Cardamom Orange Shortbread

Peter Flynn


I saw someone make these on TV so I went looking. There are some very strange variations around, but this one is a composite which seems to work simply and easily, based on recipes from Tanya Ott, Candice Brown, and the Waitrose web site. Thanks to Livi for information about the different fat content of American and Irish (European) butter, which means you need less when in Europe.

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Makes 30. Heat your (fan) oven to 150°C. Prep time: 20 minutes + 30 minutes (chill). Cooking time: 17 minutes.


  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom [from about 50 green or 25 black cardamom pods]
  • 310 g butter | at room temperature
  • 200 g golden caster sugar (or light muscovado)
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • ¼ tsp salt (see tip)
  • 450 g plain flour
  • 20 g golden caster sugar | for sprinkling

I used this recipe to make shortbread biscuits (cookies) but you can just as easily roll it thicker and cut shortbread fingers to have with fruit and cream. Make sure the butter is at room temperature (cool not cold or warm).


  1. If you are using cardamom from pods, heat the seeds in a hot dry pan for a minute or so, then grind them in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar; but pre-ground cardamom works just as well.

  2. Mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl until well combined.

  3. Add the cardamom, orange zest, and salt and mix in well.

  4. Sift in the flour and mix until it forms a stiff dough.

  5. Flatten the dough to a rectangle, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 and a bit minutes in the fridge.

  6. When chilled, roll the dough out to 10mm (⅜″) and use a cookie cutter, or cut into strips. Re-form and re-roll to use up the bits.

  7. Transfer to silicon baking parchment on a baking pan or sheet and sprinkle with the golden caster sugar.

  8. Bake for 17 minutes or until the edges just start to colour.

  9. If you have more dough left, cut that ready for a second batch (or more).

  10. Remove from oven and carefully lift the baking parchment with the shortbreads onto a wire rack to start cooling. After five minutes, gently pull the baking parchment out from under them to finish cooling.

Any timings underlined in red are in addition to the preparation time (eg waiting time)

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