Cranberry Bliss Cookies (whole grain option)

These cranberry bliss cookies have a soft sugar cookie base, orange zest and white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Can be made 100% whole wheat or with all-purpose flour.

For my first post of December, I felt like I had to go with cookies! December is all about cookie baking for me. I just came back from a cookie baking party and will be going to one every week until Christmas.

This is somewhat of a new tradition for my husband and I, but it’s one I hope to continue. It’s usually pretty hard to get Mr. T in the kitchen with me to bake, but in December, we put on some Christmas music, drink hot chocolate, and bake cookies and have a cozy time. These cranberry bliss cookies were the first holiday cookies we made this year so I though I’d start off December with posting these. :)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been obsessed with cranberry bliss everything! I’ve only been to Starbucks once in my life, and unfortunately, it wasn’t to try their Cranberry Bliss Bars.

Cranberry Bliss Cookies with white chocolate cream cheese frosting (whole grain option)

I’ve had cranberry bliss bars before, loved them, and I thought I’d give cranberry bliss cookies a try. I used the same base that I used in my healthier Halloween cookies, added a little orange zest, cream cheese and white chocolate frosting and dried cranberries on top!

This is a pretty fuss-free sugar cookie recipe. There’s no need to roll the dough out, though you can if you’d like to use cookie cutters – the dough is extremely easy to work with and there’s no chilling time required!

I might have made the cookies a little too large, though. The cookies were actually so big that when I laid them out for people to take, everyone cut them in half. Then they tasted their half cookie and grabbed the other half. And then took another whole cookie. I guess they must have liked them. :)

The cream cheese white chocolate frosting is the best part! You know how most cream cheese frostings require lots of powdered sugar? This one doesn’t.

Cranberry Bliss Cookies with white chocolate cream cheese frosting (whole grain option)

I just mixed melted white chocolate and cream cheese and added a little milk and vanilla. Best. Frosting. EVER! The frosting is firm enough after refrigeration so that you can cover the cookies with plastic wrap and even stack the cookies.

If you’re not a fan of white chocolate, you can make regular cream cheese frosting. And as always, remember to use good white chocolate and not the chemical tasting stuff! If you use sub-par white chocolate, these cranberry bliss cookies won’t come out nearly as delicious!

Despite being 100% whole wheat, these cranberry bliss cookies don’t taste like it! I used >a mix of white whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour in these sugar cookies. I haven’t tried them with all white whole wheat or all pastry flour so I can’t say how they’d come out if you want to experiment with the flour type. If you do try these with different flours, please tell us how they turn out down in the comments. :)

Cranberry Bliss Cookies (whole wheat, all-purpose flour options)

Rated 4.8 by 4 readers
Cranberry Bliss Cookies (whole grain option)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 large cookies


    For the cookies:

  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (125 grams) unrefined or white sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams, out of shell), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (93 grams) white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (93 grams) whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) white chocolate
  • 4 ounces (112 grams) cream cheese1
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) dried cranberries, cut into halves or fourths
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) white chocolate


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (176 °C).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, orange zest, and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (flour through baking soda) and beat until well combined.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out 8 balls and place evenly apart on a cookie sheet or baking stone.
  6. Bake for 13 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown and the middle appears to be set.
  7. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, and then remove the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the cream cheese white chocolate frosting.
  9. Melt the white chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl at 50% power.
  10. Stir until smooth.
  11. Add the cream cheese, milk, and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  12. When the cookies have completely cooled, spread the frosting over the cookies (a little more than a tablespoon per cookie).
  13. Sprinkle the cookies with the dried cranberries.
  14. Melt the white chocolate and, using a fork, drizzle the melted white chocolate over the dried cranberries.
  15. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.


  1. If you live in Germany or somewhere else where they don't have American style brick cream cheese, simply leave the milk out of the frosting.

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29 comments on “Cranberry Bliss Cookies (whole grain option)” — Add one!

  • CJ says
    September 16, 2017 @ 10:01 am

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I just wanted to clarify before I made these gorgeous cookies; Do they need two separate 3/4 cups of flour for a total of 1.5 cups of flour? OR do they only need 3/4 of your preferred choice of flour?

    • Erin replies to CJ
      September 16, 2017 @ 10:28 am

      They need 1 1/2 cups of flour. If you want to use AP flour, then you can use 1 1/2 cups of that. But if you want to use whole wheat, then you have to use the combination of 3/4 cup white whole wheat and 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour. :)

      • CJ replies to Erin
        September 16, 2017 @ 11:43 am

        Thank you! I actually am planning on using gluten free flour and dairy free milk & cream cheese to make this a low fodmap cookie. I want to try it out before bringing it to Thanksgiving!

        • Erin replies to CJ
          September 17, 2017 @ 7:37 pm

          Trying it out first sounds like a good idea. :) I’d love to hear how your GF version goes!

  • Sammie says
    December 16, 2016 @ 6:54 pm

    Oh my oh my. I love the combination of cranberries and white chocolate, especially on a healthier cookie base. I’m not sure there is such thing a ‘too big a cookie!’.
    I’m pinning to make these as soon as possible.

    • Erin replies to Sammie
      December 18, 2016 @ 8:16 pm

      Haha. I think I agree with you! Thanks for pinning. :)

  • HeaherG
    November 15, 2015 @ 11:10 pm

    Erin, your recipes are always so darn good!!! I didn’t have an orange to zest, or cranberries on hand. I used lemon instead of orange zest, swapped spelt flour for the wheat flour and added lemon extract to the frosting, omitting the topping. They are the most delicious lemon frosted cookies! I have cranberries and orange on my shopping list for an unaltered batch. If they’re anything like the lemon ones, they’ll be amazing!

    • Erin replies to HeaherG
      November 16, 2015 @ 7:38 pm

      Aww, thanks! I’m so happy that they came out well. I love your changes and I can’t wait to try a lemon version of this cookie! I’ve actually been looking for dried cherries all over so I can try your last adaption of one of my recipes. I found them somewhere for something like $40 a pound so I’ll just wait until I’m back in the US for Christmas and buy them there. Thanks a ton for your feedback and I hope you’ll enjoy the cranberry orange version just as much! I hope you’ve been well. :)

  • Kristen says
    December 5, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

    Do you think I could freeze these after frosting? I like doing my Christmas baking ahead of time :)

    • Erin replies to Kristen
      December 5, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

      I’m not sure. I would normally advise against freezing cream cheese treats but I think this icing would actually be okay! You could also freeze the baked cookies and just add the frosting later. I hope you’ll enjoy them! :)

  • Josie - Self Serve Frozen Yogurt
    December 9, 2013 @ 6:18 am

    This is really a great and healthy Recipe. Would like to say Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Love to try this. Please continue sharing such delicious recipe.

    • Erin replies to Josie – Self Serve Frozen Yogurt
      December 9, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

      I hope you’ll like the cookies! And I’ll definitely continue sharing such healthy and yummy recipes. :) Thanks for your kind comment!

  • Gabriela Aguilar says
    December 6, 2013 @ 1:33 am

    Awesome cookies

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog says
    December 4, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    I want an entire batch to myself. Yum! Pinned.

  • Maria G.
    December 4, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    I think that such cakes are perfect for any holiday. I think that they can even be baked for wedding, because they look very smart and according to the recipe, they should be tasty.

  • Rachel @ Bakerita says
    December 4, 2013 @ 6:04 am

    I’ve never had a Cranberry Bliss Bar either, but these cookies look soo good! I can’t believe you’ve only been to Starbucks once! Mind blown. But for real, those are some good looking cookies.

    • Erin replies to Rachel @ Bakerita
      December 4, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

      I don’t like coffee, which probably explains it! ;) And you HAVE to try the bars!

  • Rose | The Clean Dish
    December 3, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

    I want to win :)
    Awesome Giveaway, Erin!!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says
    December 3, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    Erin, these are PERFECT.

  • Jeannette says
    December 3, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

    these look so amazing!!!!! what a great variation on the bar recipe!

    • Erin replies to Jeannette
      December 4, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

      Thanks! And yeah… love the bars but these are amazing, too! :)

  • Shashi @ says
    December 3, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

    Love these healthier cookies – they look adorable!

  • Tracey says
    December 3, 2013 @ 3:24 am

    I’ve never had the Starbucks cranberry bliss bars, but I actually made a homemade version I’ll be posting soon :) Your cookies look like a much, much healthier option! I love the simplicity of the frosting, trying them asap!

    • Erin replies to Tracey
      December 4, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

      Mmm! I can’t wait to try your version! The homemade version ones are SOOO good! :D

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife says
    December 2, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    YAY! Looking to add some healthy recipes to my holiday baking hoopla. Pinned!!! These look amazing.


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