Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce is an essential part of the American Thanksgiving dinner. This sweet and tangy sauce is almost as important as the roast turkey itself and most will consider Thanksgiving dinner incomplete without it. For the uninitiated, the combination of this jam or jelly-like sauce with meats is difficult to appreciate. Over the years after several Thanksgiving dinners, I have fully come to expect it with my roast turkey. Now, I make it yearly for our Thanksgiving table.

This recipe was adapted from my trusted Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook presented to me by a friend many years back. This cookbook has gone through many editions but it is still very popular today. I love my copy and it is my constant companion for genuine, home-cooked American dishes.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Cranberry Sauce


  • ½ cup (120ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed from 1 orange
  • ¼ cup (55g) sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • ½ cup (80g) golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp orange zest


In a saucepan combine orange juice, sugar, cinnamon stick, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. Cook over medium heat stirring until sugar dissolves.

Add cranberries, raisins, and orange zest. Cook and stir for about 4 to 5 minutes till cranberries pop. Remove from heat.

Remove cinnamon stick and ladle into a jar. Cover and chill for several hours before serving.

Cranberry Sauce is delicious with roast turkey, ham, or roast pork.

Cranberry Sauce

Some of you may recognize this fun(?) activity around this time of the year. We do this as a family each year by volunteering to bell-ring for the Salvation Army – our little contribution back to the community. We normally register for four sessions of two hours each. Last Friday was our first session and it wasn’t too bad with the temperature at a little below freezing. It gets really, really, really cold in December when the temperature falls down to around -20°F…..brrrrr!

Cranberry Sauce

After the two hour endurance test, it was really good to come home to a warm fire. Those little pinkies and twinkies needed toasting. ;)

Cranberry Sauce


Cranberry Sauce

NOTE: This post was updated on November 25th, 2013 with new pictures.

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32 Responses

  1. I must admit Biren that I find turkey and cranberry sauce strange bedfellows as the assertive taste of cranberries tends to dominate over the neutral flavour of turkey. I do enjoy it with roast pork and duck though :) I wonder if the pairing is more for tradition’s sake rather than compatability?

    I love how simple your version is, and that it includes raisins – something new for me.

    Your boy is ‘towering’ over you! What do you feed him?!?! Btw, I love the the shot of toasting fingers and toes. I was expecting marshmallows ROFL

  2. Biren says:

    I guess it is an acquired taste. Over the years I have come to enjoy it and I think it is really good with the turkey and the stuffing together.

    Cranberry sauce is easy to prepare and the most fun part is when the cranberries start popping. Sometimes I add more dried fruits and even nuts to make it into a relish instead.

    It must be “kacang panjang”….LOL! At least that was according to the other kids way back when I was in school ;) Marshmallows? How about chestnuts? :)

  3. Victoria says:

    Interesting addition of raisins! I actually love cranberry sauce with my turkey, but we don’t traditionally make it every year. I think we should :) This looks great!

  4. kristy says:

    Yes, this is the American traditional sauce for turkey on thanksgiving. Have yet tried this before. As you know, it’s so so expensive to get the fresh berries here. But the frozen ones are much cheaper. Funny huh! I can’t even find the frozen ones here either, I mean around my living area. Need to go to the city! Thanks for sharing. Btw, I love both chestnuts or marshmallow toasted but not fingers & toes! ha! ^_^ Hope you’re going to have a fabulous thanksgiving.
    Blessings, Kristy

  5. rebecca says:

    oh great sauce and you are so sweet that you bell ring :-) happy thanksgiving hugs Rebecca

  6. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Such a beautiful looking cranberry sauce! I love the addition of golden raisins.

    I also love that you volunteer to ring bells for the Salvation Army. I always leave a little gift the bell ringers :)

    It must have felt nice to warm up by that fire. I wish I had a fireplace!

  7. Even i do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but i love the spirit of Thanksgiving. Next time if i would made my 1st roasted turkey and i must make some of this good cranberry sauce. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  8. Anncoo says:

    Biren, Thanks for showing us how to make cranberry sauce. I must try this using frozen cranberries for Christmas as I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I still bake turkey almost every year.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Thanks for showing cranberry sauce. you can also the above dessert. Its very tasty.

  10. lequan says:

    Hi biren,

    I love that you guys volunteer for the salvation army! Such a great way to give back to the community. Plus, you get to spend family time together. Definitely something I’d love to teach my kids. For now they’re still too young, but to start them out we will be buying toys to donate so they know there are less fortunate kids. Also teaches them to give rather than always take take take. Love the picture of the pinkies and twinkies…teehee.

    I’ve never had cranberry sauce with raisins before. Must add a very unique taste and help take away the tartness of the cranberries. Wonderful recipe, Biren. Your sauce turned out perfect :-P. Hope you and your family have a ver Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Pachecopatty says:

    Hi Biren, thanks for passing on your cranberry sauce recipe, I love it spread on turkey sandwiches after the holiday. I enjoyed seeing the family photo and I think that I might get too close to the fire(like jump in it!) after freezing conditions like you all experienced;)

  12. I like the addition of raisins in your cranberry sauce! Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Juliana says:

    Biren, your homemade cranberry sauce sounds and looks delicious, love the idea of adding raisins to it. Would love to have this sauce with my turkey :-)

  14. The cranberry sauce looks so festive, warm and delicious!

  15. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :)
    I really enjoy cranberry sauce and love this one…
    How fun to volunteer by ringing the bell, I bet you do need some toasting up after. We help at the food bank every year :)

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Alisha and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too. It is really cold to be standing out there but it is good to give a little something back to the community.

  16. HAPPY THANKSGIVING BIREN – Now, I must go and cook up my own batch of cranberries….can’t wait for the feast (once I get all the cooking done) on Thursday and can’t believe it’s nearly here!

    GORGEOUS Cranberry sauce!

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  17. Julie M. says:

    Look at those cute pinkies and twinkies! That’s a really cool holiday tradition. Your cranberry sauce looks delightful!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

  18. love2cook says:

    Cranberry sauce…my goodness!!! Looks divine ya!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! :D

  19. MaryMoh says:

    Love the picture of the toes in front of the fireplace! It’s getting real cold here. We are facing Arctic blast this week. Weather report….will be -9 deg Celsius here in Northern Scotland. It just wipes all smiles from my face! I need a bigger fire :P Love your cranberry sauce. I can imagine how delicious it is with roasted Turkey. I have to try making one day.

    • Biren says:

      Oh you poor thing…the cold can be hard to bear. A fireplace is great but wearing layers help. Do stay warm. I like to do a lot of baking and roasting as the oven helps to keep the kitchen warm. :)

  20. Cherine says:

    The cranberry sauce looks really good!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Nasifriet says:

    Hi Biren,
    What I like about browsing your blog are all the pictures you took. They’re gorgeous, so right and so colourful. May I ask what camera do you use?

    Yep, it’s getting really cold here in Belgium, too. We’re expecting snow this weekend. Hopefully will have a white christmas this year :-)

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Nasifriet for your compliments. I use the Panasonic DMC-FZ35 and Canon Rebel XT. I am just a beginner and there is much to learn.

      It’s really cold here now and our highs are only in the 20’s fahrenheit (about -3C). There will be more snow next week. I hope you get your white Christmas :)

  22. Cranberry sauce is my favorite part of Thanksgiving!!! Oh that’s sort of sad isn’t it? Happy Thanksgiving!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What’s For Dinner

  1. December 11, 2013

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    […] Cranberry Sauce is one of those dishes you would most likely have some left over in the refrigerator after Thanksgiving. It is a must-have for the Thanksgiving feast but estimating the amount to cook is almost impossible. Most people will just make using the entire bag of cranberries just in case and left over is inevitable. Over the next few weeks, it will get pushed further and further back in the refrigerator and eventually be forgotten. Do not let that happen as I have this easy and delicious scones recipe you can use for the gatherings coming up in the following weeks. These fuss free Cranberry Sauce Skillet Scones can be put together in no time at all. There is no need to mess up the counter or use a cookie cutter. Mixing the dough in the food processor makes it really, really easy. Then, simply pour the dough into a bowl and fold in the cranberry sauce. Finally, transfer to a cast iron skillet and you are all done! This works out well as you do not want to handle the dough too much or you would end up with tough scones. […]

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