Baking/ Cookies/ Desserts/ Holidays/ Recipe

Cranberry Orange Swirl Cookies

December 10, 2016 (Last Updated: November 10, 2019)

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Cranberry Orange Swirl Cookies are a perfect Holiday Cookie!

Cookies filled with chopped cranberries on a plate.

Do you have your holiday baking on? I have been baking like crazy every weekend….and eating all these yummies too! Yikes!!  I love to bake and I love to bake holiday cookies!!! Slice cookie dough on a white surface.

Cranberry Orange Swirl Cookies are pure deliciousness! This is a  sugar cookie dough with added orange peel and a fresh cranberry and orange filling!

Cranberry cookie dough sliced on a board.

This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens. I have added orange peel to the filling and eliminated the nuts.

I don’t usually mind nuts in cookies, but I only wanted the flavor of the fruits this time. These cookies are bursting with freshness from the orange and the cranberries.

A plate filled with three cookies.

Making cranberry orange swirl cookies

You need a bit of planning when making these cookies. They take a bit of time. They don’t take a lot of actual hands on time, but these require two different chillings of the dough. If you have a full day of cookie baking planned, start these first and get the dough into the fridge.

Cookie dough logs wrapped in plastic wrap.

Cranberry Orange Swirl Cookies on a cookie sheet ready for the oven.

Equipment I used to make these cookies

Other Great Cookie Recipes

Don’t forget to PIN for later! Swirled cookies filled with cranberries on a plate.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my holiday recipes!

Cranberry Orange Swirl Cookies

Cranberry Orange Swirl Cookies

Sugar cookie with fresh cranberries and orange peel.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 42 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 50 cookies
Calories 88 kcal


  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange peel (fresh)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange peel (fresh)


For the Dough

  • In a mixing bowl add butter and sugar and mix until fluffy.
  • Mix in vanilla, eggs, and orange peel.
  • Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix.
  • When dough is well mixed, remove from bowl and form into two discs. 
  • Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 

For the Filling

  • In a food processor add cranberries, sugar and orange peel. Process until finely chopped. 

Rolling the Dough

  • Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 10 x 14" rectangle. 
  • Add half the filling mixture on top of the dough leaving a 1/2" border.
  • Carefully roll dough into a log.
  • Place log on a piece of plastic wrap wrap tightly. Place log on a baking sheet. 
  • Repeat with remaining dough and filling. 
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Slicing and Baking

  • Remove logs from refrigerator and remove plastic wrap. 
  • Slice dough into 1/3 - 1/2 inch slices and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. 
  • Remove from baking sheet and cool on a baking rack. 


  • Use fresh cranberries and orange peel from a fresh orange. 
  • Dough may be frozen after formed into logs. Double wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to one month. To use, allow dough to thaw, then slice and bake according to directions. 


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 44mgPotassium: 15mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 115IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cranberry cookies, cranberry orange cookies, Holiday cookies, pinwheel cookies
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


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  • Reply
    TERRY C.
    December 21, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Hello Kathy,

    I found your recipe and can’t ant wait to to try it out, in fact tomorrow is the day. I purchased the fresh cranberries and 2/3 of the berries were kind of soft. My guess is that those are not to be the ones I use since they are going into the food processor, correct? The firm ones so that the fruit even though chopped up will hold its shape when spread on the dough.

    I would appreciate a quick reply if possible. I was able to get a cup of firm berries needed for the recipe from the bag at least. 🙏🏻

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. 🎄

    • Reply
      December 21, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Terry,
      I would use the firmer berries. If you don’t have enough, use some of the softer berries and if it seems too juicy, just strain off any excess liquids. Happy baking and Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Angela Harrington
    December 18, 2019 at 5:30 am

    5 stars
    Orange flavor really comes through in the dough, love it! Gorgeous appearance due to the cranberry swirl, very holiday. Hoping to impress coworkers at the company bake sale tomorrow. Should have made a double batch so some could stay home! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply
      December 18, 2019 at 5:41 am

      Thanks, Angela! I think your coworkers will be impressed! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 16, 2019 at 10:32 am

    5 stars
    My family loved these cookies. These will definitely be a repeat year after year.
    I spooned a little glaze on top made from fresh squeezed orange juice and powdered sugar. It was a nice finishing touch.

    • Reply
      December 16, 2019 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Gloria! I’m so glad everyone loved them. I love your idea of adding a glaze. I’ll need to give that a try!
      Happy Holidays,

  • Reply
    December 15, 2019 at 10:30 am

    5 stars
    Made these yesterday and yes they are a lot of work but so worth it! Will make again!

    • Reply
      December 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks, Patty! These can also be assembled ahead of time and then baked when you need them. That helps save time when a lot is going on.
      Happy Baking!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious and pretty. Definitely worth the effort!

    • Reply
      December 6, 2019 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Julie Parker
    December 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve made 2 batches of these so far; they are a total hit, even with people who say they don’t like cranberries. I’ve been asked to “please make more soon.” Now it’s after Thanksgiving & the stores aren’t carrying fresh cranberries. Has anyone tried using craisins or the new “baking cranberries?”

    • Reply
      December 3, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Julie,
      I’m so glad everyone loved these! I have only made these with fresh cranberries!

      • Reply
        Julie Parker
        December 6, 2019 at 7:20 pm

        It worked with the craisins just fine; I squeezed one of the oranges into the filling to add the missing moistness.

        • Reply
          December 7, 2019 at 7:23 am

          That’s awesome! We can make these year round and not have to wait just for cranberry season! Thanks for giving it a try and letting me know! 🙂

          • Lois
            December 24, 2019 at 7:10 pm

            Another idea would be to soak the craisins in some orange juice

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