Cranberry Christmas Cookies

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Cranberry Christmas Cookies are filled with an abundance of fresh tart cranberries balanced by a buttery sweet cookie.

This is not a classically crisp or chewy cookie. I created this cookie specifically to mimic everyone’s favorite Cranberry Christmas Cake.

Cranberry Christmas Cookies

I’ve been making these cookies regularly since last Christmas and I am so very excited to finally be sharing the recipe with you!

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With or without the glaze, eaten warm from the oven or three days later, these cookies are everything I love about the much-loved Cranberry Cake wrapped into a perfectly sweet, slightly tart cookie.

Cranberry Cookies

It’s a handheld, slightly chewy, little bit crispy, cake-like cookie. These cookies are exactly what I crave when I don’t want to be left with an entire cake on hand.

I like to mix up a batch of these cookies, portion it into cookie dough balls and then flash freeze them.

Once frozen, store in an airtight container or zipclose freezer bag. Place the frozen cookie dough balls on a baking tray and bake as directed below, adding an additional 4 minutes for the frozen dough.

Lemon Glazed Cranberry Cookies

There is an optional glaze included with this recipe. I’ve made these cookies repeatedly both with and without the glaze. I honestly can not decide which way I like them best!

The glaze is lightly tart with fresh lemon juice, but still serves to sweeten the cookies a bit. I recommend making the cookies a couple of times and seeing what your favorite cookie turns out to be!

Cranberry Cookies are soft, chewy, sweetly tart bites of Christmas happiness.

Please note that there is no baking soda or baking powder needed in this recipe. The extended beating time for the eggs provides the necessary leavening for the cake.

You must beat the eggs until the batter forms a “ribbon” off of the beaters. Do not shorten or skip the beating process. (This is a crucial step for this recipe!)

Beat the eggs and sugar until the batter forms a ribbon off the beater.

You will use fresh, raw cranberries for this recipe. They will soften and burst as the cookies bake. There is a good bit of sugar in this recipe and it balances the tartness of the cranberries.

I buy multiple bags of cranberries whenever they’re available in the grocery stores and toss them directly into my freezer.

Sure, you can make them with dried cranberries, but you that will NOT result in the same amazing cookie. It will be tasty, but not remotely the same.

Fresh Cranberry Cookies

How To Use Frozen Cranberries

My preference for this recipe is actually frozen cranberries, though it will work with cranberries straight from the refrigerator as well.

I use frozen cranberries almost every time I make these cookies. The dough will “freeze” up a bit when adding the frozen cranberries.

This is a good thing though, as the cold dough is easier to work with than the softer dough.

Sweetly tart fresh Cranberry Cookies

Cranberry Dessert Recipes

If you enjoy desserts made with fresh cranberries as much as we do, you’ll want to check out all of these Cranberry Desserts!

Nantucket Christmas Cranberry Pie is filled to bursting with fresh cranberries and pecans. Served warm, topped with cold melting ice cream, it’s a guaranteed win.

Winter Spice Cranberry Cake is an absolutely perfect cake that takes very little effort to make. There’s no icing, no topping, nothing else is required. This is one of the easiest cakes you will ever make!

Lemon Glazed Cranberry Christmas Cookies

That Winter Spice Cranberry Cake is inspired by our much beloved Cranberry Christmas Cake. That cake has become one of the most popular recipes on this website, definitely a reader favorite.

Rich chocolate brownies generously filled with tart cranberries and crunchy pecans add up to the Cranberry Pecan Brownies that make everyone who tries them grin.

Cranberry Cookies are a holiday favorite!

This tart Cranberry Ice Cream caught my eye last year and I have it on my need-to-try list now. I love making fun holiday ice creams. (You know ice cream isn’t just for summer, right? Try this Peppermint Ice Cream or this Caramel Crunch Pumpkin Ice Cream for proof of that.)

Last but not least, this Cranberry Apple Tart is filled with fresh cranberries and apple slices that are mixed with brown sugar and spices. Made with a store-bought crust or your favorite homemade pie crust recipe, this is a simple tart that delivers a terrific result.

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Cranberry Cookies are soft, chewy, sweetly tart bites of Christmas happiness.

Cranberry Cookies

4.81 from 77 votes
Tart fresh cranberries and sweet buttery cake cookies are perfectly combined in this handheld Christmas cookie!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 32 4″ cookies


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries (cranberries that have been frozen work best, but cold from the fridge work as well)

Optional Glaze Ingredients

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.
  • Add the soft butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.
  • Use a 2 tablespoon scoop or a spoon to portion out the cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place only six cookies on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up and turned golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • To glaze the cookies, stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. It should drizzle off the spoon in a thick white stream. Lightly drizzle the cookies and allow them to fully set before storing.


Calories: 133kcal · Carbohydrates: 21g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 5g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 27mg · Sodium: 44mg · Potassium: 26mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 13g · Vitamin A: 162IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 6mg · Iron: 1mg
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Cranberry Cookies made with fresh cranberries

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Kristina says

    Do you mix the cranberries in by hand? I put them right from freezer to mixer yesterday and my kitchenaid mixer just sort of shredded most of the cranberries and all the moisture from the berries made the dough pretty wet. Not sure if that’s how it was supposed to be?

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Kristina. I would recommend mixing the cranberries in by hand if you’re hoping to keep them mostly intact. There definitely isn’t supposed to be much water in the dough.

    • Darlene Breitenstein says

      I made these cookies tonight, follow recipe to a T, I used a 2TBSP scoop as written in the recipe, My cookies spread out into very large cookies, not smaller like shown in your photograph . If I decide to redo this recipe,I’ll use a smaller scoop as I prefer a smaller cookie,

  2. Cindy Bayles says

    I made these and they were delicious. The next time that I make them I’m going to squeeze some of the juice out of my extra cranberries and use that instead of the lemon juice in the glaze.5 stars

  3. Carol says

    I was concerned when I made this recipe but OMG they were delicious. A huge hit at our Christmas party. I put some white chocolate chips in too.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Carolyn. I’m not sure why that might have happened. Did you omit/substitute any ingredients or modify the cooking time/temp? Alternatively, if you added more glaze than was called for, that might also have had an effect.

  4. Sally Goddard says

    Your cranberry cookies are fabulous. I have been baking cookies for 70 years, no beginner.
    Thank you, Mary.5 stars

  5. Suzan says

    I made 2 identical batches, ingredient to ingredient to the recipe, and both came out flat and not cakey, at all. Totally bummed


    Need thee recipes for all of them please and thank , Mary Younkin . HAPPY NEW YEAR 2024 AND SAFE HOLIDAYS FROM my Family too yours .5 stars

  7. Lindsay says

    I added orange zest to the batter and made an orange juice glaze instead. I had to keep an eye on them in the oven as they tended to burn on the bottom but once I figured out how long to bake them in my oven they looked just like the pictures. I also used previously frozen cranberries and they worked perfectly. AMAZING!!!!!5 stars

  8. Rita says

    These cranberry cookies are so good. My only comment is that I needed to bake them about 22 minutes before they were done. I have an oven thermometer, so it shouldn’t be a matter of temperature, but I also use silicone baking mats, so that may be the reason for a slight increase in baking time. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  9. Linda Crooks says

    Excellent recipe. I used fresh frozen cranberries. They are so good. You don’t really need the drizzle as they are plenty sweet without. But, if you wish. They are also quick and simple to make. I didn’t have butter so used margarine and it didn’t make a lot of difference.5 stars

  10. Peggy says

    These are the best cookies ever. I froze cranberries after Christmas and am making these in May!5 stars