Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cookies

These sparkling orange cranberry cookies cookies are bursting with bright citrus and cranberry flavor, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with sugar. The epitome of holiday cheer!

Okay it’s time to crank things up a notch. Christmas less than 3 week away so I decided to pull out the big guns for this week’s cookie recipe. Let’s get festive, guys. Sparkling cranberry orange cookies are loaded with classic holiday flavor and look absolutely stunning when sprinkled with sugar.

Not only do these cookies taste amazing, they will make any holiday party table look a little extra special. They are also very easy to package up and give as a gift.

Overhead photo of cranberry shortbread cookies on a white plate and baking pan.

The base for this recipe is a basic butter cookie dough. To this basic dough, we will add fresh orange zest that adds bright, citrus flavor. Then dried cranberries are folded in. After chilling for a couple hours in the fridge, the dough it rolled out and cut into circles (but feel free to use whatever shape you like!).

Finally, they are dipped in melted white chocolate and sprinkled with gorgeous sparkling sugar. This step pushes these cookies over the top to impress-your-guests status.

One of the keys to the rich, tender texture of these cookies is the addition of a single egg yolk. This will add some additional richness to the dough and will also make it easier to roll out.

Try to resist over-mixing here! Any extra mixing of the dough will create a tougher cookie in the end. If using a stand mixer, I generally only mix for a few seconds after adding the flour to the wet ingredients. Then I gently mix the rest my hand with a spatula. Hint: Add the cranberries in at this time while you’re incorporating the last bits of flour!

overhead photo of 4 rows of cranberry orange cookies on a baking sheet

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cookies

These sparkling orange cranberry cookies cookies are bursting with bright citrus and cranberry flavor, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with sugar.
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time10 mins
Servings: 40 cookies (approx.)


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sparkling sugar


  • Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add the salt, orange zest, vanilla and egg yolk and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  • Add the flour and mix on low speed until the ingredients just begin to come together. There will still be visible bits of flour. Finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the cranberries.
  • Split the dough in half and shape each half into a disc shape. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking pans with parchment paper.
  • Remove one disc from the refigerator and let it sit at room temperature until it's soft enough to roll, but still cold and firm, about 20 minutes. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper until 1/4 inch thick.
  • Remove the top layer of wax paper and use 2.5" round cutter to cut out cookies, dipping the cutter in flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place cookies on the pan about 2 inches apart. Gently press together scraps and reroll to use up the remaining dough. Be careful not to overwork your dough. If it ever gets too soft, simply put it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Repeat process with second disc.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until slightly pale on the edges. They will still look very light on top. Let the cookies set for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack to chill completely.
  • While the cookies are chilling, melt the chocolate. Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan over the simmering water. The water should not be touching the bowl. Add the white chocolate and butter to the bowl and stir occasionally while the chocolate melts. Transfer melted chocolate to a bowl.
  • Dip each cookie into the chocolate, letting excess drip off before placing back on the rack. Before the chocolate is set, sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to one week.