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place of cranberry orange cookies with icing drizzled on top of each.

Cranberry Orange Icebox Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 37 reviews
  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes (includes dough chilling)
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Enjoy a buttery shortbread-like cookie flecked with chewy dried cranberries and fragrant orange zest. Drizzle on an easy 2-ingredient orange glaze for a flavorful finishing touch. Make sure you have a citrus juicer and zester.


  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (133g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup (100g) very finely chopped dried cranberries (such as Craisins)
  • optional: coarse sugar for rolling, such as this sparkling sugar


  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) orange juice
  • optional: more orange zest


  1. In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed, and continue to beat until fully combined. Add the flour and salt and beat on low speed until combined. Finally, beat in the orange juice, orange zest, and dried cranberries until just combined. The cookie dough will be thick and slightly sticky. 
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, divide or cut in half. Roll/shape each half into a 7- or 8-inch log, about 2.5 inches in diameter. The measurements don’t have to be exact. Tightly wrap the dough logs in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 5 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I prefer to chill mine overnight; the orange flavor really comes through the longer this dough sits!
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. Optional rolling in sugar: Pour enough coarse sugar on an 8-inch or larger plate to cover it. Roll the logs in the sugar. You may need to really press the dough logs down into the sugar if it’s not really sticking. (I find coating the dough logs in sugar after chilling much easier, as the dough is too sticky to neatly roll in sugar right after mixing.)
  5. Slice each dough log into 12 equally thick cookies and arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake the cookies for 13–15 minutes or until very lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice together. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Feel free to top each with more orange zest while icing is still wet. The icing sets after 30–60 minutes, so you can easily store, stack, and transport the cookies.
  8. Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. 


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Baked cookies, with or without icing, freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. You can make/assemble the cookie dough logs and chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (see step 2). Cookie dough logs freeze well too, up to 3 months. Allow the logs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 3.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Citrus Juicer | Citrus Zester | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Rolling Pin | Baking SheetsSilicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Coarse Sugar | Cooling Rack
  3. Can I dip in white or dark chocolate instead? Yes! Cranberries, orange, and white or dark chocolate are a great trio of flavors! Feel free to skip the icing and dip the cookies in (or drizzle the cookies with) melted white or dark chocolate, just like these sprinkle slice-and-bake cookies or these dark chocolate orange slice-and-bake cookies.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.