Fresh Cranberries: Not Just for Sauce

November 23, 2015

The cranberries: our favorite angsty 90s band, the best thing to ever come out of a bog, and Thanksgiving's truest underdog. Whether you bought one too many bags of cranberries or just want to shake things up, here's what to make with cranberries instead of—or in addition to—sauce.

"You're a dream to me" - The Cranberries Photo by James Ransom
  • Candy 'em! Make these orange blossom-scented ones, or these classic ones. Then top cakes with them, float them in cocktails, or snack on them as is.
  • Add chopped fresh cranberries to the streusel-like filling for baked apples.
  • Use them to pave the surface of an upside-down cake—or a double upside-down cake.
  • Sub them for figs in everyone's favorite cookie-snack bar—or steamed pudding.
  • Or make them jammy and pipe them into doughnuts.
  • Chop them up and roll them into cinnamon-swirl bread.
  • Aargersi chops them up and adds them to salsa for a tart kick.
  • Add a couple of handfuls to to stews and braises.
  • Or macerate them with sugar, add vinegar, and turn them into a festive, zippy shrub.
  • Bake them into muffins, scones, or quick breads—or toss a handful into an apple or pear pie.
  • Make a cranberry-infused vodka! Here's how NWB does it: "Cut [the cranberries] in half, put them in a liter of vodka, let them soak for a week or two. The vodka turns a deep pink and has a great tart flavor. Cranberry vodka and soda with a lime is a perfect holiday season cocktail."
  • Stir mashed cranberries into a vinaigrette for a sharp, bright salad.
  • Turn them into sherbet! (You may need to increase the amount of sugar, since they're so tart.)

Where else do you find use for fresh cranberries? Share your tips in the comments!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Maria Squarra
    Maria Squarra
  • hardlikearmour
  • Caroline Lange
    Caroline Lange
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Maria S. November 24, 2015
When I prepare baked apples, I pour fresh cream over them and add lots of fresh cranberries. In doing so, after baking the cream gets a nice bright pink color, the cranberries don't change their appearance and the taste, together with the honey and marzipan of the apple stuffing, is delicious.
hardlikearmour November 23, 2015
Along the lines of the crisp idea, they are great in an autumn buckle with pears and/or apples:
Caroline L. November 23, 2015
good idea!