Go Back
+ servings
a bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with a spoon.
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

A holiday classic, made from scratch with fresh cranberries!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 415kcal
Author Tracy


  • 2 qt sauce pan


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries approximately 4 cups
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • Add water, orange juice, maple syrup, and sugar, to sauce pan and heat over medium. Whisk to dissolve the sugar.
  • Rinse cranberries in a colander. Remove any that are bruised, and then shake off excess water.
  • Add cranberries to the sauce pan and stir. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low to bring it to a simmer.
  • Add cinnamon stick, ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg to sauce pan and stir.
  • Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • Many of the cranberries will burst but some will remain intact. Mash slightly with a fork if desired.
  • Discard cinnamon stick and transfer sauce to a bowl and let cool.
  • Serve or store in fridge for up to a week before serving.


Serving Size is for approximately 1 cup of sauce.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Frozen Cranberries:  Just give them a little water bath before adding to the pot, but they do not need to be fully thawed.
Sugar: Dark brown sugar is our favorite for this because of the rich molasses flavor it adds, but you could also use light or even white sugar. 
Maple Syrup:  While we love the added maple flavor this brings, you can also use your other favorite natural sweetener, like honey. 
Cinnamon: If you don't have a whole cinnamon stick to add, use 1/2 teaspoon of ground. 
Thicken: There are a couple of ways to make this homemade cranberry sauce thicker.  Although, if you think it's too "saucy" after it's first made, remember, it will thicken some while it cools, too. 
Let simmer longer: This will allow more time for the liquid to reduce. 
Reduce liquid: We find that the best ratio of orange juice to water is 2:1. So if you want to reduce the liquid, you can use as little as 1/4 cup of orange juice and 1/8 cup of water for a much thicker sauce, but be more mindful while it simmers to make sure it doesn't reduce too much and start burning your pan.
Additional Spices / Add-ins:  Add some crunch with some pecans or walnuts, additional texture with raisins or currants, and additional flavors with a pinch of ground all spice or additional cinnamon or ginger.


Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 106g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 84g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1mg