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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

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing 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. These turned out beautifully! Thanks for the recipe and the clear, detailed instructions.

  2. Hi Sally.  I want to make these cookies replacing the cranberries with white chocolate chips also only because my grandchildren would not eat them with cranberries.  I plan to use l 1/2 cups white chocolate chips.  Should this work?  Thank you.

    1. Absolutely. I’d use a 9×9 inch or 11×7 inch baking pan. I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  3. These cookies are the best! Truly my favorite. This will be my third year baking these for thanksgiving and again for Christmas. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Hi Sally,
    I would like to add pecans to these cookies. What would be a reasonable amount?

  5. I’ve made these countless times and I love, love, love them! Was wondering, how would you adjust to make them into cookie bars? Have you tried this?

    1. Hi Heather! So glad you enjoy these cookies. You can use this recipe for cookie bars in a 9-inch square pan. The bake time should be around 32-35 minutes.

  6. This recipe is amazing! I made these cookies so many times now, so many compliments and attention of what an amazing baker I am…
    Many years ago I received a packaged white chocolate and cranberry cookies from a friend from Netherlands and they were so good. I mean best thing ever. Unfortunately nowadays, all makers add raisins to the cookie! I check each brand and the ingredients. And you all know an unexpected raisin is the worst thing to find in a cookie! (expected raisins are totally fine though). Anyway, I had to find a cookie recipe that promised the crunch and the softness of those original ones to recreate the original cookies.
    As I am now preparing for my birthday and freezing insane amounts of cookie balls it occurred to me to, to finally write a thank you.
    Thank you for this amazing recipe!
    Ps. I do have to bake them longer in my oven though (closer to 20 minutes).

  7. I tried these cookies last Christmas and they are our family favourite. Actually I am making a batch right now. I know I’ll be making another batch before Christmas week, cuz these will go fast. Thank you go much for publishing this recipe.

  8. Fabulous! Quick tip for people in a hurry: I divvy out the cookie dough into balls, place on a cookie sheet and then pop the dough balls and cookie sheet into the freezer for 10 minutes, then cook for 10 minutes at 350. No waiting around for 2hours for the dough to harden. Works great and I had nicely puffed, soft, picture perfect cookies.

  9. I made them twice and they were great !! But I wonder if I put orange’s zest would be a good idea or not?

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed them, Claudia! Yes, orange zest would be delicious with these flavors! Let me know if you try it.

      1. I use this recipe (with minor variations) and have used orange zest, 1/4 tsp of orange extract, and added walnuts and it is AMAZING. Use the juice from the orange mixed with powdered sugar to make a glaze too!

  10. absolutely amazing – the cookies didn’t last an hour after baking! Thank you for sharing 😀

  11. These were a huge hit at all the parties I brought them to this year. It’s a keeper.

  12. I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times this holiday season and many many times over the years. It’s always a huge hit. Thank you!

  13. I love these cookies I usually freeze the dough and bake mini batches when people come over or to take to gatherings. I love the tangy cranberry bite these have.

  14. Love love these cookies! I add one lemon juice and it’s zest and omg are they sooo delicious!!

  15. I tried to make these gluten and dairy free and they came out really nice but hilariously they’re the most crunchy cookies I’ve ever made (usually I try to make them crunchy and they come out soft). Due to my skills not your recipe of course :p

  16. Just made these and people loved it! A little too sweet for me personally, but it was good for sharing 🙂

    I always use your recipes when I want to bring a dessert to a party and it just never fails!

  17. This is the first time I have made a cranberry cookie. Thank you so much for this recipe . . . It was very simple to follow, and they taste even better than they sound
    Heather L

  18. Delicious but for some reason mine came out a bit too salty. I’ll do half the salt next time.

  19. I have made several recipes from this site and most are fantastic and I make multiple times a year, however; these are not my favorite. They are VERY sweet. Maybe it’s the white chocolate that I don’t care for or something.

  20. I have not made these yet. You mentioned that they are good in the freezer for 3 months. Will they still be soft and chewy after coming out of the freezer? We have a party in 2 weeks and I want to get started on cooking what I can ahead of time. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jennifer, you can store the cookies baked or unbaked for three months. After thawing (or baking from frozen), they will be soft and chewy. Hope you enjoy them!

  21. For some reason when I made these they are spreading and not staying puffy like in the photos. Any tips?

  22. What is the reason for the cornstarch? What does it do compared to not using cornstarch. Just curious because I’ve never used cornstarch to make cookies.

    1. Hi Nicole, cornstarch will help your dough remain more compact during the baking process, leaving the cookies soft, thick, and puffy.

  23. I am not a fan of white chocolate. Would semisweet chocolate chips work with the cranberries?

  24. I have made these in the past, and like every recipe that Sally gives us, they are so good!!!! They are the best white chocolate cranberry recipe there is, and I tried many others before I found this. Don’t hesitate to make this all year, not just holiday time. Can’t wait to try the updated recipe. Thanks for taking the guesswork out of baking Sally!

    1. Dana, I don’t recommend it. You can try chopping and adding them, but it will throw off the wet/dry ingredient ratio.

  25. Planning to add macadamia nuts when I mix these for baking over the weekend…. Do you suggest 1 cup?

    Super excited about them based on other comments/reviews!!!!

    1. Hi Maryann, Keep the total amount of add-ins to 1 and 3/4 cups. Staying within this amount, you can use a blend of dried cranberries, white chocolate morsels, and chopped macadamias.

  26. So surprised you chose to re-publish these ones and not this mix with added pistachios! I think the red from the cranberries and green from the pistachios is so much more festive and that version is one of my absolute favourite cookie recipes on your blog! It’s in my mix of Christmas cookies to give out this year 🙂
    Either way, I’m sure these ones are good too. Thanks for an excellent cookie palooza line up. Happy holidays Sally 🙂

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