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Berry Delicious: Cranzac Cookies Recipe a la David Lebovitz

Cookies are just so cute when they pretend to be health food. Case in point: the ANZAC biscuit (ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and both places share ownership of the cookie). On the surface, its oaty, nubbly appearance looks rather virtuous--but one bite will tell you the butter, sugar, and golden syrup-filled truth.

David Lebovitz makes them even better in his brilliant (and beautiful) book Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by adding cranberries to the mix, which add a pleasing little zing of flavor; I made them better still with the addition of a dollop of buttercream on top. Don't worry, they still have oats, so they're still totally healthy. You're welcome.

CakeSpy Note: I made these for a David Lebovitz-themed meeting of my cookbook club--to check out what other people made, check out Kairu's flickr stream!

Cranzac Cookies


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup (or honey)

To top: About 1 cup vanilla buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting of your choosing


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together oats, brown sugar, flour, coconut, cranberries, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the water, melted butter, and syrup or honey until the dough is cohesive and moist.
  3. Using your hands, shape the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets and lightly flatten them with your hand. They should have about 1 inch of space on all sides to allow for light spreading.
  4. Bake, rotating the tray halfway through baking, until the cookies are golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets til firm, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
  6. Once cool, top each with a dollop of frosting, and if you'd like, a cranberry piece on top for added cuteness.

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Reader Comments (7)

Yum! I love anything with cranberries, and especially with oats. Add to it "butter, sugar, and golden syrup-filled" and you've got me!
These cookies sound yummy! I did a post a while back on Anzac cookies out of a cook book my Kiwi buddies gave me. They were so delicious but so unattractive!
March 10 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna
Mm, that cookbook was already next on my "to buy" list! Can you tell us more about what a cookbook club is? Maybe you could dedicate a post to that topic. I'm very interested in this.
March 10 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
Anzacs are a favorite in our house, I actually made a double batch recently for a wake and was surprised at how quickly they went. I'll have to try them with the brown sugar, the recipe a friend from Australia gave me uses regular sugar. I also like to drizzle mine with melted chocolate, yum!!

March 10 | Unregistered CommenterSeriousCakes
I baked a double batch of these this weekend--I omitted the coconut ( I was giving them to a few folks who had allergies to it) and subbed it for mini chocolate chips. These were so tasty and still had the "but they're good for you!" vibe to them as well. I spread a little cream cheese frosting in between a few and made sandwiches with them also. This will be in my standard cookie recipe file from now on. I loved that I didn't have to break out the mixer for them also! Thanks for the post!
April 11 | Unregistered CommenterSparrow
These cookies were great! I made these for my dad's birthday because he loves oatmeal raisin cookies and he loves craisins, and these were a perfect combination of the two. He had about eight of them after dinner haha, and he kept talking about them all night.
August 16 | Unregistered CommenterSatine
I liked these cookies. Next time, I'll maybe try to add the dollop of buttercream on top.

Very nice your cookies !
March 10 | Unregistered CommenterBlanc-manger

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