Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

If you haven't experienced the powerful punch of cranberry and orange meshed together in one mouthful of an amazing cookie, then you have to whip up this recipe. Yielding approximately two dozen melt-in-your-mouth cookies, they are the perfect addition to your fall and holiday repertoire of cookies and desserts.

A really good oatmeal cookie is thick and chewy, bursting with flavor, not paper thin. This recipe will not disappoint in that area. What's better is when they're slightly crisp around the edges yet soft in the middle. The ingredients make these cookies both sweet and slightly tart and will quickly become a favorite to fix in your kitchen.

This recipe comes from Mark Beahm, who is a food photographer, recipe developer, and the creator of the blog the Sunday Baker. "These are definitely cozy fall and winter flavors. I love making cookies for friends and family, especially around the holidays. I think they'd be perfect for a cookie swap," Beahm told Mashed.

Gather the dry ingredients for your cranberry orange oatmeal cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In the meantime, sift or whisk together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, half of a teaspoon of cinnamon, half of a teaspoon of baking soda, and one-fourth of a teaspoon of salt. If you don't have experience using a sift, it's a wire or mesh kitchen utensil designed to break up any lumps in the flour while aerating the flour by pushing it through the mesh or strainer.

Using the sift or whisk would be the perfect task for a kiddo or friend to help, making this a bonding experience cooking from scratch.

"Prepackaged cookie mixes can make things a little easier, but making cookies from scratch really isn't that much more effort and there aren't many more dishes to do afterwards. I think it feels a lot more rewarding when you make something delicious from scratch. And it can be a fun project to do with family or friends," Beahm said.

Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest

If you're fortunate enough to have stand mixer, pull it out and hook up the paddle attachment to mix the butter, sugars, vanilla extract, egg, and orange zest. Otherwise, a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer will suffice just fine for this next step. Beat together half a cup of softened, unsalted butter with two-thirds of a cup of light brown sugar, one-third of a cup of granulated sugar, one egg at room temperature, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and the zest of one orange.

If you think the mix of two sugars and extra-tart fruits is an interesting flavor combination, that's the whole point. "There's a contrast between the tart cranberries and the sweetness from the brown sugar. I think the orange zest helps to balance that contrast. Plus, orange and cranberry are a classic combination," Beahm said.

Add the cranberries, oats, and pecans

Stir into the wet ingredients one and a half cups of oats, one cup of dried cranberries, and half a cup of chopped toasted pecans. The addition of the oats help accentuate the chewy texture of these cookies, Beahm explained.

"They're crisp on the edges and chewy on the inside and oats make these a heartier cookie, which is what I'm looking for when it starts to get cold outside," he said. "I think the cranberries add a nice zing to balance out the warmth from the cinnamon and the sweetness in these cookies."

If you aren't a fan of toasted pecans or have an allergy, walnuts can be used as a substitute or nuts can be left out altogether.

"I love the flavor of pecans and their sweetness. I think these cookies are great with either pecans or walnuts. But they're totally optional," he said.

Scoop the cranberry orange oatmeal cookie dough into balls

Fold the bowl of dry ingredients into the mixing bowl until just blended. Grab a cookie scoop to form the perfect sized balls of dough for baking and be sure to leave at least two inches between the cookies.

"I like to use a cookie scoop because it helps get even-sized cookies. If you don't have a cookie scoop, you can use two spoons, one to scoop the dough and the other to help shape and release the dough from the other spoon. Aim for about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie," Beahm recommends.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges have just begun to brown. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Do the cookies need parchment paper or cooking spray?

Should you be using parchment paper or cooking spray to get the best bake for these cookies? Beahm prefers to use parchment paper instead of cooking spray for his cranberry orange oatmeal cookies. Greasing the cookie sheet can make the cookies spread out too thin and lose their chewy thickness.

"I always bake with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. I never have to worry about things sticking and it helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much," he said.

One perk of using parchment paper is that there's no need to clean the baking pans when you're done. Just wad up the parchment paper and throw it away. Or, if parchment paper is a bit pricey for you, reuse it with each batch of cookies until the paper gets dirty, becomes a bit brittle, or it has dark stains.

A gluten-free version of cranberry orange oatmeal cookies

Many people are eating gluten-free nowadays and while Beahm hasn't attempted to convert this delicious and classic recipe to a gluten-free version, there's no reason not to try if you can't have wheat.

"I haven't tried it, so I can't guarantee the results, but I think you could just substitute all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free flour mix. Gluten-free flour mixes tend to be pretty good nowadays," Beahm said.

Whether you stick with all-purpose flour or sub in a gluten-free mix with a base such as pea flour, almond meal, or rice flour, these are sure to be a fantastic fan favorite — if you even want to share them.

"They're a bite of comfort. They're crisp on the edges, chewy on the inside, nutty from the oats and pecans, and zingy from the orange zest and cranberries, with a bit of warm spice from the cinnamon," he said.

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
5 from 64 ratings
This cranberry orange oatmeal cookie recipe will not disappoint. The ingredients make these cookies both sweet and slightly tart.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Cranberry orange oatmeal cookies
Total time: 27 minutes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest until well combined.
  4. Stir in the oats, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients until just blended.
  6. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges have just started to brown.
  8. Allow the cookies to sit on the sheet pan for a couple of minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Store oatmeal cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Calories per Serving 152
Total Fat 6.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 16.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 10.6 g
Sodium 55.1 mg
Protein 2.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe