Easy, fresh cranberry cookies recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Slightly crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Loaded with white chocolate chips, oatmeal, orange zest and pecans.
For many people, cranberries is one of those fruits that mark the beginning of the Holiday season. With its popping red color and strong tart flavor, it's popular in many Christmas desserts. Along with today's recipe, you can also enjoy them in this Coconut Cranberry Cake and this Condensed Milk Fudge (Cranberry and Pistachio) and these Cranberry Orange Scones.
- Butter- This should be unsalted and preferably at room temperature.
- Sugar- Granulated sugar works best.
- Eggs- These should be large and preferably at room temperature.
- Flour- Use simple all-purpose flour.
- Vanilla extract and orange zest- This will add flavor.
- Baking powder and baking soda- These are rising agents which help the cookies rise. Make sure they are not expired.
- Cranberries- Make sure these are fresh and roughly chopped.
- White chocolate chips- Use the best quality of chips you can find.
- Pecans- This adds a little crunch. I highly recommend toasting them first.
How to make the best easy fresh cranberry cookies recipe from scratch?
- Cream butter and sugar- Until light and fluffy.
- Add wet ingredients- This includes eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest.
- Mix- Until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients- This includes flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda.
- Mix- Until just combined
- Stir in add-ins- Such as cranberries, white chocolate chips, and pecans.
- Chill- So that the dough becomes easier to handle.
- Roll dough- Into small cookie balls.
- Bake- Place cookie dough balls on a baking tray and bake until golden brown.
- Let them cool- Then, dig in!
Try other nuts- Such as almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios. Make sure they are roughly chopped are toasted.
For a shortbread version- Make these Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies instead.
Try other zests and flavors- Such as lemon or lime zests instead of orange. You can also use some almond extract.
Try other flavors of chocolate chips- Such as semisweet or dark chocolate chips instead of white or a combination of multiple flavors.
Top them- Drizzle melted chocolate or a simple vanilla glaze to take them up a notch. Do whatever your sweet heart desires!
Ice cream sandwiches- Add a scoop of your favorite ice cream and sandwich it in between two cookies. Perfect for summer time!
Tips and Techniques
Frozen cranberries vs. dried be substituted vs. fresh cranberries? Fresh works best, followed by frozen. I don't recommend dried as it just adds a very odd texture.
Please note the baking time- It's not 350 degrees F. The lower the temperature, the more crisper the cookies will become. Since these are thick cookies, you want them to bake at a higher temperature and a shorter baking time for a soft and chewy texture.
How to roughly chop cranberries? Use a sharp knife to cut each cranberry into 3-4 smaller pieces. DO NOT use a food processor because that will chop them up too fine. Having them roughly chopped adds the best texture to these cookies.
Use quick cooking oats- Do not replace this with old fashioned oats because that will alter the overall texture of these cookies. They tend to have a coarse texture.
Chill dough- Because that makes the cookie dough easier to handle and makes it less sticky.
Line cookie tray with parchment paper- Because this prevents cookies from sticking to the pan.
Adjust amount of extract and zests- This is entirely based on your preference. If you want a stronger orange flavor, add more zest or even a little orange extract.
Don’t over mix dough– That’s because that makes very tough cookies.
Use unsalted butter– Because no one likes salty cookies.
They are ready when they become golden brown and are firm along the edges.
Frozen cranberries will work as the next best alternative. I don't recommend dried cranberries because they add a very odd chewy texture.
- Make ahead- These can easily be made 1-2 days in advance.
- Room temperature- They can be stored in a cookie jar for up to 3 days.
- Refrigerate- These can be stored in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
- Freeze- Once they have cooled to room temperature, these cookies can be frozen in sealed containers for up to 1 month. You can also freeze unbaked cookie dough balls and when you are ready to enjoy them, just remove from freezer and bake.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Spritz Cookies
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Snowflake Cookies
Easy Cranberry Cookies (With White Chocolate and Oatmeal)
- 1 cup Butter Unsalted, Room temperature
- 1.5 cups Granulated sugar
- 2 Eggs Large
- 1.5 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1.5 tablespoon Orange zest
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 cups Quick cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 ⅓ cups Cranberries Fresh, Roughly chopped
- 1.5 cups White chocolate chips
- ½ cup Pecans Roughly chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest and mix until smooth.
- Add flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and mix until just combined.
- Stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips, pecans.
- Cover and chill dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes to make it easier to handle.
- Scoop out small portions of the dough and roll into balls. Grease or flour your hands to make this process easier.
- Place them on a cookie tray, lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Enjoy!
- Make cookie sandwiches by filling them with frosting or jams and preserves of your choice.
- Please note the baking time. It's not the usual 350 degrees F. It's 375 degrees F!
- Frozen and fresh cranberries will work best. I don't recommend using dried cranberries because they add a very odd texture.
- Read additional tips and variations above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a cookie jar at room temperature for up to 3 days. Baked cookies can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month (once they cool down).