Cranberry Christmas Cookies

Looking for the perfect holiday treat? These Cranberry Christmas Cookies are sure to hit the spot.

Combining the tartness of fresh cranberries with the sweetness of sugar cookies and a hint of orange zest, these cookies are a true celebration of flavors. Quick to make and even easier to love, they’re the ideal addition to your holiday baking lineup.

Whether you’re hosting a festive get-together or simply enjoying a cozy night at home, these cookies are the comforting, delicious touch that your holiday season needs.

cranberry cookies on cooling rack with glaze.

So go ahead and give these Cranberry Christmas Cookies a try! They’re sure to bring some cheer to your holiday season.

  • Fresh Cranberries: These aren’t just for sauce or decorations; they bring a delightful tartness to balance out the cookie’s sweetness. It’s very hard to find fresh cranberries out of season, but they freeze beautifully right in the bag. I always buy extra and store them in the deep freezer.
  • Orange Zest: It may seem like a small thing, but the zest of an orange adds a burst of citrusy brightness that elevates the entire cookie.
  • Optional Nuts: Whether you use pecans or walnuts, these add a crunch and depth of flavor that make the cookies feel like a complete treat.

These ingredients may not be in your usual cookie recipe, but they truly make all the difference here.

ingredients on marble ccounter.

Everything else is a basic pantry ingredient! Makes shopping for these a breeze.

it’s Easy to make cranberry cookies

Important tips:

  1. Don’t overmix the dough; it makes cookies tough.
  2. Make sure your butter is softened but not melted.

Preheat that oven to 375°F (190°C). Grab some parchment paper or silicone mats and line those cookie sheets.

wet ingredents beaten and dry added.

Grab a large bowl and mix the softened butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together until it’s nice and fluffy.

In another bowl, mix up the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this to your wet mixture. Fold in your chopped cranberries, optional nuts, and that lovely orange zest.

dough with chopped fresh cranberries.

Use a cookie scoop or a regular tablespoon to drop the dough on your cookie sheets. Give each scoop some space, about 2 inches apart. Pop the dough in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. You’re looking for a light golden edge.

cookie dough before and after baking.

Let the cookies cool on the sheets for a bit, then move them to wire racks to finish cooling. Whip up the glaze and drizzle it over your cooled cookies. Let it set before you start stacking.

bowl of glaze before and after pouring.

how to store leftover cookies

  • Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze these cookies. Just wrap them tightly in plastic and put them in a ziplock bag. They’ll be good for up to 3 months.
  • If you’re freezing the cookies, skip the glaze until you’re ready to serve them.

Add these to Santa’s plate!

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The fresh berries add color and beauty to your cookie tray.

finished cranberry christmas cookies.

Full recipe

I hope you enjoy your holiday season and that this cookie recipe is a hit!

close up of fresh cranberry christmas cookies.

Cranberry Christmas Cookies

A delightful blend of tart cranberries and sweet sugar cookie, with a hint of orange. Perfect for sharing with friends, family, or leaving out for Santa.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Serving Size 30 cookis


Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 2 sticks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cups fresh cranberries roughly chopped
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts finely chopped (optional)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons cream or milk


  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Beat wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla using an electric mixer until light and fluff
  • Add dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture while continuing to mix.
  • Add the Goodies: Gently fold in the chopped cranberries, nuts (if using), and orange zest.
  • Portion the Dough: Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to drop rounded portions of dough onto your prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake: Place the cookie sheets in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden at the edges.
  • Cool: Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Glaze. Mix the glaze ingredients and drizzle over cooled cookies. LEt set a few minutes before stacking.


You can also make a glaze of melted white chocolate and a but of shortening.
Cranberry Christmas Cookies

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