Made with gluten free oat flour, creamy nut butter, and plenty of festive cranberries, this Vegan Cranberry Cookies Recipe is a better-for-you cranberry cookie perfect for every occasion. Whip up a batch for holiday parties, tasty gifts, on-the-go snacks, or even quick breakfasts!
Crazy for Cranberries
This time of year cranberries seem to be everywhere and in everything! With recipes like Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Chicken, Slow Cooker Gluten Free Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce, Easy Cranberry Basil Shrimp Cocktail, and more, I’m not sure there are many foods that cranberries don’t pair well with. However, my favorite way to use this festive fruit is in this cranberry cookies recipe. Paired with warm spices and sweet molasses, recipes don’t get better than this!
Not only are these cranberry cookies soft, sweet, and delicious, but they’re also made with whole food ingredients for a dairy-free, grain-free cookie everyone can enjoy! Plus, they’re so nutritious you can even eat them for breakfast. In fact, they make the perfect option for a post-workout snack to help you refuel with natural sugars and carb sources to keep you satisfied. Whether you’re making them to leave out for Santa, serve at holiday parties, or have a quick grab-n-go option throughout the week, I guarantee you’re going to love this cranberry cookie recipe! So, if you’re ready to get baking, keep reading to find everything you’ll need to know from the ingredients list to instructions, health benefits, and more!
Key Gluten Free Vegan Ingredients
These cranberry vegan molasses cookies are super simple to make and is very similar to traditional gluten free sugar cookies, with a cranberry twist! Take a look below to find everything you’ll need.
- Gluten Free Oat Flour – Used to form the base of the dough, oat flour is a great gluten free option that provides whole grains and fiber.
Pro-Tip: For a budget-friendly option, you can easily turn gluten free oats into oat flour! We teach you how here.
- Arrowroot Starch – Arrowroot starch works to add structure and texture to these cranberry cookies eliminating the need for eggs. However, if you don’t have arrowroot starch on hand, tapioca starch works just as well!
- Spices – We included cinnamon and ginger to create a rich, warm flavor that pairs nicely with the sweetness of the sugar and cranberries.
- Nut Butter – Any creamy nut butter such as almond or cashew butter can be used. Or, swap it out for sunflower seed butter, if you prefer!
- Dried Cranberries – A great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, dried cranberries provide a pop of color and a sweet and slightly tangy taste. If you want extra chunks in your cookies, feel free to add more dried cranberries! Just make sure they are dried and not fresh, because fresh cranberries throw off the ratio of wet and dry ingredients.
- Molasses – The secret ingredient that makes these cranberry cookies stand out from the rest, molasses adds sweet flavor and health benefits, but we’ll get to those later!
- Baking Staples – As with most baked goods, you’ll also need a few staple ingredients such as baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, and non-dairy milk.
- Sugar – For these cranberry cookies, you’ll need 3 different sugars including raw cane sugar, brown sugar, and sparkling cane sugar. However, they’re used for more than just sweetening the dough. For instance, the brown sugar helps create slightly chewier cookies while the raw sugar helps the cookies spread. When combined, they create one truly irresistible treat.
Foodie Swap: To reduce the sugar content, try replacing the brown sugar with a sugar substitute like Swerve Monk Fruit Brown Sugar blend.
Health Benefits of Molasses
As if the nutritional benefits of cranberries weren’t compelling enough, it turns out molasses packs plenty of health benefits, too! For instance, not only is it a great source of Magnesium and Potassium, but 5 tablespoons of molasses (preferably blackstrap contains 95% of your daily allowance of iron.
In addition, due to the fact that it is a natural sugar, it is digested more slowly than other sweeteners and can help stabilize blood sugar, keeping insulin levels in check.
How to Make the Best Cranberry Cookies Recipe
These cranberry cookies might look fancy, but they’re super easy to make! Take a look below to see how they’re done.
- Preheat. To begin, preheat your oven, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Beat. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the nut butter, raw sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until well combined. Add the molasses and vanilla to the mixture, and continue to beat until smooth.
- Mix. Working in batches, gently add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, stirring in between each batch. Add the milk, and mix, scraping down the edges of the bowl. Once the ingredients are well combined, gently fold in the cranberries.
- Form the Cookies. Add additional milk, and gently mix until the batter is firm enough to roll into a large ball. Then, use a medium-sized cookie scoop to portion out the dough, and roll it into balls.
- Bake. Roll each ball of dough in the sparkling sugar, and place it on the baking sheet, pressing down slightly. Bake until the cranberry cookies are golden brown.
- Cool. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and let the cookies cool for 10-15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Storage Tips: Portion raw cookie dough into balls (without sugar coating) and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Transfer frozen dough balls to an airtight container or ziplock bag and return to the freezer.
Baking Tips and Tricks
Don’t Overmix. Be careful to mix, whisk, and stir the ingredients until they are just combined and smooth. Continuing to mix will result in dense, tough cookies.
Adjust the Baking Time. For a softer, chewy cookie, bake for 11-12 minutes. Or, if you prefer crispy cookies, leave them in the oven for closer to 14 minutes. Just make sure they’re still soft when you pull them out!
Decorate. Thanks to the use of vibrantly colored cranberries, these cookies are plenty festive as they are. However, if you want to spruce them up even more, try pressing additional cranberries or dairy free white chocolate chips into the cookies right after pulling them from the oven. Or, add a drizzle of melted chocolate or a sweet powdered sugar glaze on top!
Cranberry Cookies Frequently Asked Questions
We don’t recommend it. Fresh cranberries will have a different liquid component which is likely to through off the balance of wet and dry ingredients in the dough.
Leftover cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Yes! Store baked cookies in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Or, freeze cookie dough balls for up to 3 months.
It’s not necessary to soak dried cranberries before baking! We already tested, tasted, and re-tested this cranberry cookies recipe to make sure that all the portions and flavors are in check. So, all you have to do is follow the instructions in the recipe card below!
More Gluten Free Holiday Cookie Recipes
Whether you’re preparing a cookie tray for Santa, contributing to a bake sale, or just spending a cozy day in the kitchen, we’ve got you covered with all the best gluten free cookie recipes!
Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!