Cranberries (the fruit, not the group) have been a part of holiday celebrations for hundreds of years. I enjoy the lively tartness of cranberries all year round and have featured them in a variety of foods here on Inspired By Charm. In this post, I’ve pulled together my favorite cranberry recipes for your convenience.
My Favorite Cranberry Recipes:
Gleaming, plump, red ripe cranberries are beautiful to behold and useful for adding color as well as a distinct tart flavor to appetizers, libations, and sweet treats. Today’s collection offers many easy-to-prepare crowd-pleasers.
We’re covering appetizers, baked cookies, breakfast treats, cocktails, and more! Which cranberry recipes will you serve this holiday season?
Want more tasty Christmas treats and ideas? Try these:
- The Ultimate Christmas Appetizer Recipes
- My Favorite Christmas Cookies
- Cheeseball Recipes for Every Season
- My Must-Try Christmas Cocktail Recipes
- 100+ Creative Christmas Ideas, Recipes, and MORE!
Let’s get into these delectable cranberry-inspired recipes!
Top Tips for Making These Cranberry Recipes
While I go into details on the instructions in each individual post linked below, I wanted to give you all some quick tips for how to have the best baking experience possible.
- Read the instructions fully before you begin. It’s best to be prepared ahead of time so you can pace yourself and be ready for what step comes next. I highly encourage any baker to read the entire recipe through at least once before getting started!
- Use the best ingredients possible. I really want everyone to be successful with any of my recipes. That starts with the ingredients. Use the very best ingredients that you can get your hands on, especially when it comes to flavoring agents (such as vanilla extract ) and things like fresh spices, leveling agents (yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc.). It really does make a difference! I also prefer using fresh cranberries whenever possible.
- Measure your ingredients precisely. If you start guestimating and tossing in random amounts of flour and sugar, you are probably going to be disappointed. Pull out your measuring cups and measuring spoons and be precise!
- Have fun! Cooking and baking, especially at the holiday season, should be an enjoyable process. Turn on some holiday music (you can find all of my best Christmas playlists here), take a few deep breathes, and just enjoy!
With all that said, let’s get into the kitchen and make some delicious cranberry-inspired recipes!
Cranberry Recipes: Appetizers
It’s the tangy-sweet sauce that takes these meatballs to the next level. Simply combine jellied cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice, spoon the mixture on meatballs, and bake them in the oven. You’ll be looking for lots of occasions to make this cranberry recipe.
Cranberry Bacon and Walnut Cheeseball
You can’t miss with the flavor combination in this festive cheeseball. It looks stunning amidst small pretzel sticks, hearty crackers, and purple grapes. Best of all, it’s simple to create.
Cranberry Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
I’m one of those people who can’t resist anything bacony, including this classic hors d’oeuvre. In my take on the traditional, I use whole water chestnuts, thick-cut bacon, and a cranberry-infused chili sauce. That burst of tartness with the bacon crunchiness is mouth-wateringly good!
If you’re looking for a simple but flavorful appetizer that’s easy to make, you need to try these Turkey Bacon Cranberry Roll-Ups. They make the perfect tasty treat for any occasion.
Cranberry Recipes: Libations
Maple Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
Bourbon has become a go-to liquor at my house, and this is a drink I recently made to mark the start of the holiday season. The maple and cranberry play together so well! Even if you’re not yet a big fan of bourbon, this cranberry recipe will let you explore the medley of flavors as you sip and celebrate.
Slow Cooker Holiday Sangria
You know I LOVE Sangria. (I’ve featured it many times on IBC.) This version is ideal for the holidays because it’s resplendent with the colors of the season. Plus, it stays warm in the slow cooker, and your guests can serve themselves.
Cranberry Old Fashioned
I recommend having a signature cocktail for a Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or Christmas celebration. And this fabulous drink is one I often suggest. You can mix one up in a flash with cranberry simple syrup (I’ll show you how to make that, too.), a quality bourbon, and a splash of bitters.
Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
The base of this cranberry recipe is equal parts bourbon and cranberry juice. I fancified it with a rosemary sage simple syrup (Directions are included.) and a little lemon juice. If you haven’t decided what cocktail to serve before the turkey and trimmings, this might be the one.
I wanted to create a holiday cocktail recipe that would work with a few different types of alcohol. This Naughty but Nice Cocktail does just that. You can use the liquor you love the most! I know that everyone has different preferences, so it’s nice to have a drink recipe that suits as many people as possible. Plus it looks so cute!
When it comes to holiday cocktail recipes, a Christmas punch is always a go-to for me. In this post, I’m sharing a new favorite: my Holly Jolly Christmas Punch. It’s incredibly easy to make and wonderfully delicious. Let’s stir up a batch.
Cranberry Recipes: Breakfast
Mascarpone Cranberry French Toast
This cranberry recipe is likely to become your new favorite breakfast for the holiday and winter season. The creamy mascarpone and fresh juicy cranberries make this French toast appealing to both the eyes and the palette. And when life is even busier than usual, you can put this dish together in advance. Just refrigerate it overnight and bake the next morning.
When the air outside turns crisp and cool, this Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal is a hearty and flavorful way to start your day. Packed with fresh apples, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and seasonal spices, this seasonal breakfast dish is also easy to make.
Cranberry Recipes: Sweet Treats
Apple Cranberry Tart
In this delicious dessert, cranberries are the star and apples and walnuts are supporting players. Bursting with cheery red color and warm, sweet, and tart flavors, this cranberry recipe is my seasonal take on a traditional apple tart. You and your family and guest will love it.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Orange Monkey Bread
Whether you’re planning a small brunch or a big gathering, this monkey bread is the kind of sweet yumminess everyone loves. Drizzled with icing and full of seasonal flavors, this gooey cranberry recipe will be gobbled up in no time.
Cranberry Orange Walnut Tassies
The look and taste of these small tarts will wow your family and friends. Although this cranberry recipe appears time-consuming, it comes together pretty quickly once you’ve made the cookie dough and the filling has had time to chill.
Cranberry Pecan Pie
Something tells me this is a cranberry recipe your dear ones will be begging you to make! The cranberries offer the perfect counterpoint to the traditional rich and sugary pecan filling. And their ruby color gives this pie a holiday touch.
Apple Cranberry Slab Pie
The secret to this dessert is the puff pastry crust. Once it’s rolled out and filled with a mixture of dried cranberries, sliced apples, cinnamon, and sugar, another layer of pastry goes on top. After the pie is baked and cooled, you drizzle it with icing. I promise it will get rave reviews!
To make these shimmering beauties, you coat fresh cranberries in simple syrup and then in sugar. After the sugared berries are dry, use them for snacks, garnishes, and décor. I recently decorated a Black Walnut Christmas Cake with them. You can find that recipe here. Also, check out my Gingerbread House Cake where I used these cranberries to garnish that too.
I hope this collection of cranberry recipes from IBC inspires you. Enjoy your holiday preparations!
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