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Originally published in 2012, this popular recipe stands the test of time. You’ll love these white chocolate chip cranberry cookies because they’re soft-baked, wonderfully chewy, have extra vanilla, plus they combine sweet white chocolate morsels with tart dried cranberries. It’s a flavorful and classic pairing for holiday cookie trays or anytime throughout the year!

white chocolate chip cranberry cookies on plate

I’ve made these white chocolate cranberry cookies countless times over the past 9 years and decided to add them to my Sally’s Cookie Palooza lineup. They’re festive, a fan-favorite, and there’s hardly ever a crumb leftover. There are a few tricks to this cookie magic, so let me share some tips I’ve added over the years (including reducing the dough chill time from 2 hours to 1 hour). It’s a great cookie recipe to have in your back pocket… right next to your chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies recipes!

In Short, These White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies Are:

  • adapted from these soft chocolate chip cookies
  • soft-baked with slightly crisp edges
  • brown sugared with extra vanilla
  • thick & chewy
  • easy to make
  • brimming with creamy white chocolate chips & tart dried cranberries

Plus, the cookie dough freezes easily and the baked cookies freeze and thaw without issue. If you ever want to learn more about my process for freezing cookies and cookie dough, here is my How to Freeze Cookie Dough page.

white chocolate chip cranberry cookies

Start With a Tested Cookie Dough

As I mentioned above, this recipe uses this soft chocolate chip cookies recipe as the base. It’s unfussy and welcomes a variety of add-ins and flavors. Honestly, I make this version more often because the add-ins are a little more special. You could also replace the white chocolate chips with regular chocolate chips for a chocolate/cranberry combo (or even use dark chocolate like we do for dark chocolate cranberry blondies— yum!). Or go a little wild and make my other variations using this dough: butterscotch pretzel chocolate chip cookies & salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies.

Key Ingredients in White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

  • Room Temperature Butter: If you’re looking for an extra buttery, almost dense chocolate chip cookie, try my chocolate chip cookies. That recipe starts with melted butter. For today’s version and the original soft chocolate chip cookies, I start with room temperature butter. Creaming the butter with sugars provides a fluffy and aerated base. The creaming process is only possible if the butter is softened to room temperature. Keep in mind that softened butter is cool to the touch, not greasy. (See Room Temperature Butter if you’re interested in learning more.)
  • More Brown Sugar Than White Sugar: Did you know that sugar does more than just sweeten cookies? Brown sugar can give cookies a chewier, softer, and more moist texture, while regular white granulated sugar helps the cookies spread. For chewier and more flavorful cookies, use more brown sugar than white sugar. And, if you have it, use dark brown sugar for deeper brown sugar flavor.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: For optimal flavor, reach for pure vanilla instead of imitation. Even better, try homemade vanilla extract!
  • Cornstarch: It seems like an odd ingredient for cookie dough, doesn’t it? Just as it makes shortbread cookies extra tender, a small amount can actually provide added softness to other cookie doughs too. We don’t want to replace any flour with it because the cookies could lose shape, so just add 2 teaspoons. Cornstarch also helps keep the cookies thick.
  • Dried Cranberries & White Chocolate Chips: Add 1 cup of dried cranberries and 3/4 cup white chocolate morsels. I used to make these cookies with 3/4 cup of each but lately I add extra cranberries for more chunks in each bite. Use dried cranberries instead of fresh because when baked, fresh throws off the dry/wet ratio. I usually use the brand Craisins.
white chocolate chip cranberry cookie dough

white chocolate cranberry cookie dough balls on baking sheet

Success Tip: Chill The Dough

The ingredients come together quickly and easily, but allow 1 hour for the dough to chill in the refrigerator before baking. The refrigerator is a cookie dough’s best friend because it helps firm up soft cookie doughs (like today’s) which prevents the cookies from over-spreading. Chilling also gives the flavors in the dough a chance to settle and mingle together. I used to chill this dough for at least 2 hours, but 1 hour is plenty and still allows for a decent spread.

Success Tip: Use a Cookie Scoop & Your Hands

I always use this medium cookie scoop for the cookie dough. Each cookie should be around 1.5 Tablespoons of dough, so that size is perfect. After scooping, I briefly roll the dough in my hands. You don’t need to make a perfectly smooth and round ball– in fact, I like keeping the dough balls taller rather than wide as pictured next. Shaping this way helps achieve a thicker, textured-looking cookie.

white chocolate chip cranberry cookie dough balls on lined baking sheet
plate of white chocolate cranberry cookies

And, if desired, press a few more white chips & dried cranberries into the baked cookies while they’re still warm. Accessorizing with extras makes a pretty cookie, don’t you think?!

Sally's Cookie Palooza

This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I publish 10 new cookie recipes in a row. It’s the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Browse dozens of Christmas cookie recipes over on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page including:

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white chocolate chip cranberry cookies

Soft-Baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


You’ll love these white chocolate chip cranberry cookies because they’re soft-baked, wonderfully chewy, have extra vanilla, plus they combine sweet white chocolate morsels with tart dried cranberries. Set aside 1 hour to chill the dough in the refrigerator before baking.


  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks to 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I use dark)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (135g) white chocolate chips, plus a few extra for garnish
  • 1 cup (140g) dried cranberries, plus a few extra for garnish


  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be soft and thick. Add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and beat on low speed until combined. Cover dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3-4 days. Chilling is imperative to prevent the cookies from over-spreading.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the firm cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. As the oven preheats, scoop and roll dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. The dough may be slightly crumbly, but will come together as you work it with your hands. Arrange dough balls 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. The centers will still look soft. If cookies didn’t spread much, lightly bang the the baking sheets on the counter a couple times while the cookies are still warm. They’ll stretch and deflate.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. During this time, press extra white chocolate chips and dried cranberries into the warm tops. This is optional and only for looks. After 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 3. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Cornstarch: A small amount of cornstarch provides added softness to the dough and cookies. Cornstarch also helps keep the cookies thick. If you don’t have any, you can leave it out– no need to replace with anything.
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: white chocolate cranberry cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hello, Sally ~ We love this recipe!
    Have you ever added a TBSP of nonfat milk powder (without additional fluid) to your baked goods when testing your recipes?
    I have read more than one article praising the quality of baked goods when a TBSP of powdered milk is added to the dry ingredients before mixing with the other ingredients. I have not tried it yet ~ I thought I would begin my decision-making about adding it by starting with you! I so appreciate your “scientific” explanations included with some of your recipes! The “why” of the recipe ingredients is always so interesting.

    1. Hi Patricia! That isn’t something that we’ve tried, but other bakers report it adds flavor. Let us know if you give it a try!

  2. Hi Sally. Are your cookie recipes okay to double? When I make your cookies I have a line at my door with bags in hand for take out! I’ve read where the baking soda may not require being doubled. I would not want to ruin a good thing.

    1. Hi Marie! Most cookie recipes are OK to double – simply multiply each ingredient by 2.

    1. Hi Janelle, You can use this recipe for cookie bars in a 9-inch square pan. The bake time should be around 32-35 minutes.

  3. Made this for a cookie swap at work. Got so many texts that evening from people saying they were delicious! My children and husband also surprised me by liking these. They’re picky so I thought the dried cranberries would turn them off but they loved them! I ended up having to make a batch for the family. Will probably make these next Christmas as well.

  4. Great taste and texture, a wonderful addition to our home baked cookie menu.

  5. I never knew white chocolate and cranberries would make such a delicious combo! I’ve made these cookies twice now, I love them!

  6. i absolutely love these cookies, but i did use semi sweet chocolate chips instead of the white chocolate (i’m not a fan of the white). my cookies did turn out a much lighter color and didn’t flatten out as much as the picture you posted and idk why, but i do think this is a plus for me 🙂 i’ve made these cookies a few times and with always the same results.
    i love all your recipes! you’re my go to blog when i need to bake something!

    1. Hi Laurie! So glad you loved these cookies. When cookies aren’t spreading, it usually means that there’s too much dry ingredient (flour) soaking up all the liquid. When measuring flour, use the spoon & level method.

      1. I loved this recipe so much- the melty white chocolate is delicious when the cookie is warm, and my mom said these were one of the best cookies I’ve made yet!

  7. Sally, your tips and videos have improved my baking SO MUCH!!! Thank you!!!! Also, would it be okay to substitute shortening for butter?

    1. Hi Shanquilla, thank you so much! You could substitute shortening for butter in this cookie recipe. You will lose some flavor though– and shortening doesn’t brown quite as nicely as butter, so keep that in mind as well.

  8. Sally, these cookies were delicious! Thank you! They were exactly what I was looking for. Turned out just like the pictures:)

  9. Yum. These cookies are so good. I made a small change – added some chopped pecans – but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I measured ingredients by weight, chilled the dough for about three hours. Baked until lightly browned around the edges, added additional chips and cranberries to pretty them up, and they ended up just the right amount of soft. Delish and worth a repeat performance.

  10. Hi I love these cookies I had them at work and have been addicted since. I am just wondering if using gluten free flour will make a difference in texture at all?

    1. Hi Alyssa, We haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour but let us know if you try anything.

      1. Orange cranberry with white chocolate chips are my family’s favorite scones! Adding orange
        Zest and replacing the vanilla with orange juice or orange flavoring makes these our new favorite cookie. Will be adding them to our holiday cookies for sure!

  11. This recipe is great ! I was able to fill my cookie sheet and two muffin tins (each holding 6 cookies) and still had some dough left over.
    I quite prefer how the cookies that were baked in the muffin tins turned out.

  12. My mother is 90 and has celiac disease, so I have done quite a bit of experimenting in order to make good gluten free cookies. I think I have perfected a gluten free version of these. Use King Arthur Measure for Measure flour, increase butter to 2 sticks, replaced the cornstarch with more of the Measure for Measure flour. I do not use salt because of sodium concerns, and I use only 1 tsp vanilla (my taste preference). Do NOT chill the dough. With this flour, the cookies will not spread out like regular flour. Instead, roll balls of dough, approx. 50 grams each, and flatten them into circles about 1/4 inch thick. Top with the additional chips and Craisins before baking. (These cookies will form a little crust that makes it less aesthetic to add more chips after they are done baking.) Bake the cookies on parchment-lined sheets at 350F for 12 minutes. The cookies will spread out more as they bake, so only bake 6 cookies per sheet. (These will be large cookies, but they are so good you will want every bite!)

  13. I made these to bring to my sons house. He said they were his new favorite cookie! Delicious!

  14. Can I freeze and bake later? I like to stock my freezer with dough for the holidays.

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