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Iced Cranberry Orange Cookies

Iced Cranberry Orange Cookies

It’s no surpirse that I love baking cookies around the holidays so I gave these old fashioned iced oatmeal cookies a festive holiday spin! They’re soft and chewy in the center, crisp around the edges and loaded with old fashioned oats, tangy dried cranberries and crunchy pistachios.

And as if that wasn’t delicious enough, I include a few secret ingredients to make these cookies extra tasty. A sprinkle of orange zest, a dash of almond extract and a pinch of cinnamon is all you need to make a tasty holiday cookie that everyone will love!

What Ingredients to Make Iced Cranberry Orange Cookies

I love baking vegan oatmeal cookies because they typically involve staple ingredients that I already have in the pantry. Which means I can pretty much make these festive holiday cookies anytime I want.

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder + Baking Soda
  • Old Fashioned Oats
  • Ground Flax Seeds
  • Vegan Butter Sticks
  • Cane Sugar + Brown Sugar
  • Orange Juice + Orange Zest
  • Almond Extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Pistachios

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Vegan Icing?

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Almond Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt

How to Make Cranberry Orange Cookies Vegan


Start by placing the vegan butter on the counter to soften while you gather the other ingredients. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large cookie sheets with a nonstick baking mat if desired.

Zest the orange and set aside. Combine the ground flax seeds and orange juice in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to thicken.

Roughly chop the pistachios and set aside.

Mix the Dry Ingredients:

Next make the oat flour by adding the oatmeal to a blender and pulse several times until it resembles a coarse flour. Add the oat flour to a mixing bowl along with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Set aside.

Mix the Wet Ingredients:

Place the softened vegan butter in a large mixing bowl along with the cane sugar and brown sugar. Beat for 1 minute using an electric mixer or for 2 minutes if mixing by hand. Once light and fluffy, add the orange zest, almond extract and the thickened flax seeds and mix for one more minute.


Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until no more flour is visible. Then add the remixing dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Then fold in the dried cranberries and chopped pistachios.


Use a medium-seized ice cream scoop like this one to portion the dough into balls and place on a lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes and then cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.


Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Then combine powdered sugar, almond milk vanilla and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix well to combine.

To decorate, spoon the icing on top of the cookie and then u offset to spatula or a spoon to scrape off any excess icing.

Tip: Give the icing a few minutes to set before eating. Then serve with a glass of your favorite plant-milk and enjoy!

Tips for Holiday Cookie Baking

Try using an oven thermometer! All ovens are a little different and sometimes – if your oven is anything like mine – it will say it’s at 350 degrees before it actually is. Baking at the wrong temperature can effect the outcome of the cookies so an inexpensive oven thermometer like this one will be your best friend this holiday season!

Mix the wet ingredients well – when mixing the butter and sugar together, make sure to take your time and mix well. This ensures that the cookies will have a soft and chewy bakery-style texture.

Don’t over-mix the dry ingredients – the opposite is true for the dry ingredients. You’ll want to mix well to incorporate but be careful not to continuously beat the cookie dough once the wet and dry ingredients are combined or the cookies will be hard and tough.

Use vegan butter sticks instead of the tub and make sure it’s softened to room temp. The stick variety works better for baking. Here’s a fun video where I compared different vegan butters for baking to show how different the result can be! After lots of experimenting I’ve found that using Earth Balance sticks (salted) is a winner when baking cookies so that’s what I recommend. Make sure t’s softened but not melted.

Recipe FAQs

How do I keep leftover cookies soft? I recommend letting the cookies cool completely on a wire rack. Then transfer the cookies to an airtight container with a slice of sandwich bread. The bread helps keep the cookies soft. Store at room temp for 2 days. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the cookies for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze the cookie dough? Yes! Scoop the unmaking cookie dough onto a cookie sheet or plate and freeze until solid. About 1 hour. Then place the frozen cookie dough in an airtight bag and store in the freezer for up tp 6 months. When ready to bake, place the frozen cookie dough balls on a baking sheet and simply add 1-2 additional minutes to the original bake time as needed.

Can I use quick cooking oats? I didn’t have good results with quick cooking oats so I wouldn’t recommend it. 

Can I use gluten-free flour? This recipe has not been tested with gluten-free flour so I can’t guarantee results, however my recommendation is to use a gluten-free all purpose flour such as Bob’s Red Mill 1:1. Avoid subbing coconut, brown rice or almond flour.

Ice Cranberry Orange Cookies

Nicole Vranjican
5 from 2 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 24 cookies


  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt I use Morton's
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick vegan butter 1/2 cup, sticks work better than the kind in the tub
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup applesauce unsweetened
  • ¾ tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt



  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with a non-stick baking mat or parchment parper and set aside.
    Zest the orange and measure out two teaspoons. Set aside.
    Then squeeze 2 tbsp of orange juice to a small bowl and add the ground flaxseeds. Stir and set aside to thicken.
    Measure the oats into a blender and pulse a few times to finely chop. About 5 seconds .See photo above for texture reference.

Mix the dry ingredients

  • Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt and cinnamon into a large bowl and use a whisk to combine. Then add the oats, mix again and set aside.

Mix the wet ingredients

  • Add the softened butter, cane sugar and brown sugar to another large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. We're talking verrrry light and fluffy. I usually do this for at least 1 minute…which isn't that long but kinda feels like overkill when you're doing it. Trust me, this is what makes the cookies have that soft, tender center we all love!
    Then add the almond extract, orange zest, applesauce and thickened flax egg and beat for 30 seconds.


  • Add half of dry ingredients to the bowl with wet ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine.
    Then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until only a little bit of flour is visible.
    Then add the cranberries and pistachios. Mix just until evenly combined and then stop. Do not overmix or you'll have tough cookies.


  • Use a medium sized ice cream scoop or large rounded tablespoon for each cookie and place 12 cookies on each tray.
    Press the dough 1/3 down before baking.
    Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 10 minutes and then bake for 10.5-11 minutes, and let cool on the tray for 5 – annoying I know but it important. The residual heat is still baking the cooking and helping it set up properly. Again, trust me, this is a texture thing and so worth it for that bakery-style cookie you're about to end up with! 


  • Make the icing by combining powdered sugar, almond milk, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Whisk until thickened and drizzle onto the cooled cookies. Swirl the cookie around to even distribute the icing and allow the excess to drip off into the bowl.
    Allow the cookies to set for a few minutes before eating and then enjoy!


Can I use gluten-free flour? Yes! Something like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour would be great.
Can I use quick cooking oats? I didn’t have good results with quick cooking oats so I wouldn’t recommend it.
What kind of vegan butter is best? Generally speaking the kind that comes in sticks works much better than the kind that comes in a tub. I almost always use Earth Balance Sticks or Country Country Almond or Avocado Oil Sticks. 
Can I use freeze-dried raspberries instead? Yes! They’re so good too!
Can I use fresh strawberries? Unfortunately no. Fresh strawberries have a bit too much moisture to work properly in this cookie. Also freeze-dried strawberries have had all of the water removed so the strawberry flavor is naturally concentrated which makes these cookies super flavorful! You can substitute dried cranberries or cherries instead though so a similar effect!
For thinner cookies press the dough 1/3 down before baking. For thicker cookies just scoop onto the cookie sheet and bake. 
Can I freeze the cookie dough? Yes! Scoop into balls and freeze in a single layer until ready to bake. When baking from frozen add 2 more minutes to the cooking time.
Can I freeze the cookies after baking? Yes! I recommend freezing them as soon as possible to lock in freshness. Just make sure they’re completely cooled before freezing. I like to freeze in an airtight container with a piece of parchment in between each layer to prevent the cookies from sticking together.
How do I keep these cookies soft? Store with a piece of sandwich bread in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days or keep in the fridge for 3-4. 
Keyword baking, cookies
Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

Find me on: Instagram



  1. Hailey
    December 22, 2022 / 3:53 pm

    5 stars
    Phenomenal! The texture and flavors are absolute perfection! Big hit with my non-vegan family and friends. I will be saving this recipe to make every Christmas season!

  2. Jenny
    December 27, 2022 / 10:18 am

    5 stars
    Incredible flavors! I made the cranberry orange ones, and they are absolutely awesome. Thank you, Nikki!

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