Perfect for your holiday baking needs, these Cranberry Orange Cookies only require 6 ingredients and starts with a sugar cookie mix! This super easy shortcut recipe for cranberry orange cookies is ideal for winter holidays and cookie swaps but great any time of the year!
Sweet and comforting, these cranberry orange sugar cookies are going to be a massive hit for holiday baking!
The combination of tart dried cranberries and citrusy orange makes for a unique cookie experience. And just like my Texas Sheet Cake Cookies or these Double Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies, this recipe is beyond easy to make.
Using store bought cookie mix and adding a few simple ingredients is my favorite way to make bakery-quality cookies without spending hours in the kitchen!
- Use store bought sugar cookie mix as the base for this recipe to save time on prep.
- The microwave can soften your butter in seconds!
What you will need to make this orange cranberry cookies recipe:
Scroll down to printable recipe for exact ingredient quantities.
- Sugar cookie mix - Betty Crocker is what I tested with but be sure to ignore the package directions and follow mine.
- Cranberries - You'll want to use sweetened, dried cranberries like Craisins.
- Orange rind - Break out your microplane zester for fresh and aromatic orange zest!
How to make these cranberry cookies
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
- Beat butter until creamy, then add the egg.
- Add in the cookie mix.
- Beat until everything is well combined and the dough sticks together when you pinch it, then stir in cranberries.
- Zest the orange rind to get at least 1 tablespoon and combine orange rind with granulated sugar.
- Roll balls of cookie dough in the orange sugar.
- Bake the cookies according to the printable recipe below, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Save the orange sugar! Don't toss it. Stir it into hot tea or coffee or sprinkle on streusel muffins.
I have to pace myself. I could eat this whole pan of these soft and chewy cookies.
If you forgot to leave out the butter so it can soften (we all do it sometimes!) you can soften it in the microwave. Zap it on HIGH for about 8 seconds, then turn it over and give it another 7 seconds or so. You want it very soft but not melted.
Substitutions & Variations
Trade "this" for "that" in this cranberry orange cookies recipe for additional flavors or textures.
- White chocolate orange cranberry cookies - Add about half a cup of white chocolate chips to your batter for extra pockets of sweetness.
- Nuts - For some nutty flavor and crunchy texture, add chopped nuts like pecans, almonds, pistachios, or walnuts.
- Dried fruit - If you're out of cranberries or just want some additional fruity flavor, you can use raisins, currants, chopped dates, or dried cherries.
- Homemade dough - I like to use the store bought cookie mix as a shortcut, but feel free to use any homemade sugar cookie dough as the base for this recipe if you prefer!
Most sugar cookie mixes you'll find in stores contain a mixture of sugar, wheat flour, some kind of leavening like baking soda or baking powder, a bit of salt, and sometimes a dairy ingredient.
This recipe can also be made using snickerdoodle cookie mix! Either reserve the cinnamon sugar packet that comes with the mix, or use that with the orange zest instead of granulated sugar.
- To Store. Keep your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They should last up to a week if you keep them in a place that's cool and dry.
- To Freeze. If you need your cookies to last longer, store them in airtight freezer bags. Use parchment paper or wax paper between layers if necessary, and be sure to squeeze out any excess air.
If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
Shortcut Cranberry Orange Sugar Cookies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, very soft
- 1 large egg
- 1 17.5 ounce package sugar cookie mix (such as Betty Crocker)
- 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries (such as Craisins)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange rind from one orange
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- I like to use the microwave to soften cold butter. Microwave (1100 watts) the stick of butter in the wrapper for 8 seconds. Turn the stick of butter over and microwave 7 additional seconds or until very soft but not melted.
- Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand or stand mixer until creamy. Add the egg and beat until the egg is combined with the butter.
- Add the cookie mix and beat just until the cookie mixture is combined. The texture will be slightly crumbly but will stick together when pressed together. Stir in the cranberries.
- Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. I like to use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, then roll them into balls.
- Combine the sugar and the grated orange rind. I find it works best using my fingers to rub the orange rind into the sugar.
- Roll each ball into the orange sugar and place them on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Slightly flatten the cookies with your fingertips. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set in the middle. The bottoms of the cookies will barely start to turn golden. Cookies will firm up as they cool.
- Snickerdoodle cookie mix can be used and just save the cinnamon sugar packet for another use.
- Stir in 1/2 cup white chocolate chips.
- Stir in 1/2 cup pecans, walnuts, almonds, or pistachios.
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.