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Cranberry Cookies Made with Fresh Cranberries and Nuts

These easy cranberry cookies team up fresh cranberries, nuts, and a splash of orange juice for soft, delicious dessert. I made them with our local walnuts, but you're welcome to use your favorite nut. I think pistachios with a drizzle of white chocolate or icing would be pretty for Christmas.

cranberry cookies

How to Make Cranberry Cookies

Most of the cranberry cookies I've seen use dried cranberries and white chocolate – and there's nothing wrong with that! I wanted to share this recipe because it's a little less sweet and uses fresh cranberries. It's a little like a hybrid of a quick bread and a cookie.

When you're ready to bake, gather your ingredients:

  • butter
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • milk
  • orange juice
  • egg
  • flour – all purpose or gluten free blend
  • baking powder (aluminum free preferred)
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • nuts
  • cranberries

You can mix in one big bowl, or mix your dry ingredients separately, and then combine them with the wet ingredients.

You can use an electric mixer or hand mix – your choice. The cookie dough goes together quickly and easily, so I usually hand mix.

I line my baking sheet with parchment paper or reusable parchment paper, to prevent excess browning. (Airbake baking sheets work well for this cranberry cookie recipe, too.)

Bake the cranberry cookies until lightly browned. They will be a bit soft when you move them to a wire rack to cool, so handle gently. They set up as they cool, but are tender cookie, not a chewy cookie.

Tips for Working with Fresh Cranberries

We buy bulk cranberries in fall and use some fresh and freeze some for later. My friend, Julie, came to visit recently and brought a huge bag of cranberries, which inspired some cranberry recipes.

When working with fresh cranberries, wash the berries and pick out any soft or spoiled berries. Fresh cranberries in good condition float – which is helpful for harvesting, and sorting out bad berries.

You can keep fresh, raw cranberries in refrigerator for 3-4 weeks, but over time more berries will soften and spoil. Freeze or dry for longer storage.

To chop the cranberries for the cranberry cookies, you can pulse small batches in the food processor, or chop by hand. If using a food processor, be careful not to run it too long so you don't end up with puree.

This cranberry cookie recipe was adapted from Favorite Recipes of America – Desserts, published in 1968.


Cranberry Cookies

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5 from 3 reviews

These easy cranberry cookies team up fresh cranberries, nuts, and a dash of orange juice for soft, delicious treat.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 dozen 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together; beat in milk, orange juice, and egg.
  2. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture. Blend well; stir in nuts and cranberries.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, store in a sealed container.


These cranberry cookies keep for several days at room temp. Freeze for longer storage. The flavor after a day or two is as good or better than when fresh baked.

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easy cranberry cookies

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    1. I don’t think they’d hold up to mailing, mainly because there’s no telling how long it will take to arrive. With the moistness of the cranberries, the first few days after baking are fine at room temp, but much longer than that and they might start to mold.

  1. These are our new favorite to throw on the table for the holidays. Bright flavor, festive color, easy to make! What could be better?!!