The Best Cranberry Sauce

Now that the holidays are here it’s the perfect time to share the best cranberry sauce! It’s a perfect balance of sweet, lightly tart, and has a wonderful depth of flavor from oranges and spices that you can never get from the canned stuff.

Perfect Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce is so simple. Just throw everything into a pot, simmer till thick, and that’s it!

The main ingredient is, of course, cranberries. It’s best to buy cranberries yourself in store so you can do a quality check. I ordered two bags of cranberries earlier this week and they both came with so many rotten cranberries it was a complete waste!

Add Washed Cranberries to a Pot

When you find the perfect bag of cranberries give them a thorough wash and drain. Add the berries to a sauce pot, then add the rest of the ingredients.

White Sugar in Cranberry Sauce

First is sugars. It’s important to use both white and brown sugar. The white for sweetness and the brown for more depth of flavor. I use equal parts of each.

Brown Sugar in Cranberry Sauce

Next is the aromatics. Starting with oranges! It’s best to get fresh oranges instead of just orange juice so you can use the zest! Use a micro plane to scrape off the skin of the orange-only the orange part, no whites. Zest all the skin then place in pot. The. Cut the orange in half and squeeze out all the juices into the pot.

Add Zest and Juice of an Orange

After that add a pinch of salt and cinnamon along with a splash of water and you’re ready to cook. Turn the heat on to medium and give everything a good stir. Once the pot starts to simmer turn it down to medium low or low and let it simmer gently until the berries burst and thickens into a jam like consistency. The sauce should be reduced my half. Be sure to stir every few minutes to prevent burning!

Flavor Cranberries with Salt and Cinnamon

Once the sauce turns jammy, mix well and use the back of a spatula to mash down any berries that haven’t popped yet. Place in a container and cool before covering and refrigerating. This can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. Serve room temperature or warmed up as a delicious condiment to compliment your holiday meals!


  • 12 oz bag cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice from one orange
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


1. Mix all ingredients in a pot before placing over medium heat

2. Bring to a simmer then turn heat down to low

3. Simmer gently until thickened while mixing intermittently

4. Remove from heat once thick and jammy. Cool and transfer to container to keep or serve warm

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