Homemade Cranberry Filling

This sweet and tart homemade cranberry filling only takes four ingredients and 10 minutes to make! This recipe accommodates several other ingredient 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 filling is so easy to make and perfect for the holiday season! All you really need is one bag of cranberries, some sugar, water, an orange, and 10 minutes of your time. This filling 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

What’s great about this cranberry filling recipe is that it’s got some real texture to it. But if you prefer your filling to be a bit smoother, just blend up your cranberry filling after it has cooled down to make it nice and smooth. 

Homemade Cranberry Filling Ingredients

cranberry sauce ingredients in clear bowls

How to Make Cranberry Filling Step-By-Step

  1. In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, zest, juice, and cranberries together over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. cranberry filling ingredients simmering in a stainless steel pot
  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
  3. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool before using.  closeup shot of cranberry filling on a spatula
  4. Once your filling is cool, use an immersion blender or blender to make your cranberry filling smoother. This is totally optional. 
  5. Store in an airtght container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for 6 months. cranberry filling in a glass jar with a spoon

More Cranberry Filling Ingredients Combinations

Try out some of these combinations and make this homemade cranberry filling 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

Add more flavors by adding in other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or apple chunks. You could even add in spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for some warmth and extra flavor! It’s all up to you to customize this filling and make it your own! 

FAQ

What recipes use cranberry filling?

My absolute favorite recipe to use cranberry filling is to make Linzer cookies! You can also use cranberry filling to enhanceeasy buttercream or homemade whipped cream. In addition to those, cranberry filling can also be used as a cake or tart filling.

How do you make cranberry filling thicker?

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

How long does it take to cool homemade cranberry filling?

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

What tastes good with cranberries?

Cranberries are extremely tart and pair well with sweeter fruits like oranges, apples, and pineapples. The sweetness of these fruits will help cut through the tartness of the cranberries.

Can you eat raw cranberries?

Yes! They are very tart in flavor so they can be a little jarring to eat on their own, but you can definitely eat raw cranberries if you desire.

Can I use frozen cranberries to make cranberry filling?

Absolutely! It will take longer to cook the cranberries down if they are frozen solid, but no recipe adjustments are needed to make cranberry filling with frozen cranberries.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Traditional Linzer Cookies

Fresh Blueberry Filling

Apple Pie Filling

Lemon Curd

closeup of homemade cranberry sauce in a white bowl
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 Filling

This sweet and tart homemade cranberry filling only takes four ingredients and 10 minutes to make! This recipe accommodates several other ingredient substitutions and flavor ideas!
5 from 2 votes
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

Homemade Cranberry Filling Instructions

  • In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, zest, juice, and cranberries together 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.
  • Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool before using. This 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. This is totally optional.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for 6 months.

Notes

Try out some of these combinations and make this homemade cranberry filling 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!
Other Important Things to Note Before You Start:
  1. Cranberry sauce is naturally high in pectin and will thicken as it cools. Allow 2 hours for cooling or better yet, make it the day before. 
  2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
  3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it’s place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.

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%)
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2 comments on “Homemade Cranberry Filling

  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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