Cranberry Orange Cookies are the ultimate fall and winter cookie. With sweet orange zest and tangy cranberries in a soft and tender cookie, they are delicious and beautiful, too!
This is a no-fuss recipe that will produce tasty and pretty cookies every time. I love the addition of dried tart cranberries and orange zest – they make the cookies taste so fresh!
For more cookies that have sweet, flavorful fruit baked inside, check out my Apple Raisin Softies and New Year’s Cookies! There are flavor bursts in every bite.
You’ll be amazed at how delicious chewy cranberry bits nestled in a smooth citrus-infused dough taste. Once you’ve zested the orange peel, everything else is straightforward cookie making.
Just measure and mix the ingredients and then roll and bake. And if you want to really take them to the next level, drizzle with a cream cheese or vanilla icing.
These are perfect for a weeknight dessert, cookie exchange, or holiday party. Friends and neighbors will love the refreshing cranberry and orange flavors, and you’ll love how easy they were to make.
Why You’ll Love Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Full of Holiday Flavor
- Soft and Chewy
- No Waiting – Make, bake and enjoy!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- White Granulated Sugar – Keeps the dough light and sweet.
- Unsalted Butter – If you’re using salted butter, omit the salt in this recipe.
- Orange Zest – Make sure you avoid the white rind. It has a bitter taste.
- All Purpose Flour – Use the scoop and level method to get the most accurate amount of flour.
- Baking Powder – This recipe uses 2 leavening agents to make sure the cookies rise and stay fluffy.
- Baking Soda – This is the second leavening agent. You can learn more about how baking soda and baking powder work here.
- Salt – Salt brings out all the other flavors in this simple recipe. Omit if using salted butter.
- Dried Cranberries – Sweetened dried cranberries are best, but you can use fresh or unsweetened if you prefer more tart flavor.
- Drizzle with Glaze – Cream cheese glaze, cinnamon roll glaze and orange glaze are all amazing!
- Add a Crunch – Dip a glass in sugar or sanding sugar and gently press cookies.
- Add Extra Orange Flavor – Add a teaspoon of orange extract to the dough or a teaspoon of orange zest to sugar or glaze topping.
- White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies – Add 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips.
How to Make
- Prep – Preheat oven and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Make Dough – Mix wet ingredients then combine with dry ingredients, folding in cranberries at the end.
- Bake – Roll into 1″ balls and bake at 350 F for 9-10 minutes.
- Use store-bought sugar cookie dough and add cranberries and orange zest.
- Make the dough and refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to enjoy!
Use a cookie scoop so all cookies bake evenly (and look prettier, too!).
Bake a single cookie sheet at a time for best results.
Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately before combining for best distribution of ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use your citrus zester or microplaner to gently scrape the orange part of the peel, making little orange peel flakes. Don’t go down into the white pith because that doesn’t have the citrus flavor we’re going for.
I think this is the perfect amount, but you could add 1/4 cup more cranberries. Any more than that may make it hard for the cookie to stay together.
Orange extract can be added to the dough in place of zest because it is strong and flavorful. I don’t recommend orange juice because it will add too much liquid and not as strong of a flavor.
Cranberry Orange Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoons orange zest, (Can sub with ½ teaspoon orange extract)
- ¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
Optional Orange Glaze
- see julie blanner.com for recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy.
- Add egg and zest. Mix until just combined.
- Gradually add dry mixture until just combined. Beat or fold in cranberries.
- Create 1" dough balls, about 1 tablespoon or a small cookie scoop, and roll in the palm of your hands. Space 2" apart on cookie sheet and add up to 12 per sheet.
- Bake 9-10 minutes or until edges are slightly golden in color. Allow to cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl or mixing cup. Warm and spoon to drizzle over cookies.
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