Cranberry Sorbet

DessertFreezer-friendlyCranberryIce Cream

Bright pink and refreshing cranberry sorbet, made with fresh cranberries, sugar, cranberry juice, and orange zest.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Guest author Garrett came over to make this cranberry sorbet for us the other day, so good! Even in bone-chilling weather. ~Elise

I’ve gone a bit cranberry crazy at the moment. Plain loco. Off the deep end. You see, it’s 35°F outside and I have my ice cream machine running.

Now before you roll your eyes at me and and simply pass me off as simply lunatic fringe, please, hear me out.

I love cranberries. Adore them, in fact. I horde them come November and December because I just can’t get enough of their sweet-tart taste that just nibbles at your tongue.

Cranberry sauce, tarts, bread, cookies and chutneys get turned out here like I’ll win a prize at the end (maybe more cranberries?).

I always wanted to try making cranberry sorbet but let’s face it, there be no cranberries in July when the weather is hitting triple digits.

Cranberry Sorbet

Still, if you’re a bit cranberry crazy like me, you’ll be more than willing to give this a go.

It met with resounding praise at Thanksgiving and was polished off shortly after the next day; as such it’s making a Christmas appearance as well. Its deep garnet color and perky flavor just ring with cheer and spirit.

Paired with a snifter of good brandy or maybe some fresh blondies or gingerbread men this sorbet is best enjoyed in a cozy home wrapped in your warmest sweater.

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart


  • 12 ounces fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (about 3 1/2 cups), washed and drained, stems removed and discarded, bruised or spoiled cranberries discarded
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups white cranberry juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh lime or orange zest


1 Cook the cranberries with sugar, water, and cranberry juice: Place cranberries, sugar, water, white cranberry juice, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until all of the berries have popped and the sugar has dissolved.

2 Cool, blend, and press through strainer: Cool for 10 minutes. Working in batches, purée in a blender until smooth. Press through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp; discard seeds and pulp.

3 Add corn syrup, zest, and chill: Stir in corn syrup and zest. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, several hours or preferably overnight.

4 Process in ice cream maker: Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Right out of the ice cream maker the sorbet will be rather soft. If you would like it firmer, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and put in your freezer for a couple of hours.

Once frozen, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature before serving.

For variations, try adding a tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger to the cranberries, or a tablespoon or two of orange zest.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

Recipe adapted from Cuisinart.


How to make ice cream without a machine - tips by David Lebovitz.

Cranberry Sorbet

Showing 4 of 16 Comments / Reviews

  • margot

    About how many servings does this make? I’m thinking of making this for a dinner party of about 12 people…should I double the recipe?

    It makes about a quart and a half I would say, so for 12 substantial servings? Yes, I would double it. If you don’t have that large an ice cream maker though, just do it in batches. ~Garrett

  • Ellen

    This reminds me of my grandmother’s recipe: 1 bag cranberries, 1 cup orange juice, 3 cups each sugar and water, cooked on the stovetop until bubbly, frozen, and stirred every few hours. Not nearly so smooth or creamy as this recipe looks, but juicy and flavorful, and we thought it was SO elegant served in cocktail glasses at the beginning of Thanksgiving dinner (including one memorable Thanksgiving when the freezer door popped open and nobody noticed, and we had cold cranberry soup instead :-) If I ever get an ice cream maker, I’ll be sure to try this recipe instead – much more sophisticated, and the addition of ginger sounds perfect.

    What a wonderful story Ellen! As for the ice cream maker, cuisinart makes a great one that’s affordable. Honestly, it’s a device I get lots of use out of, especially in summer and spring. ~Garrett

  • Jane

    Cranberry Sorbet sounds wonderful but where on earth would I buy “white cranberry juice”. I can’t even find “cranberry” juice in the stores. It is always mixed with other juices. Its called “Cranberry Juice Cocktail”.

    I just bought it at the store. A mixture of water and some orange juice might work well too. ~Garrett

  • LenaMarie

    Jane says ‘where would I buy white Cranberry juice’ My comment is “what is white cranberry juice”? Never heard of it, and I’m always ready to try something new, but I missed this. I can, however, taste this sorbet already. Yummy.

    You can find it in most stores and is actually pretty common. It’s cranberry juice with the tannins removed, and is often mixed with a bit of white grape juice. ~Garrett

  • Shanan

    My dear friend here (Portland, OR) calls something very close to this Cranberry Ice. Her family serves it every Thanksgiving in a sorbet bowl along side the plate, and instead of traditional cranberry sauce. I’ve had it at her table a number of years, but this year we were honored to have her and her family at our place for Turkey Day and they brought it along. Everyone loves it, especially the kiddos who feel like they get to eat icecream before/during dinner rather than waiting till the end.

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