These Sage Cookies with Cranberry Buttercream are so unique and delicious! Perfect for Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all Winter long!
These Sage Cookies with Cranberry Buttercream are an unexpected treat! The not-too-sweet sage sugar cookies are sandwiched with a sweet-tart cranberry buttercream for an outstanding combination of flavors and textures! For a little extra holiday bling, you can top them with candied sage leaves, too!
Here's everything you need! The measurements for each ingredient are included in the recipe card, below.
Sage Cookie Ingredients
- Flour - Provides structure for the cookies. I used all-purpose flour.
- Baking Powder - Provides leavening.
- Salt - Balances and enhances the flavors of the cookies.
- Brown Sugar - For sweetness and a slight molasses flavor. Helps to keep the cookies soft and moist.
- Sugar - For sweetness. Helps to keep the cookies moist.
- Sage - For flavor. You can use fresh or dried sage, but I prefer fresh for its vibrant color. Note that the recipe specifies using a smaller measurement of dried sage, since it's stronger than fresh.
- Unsalted Butter - For moisture and richness, and unsalted so that you control the amount of salt in the recipe. You want your butter to be softened before you begin.
- Egg - For moisture, richness, and a little leavening. You want your egg to be at room temperature.
Cranberry Buttercream Ingredients
- Cranberries - For flavor and gorgeous color. You can use either fresh or frozen berries.
- Sugar - For sweetness in the cranberry purée.
- Orange Zest - For flavor. Be sure to use only the orange part of the zest, and none of the bitter white pith that's underneath!
- Orange Juice - For flavor and moisture.
- Unsalted Butter - For smooth richness. Unsalted butter so that your buttercream doesn't taste salty. You want your butter to be at room temperature before you start.
- Powdered Sugar - For sweetness, and because it dissolves completely, giving your frosting a smooth, creamy texture. I sift my powdered sugar so that the buttercream doesn't have any lumps.
Candied Sage Leaves Ingredients
- Egg White* - This is the glue that holds the sugar on the sage leaves. The egg whites are used raw. If you're concerned about using raw egg whites, make sure to use the pasteurized egg whites that you can buy in a carton, or skip the candied sage leaves altogether.
- Sugar - For sweetness and a pretty sparkle!
- Fresh Sage Leaves - Can't make candied sage leaves without them!
*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
Here's how to make these babies, step by step! Additional detail is included in the recipe card, below.
How to Make Sage Cookies
These cookies are a pretty basic recipe, but the addition of fresh sage takes them to a whole new level! I definitely prefer using fresh sage in these, but dried sage will work also (just make sure you note the different amounts to use of fresh vs. dried in the recipe)!
- Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugars and sage.
- Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients gradually, mixing until just incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide in half, shaping each half into a disc.
- Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll the dough out between two sheets of waxed paper or parchment. Cut the dough into your desired shapes, place the cut-outs on the prepared cookie sheets, and chill before baking.
Tip: I chose a 2.5-inch fluted round cutter for my cookies. Just note that if you use a different size cutter that the bake time will be a little more (for larger cookies) or less (for smaller cookies), depending on the size you choose.
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How to Make Cranberry Buttercream
The cranberry buttercream is SO delicious! The recipe is done in two stages: first, make the cranberry purée. Then, once cooled, the purée is used in the buttercream.
- Combine all cranberry purée ingredients in a saucepan. Cook until the cranberries burst and the mixture starts to thicken.
- Pour the mixture into a food processor and process until as smooth as possible. Cool to room temperature.
- Cream butter and powdered sugar until smooth, then add the cranberry purée and mix to incorporate.
- Once cookies are completely cool, sandwich with the cranberry buttercream.
Tip: Because the berries may have more/less juice each time you make it, the buttercream isn't guaranteed to be the perfect consistency as written in the recipe. If it's too thin, add a bit of powdered sugar to thicken it. If too stiff, add a few teaspoons of orange juice to thin it out.
How to Make Candied Sage
I just love how special these candied sage leaves look served up with these cookies! Keep in mind that the leaves will take 8-12 hours to dry. It seems like forever, but the drying process is entirely hands-off, so you can just make them the day before. I left mine out on the counter with a bowl overturned on top of them to protect them from dust, but still provide some airflow. They're totally optional, of course, but they're sooo pretty!
- Swirl sage leaves in the beaten egg white**, pinching/sliding them between your thumb and index finger to remove the excess.
- Dip the leaves in sugar, then lay on a rack to dry.
- The leaves will take 8-12 hours to dry completely, depending on the humidity level.
**Because the recipe for the candied sage uses raw egg whites, I need to tell you that consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions. If you're concerned about using raw egg whites, make sure to use the pasteurized egg whites that you can buy in a carton, or skip the candied sage leaves altogether.
There isn't any special equipment required for this recipe, but here are a few things I used to make life a little easier:
- Fluted Cookie Cutter - I used a 2.5" fluted round cookie cutter for this recipe. You can use whatever size and shape of cutter you prefer, just keep in mind that larger cookies will take longer to bake, and smaller cookies will take less time to bake.
- Nonstick Parchment - The cookie dough is rolled out between two sheets of parchment. I use non-stick parchment (as opposed to waxed paper) because it doesn't crinkle up while rolling and the dough doesn't stick to it.
- Silpats - You can either line your pans with parchment or with silpats. I prefer using silpats because they can be used over and over again and because the cookies brown more slowly.
- Zester - You'll need some sort of zester or grater to zest the orange!
- Offset Spatula - Useful for spreading the buttercream and keeping your hands out of it when you do!
- 1M Piping Tip - If you want your cookies to look like mine, this is the tip that I used to pipe the buttercream onto my cookies.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container on your counter for up to two days (the buttercream won't spoil because of the high sugar content), or in the refrigerator for up to five days.
The cookies freeze well, with or without buttercream, for up to three months. That said, I find that freezing the cooking without the buttercream, then sandwiching them after thawing, better preserves the sage flavor in the cookies!
Yes! You can also use dried sage in this recipe, you'll just need to use a reduced amount since dried sage is stronger than fresh. The appropriate measurements for using both fresh and dried sage are included in the recipe card.
Other Recipes You May Like
Sage Cookies with Cranberry Buttercream
Sage Sugar Cookies
- ¾ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen) (about 2.5 oz)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- zest of one small orange
- 2 teaspoon orange juice
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- cranberry purée (from above)
Candied Sage Leaves
- 1 egg white, beaten (see note)
- ¼ cup sugar
- fresh sage leaves
- Line two sheet pans with parchment or silpats (see note). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugars and sage. Mix on low speed for a few minutes to help release the oils from the sage.
- Add the butter, and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add egg and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients gradually, mixing until just incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide in half, shaping each half into a disc about 1 inch thick.
- Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll the dough out to about ¼" thickness between two sheets of waxed paper or parchment. Cut the dough into your desired shapes (I chose a 2.5-inch fluted round cutter). Place the cut-outs on the prepared cookie sheets, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until just barely golden at the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Pour the mixture into a food processor and process until as smooth as possible. (At this point you can strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer if you'd like to remove the skins and seeds, but I didn't find this step necessary.)
- Let the purée cool to room temperature before adding to the buttercream.
- Combine butter and sifted powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together for several minutes until well mixed and smooth.
- Add the (room temperature!) cranberry purée and mix to incorporate. If the buttercream is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it to your desired consistency. If too thick, add a few teaspoons of orange juice until you reach the consistency you're looking for.
For Candied Sage
- Swirl sage leaves in the beaten egg white (see safety note!), pinching/sliding them between your thumb and index finger to remove the excess. Dip the leaves in sugar, then lay on a rack to dry. The leaves will take 8-12 hours to dry completely, depending on the humidity level.
- Once cookies are completely cool, spread or pipe (see note) the buttercream on half the cookies and sandwich with the other half. Serve with candied sage, if desired.
- These cookies can be stored in an airtight container on your counter for up to two days (the buttercream won't spoil because of the high sugar content), or in the refrigerator for up to five days.Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.