Soft and chewy Healthy Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies are studded with bright red cranberries, cinnamon and orange zest. Made in one bowl and ready in 30 minutes, these no chill gluten free cookies are perfect for holiday dessert trays, gifting or healthy snacks.
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If you’re already eating your way through the holiday season, now is as good a time as any to switch gears a bit with these healthy oatmeal cranberry cookies! Swapping out healthier alternatives doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing all the chewy and ooey-gooey goodness we love about our baked healthy Christmas cookie treats!
These gorgeous almond flour oatmeal cookies with flecks of red are perfect warm out of the oven. With simple healthy ingredients combined in one bowl, no chilling required dough, these homemade cookies are ready to devour in no time!
Why Make Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies?
- Easy to make: One bowl, no chill and ready in 30 minutes- perfect for any last minute holiday parties!
- Healthier: These cookies use less sugar, contain complex carbs and are protein packed by adding almond flour!
- Naturally gluten free: Perfect for gifting any gluten sensitive friend, co-worker or relative, make healthy banana oatmeal cookies for them, too!!
- Versatile: Make white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies, add chopped nuts, use almond flour or meal, coconut oil or butter, quick or rolled oats or fresh/frozen cranberries.
- Gorgeous: Studded with bright red cranberries these festive cookies will stand out on the dessert charcuterie platter.
Ingredients for Healthy Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- Almond flour or almond meal: Both have the same effect and will result in the same cookie. I prefer almond flour as I buy it in bulk at Costco and then can make thumbprint cookies, too!
What is the difference between almond flour and almond meal? Almond meal just means that the skin has been left on before it has been ground into flour. Browse through all my favorite almond flour recipes!
- Oats: Quick or rolled oats. Gluten free if necessary.
- Sugar: Cane sugar or coconut sugar. If you are wanting a sweeter cookie, cane sugar is sweeter. You could try erythritol like I do in healthy sugar cookies and shortbread.
- Coconut oil or butter: Both will work. Make sure to measure after it’s been melted.
- Pure vanilla extract: Not imitation, pure vanilla extract tastes best.
- Eggs: For binding, I have not tried a flax egg, but it may work.
- Baking soda: Helps leaven the cranberry orange cookie dough resulting in a soft and chewy cookie.
- Cinnamon and orange zest: Adds holiday flavor.
- Cranberries: You can use either fresh, frozen, or dried. If using dried, use less. And how about just folding in 1/2 cup of leftover cranberry sauce instead?!
Have some frozen cranberries in the freezer from stocking up while they were on sale during the holidays? This recipe is a great way to use them plus there is no need to thaw if using frozen!
- White chocolate chips: It’s totally optional to make white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies but they add a lovely chunky texture and added sweetness. The accents of white complement the red cranberries in a very festive way!
How to Make Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- Prep: So, grab a large baking sheet and line it with unbleached parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while you’re at it.
Why line your cookie pan with parchment paper or a baking mat?
- It helps cookies bake more evenly and slows spreading
- Prevents cracking when removing from the sheet
- Most importantly, it prevents sticking!
- Beat: In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a hand mixer or whisk by hand. This frothing will invite air into them helping to make the cookies soft and moist!
- Add and combine: Add in the sugar, whisking vigorously for a couple of minutes before adding in the coconut oil, orange zest, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Continue whisking to combine. It’s important to keep up the whisking movement (or hand mixer of course!) to continue capturing and holding in the air. At this point, you’ll want to stir in the oats and almond flour until just combined and gently stir in the cranberries and white chocolate chips (if opting to make white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies).
It’s important to note that you will go from a vigorous whisk to a gentle fold because once the air is trapped in the batter you don’t want to let it out!
- Stir and scoop: Take your cookie dough scoop to scoop out the dough to place on the prepared baking sheet 1″ apart from each other. Cookies won’t spread too much, so flatten them with your fingers into about 1″ thick discs.
- Bake: When the cookies start to turn golden brown they should be done!
- Remove and cool: As tempting as they are to eat right away, you’ll want to let them cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before transferring to a rack. They will be very soft and cooling them will give them time to solidify. You don’t want cookies falling apart on you!
Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Raisins: Swap out the raisins for cranberries and you’ve got deliciously healthy oatmeal raisin cookies.
- Dark chocolate: Skip white chocolate chips altogether or swap them out for dark or milk chocolate chips.
Look for dairy free chocolate chips to make dairy free, gluten free cranberry orange cookies!
- Nuts: Add pecans or walnuts for a toasty nutty crunchy bite. Depending on what nuts you use, it may add a bit of a salty balance to the sweet and tart combination of the cookie.
- Zest: Cinnamon and orange are in a committed relationship but sometimes lemon just comes along and gives orange a run for its money. Lemon zest might be a nice twist, but you can also omit the zest completely.
- Steel cut oats: Quick cooking steel cut oats can be used, however not regular steel cut oats as they will not have enough time to cook.
- Sugar: You can use brown sugar or even a sugar free sweetener. Just no liquid sweeteners.
Tips for Best Results
- Don’t “cook” your eggs: Adding the sugar to eggs before the hot melted fat will help to avoid “cooking” the egg. That’s definitely not what you want!
- Don’t over mix: When adding your oats, almond flour and cranberries/chocolate chips fold in gently until just mixed. I don’t recommend using a mixer for this step.
- Invest in a zester: It’s the best way to remove zest from citrus without adding the bitter pith into your baking recipes. It comes in handy for gluten free muffins, almond flour blueberry muffins and cranberry orange muffins! Also, use zest to garnish cranberry sauce!
While I have not tested it this way, you could try. Line a 8×8 or 9 inch pan with parchment paper, place cookie batter in pan and bake at 375 for 25 minutes, check and if edges have started to brown remove from oven, or add another 5-10 minutes of bake time. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then carefully lift up parchment paper and cool completely on wire rack.
1 cookie contains 15 carbs. Remember though, oats are a complex carb which means they will be slowly absorbed.
Two likely culprits are that either the ‘fat’ was measured incorrectly or you cooked them too long. Use them crumbled up on top of yogurt or vegan vanilla ice cream.
Store these cookies uncovered for up to 5 days, when they are covered they actually get too soft, but if you like them ultra soft, that might work for you!
While traditional ‘fully iced’ cookies may not work here, you could drizzle them with icing for a festive look! Combine icing sugar (powdered sugar) and water in a bowl – you will want a thinner consistency and drizzle over cookies after they have cooled.
This recipe has only been tested with almond flour and because baking is a science I do not advise using any other flour.
How to Serve Cookies?
- Holiday cookie tray: With other favorites such as gingerbread cookies, classic chocolate chip and snickerdoodles.
- Dessert charcuterie: Make a dessert charcuterie that includes strawberries with dark chocolate, bowls of chocolate chips, chocolate coconut balls, orange slices, healthy rum balls, fresh raspberries and other cookie favorites.
- Snack: With a cup of your favorite tea, hot chocolate or coffee.
Storing and Freezing
Store: These cookies do well uncovered in a cool dry place for up to 5 days. Unfortunately, because they get too soft when covered, they don’t ship well. But that just means more for you to enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate 🙂
Freeze: If you’ve made a double batch or are wanting to freeze leftovers, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Plan for make ahead dessert, basically. Just thaw them on the counter for a few hours before you’re ready to serve and eat!
More Healthy Cookie Recipes
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup cane or coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter melted (measured after)
- 1 tbsp orange zest of whole large orange
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups quick or rolled oats
- 1 3/4 cups almond flour or almond meal
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries or 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs for a few minutes with a whisk. You can also use a mixer.
- Add sugar and whisk vigorously for another 2 minutes. Add coconut oil, orange zest, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; whisk until combined. Stir in oats and almond flour until combined. Then stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips.
- Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop dough, place on prepared baking sheet 1" apart (cookies do not spread much) and flatten with fingers into a cookie shape, about 1" thick. Bake for 13 minutes or until cookies start to turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, cool on the sheet for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool off for another 30 minutes. Cooling prevents cookies from crumbling.
- Store: Store in a cool dry place for up to 5 days uncovered, otherwise cookies will become too soft.
- Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for a few hours.
- Hot melted oil or butter: Make sure you add it after sugar. This step will ensure hot coconut oil will not “cook” the egg.
- Dried cranberries: If you use sweetened (more common), cookies will be more sweet than original recipe. You can buy unsweetened dried cranberries or skip chocolate chips.
- Nuts: Chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios etc.
- Chocolate chips: Dark or regular chocolate chips in place of white chips.
- Steel cut oats: You can use quick cooking steel cut oats only, not regular.
- Sugar: Brown sugar or even a sugar free sweetener. Just no liquid sweeteners.