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Alyn Williams' sage and onion Christmas tree shortbread with cheddar and cranberry baubles recipe

Alyn Williams' sage and onion Christmas tree shortbread with cheddar and cranberry baubles recipe

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These savoury shortbread Christmas trees make for a great festive party snack. This recipe calls for a piping bag and nozzle to create the edible baubles. Feel free to make shortbread snowmen if you don’t have a small Christmas tree cutter – you can pipe the bauble mixture on to create faces instead! See method

  • Serves 18
  • 20 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook, 30 mins to cool
  • 110 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

For the shortbread

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g (4oz) plain flour, sifted
  • 15g (1/2oz) caster sugar
  • 5g (1tsp) black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt

For the baubles

  • 150g (5oz) half-fat medium cheese, finely chopped
  • 25g (1oz) cranberry sauce
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 3 tsp low-fat cream cheese

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    7g 10%
  • Saturates

    4g 20%
  • Sugars

    2g 2%
  • Salt

    0.3g 5%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 7.1g Protein 3.5g Fibre 0.4g


  1. Add oil to a pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until the onions soften and begin to caramelise
  2. Add the sage and pepper, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the contents onto kitchen towel to cool.
  3. Add the butter and caster sugar to a bowl. Using a whisk, whip the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Season with black pepper.
  4. Gradually mix in the plain flour along with a pinch of salt until it comes together and a ball of dough forms – you may not need to use all of the flour. Gently work the cooled sage and onion into the dough, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it’s 1-2cm thick. Get your little helpers to use a small Christmas tree cutter to cut out the shortbread, place on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper and return to the fridge for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
  7. Cook the shortbread in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Blitz all of the bauble ingredients into a smooth purée in a blender. Transfer to a piping bag with a 5mm nozzle.
  9. Once the trees are cool, pipe little dots onto the 'branches' of the shortbread and serve.

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