Brandied Cranberries

Fresh cranberries baked with sugar, brandy, and orange zest.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of the best things about Thanksgiving season is the availability of fresh or fresh frozen cranberries. We buy bags of them this time of year and freeze them so we can cook with cranberries all year long. Typically grocers stop carrying even frozen cranberries after January, so if you like all things cranberry, it pays to buy extra when they are in season. Usually for cranberry sauce, we make them the old fashioned way, boiling them in a little water with sugar. This brandied cranberry recipe is firmer than typical sauce, with jewels of spiked candied cranberries. Serve like chutney with pork, turkey or chicken.

Brandied Cranberries Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 cups.


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 Tbsp finely shredded orange zest (use microplane zester)


1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Sort through cranberries and discard any that are soft or decayed.

2 Mix cranberries, sugar, brandy, and orange zest in a 8 or 9-inch square baking dish. Bake uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Chill up to one week.

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Recipe from a Sunset recipe by Julie Wente of Wente Winery.

Showing 4 of 22 Comments

  • Cheryl

    I have made this every year for Thanksgiving…this is the most amazing dish each year. My only variation is usually the brand of brandy on hand…I an already excited about making it this year!!!

  • Christine B

    These got great reviews on Thanksgiving! They will be done again – Thank you and your family for so many wonderful recipes. I do not have a well of relatives to turn to for recipes or cooking advise, so this site really does feel like calling mom when I need to know how to make something. Thank you :)

  • Lisa

    Made this for thanksgiving – really good.

  • Molly

    This is very similar to our family recipe that we’ve been using since I can remember christmas/thanksgiving dinner. I love this recipe!

    This year we tried soaking the cranberries in brandy overnight and they were even better than ever. (It was also kind of fun to just pop a cranberry or two pre-cooking)

  • Phyllis P

    I just found this recipe and want to make it for next week. Do I serve it hot or cold? Or does it matter?

    Great question. I don’t think it matters. I think I made ahead and served cold, but you could easily serve warm. ~Elise

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Brandied Cranberries