Cranberry Swirl Cookies

I love cranberries. I mean really love! I’m obsessed with cranberry juice. Can’t get enough of the stuff. I wish it flowed from the tap instead of water. Basically anything cranberry is okay in my book. More than okay, it’s awesome in my book.

My love for cranberries is partly why I wanted to give this cookie a try. Simple dough and a lovely filling of delicious cranberries. It clearly had to be a winner and boy was it! The dough is lightly flavored with just a hint of cinnamon with all pares wonderfully with the tartness of the cranberries. Fruity cookies are great and what’s better is these are fairly easy and would be perfect for any winter gathering.The only problem I ran into was rolling the cookies since I had rolled the dough so thin, but really that was absolutely necessary to get equal amounts of dough and cranberry filling. So just be warned that it can get a little hairy, not literally thankfully. Be careful and have patience, it will pay off in the form of an amazing cookie.

Also, remember that the size you roll your dough log will end up being roughly the size of the baked cookies. These do not expand much, which give you cute little bite size cookies. I wanted to call them cranberry tea cookies because at tea parties don’t they eat miniature versions of everything? Itty bitty sandwiches and lots of small baked goods including cookies. Seemed like a good name to me.

Cranberry Swirl Cookies

Soft homemade cranberry pinwheel cookies. A fun seasonal treat to share with family and friends!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time1 hour 12 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberries


Cookie ingredients:

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling ingredients:

  • 2 C whole cranberries
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C water divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Scrape bowl as needed, especially prior to each new addition of ingredients. Add in dry ingredients. Mix until fully encorporated into the dough.
  • Divide dough in half. Form each section into a ball, wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  • In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, add cranberries, sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Cook until berries pop, stir frequently. Continue to cook, reducing temperature to medium heat. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Add water mix to the cranberries. Heat and stir until thickened. It will thicken quickly. Add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to mixture, stir until incorporated throughout.
  • Remove from heat. Transfer cranberry mixture to a medium bowl. Let cool for 15-20 minutes at room temperature before covering with plastic and transferring to the fridge to cool completely.
  • When both your dough and filling are ready to be worked with. Remove one ball of dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured workspace, roll out dough into a large rectangle.
  • Spread half of the cranberry filling over the dough, up to 1/2" from the edge.
  • Carefully begin rolling dough from one of the shorter ends. Pinch and seal off the ends. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, followed by foil. Repeat process with second ball of dough. Store in the freezer for at least one day or up to several months. If you are storing for longer than one or two days, toss dough log into a plastic bag marked with any important information. Things to write would be: type or name of dough, temperature to cook at, length of time to cook and potentially the date you stored the dough.
  • After at least one day, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice 1/3" thick or so. Remember, these will not expand much so don't go too thick or too thin.
  • Place 1" apart on a lined baking sheet. Use a silpat or parchment paper. This is an absolute necessary step with these cookies due to their filling.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges just slightly start to turn a golden color. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before carefully transfering to a cookie sheet to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container for several days.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel
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17 Responses to “Cranberry Swirl Cookies”

  1. #
    natalie (the sweets life) — November 15, 2010 at 10:06 am

    these turned out so good!! they look perfect! great for christmas cookie trays :)

  2. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — November 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Those are so cute and festive!

  3. #
    Paula — November 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Love the look of these cookies! Thanks for posting the recipe.

  4. #
    Aimee @ Simple Bites — November 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I can’t believe how perfect these are! You are really on a roll. Gosh, now I’m SO ready to start holiday baking.

  5. #
    Caren — November 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Cannot wait to bake these! I am going to make them for holiday gifts :-)

  6. #
    Barbara Bakes — November 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Such a fun cookie for the holidays. I love cranberries too!

  7. #
    Awyna — November 30, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I love cranberries and these look perfect for our office cookie exchange party. Thanks for the idea!

  8. #
    fooddreamer — November 30, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    These are perfect to add to my baking list to give away this season! I love cranberries too.

  9. #
    Dina — November 30, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    your cookies look delish!

  10. #
    kathleen — December 1, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I sooo love cranberries! These cookies look off the hook amazing! Can’t wait to try them. Just tweeted them ;)

  11. #
    Eve Gotham — December 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I love cranberries. They looks very delicious and attractive that I want to enjoy them right now.

  12. #
    Caren Barravecchio — January 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Rachel, these cookies were delicious! I brought them to work and all my coworkers ate them right up. And my boyfriend loved them and keeps asking for more :-)

    • #
      Rachel — January 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Awesome! I guess you better make sure you keep a supply of cranberries on hand at all times now huh? :)

  13. #
    Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy — December 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I love this! Am making these today:)

  14. #
    Sadie — December 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Approximately how many cookies does this recipe make?

    • #
      Rachel — December 3, 2012 at 7:19 am

      Roughly 3 dozen, depending on the size of your cookies. How small they are formed has a lot to do with the number you will get out of this recipe.


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