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A delicious homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe that takes just minutes to prepare! Hints of orange and apple and wonderful spices are the perfect complement to the tart-sweet cranberries!

homemade cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving dinner tradition, dating all the way back to the Pilgrims who took advantage of the abundance of local, fresh cranberries in Plymouth, Massachusetts where they originally settled.  It’s a great sweet-tart complement to the other traditional foods served during Thanksgiving dinner – and a Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without a delicious cranberry sauce!


homemade cranberry sauce

Our cranberry sauce recipe has a kick of spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger and cardamom), as well as a hint of orange and apple – plus enough cranberries and sugar for sweetness that even the biggest fan of the canned variety will fall in love with this version!  And homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make – and so pretty to look at – you’ll never buy the canned sauce ever again!


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Cranberry Sauce - A Family Feast

Cranberry Sauce

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 12-ounce bags fresh cranberries, preferably Ocean Spray
  • Zest and juice from two navel oranges
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored and shredded
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon dry ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon dry cardamom


  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until thick. Stir often.
  2. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the mixture. Pour into a serving dish and refrigerate to chill – at least 4-6 hours.
  3. If you’d like, you can pour the sauce into a low flat bowl like we did and then, once set and ready to serve, invert the cranberry sauce onto a plate and unmold. Garnish with additional orange zest if desired.

Keywords: homemade cranberry sauce


Cranberry Sauce


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  • Mel wrote:

    Thank you for this awesome recipe! I’m making it now for our thanksgiving on Sunday. Is there really no water in it? I’m nervous about the orange juice boiling off too fast.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Mel – We promise – you’ll be fine without adding any additional water! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Sherilsl wrote:

    Did you leave the cinnamon sticks in the mold, or did you remove them prior to setting your mold?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sheri – Great question – yes! Remove the cinnamon sticks before molding the cranberry sauce. Thanks for your question and I’ll get the recipe updated ASAP!

  • Maria wrote:

    Mmmm! It looks just great!!✔️

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Maria! 🙂

  • Rochelle wrote:

    Thanks for the recipe. It reminds me that I can use mini-muffin tins as molds and have personal sized portions for my guests. It will make a lovely table even lovelier!

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea!!

  • Streusel, aka Tiffany wrote:

    Beautiful colors in these photos of the cranberry sauce. Great photography!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Tiffany!

    • wrote:

      Your are so right Martha… cranberry sauce is one of the easiest dishes to make for the holiday and so often left forgotten and then the “can” comes out! Y’all have a beauty and I will be making and sharing it my reader cuz I loves my cranberries!

      • Martha wrote:

        Thank you so much Tina!!

    • Denise wrote:

      The dish looks wonderfully inviting and the photo is remarkable.
      I have a question. How did you get the sauce to stay put without gelatin? I’d like to make this recipe but I was afraid it would be too watery to mold.
      Thank you for sharing this!

      • Martha wrote:

        Hi Denise – The cranberry sauce thickens on it’s own without added gelatin! Cranberries have natural pectins that are enough for this sauce to mold into exactly what you see in the photo! I hope you enjoy the recipe! Martha

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