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 15 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
    Joanne St-Jean
    November 28, 2019 at 5:03 am

    5 stars
    Wow .. I made these yesterday and when my husband came back from work he wanted to try ‘just one’!! Lol .. you can imagine what happened next. These are easy to make and are delicious. I am starting my second and third batch this morning, and I’m sure when my children come at Christmas there will be none left. I wish I could post a photo, but not able to on this site.

    • Reply
      November 28, 2019 at 5:04 am

      Hi Joanne,
      Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment! These are one of our favorite cookies and I’m so glad you love them too!
      Happy baking!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    5 stars
    Just made two batches of these- one with regular flour and the other with gluten free flour (brown rice, white rice, arrowroot starch, and tapioca starch)- both versions came out fantastic! Great recipe!

    • Reply
      November 27, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks, Mel! These are one of my favorites. It’s great to know these can be made gluten free too! Thanks for giving it a try and letting me know it worked out! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 10, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    5 stars
    I just made these and they are my new favorite cookie! The entire family loved these cookies. I will be making them again to give out to our neighbors!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Recipe indicates yield 24 cookies, but 14inch at 1/4 inch slice times two logs is way more than 24 cookies. Am I miss reading something?

    • Reply
      November 10, 2019 at 7:08 am

      Thanks for catching that! I have adjusted the correct measurements and yield in the recipe. I usually cut 1/2 inch and get around 50 cookies per batch. The cookies can be cut a bit thinner to get an even higher yield.
      Thank you and happy baking! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Hello! Can I use frozen cranberries? Do you use fresh orange peel or the dried Stuff?

    • Reply
      November 8, 2019 at 4:21 am

      Hi Nikki,
      You can use frozen cranberries. Allow the berries to thaw before using. The orange peel is from a fresh orange.
      – Happy baking! 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen P.
    November 6, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Thinking of adding these to my Christmas cookie list. The cranberries used are the whole ones in the produce dept? Not craisins…right? No other prep for the cranberries like cooking…

    • Reply
      November 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Karen,
      These cookies use the fresh whole cranberries you find in the produce section. And no pre-cooking of the cranberries, just chop them finely in a food processor.
      Happy Baking!

      • Reply
        December 9, 2019 at 7:07 am

        Thank you I was wondering the same thing. I was wondering if the filling needs to be cooked first.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Can you freeze the rolls to bake later?

    • Reply
      November 5, 2019 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Teresa,
      Yes, you can freeze the rolls before baking. Double wrap each roll and place in a freezer safe bag (if they will fit). Freeze for up to one month. Allow cookies to fully thaw, then slice and bake. Happy Baking!

      • Reply
        November 8, 2019 at 7:34 am

        Thank you! I can’t wait to try these.

        • Reply
          November 9, 2019 at 6:16 am


      • Reply
        Priya S
        December 5, 2019 at 6:45 pm

        5 stars
        How long will these keep once baked? How do you best store them?

        • Reply
          December 5, 2019 at 7:33 pm

          Hi Priya,
          These cookies are best eaten in 2-3 days after baked. Allow cookies to fully cool and then place in an airtight container. I have also frozen the unbaked logs and then allowed to thaw and then baked. I do this when I want fresh baked cookies, but don’t have all the time to prepare them.
          Happy Baking!

          • Priya S
            December 6, 2019 at 6:54 am

            Thank you for the quick response!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Hi! I have a question that has befuddled me for a long time.
    I am definitely not a cookie baker. I’m more the type who focuses on sponge – cakes, cupcakes, cakepops. Sugar work, candies …. etc.
    Thus, cookies kinda scare me lol.
    So my question is – rolling the dough – which direction do we go? Every time I watch a baking competition on TV (every night lol), I’m generally just as confounded as the bakers when it comes to this question. Ummm… the long way? Or the short way? AND does it differ per recipe? (Lord NO! Lol)
    For this particular recipe, do we start at the 14” side and roll that way? So the log would end up being 14” wide? Yes?
    Or should it be 10” in the end?
    Most times it’s not specified, leading me to believe there’s some standard (?) I’m unaware of. Like – always go with the longest side. Or ….. ??
    Thanks for any clarity you can shed!
    Rachael 🧁 😉

    • Reply
      February 27, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Rachael,
      Thanks for a great question! You can roll it either way. If you roll it with the shorter side, you will end up with larger round cookies. If you roll the longer side you will end up with smaller round cookies and you will have more cookies! I usually roll so my log ends up as long as possible – so I place the longer side on the bottom and top. Then I start at the bottom and roll up. My log will end up 14″ long when done this way.
      Good luck making cookies! 🙂

  • Reply
    Emilie Ahern
    December 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    5 stars
    I have made 12 dozen of these this month alone!! They are so good! We like them exactky how you wrote the recipe and also love dipping one cut-side in chunky sugar crystals before baking. It adds nice texture and shine!

    • Reply
      December 16, 2017 at 7:34 am

      You are on a cookie baking spree! I love the idea of dipping into sugar! 🙂

      • Reply
        Julie Parker
        December 3, 2019 at 6:34 pm

        5 stars
        I sprinkled the sugar crystals over the slices.

        • Reply
          December 3, 2019 at 6:42 pm

          You can’t go wrong with a little extra sugar! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sasha @ Eat Love Eat
    December 20, 2016 at 4:08 am

    These cookies look and sound delicious! You just can’t beat the cranberry-orange combo!

    • Reply
      December 20, 2016 at 4:41 am

      They are really delicious!

    • Reply
      Kayla Kennedy
      December 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm

      Everyone I shared these with really loved them! I live in a rural community and I couldn’t get any fresh or even frozen cranberrys! I ended up letting some dried cranberries (Craisins) soak in cranberry juice for a little while to soften them up a bit and ended up using that !! They were still delicious! Hopefully I can try these some day if I can get my hands on some fresh cranberrys!!

      Thank you for this recipe!

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