Fresh Cranberry Lemon Cookies

These cranberry lemon cookies are made with fresh cranberries and topped with a sweet lemon glaze!

Fresh Cranberry Lemon Cookies

I wish I could fit the words “melt in your mouth” somewhere in the title of these cookies. These fresh cranberry lemon cookies are absolutely amazing.

Maybe I’m the last person to figure it out, but lemon and cranberry are a match made in heaven, especially when surrounded by a cookie sweet enough to cut through the tartness.

Fresh Cranberry Lemon Cookies

The cookies themselves are buttery and soft, and like I mentioned above, they really do melt in your mouth. I ate one before I added the lemon glaze on top, and also one after, and I have to tell you – don’t skip the lemon glaze. Even Mike, who isn’t the biggest cranberry fan, raved about these cookies.

Thanks to the fresh cranberries studded throughout, these cookies are perfect for your Christmas cookie platters! Every time I make a tray of cookies to take somewhere, these cranberry lemon cookies are the first to disappear. Please try them – I know you’ll love them!

Fresh Cranberry Lemon Cookies

P.S. You can see all of my Christmas treat recipes from over the years at this Christmas Cookies tag. Enjoy! And, as always, let me know if you try any and how you liked them.

Fresh Cranberry Lemon Cookies

Fresh Cranberry Lemon Cookies

These cranberry lemon cookies are made with fresh cranberries and topped with a sweet lemon glaze!



  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, diced

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until moist and fragrant. Add the butter to the lemon sugar and beat until light and fluffy – 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the cranberries by hand. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350. Gently form the dough into balls and bake for 13-15 minutes on parchment lined cookie sheets. Let the cookies cool slightly before moving them to a rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together, and drizzle over the fully-cooled cookies.
12 Days of Christmas Treats 2012 from What Megan's Making

Fresh Cranberry Lemon Cookies
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  1. These look great- and so pretty!

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever even tried or seen cranberry lemon. I always do cranberry orange. But you’ve inspired me. Definitely going to try something out with that combo! These cookies look lovely. So festive looking, too. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m so in love with cranberries lately! I’ll bet these are divine!

  4. I was just telling my boyfriend yesterday that I want to make another cranberry cookie this holiday season! I bake SO MANY cookies this time of year and i need something “different” – this fits that bill quite nicely Megan! I love lemon cookies too – any lemon dessert, really! Yum.

  5. I just bought a bag of cranberries, with no ideas in mind. Now these look perfect for them!

  6. I keep seeing cranberry cookies all over the web but these might be the best ones yet. I am a huge fan of lemon (along with cranberries) so it’s a great pair!

  7. Oh yum… This is the perfect Christmas cookie!

  8. These are so gorgeous! and perfect for the holidays!

  9. i made cranberry lemon muffins recently that were amazing. i have no doubt that these cookies would be anything but!

  10. I will be making these tomorrow for a Christmas Book Club party. I was thinking about doing cranberry orange, but I may just switch to cranberry lemon! I’ll let you know how they turn out and what the ladies say!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. I’m adding these to my Christmas baking list!

  12. I made these cookies today….YUMMY! If you like sweet and sour, these are the cookies for you. The texture soft and almost cake like and the lemon icing is perfect.

  13. Thank you!! A friend and I made 29 dozen cookies this weekend and these are by far one of our favorites from the bunch! I know this recipe will become a staple in our annual bakeathon. The lemon flavor is incredible and it is so nice to have something a bit tart among all the other sweet goodies!

  14. Can you tell me approx. how many cookies one batch makes? Thanks!

  15. These cookies are great. I’ve been making them for holiday gifts and they are a big hit.

  16. Im about a year late to the party, but we just made these. Amazing and yes melt in your mouth for sure! Even my 5 year old made them his new favorite.
    Thanks for a great recipe! This one is going in my binder!

  17. I am having my first “adult” Christmas gathering at my apartment this year and would love to prepare things ahead of time. Do you have any suggestions for preparing these cookies in advance? can all cookie dough be put into the freezer?

    I made these last year and they were a huge hit πŸ™‚

    • You can actually bake the cookies ahead of time and stick them in the freezer. I do that all the time, and did it with these cookies last year. They were just fine after being defrosted. good luck! πŸ™‚

  18. Megan, you have inspired me. I baked the same traditional cookies every year when my kids were growing up but last year tried some of the recipes you posted with great success on every one. These cookies are incredible. Only problem I see is that I should have doubled the recipe!

    • You just made my day, thank you for the kind comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed these cookies – they are some of Mike’s favorites. Hope you’re doing well!! πŸ™‚

  19. Wowzers! I’m not really a cookie person, as my taste buds prefer salty & fried. However, these are by far the best cookies I’ve ever eaten! Yummy!!! And so pretty to look at, too! These will now be my holiday cookies thanks to you! (And btw, I doubled the recipe and wound up with 60 golf ball sized cookies.)
    I recently made your thick & chewy M & M bars and those were delicious, too! Thanks for sharing your recipes!!! You’ve made me look like a pastry chef! πŸ™‚

  20. AMAZING!!! I have directed a friend to your site… all because of this yummy recipe! Worth the effort… and I made 36 cookies with one recipe…

  21. Wondering if frozen cranberries could be used?

  22. These are so yummy! I received fresh cranberries in my fruit delivery box and needed to use them. I googled fresh cranberry cookie recipe and I’m so glad I found this! They are delicious! Mine required an additional 2 minutes to bake and they are fantastic! Thanks!

  23. These were amazing! I didn’t make the glaze because I am a lazy bum but they were delicious none the less.

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  25. These are the best cookies we have ever had!! Thanks Megan. I now need to make them gluten free for quests. Any tips?

  26. I looked high and low for this recipe. I didn’t have fresh cranberries, but had a large bag of Craisins I purchased from a warehouse store. I modified the recipe with the craisins. I will try the original recipe when I find some fresh cranberries. I will let you know how they turned out.

  27. I made these cookies last night and they are delicious. I used orange zest since I did not have lemons and they were delicious.

  28. So good! I just finished the second batch and adding frosting. They taste like the perfect lemon cookie (I did use a little lemon juice extra in the dough). The cranberries are tasty but not over powering. I also chopped them in the food processor so there wouldn’t be big pieces of bitter cranberry. I will definitely make these again.

  29. They are sooo good!!! Glad I decided to make them and I used fresh cranberries.
    Will keep these in my recipe file.

  30. I made these for work on thanksgiving and everybody LOVED them!!! Today I’m making these again but with orange zest and orange juice.

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  32. These are THE most amazing cookies. I am making them for my holiday cookie plate. I’m on my third batch because they keep getting eaten by the family! Fabulous cookies.

  33. I am not a cranberry fan, but I wanted a recipe to use up some I had, I cannot waste food. Anyway this recipe is where I landed and I could not be more pleased with the results. These cookies are fabulous! Thank you for sharing your recipe, it’s a keeper and I will be making these again!

  34. These are seriously yummy. Β We like less sugary treats, so leaving off the glaze was perfect. Β They were supposed to be for the girls at the office…

  35. Just made these. They are the best cookies ever. Β They melt in your mouth, and they are sweet and sour at the same time. I will , in fact , have to HIDE these from my husband, or else ther will not be any when I get home tonight after work. I had to stop myself at four cookies. Β He will not be able to.. Guaranteed.Β 

  36. These are soooooo good!! I made a batch and it was gone in minutes! Thank you for a great recipe, these will be my go-to this winter season πŸ™‚

  37. I googled fresh cranberry cookies. These came up. They were fantastic. Almost a cookie cake.Β 

  38. These are amazing! I’ve made them several times since last year, when I discovered the recipe via Pinterest… the lemon glaze MAKES these, and they are SO good!
    If you like the flavors of the cranberry bliss bars, but not how terribly sweet they are, you should try these.

  39. These cookies are my new favorite Christmas cookie. I received a batch as a gift and begged for the recipe. Very easy to make, they look elegant with the cranberries and the glaze balances the tartness of cranberries. Since then, I’ve made them several times to give away to someone special. What a hit!Β 

  40. dumb question: is it 1 1/2 cup of cranberries before they are diced or is it measured after they are diced?

    • Not a dumb question! Measure them first, then dice. If they were measured after they were diced the measurement would read “1 1/2 cups diced fresh cranberries”

  41. I was looking to include a vegan selection on my holiday sweet plate to accommodate guests who avoid animal products and don’t like things overly sweet. These were so good, you’d never know I swapped the butter for vegan butter (Earth Balance) and subbed 4 tbsp of unsweetened applesauce for the egg. Rave reviews from vegan and non-vegan guests, and the substitutions were beyond simple. I’m not sure I want to try the dairy/egg version now in case I like them more than the vegan version, which are really delicious and have been requested for our next gathering. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  42. Iv been baking these cookies since 2015 its my favorite cookie on my way to store now to get the things now

  43. You might be my new best friend. I hardcore LOOOOOVE these! Thanks for the great recipe.

  44. Can I use frozen crganberries?

  45. Have been making these for a few years and they are always a hit. Everyone comments on how different they are and how the flavor combination is outstanding. I noticed in a previous reply that you have frozen them before. Can you tell me if you glazed them before or after freezing? Thanks!

  46. Someone else asked this question and I didn’t see that anyone had answered it. I am also wondering if I can use frozen cranberries? I also but a big bag around thanksgiving and freeze them. 2 cups per baggie. I also just got done zesting lemons and freezing both the zest and the lemons. Whenever I need lemon zest or lemons I just grab some out of the freezer. I use a lot of lemons! These sound delish!!

    • I haven’t tried it with frozen cranberries, but I’m guessing it would work? If you try it, let me know how they turn out! And great idea for the lemons!

  47. Hi Megan,
    I made the cookies just as the recipe, but they came flat! like a pan cake.
    They taste delicious but not looking like a cookie. I wonder why they came flat?
    Any ideas.? In your recipe is included only 1/2 tsp of baking powder for 2 1/4 cups of flour, Am I missing any other leavener?

  48. I love cranberry and I just love this dessert recipe, I will try to make it at my home today, thanks for sharing megan.

  49. How many cookies does this recipe make? Sorry not seeing it and I need to make 4 dozen.

  50. Can i freeze the balls of dough then bake/glaze latter?

  51. I made these but they fall apart. I followed directions to a T. Any suggestions as to what went wrong?

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