These Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies are the perfect combination of chewy, sweet, and tangy for a hearty cookie with lots of flavor and texture to love. They are super simple to put together with pantry staple ingredients. Bright and juicy cranberries, chewy oats, and a sweet cookie base make for the ultimate bite.
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies – The EASY Way!
These cranberry oatmeal cookies use staple pantry ingredients and will use dried cranberries, so while these are perfect holiday or Christmas cookies, you can make them year round. Not only are these cookies super easy to make, but they have a divine texture that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside – heavenly!
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Common Ingredients – There is nothing worse than wanting a little sweet bite or having a last minute holiday gathering and you are short on ingredients. That’s where these cookies are perfect because they require butter, sugar, oats, and flour; and I bet you already have those in your pantry.
- Scalable – Make as little or as many cookies as you want. If you want less cookies, simple save the dough in the fridge and bake as needed. For more, just double or triple the recipe.
- Insane Texture & Flavors – These oatmeal cranberry cookies have that old school oatmeal cookie texture that is crispy, yet chewy. It’s a classic flavor and texture that every loves!
- Kid Friendly – Making cookies with kids can be… challenging… But, these cookies are nearly fool-proof making them really fun to make with the whole family!
This oatmeal cookie recipe is as simple as promised! Just 25 minutes for a family friendly treat.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Butter – Either salted or unsalted works, but unsalted is a slightly better flavor since we add salt separately too in this recipe.
- Sugar – We will use a combination of brown sugar and white sugar. The white sugar adds sweetness while the brown sugar helps to get that crispy and slightly caramelized outside and chewy texture.
- Eggs – Eggs act as the binding agent for these cookies. When whipped with the butter and sugar, they all help to glue the cookies together.
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla is a classic baking ingredient that actually ends up mimicking a butter texture when added to baked goods. I always recommend using pure vanilla extract verses imitation vanilla.
- Oats – Quick cook oats are great for this recipe because they help the cookies be the right level of chewy. You know – that little tough bite that then melts in your mouth? That’s the texture we want! But, regular rolled oats can be used too.
- Flour – All purpose flour is preferred for this recipe.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – We need two leavening agents for this cookie to ensure they hold their shape and do not spread or melt in the oven.
- Cinnamon – Just a touch of cinnamon gives the cranberry cookies the ultimate holiday flavor
- Salt – Salt helps to enhance more mild flavors like the vanilla and the sweetness overall without having to add more .
- Dried Cranberries – Making oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries is the perfect way to use up that bag in the back of the pantry. Plus, cranberry is another classic holiday flavor that differs from the more common gingerbread, eggnog, and peppermint.
- Watch the texture – For these cookies we want the dough to be dry to the touch but not crumbly. This texture results in the perfectly baked cookies that are a little thicker but still gooey and chewy.
- Rehydrate the cranberries – For more bursting cranberry flavor, you can soak the cranberries in water while you prepare the dough, or even overnight. This will rehydrate them slightly for a more intense cranberry experience.
- Don’t bake too long – I like to bake these cookies no longer than 11 minutes to ensure the center stays soft. Also, they will continue to cook even after they are removed from the oven so underdone is always a safer bet.
- Flatten the cookies – After scooping your 2 tablespoons of cookie dough onto the tray, I like to take the back of a spoon and gently flatten the cookie tops to get that perfectly round, but not domed, shape.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Make Ahead – Cookie dough is great because it can be made up to two days in advance or even longer if kept in the freezer. So, go ahead and make this when you have time and then store until ready to use.
- Mix and Match – Being this is a classic oatmeal cookie recipe, you can use the same dough and then mix up what you mix in. Whether than be the cranberries or walnuts or coconut or chocolate chips. One batter – so many options!
If you love our best oatmeal cranberry cookies as much as we do, we have good news because you can easily mix up the cookie types by just swapping out or adding to the cranberries! Below is a list of some favorite combinations we love and tips for making them.
- White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies – Add white chocolate chips
- Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies – Add chopped walnuts
- Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies – Add the zest from one orange to the dough
- Coconut Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies – Add shredded coconut
- Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Cookies – Add chopped pecans
- Fresh Cranberry Cookies – Add fresh cranberries to the cookies. You may need to increase the cooking time a little bit because the cranberries will release moisture as they bake.
- Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies – Add chocolate chips
How to Freeze Cookies
Cookies can be frozen before or after baking. If freezing the cookie dough you are able to just pop out a few or as many as you need to bake to have hot, fresh cookies on demand.
If you prefer, you can bake all of the cookies and freeze after baking. Freezing the baked cookies will preserve them and once, thawed they come out just as soft, chewy, fresh, and perfect as they are when freshly baked.
Both are great options for keeping cookies fresh and delicious!
- Make the dough and drop it onto a lined baking sheet in the size and shape you want to bake them in. They do not need to be spread apart from one another.
- Place this tray in the freezer until the cookie dough is firm (about 2 hours).
- Transfer these frozen cookie dough balls to a freezer safe container and store until ready to use.
When ready to eat: Place the frozen cookie dough balls on a lined baking tray, 2 inches apart and bake as directed but for 12 minutes (instead of 9-11). The edges should be just set but the center still soft.
- After baked and cooled, place the cookies in an air-tight container and freeze.
When ready to eat: Microwave the cookies for 30-45 seconds or allow to come to room temperature on the counter (this should take about 15 minutes).
If you have extras after making these oatmeal cookies, then they can be saved to munch on at a later time.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month.
More EASY Cookie Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy dessert recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
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Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Combine the butter and sugars until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between, and then blend the vanilla into the mixture.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly mixing between each addition. Add in the last 1/4 cup of flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer sticky, but it is not crumbly. If the dough becomes crumbly, add water 1 teaspoon at a time and mix well until dough holds together again.
- Stir in the cranberries. Use two tablespoons of dough to make balls and place them on a cookie sheet spaced 2 in apart then slightly flatten them.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the center is just set. DO NOT OVERBAKE! Let cool 2 minutes and then move to cooling rack to cool. Enjoy!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)