Easy Cranberry Syrup Recipe

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Cranberry syrup, with its super bright color and tangy-sweet flavor, adds a burst of freshness to various recipes. From drizzling it over pancakes (uhhh … yumm) to using it as a cocktail mixer, homemade cranberry syrup is a versatile and healthy addition to your kitchen repertoire. In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of crafting your own cranberry syrup at home. Not only is it a rewarding DIY project that is sure to please the whole family, but it also allows you to enjoy the rich flavors of cranberries in a unique and customizable way.

Why Make Cranberry Syrup at Home?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of making cranberry syrup, let’s take a moment to appreciate the reasons why making it at home is worth the effort. Firstly, homemade cranberry syrup allows you to control the quality of ingredients, ensuring a natural and preservative-free result. This is always the goal in my kitchen, personally. You can choose fresh, organic cranberries and sweeteners to tailor the syrup to your taste preferences.

Secondly, creating cranberry syrup at home provides room for experimentation. You can play with additional flavors, spices, or sweeteners to craft a syrup that perfectly complements your favorite dishes and beverages. Plus, homemade cranberry syrup makes for a thoughtful and delicious gift during the holiday season.

Can I use frozen cranberries?

You can! We just recommend defrosting them first. We prefer picking our own, but we know that not everyone has that option where they live.

What are the health benefits of cranberries?

So many! They are high in antioxidants and free-radicals, for one. Here’s a list of 10 things cranberries are great for.

Cranberry Syrup

A delicious syrup that adds a wonderful element to dishes like pancakes, toast, and other dishes.


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar adjust based on desired sweetness you can also use a sugar replacement
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional


  • Start with the foundation of your syrup – the cranberries. Whether fresh or frozen, ensure they are of high quality. Fresh cranberries are typically available from late September to December, but frozen ones work just as well and can be used year-round.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, and water. The sugar serves not only as a sweetener but also as a preservative. Adjust the amount of sugar based on your preference for sweetness – you can start with one cup and add more later if needed.
  • Enhance the complexity of your cranberry syrup by adding optional flavor elements. For a citrusy twist, incorporate a teaspoon of lemon zest. A cinnamon stick introduces warm, comforting notes, while a hint of vanilla extract adds a touch of sweetness. Experiment with different combinations to find the flavor profile that suits your taste buds.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The cranberries will burst open, releasing their juices and creating a rich, flavorful base for your syrup.
  • With a wooden or silicone spoon, gently mash the cranberries to extract as much flavor as possible. Continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes to allow the syrup to thicken. The infusion of flavors during this step is crucial for achieving a well-rounded and delicious cranberry syrup.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the cranberry mixture cool slightly. Place a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a bowl or another saucepan and strain the syrup to separate the liquid from the cranberry solids. Use the back of the spoon to press down on the cranberries, extracting every bit of liquid goodness.
  • Taste the strained syrup and adjust the sweetness or flavorings as needed. If you desire a sweeter syrup, add more sugar. For an extra layer of flavor, consider stirring in additional spices or extracts. This step allows you to tailor the syrup to your specific preferences.
  • Using a funnel, carefully pour the strained and customized cranberry syrup into clean glass bottles or jars. Ensure that the containers have tight-fitting lids to preserve the freshness of the syrup. If you added any solid flavor elements like cinnamon sticks, consider placing them in the bottles for a decorative touch.

We hope you found this so useful! Share below what you put your new cranberry syrup on!

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