Frosted Cranberry Cookies

Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Add'l 15 mins
Total 40 mins
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Frosted Cranberry Cookies! Glorious soft cranberry shortbread cookies with sweet vanilla icing and sugared dried cranberries on top. Perfect for the holidays!

If you love cranberry desserts, be sure to also try my easy Cranberry Orange Bread and Cranberry Eggnog Bread Pudding.

These Easy Cranberry Cookies Only Take 10 Minutes To Bake

I made a double batch of these and gave them out to the neighbors and everyone asked for the recipe ASAP. That is always a good sign!

These cookies are super quick to bake (only 10 minutes) and you use leftover cranberry sauce/jelly in them! So make sure and also save this recipe to make the weekend after Thanksgiving with all your leftover cranberry sauce.

I Love Making These Frosted Cookies For The Holidays

Confession time: I have a Christmas tree sitting in my entry way and it’s early November. I also baked a batch of these gorgeous Frosted Cranberry Cookies, built wood christmas trees for my front yard and I listened to Christmas music. I am not fully decorated by any means, but all things Christmas keep sneaking out of my garage and into the house.

I’m usually one of those people that insists on not decorating for anything Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. However, this year I am just SO ready for everything Christmas. I guess I just need some extra Jolly this year.

Frosted Cookies Recipe

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday, so we spent the weekend eating terribly and having a great time. Lots of cake, cookies and shopping. HomeGoods has all their holiday decor out…it’s dangerous.

We even roped my Dad into spending his whole weekend building wood trees for our front yard Christmas decorations. Gotta love birthday weekend guilt!! ;-)

Cranberry Cookies Recipe

Everyone Will Love These Buttery Shortbread Cookies

These Frosted Cranberry Cookies were a giant hit this weekend. The base is a classic buttery soft shortbread cookie with a twist — cranberry jelly/sauce (canned or fresh both work great)!

If you happen to not have any on hand, you can skip it and increase the butter to 1 cup (2 sticks). Then just add some extra craisins to the cookie dough.

Don’t skimp on the sugared craisins on top, they really set these cookies apart — both in flavor and presentation! I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did!

Yield: 24 Cookies

Frosted Cranberry Cookies

Frosted Shortbread Cookies Recipe

These glorious soft cranberry shortbread cookies have a sweet vanilla icing and sugared dried cranberries on top. Perfect for the holidays!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cranberry jelly/sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup craisins, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cranberry jelly, egg and vanilla extract, mixing until combined.

Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.

Drop one tablespoon of rounded dough onto prepared pan and then lightly flatten with the bottom of a buttered and sugared glass.

Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Ice: In a small bowl, toss together cranberries and sugar, set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract - until smooth.

Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with sugared craisins and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 63mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g


Frosted Cranberry Holiday Cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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29 Responses
  1. Angel W

    I really wanted to love these as I love anything cranberry usually. But since you mentioned they wouldn’t look done, I baked the longer amount which was still slightly underdone and didn’t make for a tasty cookie unfortunately. The glaze wasn’t white. Mine turned out a boring beige after the vanilla was added so they weren’t very pretty cookies even w/ the sugared cranberries on top. The glaze didn’t add any flavor either though I thought the cranberries on top would make them shine, but they didn’t add enough flavor nor did the cranberry sauce/jelly I’d made and added to the batter. They were just ok. Nothing remarkable and I didn’t make another batch. If I were to try again, I’d add an orange glaze w/ zest instead of the milk glaze but as written, they just didn’t work for me unfortunately.

  2. Diane Evans

    The recipe says cranberry jelly/sauce. Do you mean cranberry jelly(like sweet jelly that you would spread on toast)? Or can I use jellied cranberry sauce, is that sweet enough? Also if I can use canned cranberry sauce can I use sauce with whole cranberries included? Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    1. Tanya

      I made these last year, and used jellied cranberry sauce, like you eat with turkey. I think you can use whole cranberry sauce too. With the jelly you can’t even really tell that it’s in there, but they’re so good! My bf likes em, said they remind him of a European cookie. He doesn’t like sweets really. Making them again today! (I don’t flatten them, or add the icing. I found it too sweet, and flattening them was a pain. They cook perfectly fine, but don’t flatten. You can still ice them that way.) Happy baking!

      1. Diane Evans

        Tanya thank you for responding. I will not flatten, we are doing our cookie bake off this weekend I can’t wait to taste these. Thanks Again!!!

  3. Charlotte Janus

    These are great cookies! I made them for a holiday party this past weekend and they were a huge hit! Few edits I made to my cookies…I chilled the dough for 30 mins before scooping out onto the pan. They were waaaaay too delicate and sticky to handle without chilling. I also used some almond extract in the icing instead of the Vanilla (my vanilla spilled all over my stove right as I was about to grab it for the icing) and still turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Christin negron

    Made these cookies. They were incredibly delicious. Definitely going on my Christmas cookie list to make every year. 

  5. Stacey

    Can you please tell me how long they stay fresh?  I’d like to make them for a cookie exchange, they look wonderful!

  6. gigi

    I absolutely love your video! It turns the “I wanna make those” into “I have got to make those!!!”. I have a question. I live in France and can’t find cranberry jelly / preserves or fresh cranberries. (I am super happy to have Craisins!). Would would you suggest if I can’t get cranberry jelly? Should I leave it out or maybe substitute it with something else? Thank you so much!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Susan, sorry I have not tried freezing them myself. If you do try freezing them, please come back and share how it turns out!

  7. Connie

    Would it be possible to use fresh cranberries?..I’m not sure how if it is possible. I have a lot of cranberries but no craisins and I really want to make these today

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Connie! You could! I would up the butter amount to 1 cup of butter (2 sticks) and then add in some chopped fresh cranberries. For the topping, you could make your own dried cranberries or sugar the cranberries and then add them on top if you like really tart fresh cranberries! :-)


I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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