These White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are so delicious and festive. Soft and chewy cranberry cookies studded with white chocolate chips and orange zest, create the perfect balance of sweetness from the white chocolate and the tartness of cranberry.
These soft-baked cookies will be a favorite on your Christmas cookie platter this year. Arrange them with your Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies, and your holiday treats will steal the spotlight at any cookie swap or party you have planned.
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White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
I love serving festive cookies, whether at home, at a friendly cookie swap, or as a gift for a neighbor or friend. While I certainly appreciate the artistry of decorated cookies, I am also thankful when the ingredients themselves naturally elevate the flavor and presentation. If you love easy cookies like the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies or Chocolate Chip Cookies, this recipe is for you. These easy-to-make cookies are delicious and effortlessly beautiful with bright red cranberries and snow-white chocolate chips poking through.
You can use fresh or dried cranberries in this recipe, though fresh cranberries are preferred for a softer and brighter cookie (see the comparison below). Fresh cranberries will also need to bake for a couple of minutes longer since they hold a bit more moisture.
Here’s why you will love these Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies:
- Easy to make – This recipe makes 3 dozen cookies, which might sound like a lot, but they’re so sweet, comforting, and giftable so they’ll be gone in no time.
- Festive – The red and white contrast of cranberries and white chocolate morsels will enhance your holiday cookie trays but are fantastic year-round.
- Make ahead – The dough can be made ahead of time and the baked cookies are freezer-friendly.
- Customizable – Want chocolate? Add chocolate chips. Like a crunch? Add nuts. See other variations below. You can also use fresh or dried cranberries.
This cookie recipe requires very little prep. Good-looking cookies do not have to be hard to make. Grab your measuring cups and mixer, because this recipe is nothing more than scoop, measure, pour, and mix.
- Butter – unsalted and softened and room temperature
- Sugar – for sweetness and to help get those perfectly crisp edges
- Brown Sugar – helps to give a chewy texture and richer color
- Flour – all-purpose, or replace with your favorite GF flour. Be sure to measure flour correctly.
- Orange Zest – adds a fresh citrus zing. It’s an easy to way to add great flavor.
- Vanilla – I use my homemade pure Vanilla Extract (These make great holiday gifts too!)
- Egg – should be large and room temperature
- Baking Powder – helps your cookies rise, we don’t want flat cookies on our cookie tray
- Salt – to balance the sweetness
- White Chocolate Chips – I love when these melt giving you little pockets of delicious white chocolate in every bite.
- Cranberries – fresh, coarsely chopped, or substitute with dried cranberries if necessary. If you soak your cranberries in hot water for 15-20 minutes, you’ll get softer cookies.
These cranberry cookies can be made to your flavor preferences- add chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts, semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, lemon zest, or even a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.
Dried cranberries bake 1-3 minutes faster than fresh cranberries (which have more moisture), so be sure to watch your cookies in the oven to prevent them from overcooking. Watch for the edges to turn golden brown and you’ll know they’re done to perfection.
How to Make Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
- Prepare – Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Wet Ingredients – Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well to incorporate. Beat in the zest and vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure everything is mixed in.
- Dry Ingredients – In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat just until combined and the cookie dough comes together.
- Fold – Using a stiff spatula, fold in the chopped cranberries and white chocolate chips. Don’t overmix, you don’t want to smoosh the cranberries.
- Shape and Bake – Shape into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown at the edges (Cookies with dried cranberries will bake faster, about 11-13 minutes).
- Cool – Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Use a small trigger-release cookie scoop to get evenly-sized cookie dough balls every time.
To store cookies: transfer to an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cookies can also be frozen or refrigerated for longer storage.
Make-ahead: If you are not baking right away, wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 72 hours. To bake, remove from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until the dough softens enough to scoop.
To freeze cookie dough: Place cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet, cover, and freeze for an hour or until solid. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a large Ziploc bag and freeze up to 3 months.
To bake frozen cookie dough: Place the frozen cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and thaw in the refrigerator for 3 hours before baking per the recipe instructions.
Sending you the merriest wishes on your Christmas baking journey. May your oven be precise, your ingredients be plenty, and each cookie be a sweet reflection of the joy and warmth of the season.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
If you love these Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies, then you’ll want to try these other tried and true Christmas cookies. Try one, or try them all and have the most beautiful holiday spread.
- Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Chocolate Truffles
- Russian Tea Cakes
- Almond Snowball Cookies
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies Recipe
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (12 Tbsp or 1.5 sticks)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp grated orange zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, or use your favorite GF flour, measured correctly
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 cups white chocolate chips
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (8 oz. bag), coarsely chopped, or substitute 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well to incorporate. Beat in the zest and vanilla extract.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat just until combined and dough comes together.
- Using a stiff spatula, stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips just until incorporated. Shape into 1-inch balls (a small cookie scoop makes it easy) and place 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown at the edges (Cookies with dried cranberries will bake faster, about 11-13 minutes).
- Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.