼ inch thick slices and place on prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake until cookies are just golden at the edges, about 16-18 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on wire racks.
  9. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

21 Responses to “Orange Shortbread Cookies”

  1. Susan — March 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

    We love shortbread and the touches of orange sound so wonderful.  


    • Jamie — March 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you, Susan!

  2. Amber — March 21, 2017 at 10:43 am

    YES! Kettles are a kitchen requirement. Bonus points for an electric one. I adore Earl Grey tea and am excited to go find these in my local store – especially the extra bold. I also can’t wait to make these cookies. It’s been way too long since I made shortbread.


  3. Anne Ritchie — March 21, 2017 at 10:44 am

    These look delicious and perfect for spring! How many cookies will this recipe yield?


    • Jamie — March 21, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Hi, Anne! About 3 dozen. Enjoy!

  4. Mickie — March 21, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I love rolled cookies like this but hated that all the cookies weren’t the same size and shape. I recently learned a great tip for shaping beautiful rounded dough rolls. Once you’ve rolled and wrapped your dough log, slip it inside a cardboard paper towel roll that has been cut down one side (this gives the cardboard flexibility to wrap around your dough roll). Then roll it a few times on a flat surface and freeze or chill as your recipe indicates. When you remove your dough, just discard the paper towel roll and slice your perfectly rounded cookies!


    • Jamie — March 21, 2017 at 11:54 am

      What a great idea, Mickie! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Roseanne — March 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    These look delicious, and who can go wrong with those ingredients?! With a nice cup of tea, well it sounds like it would soothe the harried day very well :)


    • Jamie — March 21, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      I agree, Roseanne!

  6. Deb Cole Kelner — March 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Yum!  I can’t wait to try these.  I love shortbread particularly with citrus and Earl Grey tea is my favorite.  It’s fun to see these new flavors.  I also love lavender and look forward to trying it.  I love my electric kettle!  (and I have a stop top version in a perky green color but the electric kettle is so easy and so quick.) I think it’s tea time!


    • Jamie — March 22, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I think so, too, Deb! Let me know how you like the cookies (and the tea!).

  7. Kay — March 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Twinings Earl Grey is one of my all-time favorites! I buy their tea more than any other brand. And can’t wait to try the cookies!


    • Jamie — March 24, 2017 at 11:31 am

      I hope you like them, Kay!

  8. Shannon — March 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Looks delicious! About how many cookies does this recipe make?


    • Jamie — March 26, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Hi, Shannon! About three dozen. Enjoy!

  9. Carol — March 25, 2017 at 7:33 am

    These sounds so good! I made some some orange shortbread and some chocolate shortbread last month. Now I think I should marry the two together and give it a try. My guys gobbled them both up. Ha! As for Earl Grey tea-is is good hot in the cold months and last summer I discovered it makes a refreshing sun tea.


    • Jamie — March 26, 2017 at 9:21 am

      I love chocolate and orange! Let me know how it goes, Carol, if you give it a try!

  10. Arlene — March 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Why does it say to store the cookies in an air tight container for up to 4 days? What happens to them then? They go stale or what?


    • Jamie — March 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Hi, Arlene! Storing them in an airtight container does keep them fresher. I hope you enjoy them!

  11. Arlene — March 27, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Only inquiring about the 4 days since I plan to make them and take them to someone else’s house. I previously made the lemon and rosemary ones and we loved them. I made two batches in less than 3 days…lol


    • Jamie — March 30, 2017 at 7:01 am

      I’m so glad you liked the cookies, Arlene! I hope everyone else does, too!

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