These gluten-free white chocolate cranberry cookies are soft-baked and perfectly chewy with a taste of sweet vanilla. A classic flavor pairing for the holidays or any time of year. These cookies are made from start to finish within an hour and can also be made dairy-free!
These Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are a staple of the holiday season. The classic flavor combination is delicious all year round, but especially during the holidays when you need a break from all the sugary sweets.
These soft cookies have a chewy center with a crisp edge. They have a strong vanilla flavor complimented by the slightly tart yet sweet dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Your friends and family are sure to love these cookies, even if they don't have a huge sweet tooth! Dried cranberries are sure to lure them in for a bite. Whether it's a dinner party, holiday gathering, or a cookie exchange, anyone who gets to taste one is sure to remember it!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- One bowl. The easiest type of dessert!
- Made in 1 hour. This recipe has just a 30 minute chill time to ensure the best soft-baked texture.
- A classic flavour combination. White chocolate and cranberry go together so well.
- Easily allergy-friendly. These cookies are gluten-free, nut-free, and easily dairy-free.
- Easy ingredient swaps. Use what you have on hand to make this cookie dough your own. Mix in different chocolates, more dried fruits, or nuts!
Here is everything you'll need to make these gluten-free white chocolate cranberry cookies:
Salted butter: Ensure it is softened so the sugar can dissolve. If using unsalted butter, add an extra ⅛ teaspoon salt to the dough. You can also use dairy-free buttery sticks.
Brown & white sugar: Using both sugars helps achieve the classic soft-baked and chewy texture.
Vanilla extract: Use a good quality pure vanilla extract here so the flavor can really shine.
Gluten-free all-purpose flour with xanthan gum: My favourite is the Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour (blue bag). Any should work!
White chocolate: I used chips in this recipe, but you could also chop up a white chocolate bar for larger, melty chunks. Use dairy-free if preferred.
Dried cranberries: I use craisins, aka sweetened dried cranberries. They still have a bit of that cranberry tartness but also lend a sweet, chewy bite.
There are many ways to change up these cookies depending on your mood. Here are some substitution suggestions:
- Gluten-free flour. Ensure that you use a gluten-free all-purpose blend that contains xanthan gum. Other than that, most brands should work the same. I typically use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour (blue bag) or Robinhood gluten-free flour blend.
- Dairy-free? Use your favorite dairy-free butter or coconut oil and white chocolate chips, like these vegan white chocolate chips from Enjoy Life Foods.
- No brown sugar? You could also use coconut sugar.
- Change up the chocolate. If you're not a fan of white chocolate, try dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or milk chocolate.
- Add nuts. Chopped pistachios, pecans, or almonds would be a great addition to the flavours in this recipe. Mix them into the cookie dough at the end.
- Add more dried fruit. Raisins, dried apricots, or any other dried fruits would be delicious in these cookies.
- Add zest. Lemon or orange zest would add great flavor to these cookies.
- Vegan? I have not tried this recipe without the egg, but you could try your favourite egg replacer, like a flax egg, along with the dairy-free subs.
Be sure to read the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and instructions for how to make gluten-free white chocolate cranberry cookies.
(1) Use a hand mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy in a large bowl. If you don't have an electric mixer, use a wooden spoon to ensure the sugars get dissolved in the butter.
(2) Beat in the vanilla extract and egg, switching to a whisk if you are doing this by hand.
(3) Place the dry ingredients in the bowl: gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Lightly stir them together on top with a rubber spatula, then mix until there are no dry spots. The dough will be fairly thick.
Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries until evenly distributed.
(4) Use a 3-tbsp cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 12 balls. Place on a small parchment-lined cookie sheet or plate. Place a few extra chocolate chips and cranberries on the tops of the cookies then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Large cookies are what allow them to bake slowly, creating a soft and chewy bite.
Halfway through the chill time, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
(5) Place the dough balls on 1-2 large parchment-lined baking sheets, making sure there is room for the cookies to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown and the centres are still a little soft.
Baking Tip: For perfectly round cookies, take a large cookie cutter or the top of a glass and gently run it around each cookie immediately after removing from the oven. This will reinforce a circular shape as the cookie cools.
(6) Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes until they have set slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy warm or allow to come to room temperature.
How to Serve
These cookies are the perfect dessert for any occasion. Whether it's the holidays, you're hosting, or you're just looking for a little coffee treat—these cookies are easy to make and are always a crowd pleaser.
Here are some ways I like to serve them:
- Enjoy with a holiday cookie spread. Pair with my gluten-free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, peanut butter cup cookies, chocolate amaretti, slice and bake sugar cookies, and more gluten-free desserts!
- With a hot tea or espresso. When dipped in a warm drink, these cookies soften into a delicious bite. Try a healthy peppermint mocha, or a homemade gingerbread latte.
- Wrapped as a gift. Line a pretty box with some parchment paper, fill with cookies, wrap, and anyone is going to love to receive this!
Storage & Freezing
Storage: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freezing: Freeze cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. Warm in the microwave for 10 seconds if desired.
Here are some of my top tips and tricks for successful gluten-free cookies:
- Whip the butter and brown sugar together for a good 3-4 minutes. This will ensure the cookies are nice and soft on the inside.
- Chill for soft and chewy cookies. You can bake right away, but the cookies will spread more and become firmer.
- Top the cookies with more white chocolate chips and dried cranberries before baking. This will make the cookies look pretty and show what they're made of.
- Don't be tempted to over-bake. Once the edges look lightly set and the middle still looks soft, remove them. They will continue cooking on the baking sheet.
- Shape them right out of the oven. For perfectly round cookies, take a large cookie cutter or the top of a glass and gently run it around each cookie immediately after removing it from the oven. This will reinforce a circular shape as the cookie cools.
- Enjoy warm! These cookies taste delicious fresh out of the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
My favourite flour for all of my cookie recipes is the Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour (in the blue bag). It is an all-purpose baking blend and contains xanthan gum. Feel free to use any gluten-free flour blend that also contains xanthan gum.
In general, almond flour cannot be substituted 1:1 for gluten-free all-purpose flour. Almond flour does not absorb as much liquid and is much softer, which may change the texture of this cookie dough. I do not recommend it for this recipe.
Sure! Just use your favourite dairy-free buttery sticks and dairy-free white chocolate, like from Enjoy Life Foods.
While I haven't tried swapping in fresh cranberries, I think that you could! Use about 1- 1 ½ cups of fresh chopped cranberries. Note that they will be a lot more tart than the dried cranberries.
There are many intentional factors that create these soft-baked chewy cookies.
1. Using brown and white sugar. Brown sugar gives the chewiness, white sugar gives the crisp edge.
2. Chilling the cookie dough. This allows the flour to hydrate so the cookie will spread slower and softer.
3. Do not over-bake them! Remove from the oven when the centre still looks quite soft, and it will firm up as it cools for the perfect soft cookie.
These gluten-free white chocolate cranberry cookies are soft, chewy, and deliciously sweet. They are the perfect holiday cookie that are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Bonus is they can be made in under an hour and are easily gluten-free and dairy-free!
More Gluten-Free Cookies
- Chocolate amaretti cookies
- Vegan millionaire shortbread bars
- Vegan Oreo truffles
- Gluten-free matcha shortbread
- Classic gluten-free shortbread cookies
- Slice-and-bake sugar cookies
- Gluten-free coffee cookies
- Gluten-free peanut butter cup cookies
- White chocolate peppermint cookies
Have you made these gluten-free white chocolate cranberry cookies? I'd very much appreciate it if you leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review below, and tag me on instagram @livglutenfree!
Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- ½ cup salted butter, softened add an extra ¼ teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1⅔ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour with xanthan gum I use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour (blue bag)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- Use a mixer with beaters or the paddle attachment to beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. If you don't have an electric mixer, use a wooden spoon to ensure the sugars get dissolved in the butter.
- Beat in the vanilla extract and egg, switching to a whisk if you are doing this by hand.
- Place the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl. Lightly stir them together on top with a spatula, then mix until there are no dry spots. The dough will be fairly thick. Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries until evenly distributed.
- Use a 3-tbsp cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 12 balls. Place on a small parchment-lined baking sheet or plate. Top each ball with a few extra chocolate chips and cranberries then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Halfway through the chill time, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place the dough balls on 1-2 large parchment-lined baking sheets, making sure there is room for the cookies to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly coloured and the centres are still a little soft. For perfectly round cookies, take a large cookie cutter or the top of a glass and gently run it around each cookie immediately after removing from the oven. This will reinforce a circular shape as the cookie cools.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes until they have set slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy warm or allow to come to room temperature.
- Other mix-ins: Change up the chocolate, dried fruit, or add nuts based on what you like. Try dark chocolate chunks, dried apricots, pistachios, etc!
- Dairy-free: Use a stick of dairy-free butter and dairy-free white chocolate chips.
- Storage: Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. Reheat for 10 seconds in the microwave if desired.
- Freezing: Place cookies in an airtight, freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, allow to sit at room temperature for a few hours. Reheat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave if desired.