Vegan white chocolate cranberry cookies that have crunchy edges and a chewy soft center. Bake them in December or any time of the year!
What to expect from this cookie recipe
- Tastes like Christmas!
- Wonderful CRISPY edges
- Bake them for less time for a soft centre. Bake them for more time for a chewy centre
- Easy to make with only 7 common ingredients and 1 bowl
- Naturally eggless and can be made refined sugar free and gluten free
Ingredients for these cookies
Notes about the ingredients
Brown sugar gives these cookies a deep but subtle caramel flavor and a lovely chewiness. Cookies made with brown (or coconut sugar) are tastier and chewier than cookies made with regular sugar.
Vegan butter, the block type if possible. Vegan butter spread may work but your cookies will spread more (more info is in the FAQ section)
Dairy-free white chocolate, either chips or roughly chopped.
Dried cranberries for a little festive cheer. I didn't include tooo many because they can be overly sweet in already sweet cookies. However, there are enough so you can taste them!
Baking soda helps the cookies spread and gives them a crispier edge. This is compared to cookies made with baking powder as shown by Handle the Heat.
How to prepare the vegan cranberry white chocolate cookies
The cookie dough can be made with a spatula, hand mixer or even a stand mixer! I prefer a hand mixer to minimize dishwashing and it's easier but it's up to you :).
First, we need to mix the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well combined. This helps dissolve the sugar and makes sure that the butter is evenly incorporated. I once skipped this step and it resulted in very oily cookies!
Next, add your flour, milk and baking soda then mix until just combined. Be careful to not mix it too much as we'll need to mix it more later. The mixture should look like regular cookie dough which can be pinched between two fingers without crumbling.
If your dough is a little too dry, simply add a dash of milk and mix. Or if your dough is a little too wet, add a sprinkling of flour and mix again.
Finally, add all of your cranberries and white chocolate and mix until combined! At this stage, the dough can be chilled for a few hours to a few days if you want to bake them later. However, the dough can be baked immediately!
Baking the cookies
I'd recommend using a small or large cookie scoop to evenly portion the cookie dough.
Definitely leave a lot of space between each cookie as they WILL spread! I have small cookie sheets (or baking trays) and was able to fit 8 cookie dough balls on each. However, with a larger cookie sheet, you'd be able to fit around 12.
This recipe makes about 24 cookies so you'll need 2-3 cookie sheets.
The white chocolate cranberry cookies are ready when their edges are slightly golden brown which will take around 13-15 minutes. I like very crispy/chewy cookies so I baked my cookies for 15+ minutes.
However, the baking time will depend on:
- the size of your cookies
- whether you bake all the cookies at the same time (air circulation will be minimal)
- how your oven works and whether it runs hot/cold
- whether you're baking them after chilling the dough
After baking the cookies, allow them to completely cool on the tray and enjoy!
Expert Tips + Customisations
I personally haven't tested these with gluten-free flour so can't vouch for results. However, with similar cookie recipes, I've had luck with substituting the flour with 50% almond flour and 50% gluten-free all-purpose flour. I've included the ingredient quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Yes, I've tried reducing the sugar by 15% and they worked decently. However, when reducing the sugar in a cookie recipe, your cookies will be drier, cakier and won't spread as much. You can see the difference in this post by King Arthur Baking.
Alternatively, using coconut sugar instead of brown sugar will make the cookies taste less sweet!
I haven't tried it myself for this recipe but it should work. I'd recommend using the coconut oil while it's solid or slightly softened and adding a generous pinch of salt to mimic the buttery flavour. Coconut oil melts at a lower temperature than butter so I'd recommend chilling your dough before you bake them. Cookies made with coconut oil will change the depth of flavour of the final result.
I haven't tried it myself but it should work with a few adjustments. Margarine is the same as butter but contains more water. If you use it, simply omit the milk and add it 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. Your cookies will also spread more.
Yes! Possible substitutes include regular dairy-free chocolate, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, other dried fruit etc.
Need more cookies?
Vegan White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Vegan chocolate chip cookies
- 1 ½ cups (280g) light brown sugar, dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ⅔ cup (150g) vegan butter, room temperature (note 1)
- ~6 tablespoons (95g) dairy-free milk, or water, as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 2 ½ cups (315g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 2 for gluten free)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of any good quality salt, if using unsalted butter
- 150 g roughly chopped dairy free white chocolate or chocolate chips
- 125 g dried cranberries, sweetened or semi-sweetened
- Add the sugar and butter and to a large mixing bowl. Mix well and until there are no chunks of butter. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined
- Add the flour and baking soda and mix until just combined. Add the white chocolate and cranberries and mix through. The dough should be thick but not crumbly and shouldn't stick to the side of the bowl. If it's too wet, add a little more flour and mix through. If it's too dry, add a little milk and mix through.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (note 2).
- Use a small ice cream scoop to divide the dough into around 25 cookie dough balls. Arrange the cookie dough balls on several lined baking trays with about 5 cm (2 inches) between each one.
- Bake in the oven for around 13-15 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden brown. Bake them shorter for softer cookies or longer for chewier cookies. When you take them out of the oven, they will continue baking!
- Enjoy the cookies warm or store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 3 days!
- I haven't tested this recipe with vegan margarine spread or solid coconut oil but either will work. If using margarine, I'd recommend omitting the milk and adding if necessary. Your dough may be a little softer and will spread more. If using coconut oil, I'd recommend adding a little more salt, to taste.
- For gluten free cookies, I'd recommend using 1 ½ cups (150g) almond flour and 1 ½ cups (160g) gluten free all-purpose flour. Or use a high quality 1:1 gluten free flour such as Bob Red Mills.
- Alternatively, you can shape then refrigerate or freeze the cookie dough and bake when you need... perfect for those afternoon or midnight cravings!
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