These dried cranberry cookies are a holiday staple! Stuffed with tart dried cranberries, zingy orange zest, and sweet white chocolate chips, the cookies have a soft, chewy center and crispy edges. The dough comes together quickly with simple pantry staples and bakes in no time.
The best dried cranberries cookies
These cranberry white chocolate cookies are a merry treat that always makes an appearance in my Christmas cookie box. The specks of red and white scattered throughout the cookies look so festive and delicious.
However, this dried cranberry cookie recipe is delicious any time of year. The cookies are chewy, tender, tangy, and sweet all at once, making it hard to stop at just one cookie.
And you’ll love how simple they are to make. It’s a matter of combining all ingredients in your mixer and scooping them onto baking trays. You only need a few everyday kitchen staples, and no chill time or fancy techniques are required.
My cranberry chocolate chip cookies also keep well, so you always have some on hand for entertaining and gifting. They are perfect for dessert, a holiday party, or a cookie exchange. Your family and friends will love the refreshing cranberry and orange flavors.
And if you are looking for other dried cranberry baking recipes, make our dried cranberry muffins!
Let’s chat about the ingredients that go into these delicious dried cranberry cookies. If you are looking for exact measurements, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Dried cranberries add a lovely chewy texture and sweet-tart aroma. I recommend sweetened dried cranberries, but feel free to use unsweetened craisins if you prefer a more sour flavor. Avoid fresh cranberries, as they will add too much liquid to the dough.
- White chocolate chips: Use good quality white chocolate chips or chop up a bar of white chocolate to create white chocolate chunks.
- Orange zest infuses every bite with bright orange aroma. Only take off the orange rid when zesting, but avoid the white pith as it tastes bitter.
- Sugar: You need granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Light brown sugar adds a delicious, caramelized taste and yields a chewy, soft texture. Granulated sugar provides sweetness and crunchy edges.
- Salted butter adds a rich, buttery flavor. Make sure your butter is at room temperature. That means it should be soft enough that your finger leaves an indent if pressed into it. If it’s cold, it will be difficult to cream.
- Eggs add moisture and bind the ingredients together.
- Vanilla extract brings out the other flavors in this craisin cookie recipe.
- All-purpose flour gives the cookies their perfect texture. Use the scoop and level method or weigh the flour with kitchen scales to get the most accurate amount of flour.
- Baking powder helps the cookies rise and become soft and fluffy.
- Measuring cups or digital kitchen scale
- Mixing bowls
- Electric mixer or stand mixer
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- 2-tablespoon cookie scoop
- Wire cooling rack
How to make dried cranberry cookies
Making cookies with dried cranberries couldn’t be easier. It’s just a few simple steps and a great baking project for kids. Let’s go over the recipe steps:
#1: Beat butter and sugars
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
#2: Add eggs and vanilla
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and beating until well incorporated before adding the next egg.
- Beat in the vanilla.
#3: Add dry ingredients
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, baking powder, and orange zest. Mix just until combined and scrape down the bowl as needed.
#4: Incorporate mix-ins
- Stir in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
#5: Form& bake cookies
- Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, drop dough balls on lined cookie sheets about 2.5 inches / 6 cm apart (the cookies will spread during baking). Add about 12 per sheet.
- Bake one sheet at a time for at 375°F 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are browned.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Craisin white chocolate chip cookies are such a delicious holiday treat! Of course, I have some tips and tricks to help you achieve the best dried cranberries cookies possible.
- Room temperature ingredients mix more easily: I recommend taking cold ingredients like butter and eggs out of the fridge beforehand, so they warm up a bit. If you forgot to take out the eggs, place them in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes.
- The brown sugar should be moist and soft for the best results. If your brown sugar has hardened, place it in a glass bowl, top with a damp paper towel, and microwave for one or two 20-second increments.
- Measure the flour correctly to avoid dry, dense cranberry cookies. Adding too much flour is the most common mistake when baking cookies. A digital kitchen scale is the easiest way to measure. Alternatively, fluff the flour in the bag with a spoon, then sprinkle it into your measuring cup and use a knife to level the excess off.
- Use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation vanilla essence. It’s subtle but makes a difference in taste.
- Portion the dough with a triggered cookie scoop: A cookie scoop keeps all cookies the same size and helps them bake evenly. If you’re baking homemade cookies often, it’s worth investing in one!
- Reserve some cranberries and chocolate chips to press into the top of the cookies right before baking or after pulling them out of the oven for a pretty presentation.
- Bake a single cookie sheet at a time for even baking. And rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time in case your oven tends to bake unevenly.
- Don’t overbake the cookies: It’s okay if the cookie center seems slightly underbaked after you take them out of the oven. They will continue to bake and firm up as they cool on the cookie sheet.
My recipe is a great starting point for dried cranberry cookies, but don’t be afraid to play around with the flavor and make it your own. Here are some tasty suggestions for you:
- Dried cherries are a good substitute if you don’t have or like craisins.
- Swap the chocolate flavor: Instead of white chocolate, make this dried cranberry recipe with semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips.
- Stronger orange flavor: Add a teaspoon of orange extract to the cookie dough.
- Add pistachios: For crunch, add 1/2 cup chopped pistachios to the cookie batter. Pecans or walnuts would be fabulous as well.
- Spice it up: Season the batter with 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
- Drizzle with glaze: Orange glaze, cinnamon, glaze, and cream cheese frosting are all delicious.
- Shortcut: Use store-bought sugar cookie dough and stir in craisins, white chocolate chips, and orange zest.
How to store dried cranberry cookies
Put leftover craisin chocolate chip cookies in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to a week. You can also keep them in the fridge, but they will soften a bit.
Freeze craisin cookies
The cookies are freezer-friendly. Once cooled, put the cookies into an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for 2 to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw on the counter until they are soft and have reached room temperature.
Freeze the cookie dough
You can freeze the unbaked cookie dough if you want to save some to bake later. Here’s what you want to do:
- Arrange the dough balls in a single layer on a lined cookie tray.
- Freeze until firm, about 1 to 2 hours. Then place the cookie dough balls into a large zip-lock freezer bag and freezer for up to 2 months.
- When ready to eat, bake the dough from frozen, adding an extra minute to the baking time.
- 1 cup / 2 sticks / 230 g / 8 oz salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups / 250 g / 8.8 oz light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups / 360 g / 12.7 oz all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup / 170 g / 6 oz white chocolate chips
- 1 cup / 130 g / 4.6 oz dried cranberries
- Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C / gas mark 5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat butter and sugars. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and beating until well incorporated before adding the next egg. Beat in the vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, baking powder, and orange zest. Mix just until combined and scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Incorporate mix-ins. Stir in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Form cookies. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, drop dough balls on the cookie sheets about 2.5 inches / 6 cm apart (the cookies will spread during baking). Add about 12 per sheet.
- Bake and cool. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store. Keep your dried cranberry cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 78mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g
Can I add more dried cranberries?
While I think my recipe has the perfect amount, you can always add 1/4 to 1/3 cup more cranberries. I wouldn’t go beyond that because more cranberries make it hard for the cookies to stay tougher.
Can I use fresh or frozen cranberries?
I don’t recommend fresh or frozen cranberries because they will add too much liquid and are not as sweet as craisins.
How do I zest an orange?
Use a microplane or citrus zester and gently scrape the orange layer of the peel, creating little orange flakes. Don’t scrape the white pith since it tastes bitter and doesn’t have the orange flavor we’re going for.
Why you’ll love dried cranberry cookies
- Full of holiday aromas: Tart dried cranberries, smooth white chocolate chips, and specks of bright orange juice are the perfect holiday flavor combo.
- Soft and chewy: The chewy, moist cookie centers are offset by browned, crispy edges.
- No wait: The cookie dough doesn’t need to be chilled in the fridge – just mix, bake, and enjoy!
- Versatile: If you want to change up the recipe, you got lots of options to customize the flavor of these orange dried cranberries cookies with mix-ins and glazes.
More holiday cookies
Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or need a treat for a bake sale, cookies are always the answer. Everyone loves them, and there are so many different flavors to choose from! No matter your craving, we have a cookie recipe for you!