Secret Ingredient Cranberry Sauce

October 14, 2015

Author Notes: As a kid I loved cranberry sauce from the can, but my tastes have changed. This cranberry sauce is made from scratch, but takes little time or work. The dried cherries are the secret ingredient that will keep you coming back for more.Laura Dembowski

Serves: 6-8


  • 1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
In This Recipe


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together cranberries, cherries, orange zest, cinnamon, water, sugar, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and most of the berries have burst, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. Sauce may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Cranberry Sauce|American|Fruit|Maple Syrup|Make Ahead|Christmas|Fall|Thanksgiving|Winter|Gluten-Free|Vegetarian

Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

Peter November 25, 2018
I’ve never made cranberry sauce before and um, it’s easy. Really easy. Absurdly easy. Which makes me embarrassed to have always preferred the smooth, gelatinous kind. <br /><br />I made this for my first try and the dried cherries really elevate what could be pedestrian to something really special. And all you have to do is toss in a handful of dried cherries. (Best of all, you can make this day’s, or even weeks in advance. It keeps well and likely freezes just fine.)<br /><br />Oh, the only change I’d suggest to the recipe is that not all of my cranberries popped on their own. After it seems like more than long enough I used a relatively firm silicone spatula to smash the unpopped berries against the side of the pot.
Author Comment
Laura D. November 26, 2018
Hey Peter! I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for leaving a comment!
BarnOwlBaker December 26, 2015
I made this for our Christmas Eve dinner party. It was very delicious and will replace my previous favorite cranberry recipe. Thanks!
Author Comment
Laura D. December 27, 2015
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
Konstancja November 24, 2015
This recipe is spot on. Great proportions, not too sweet, and the cherries - genius move. I did substitute half the water with fresh OJ, and it was quite tasty if not as tart. Can't resist it on toast or yogurt, either. Thanks!
Author Comment
Laura D. November 24, 2015
Thank you so much! I'm making a batch for Thanksgiving.