Brandied Cranberries

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

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 21 Comments

  • Qing

    These are like candies! The house smelled so good while it was baking. Thanks!

  • Milena

    Great recipe! I usually can’t stand cranberries but these are so good. Huge hit at thanksgiving and xmas. I used peach brandy that I had at home and it still came out great! And so easy :)

  • Annie

    Love this recipe! I usually don’t like cranberries, but these were so delicious. They are incredibly tasty on a turkey sandwich with a little bit of horseradish spread.

  • Laurie

    This was a big hit at our Thanksgiving table this year. So good – and so easy. And it was delicious on turkey sandwiches.

  • Rachel

    I’ve made these each year for the last three Thanksgivings since you posted this recipe. I love them. I make them with brown sugar, apple brandy and no orange (citrus allergy). Thank you!

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Brandied Cranberries