Brandied Cranberries

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

Brandied Cranberries
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 cook cranberries 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 it like a chutney — with pork, turkey or chicken, or as a topping for baked brie or a festive component of a cheese board.

The recipe comes from a recipe by Julie Wente of Wente Winery in Sunset Magazine.

Brandied Cranberries

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 75 mins
Total Time 80 mins
Yield 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. Sort and discard bad cranberries:

    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 2-quart baking dish.

  3. Bake:

    Bake at 325°F uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.

    Chill up to one week.