Best Fresh Cranberry Sauce

super easy

Cranberry, orange, sugar, cinnamon and brandy come together in no time for the best, fresh, cranberry sauce EVER

As a kid, I dreaded the cranberry sauce. That gelatinous, bouncy, wobbly, and impressed with the rings from the can red mess on the plate.  But now? I am all about the cranberries.  Cranberry Juice, bread, crepes and yes, the best fresh cranberry sauce ever! We added a splash of Brandy at the end just to give it that little sum’n sum’n. I present to you……

You guys……it is so easy to do.  Please, take 15 minutes and make yourself some.  Your guests will appreciate it and your taste buds will wake up and make you feel like a rainbow kitten unicorn! Okay, maybe not a unicorn but you get the idea.

Recently I made this sauce and did not have any Brandy, so I replaced that ingredient with Amaretto.  I’m still trying to decide which one is better.  My sister, who refused for years to try my cranberry sauce finally did.  She is a huge fan of it and the Amaretto.

I mention this because cooking is personal to your taste and should be a fun experiment in the kitchen.  Feel free to get creative!

Let’s get this Cranberry Sauce show on the road!

Start with fresh cranberries, filtered water and sugar.  I also add in a half of an orange; squeezed and quartered.

Best Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.  You are wanting the cranberries to burst.  Once most of them have burst (some will remain looking whole), remove from heat.  Remove orange quarters and add in the cinnamon and Brandy.

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce


You’re done!

I told you it was very simple 🙂  There really is not much more to it than that. There are many variations to this cranberry sauce recipe that you could do.

You could……

  • Replace water with orange juice
  • Add in a cinnamon stick (remove once simmered)
  • Add in any other type of whiskey. Bourbon, Jack Daniels, the list is endless.
  • Add in just the zest of an orange at the end for added tartness
  • Squeeze in the juice of a lemon
  • Use a grapefruit

As you can see, your only limit is your imagination.

This cranberry sauce is also a great substitute for Lingonberry jam.  If you’re in the market for amazing flavor, check out How To Make The Best Swedish Meatballs and pair this with them.

What is your favorite cranberry combination?  Let me know your best fresh cranberry recipe, I’d love to see all the flavors!

Live, Love, Eat!


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Best Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time17 mins
Course: Sides and Sauces
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Oven Struck


  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water filtered or spring

Add Ins

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Brandy
  • 1/2 of a large navel orange - quartered


  • Combine water and sugar in a high sided pot. Simmer until sugar has mostly dissolved.
  • Add in 12 ounces of fresh cranberries the juice of the orange and the orange quarters.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 15 minutes or until most cranberries have burst
  • Remove from heat and discard the oranges
  • Stir in Brandy and Cinnamon
  • Chill to serve or serve warm
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