mandarin orange crinkle cookies

Mandarin Orange Crinkle Cookies

mandarin orange crinkle cookies

Mandarin Orange Crinkle Cookies

Jumbo orange-flavored cookies have a place on any cookie platter. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
cooling 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 jumbo cookies


for the dough:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of 2 mandarin oranges about 1-1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 3-4 tablespoons mandarin orange juice from about 2 oranges
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt

for dusting:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar I used orange-colored sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment set aside.
  • In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest. Beat in the egg and juice until smooth. Add the remaining dough ingredients. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the dusting ingredients in a small bowl/
  • Scoop 1 1/2 -2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough (I used a cookie scoop) and roll them into balls. Roll in the sugar mixture.
  • Place on the pan 1 1/2 inches apart. Repeat for the remaining dough. Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops look set and the edges are just the barest hint of brown. Cool on pan for 2 minutes then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.


  • Can't find mandarin oranges? Sub in clementines aka Cuties or navel oranges
  • The granulated sugar helps the confectioners' sugar stick to the dough, don't leave it out!
  • Recipe can be doubled
  • If you'd like smaller cookies, roll them in 1 tablespoon balls. These are jumbo cookies!
  • I used this cookie scoop and made rounded scoops. 
Keyword cookies, dessert
I really haven’t felt like baking, to be honest. Making every meal that we’ve eaten in the last 280 days does fatigue. But it is the holidays and it seemed wrong not to make something! My family’s tradition is to make black bottom cupcakes for the family, friends, and neighbors. We don’t feel comfortable visiting anyone or delivering baked goods this year thanks to the pandemic, the recipe yields a ton and the process is easy but time-consuming so there will be no black bottoms this year.

Luckily cookies are easy to make on a whim. I think citrus cookies always seem festive. In the US winter is when citrus at its peak and while lemonade and lemon squares are popular summertime treats if you really want your citrus recipes to shine, you need to make them in the winter.

I know we are getting close to Christmas here but these cookies call for the most basic of baking pantry ingredients and oranges. I used mandarin oranges because I had them on hand and I think their skin has some of the most robustly scented (and flavored) zest but clementines (often branded as Cuties) or tangerines would work well too. Mandarin oranges are like the great grandmother of these other tiny citrus spin-offs. Navel oranges would work too, especially if you are making them now when they are at their peak.

Getting a strong citrus flavor in baked goods can be difficult without using extracts, the flavor of juice really bakes out,  but it can be done. The trick to really orange-y cookies is to load up on the zest and cream it into the butter and sugar. I think the grittiness of the sugar really gets the oils out of the zest and infused the butter with it much better than adding it in with the dry ingredients or later in the process. These cookies had a bright orange flavor in every bite. The texture is amazing too, perfectly chewy yet crisp around the edges.

Crinkle cookies are great because they take a tiny bit more effort than drop cookies but the little effort you do put in pays off in a fairly impressive way. I used orange colored sugar (leftover from a Halloween cookie decorating set) which not only looks cute but helps the confectioners sugar to stick and makes them easy to identify as orange if they are on a tray with their other cookie friends.  I am really a chocolate dessert person but even I went back for seconds more times than I’d like to admit. They are simply a very flavorful, appealing cookie that is satisfying to eat.


  1. 5 stars
    I just made these today, and not only are they delicious, my house smells amazing. I used a Country Crock baking stick instead of butter, because of a dairy allergy in my family. That’s probably why my dough came out too sticky to roll into balls. I just dropped it by the spoonful into the sugar coating, sprinkled some on top to cover, and that took care of the stickiness enough to finish rolling. I would definitely make these again!

  2. I made these the other day… with a second tab open for conversions, cos I hate baking with cup measurements! And 3-4Tbsns was a bit vague, cos I can never remember who uses 15ml vs 20ml spoons, so that could be anywhere from 45 to 80ml of juice!! I think I used about 70ml (2.35oz), and my batter also came out vey soft, so I added some flour, and some almond meal. It was still very soft, but I did what Ellen did, and they came out fine.

    Everyone who’s tried them loved them – one of the girls at work told me to move them out of sight because she couldn’t stop going back and taking more! And when you open the cookie tin – the smell that wafts out it amazing!

  3. 5 stars
    These are delicious!! I’m always looking for more ways to deal with the piles and piles of mandarins we get in our produce box. These cookies are the perfect solution and they came out beautifully following the instructions exactly as written. I’ll have to get some orange-colored decorating sugar now that I’ll be making these regularly. Soooo good!!