Brandied Cranberries

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

  • 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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  1. Bob

    I like the sound of these! Do you recommend any particular brandy?

    No particular brandy recommendation. I use whatever we have on hand. ~Elise

  2. stephchows

    Do you think you would be able to can this recipe to save for use later? Maybe toss it into sterilized jars and process like normal? Or do you think it would spoil? Looks great!

    No idea. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  3. Ben Lyons


    Can I use a weaker alcohol? I would like to try a raspberry lambic instead. Do you think that would work?

    Why don’t you try it and let us know how it turns out? ~Elise

  4. jonathan

    Deconstructed fruitcake.
    That I actually want to eat.

    I’m with Soma on the “hard crusted bread” idea. Maybe with a schmear of nice soft chevre beforehand.

  5. Yaara

    The picture is beautiful..
    Can I use dried cranberries? (It’s the only kind we have around here) and maybe omit some the sugar..
    Thank you!

    This recipe calls for fresh or frozen whole cranberries. I wouldn’t attempt it with dried. But if you do, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  6. Melissa

    I used this recipe as a fantastic inspiration for a stovetop recipe. I used dried orange-flavor cranberries (thanks Trader Joe’s!) and some fresh orange juice along with Hennesey cognac and cider and brown sugar. and WOW! that liquor makes all the difference in the world–what layers! Cranberry sauce is no longer one-dimensional! And baking it is really interesting, it gives it a very different texture from a sauce/chutney type dish to a real, hearty side dish in its own right.

  7. Chandra

    I made this substituting zest from one clementine and its juice. Probably not as citrusy as 2 tablespoons of orange zest would have been but still very interesting.

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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 :)