Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This sweet and tart homemade cranberry sauce only takes four ingredients and 10 minutes to make! See the blog post for tons of substitutions and flavor ideas.
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 11 mins
Serves: 1 cup
closeup of cranberry sauce in a clear jar with a spoon

Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make. One bag of cranberries, some sugar, water, an orange, and 10 minutes of your time. Perfect for Thanksgiving! This sauce is nice and thick and can be incorporated into easy buttercream, homemade whipped cream, used as a cake filling, tart filling, Linzer cookies, and more!

closeup of cranberry sauce in a clear jar with a spoon

I like my cranberry sauce with some texture but you prefer something a bit smoother, just blend up your cranberry sauce after it has cooled down to make it nice and smooth. 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

cranberry sauce ingredients in clear bowls

This recipe is so incredibly forgiving. Try out some of these combinations and make this homemade cranberry sauce your own!

In place of water you can use: 

  • Apple juice
  • Apple cider
  • Orange juice
  • Red Wine

In place of sugar try:

  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Corn syrup
  • Agave syrup

In place of orange zest and juice:

  • Lemon
  • Lime

You can even add in other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or apple chunks. 

Add in spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for some extra flavor but it’s all up to you! 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Step By Step

Step 1 – Combine water, sugar, zest, juice, and cranberries together in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

cranberry filling ingredients simmering in a stainless steel pot

Step 2 – Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture reduce for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. It will thicken even more as it cools.

simmering cranberry filling in a stainless steel pot

Step 3 – Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool before using. 

closeup shot of cranberry filling on a spatula

Step 4 – Once your filling is cool, use an immersion blender or blender to make your cranberry filling smoother. Totally optional. 

cranberry filling in a glass jar with a spoon

How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce Thicker

closeup of homemade cranberry sauce in a white bowl

This homemade cranberry sauce is quite thick when it cools down due to the natural pectin in the cranberries skin. Cranberry sauce takes about 2 hours in the fridge to cool completely. 

If you want to thicken your cranberry sauce further, combine 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of cool water to make a slurry. Add the slurry into the cranberry sauce at the end of cooking and cook for 1 extra minute until it’s thickened. 

Related Recipes

Traditional Linzer Cookies

Fresh Blueberry Filling

Apple Pie Filling

Lemon Curd

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
closeup of cranberry sauce in a clear jar with a spoon

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This sweet and tart homemade cranberry sauce only takes four ingredients and 10 minutes to make! See the blog post for tons of substitutions and flavor ideas.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 11 mins
Serves: 1 cup
Calories: 774kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (340 g) fresh cranberries
  • 7 ounces (198 g) sugar or maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, etc
  • 8 ounces (227 g) water or apple juice, orange juice, red wine etc
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest or lemon, lime
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice or lemon, lime

Instructions

  • Combine water, sugar, zest, juice, and cranberries together in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture reduce for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. It will thicken even more as it cools.
  • OPTIONAL: If you want to thicken your cranberry sauce further, combine 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of cool water to make a slurry. Add the slurry into the cranberry sauce at the end of cooking and cook for 1 extra minute until it’s thickened. 
  • Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool before using. Cranberry sauce takes about 2 hours in the fridge to cool completely. 
  • Once your filling is cool, use an immersion blender or blender to make your cranberry filling smoother. Totally optional. 

Notes

This recipe is so incredibly forgiving. Try out some of these combinations and make this homemade cranberry sauce your own!
In place of water you can use: 
  • Apple juice
  • Apple cider
  • Orange juice
  • Red Wine
In place of sugar try:
  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Corn syrup
  • Agave syrup
In place of orange zest and juice:
  • Lemon
  • Lime
You can even add in other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or apple chunks. 
Add in spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for some extra flavor but it's all up to you!
Cranberry sauce is naturally high in pectin and will thicken as it cools. Allow two hours for cooling or better yet, make it the day before. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2ounces | Calories: 774kcal (39%) | Carbohydrates: 200g (67%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 1g (2%) | Sodium: 14mg (1%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 198g (220%) | Vitamin C: 8mg (10%)
 

2 comments on “Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  1. Hello. The sauce looks and sounds yummy. I have a query. We do not get fresh cranberries here. Can i use freezed ones? If yes then what changes so i need to make to the recipe?

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