Spiced Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Balls

The holidays always make me think about Christmas cookies.  Every year, my mother and I would make at least 12 different types of cookies.  Spending time with her making and picking the types of cookies in the kitchen was one of my favorite seasonal traditions.   One of her favorites was a cranberry shortbread cookie.  I have since lost the recipe, but I decided to create a gluten-free vegan version.  I added a bit of spice to them in the form of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom along with some walnuts for crunch. Top them off with a bit of crunchy turbinado sugar on the outside for sparkle.  They smell wonderful while baking. and they are perfect sweet little bites to have at a holiday party!

Author: Amy Lyons O’Neil

Amy has worked for Fresh and Natural Foods since 2006 contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan food and recipe blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has also written 3 cookbooks. She specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local, fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack set in the center.

Mix all shortbread ingredients together in a large bowl until well blended stirring in the coconut milk 1 Tbsp or a little more if needed to make a soft dough, then roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until set then cool on a rack.  Top with turbinado sugar.

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Recipe Type

  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Heart Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Dessert

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy