Soft White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

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.


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 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 chewy 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
  • 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

  • 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

102 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Sikora says:

    This is one of my hubby’s fave cookies. I make them every Christmas and have for four years now! They’re delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. So glad you love them! Thanks Elizabeth!

  2. TerrySue Gremaux says:

    Can they be made larger? How long should I bake them?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi TerrySue! You can make them larger if desired. Depending on how big you make them, they may just need a few more minutes in the oven, or, for extra large cookies, they can be baked at a lower temperature to ensure they bake through like we do with these giant chocolate chip cookies. Let us know what you try!

  3. Could oatmeal be added to these? If so how would it be done?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Savannah! We suggest using our recipe for Holiday Magic 5 Cookies instead – you can subs some of the other add-ins for more white chocolate and cranberries if desired.

  4. Fresh out of the oven…delicious! Excited to take them to a cookie exchange today!

  5. I’m going to make these cookies for a cookie exchange. I did a test run last night & they were excellent! Thank you for the recipe

    1. Hello Sally from Mumbai , India
      Can I use dried blueberries instead of cranberries for making these cookies ?
      Thanks
      Ravneet

      1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Absolutely!

  6. Have made this same cookie in the past, but none as good as this recipe. Takes a lot for my husband to rave about a cookie since I bake so often, but he said, “This is a good cookie. Can you save this recipe?” I agree, this is excellent!

  7. Soo good when they are warm! Will def add these to my holiday cookie rotation.. soft and vanilla-y .. the white chocolate chips are a great complement to the cranberries..banging the pan really does help them spread .. who knew?

  8. Are you able to use fresh cranberries instead of dried ones?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

    2. I make these with whole Vodka soaked cranberries and they turn out fantastic!!! I don’t adjust any other ingredients (besides more chocolate!)

  9. I make a similar cookie, but add a touch of cinnamon and the zest and juice 9f an orange. Always a hit.

  10. Can egg substitute be used instead of a real egg? I have a family member who cannot eat eggs.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We haven’t tested that but please let us know how it goes if you do!

  11. Margaret Hunnicutt says:

    I was so excited to make these, because I love white chocolate, and they look so festive, BUT they spread out so they are almost flat, except for the bumps of chips and cranberries. I still have half the dough left, what can I do?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Margaret! Here’s our tips to keep cookies from spreading for next time. Keeping the dough as cold as possible will help keep the dough from spreading.

  12. JoEllen murphy says:

    Can you substitute chocolate chips in place of white chocolate in this recipe?

    1. Absolutely! Use the same amount.

  13. Brooke Teeter-Stocz says:

    Yum looks delicious! Could I substitute cherries instead of cranberries? Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brooke! Yes, dried cherries would be wonderful in these cookies 🙂

  14. I brought these to a Christmas party and they were a HUGE hit. Huge. Like “this is what you’ll bring to all future potluck events” huge hit. They turned out perfect and the tip about putting the extra chips in AFTER baking made them picture-perfect. Also, the hint about smacking the pan on the counter to get them to spread a little? Yes. The baking time was also perfect. I just realized that I’ve used the word “perfect” several times here and they turned out, yes, perfect. 🙂

  15. Made these last year for my husbands coworkers and they were a huge hit among his construction buddies they asked for them again this year!! So yummy! Thank you!

  16. Tamara Durdevic says:

    Excellent recipe. I was super exited to try these, but unfortunately mine didn’t flatten… even thought I did follow the instructions and did bang the pan while hot. I’m almost thinking baking right away they maybe would have spread more?
    I definitely want to redeem myself with this one, as the cookies still tasted delicious when they came out the oven. I just know they will taste better if they were a bit more chewy. Any extra suggestion greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tamara, When cookies aren’t spreading, it usually means that there’s too much dry ingredient (flour) soaking up all the liquid. Make sure you are properly measuring your flour. When measuring flour, use the spoon & level method. Do not scoop the flour out of the container/bag. Doing so leaves you with excess flour in the cookie dough.

  17. These cookies are DELICIOUS! I’ve had to make the recipe twice already – and they’re gone within an hour of setting them out. Everyone’s new favorite. I added right at a cup of chopped pecans to the recipe for a little extra texture and they turned out fantastic.

  18. My cookies didn’t spread even after I banged the cookie sheet on the counter. Not sure what I did wrong.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tracey, thank you for giving these cookies a try! How did you measure the flour? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too much flour into your measuring cups. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.

  19. I’ve been making these for 6 Christmas’s and get compliments and requests every year! My husband’s Grandma said it was a recipe worth keeping, which was a compliment of the highest honour.

  20. Hi. I have salted butter on hand. Should I omit the salt if using salted butter?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ruby, you can reduce the salt to 1/4 tsp. See our post about salted vs unsalted butter for more details. Enjoy!

  21. Is there a nutrition label? Or do you know the estimate of calories per cookie by chance??

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Helen, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  22. I dont have a mixer. Will they come out the same if I mix by hand?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura, It will take some arm muscle to cream the butter and sugars together, but it’s certainly possible. Let us know if you try them!

  23. Can I use baking powder instead of baking soda?

    1. Hi Ariel, no I don’t recommend it.

  24. Amazing!!! I just thought there were slightly too many mix-ins and not enough dried cranberries, so in the future, I’d change it to 2/3 cup white chocolate chips instead of 3/4. Just my preference though.

  25. Made for the first time for Christmas. They are very good. I will be keeping this recipe.

  26. Laurilli J Bazille says:

    Could these be made with gluten free flour?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  27. Love, love, love this cookie. I only change the chill method. I scooped and placed ball on cookie sheet and then chilled for 1+ hr. No crumbles. Beautiful ball and spread nicely. Gonna try this with dried cherries too.

  28. I swapped half the vanilla for orange extract because I love cranberry/orange, and they turned out FANTASTIC. Definitely going to make these and eat them way too quickly again!
    I also used fresh (whole) cranberries, and it didn’t throw off the wet/dry balance too badly, ie. they were still recognizable as cookies. Adding a couple tablespoons of flour and leaving the dough in the fridge overnight helped the second batch spread less.

  29. Can I use your recipe for making cookies bars instead of cookies? What modifications would be used? What size pan for this recipe?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  30. I made this recipe today and they turned out perfect! the recipe and instructions were incredibly easy to follow. I’m blind and use a screen reader, as well as a talking food scale. I measured everything in grams. I followed every single step described and they turned out delicious and perfect. I showed my sister a picture of the baked cookies and this blog post and she said they look the same as yours, except I did not do the extra decorative white choc chips and dried cranberries. I also really liked your directions for freezing the rest of the dough and I plan to do that with the remaining half of the dough. Thank you for writing such a descriptive recipe.

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