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Orange shortbread recipe

Orange shortbread recipe

15 ratings

Rustle up this delicious treat for Mother's Day. Classic shortbread with a zesty twist, decorated beautifully with sweet royal icing – an easy baking idea that's sure to go down well. See method

  • Serves 8
  • 50 mins to prepare and 10 mins to cook, plus cooling and setting
  • 311 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian


  • 150g plain flour, sifted
  • 100g unsalted butter softened and diced
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 orange, zested

For the icing

  • 250g royal icing sugar
  • orange food colouring gel

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    11g 15%
  • Saturates

    6g 31%
  • Sugars

    38g 42%
  • Salt

    0g 0%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 53.1g Protein 1.9g Fibre 1.3g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Combine the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and orange zest, then knead until it forms a soft dough.
  2. On a large sheet of nonstick baking paper, roll out the dough to a 30cm circle, 5mm thick. Transfer the dough and paper to a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 mins, until just golden. Cool on the tray for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  3. Put the royal icing sugar in a bowl, add 2 tbsp water and whisk until combined. Add more water, a drop at a time, until the icing holds a soft peak.
  4. Transfer a quarter of the icing to a small bowl. Cover and set aside. Add a few drops of orange food colouring to the large bowl of icing; mix well. Spoon a little into a piping bag fitted with a medium round nozzle, then pipe a broken outline around the edge of the shortbread.
  5. Add a little water to the remaining orange icing to make it slightly runny. Pipe 8 orange segments onto the biscuit, filling them in with the icing. Add a little water to the reserved white icing to make it slightly runny. Pipe a smaller white triangle inside the orange segments, adding a dot at the point of each. Drizzle with more orange icing to decorate. Leave to set for 4-6 hrs. Slice into pieces.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.

Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving.

If you wish to add icing or decoration, add them after the shortbreads have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.

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