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Cooking for the Holidays | Spiced Cranberry Sauce

I've tried a lot of homemade cranberry sauce recipes but this one is the one I serve every year at Thanksgiving. It's sweet, it's spicy, and it makes the house smell divine while you're cooking it. I like to think of it as cranberry sauce with a twist.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce


1 12 oz package of cranberries

1 large orange

1 pinch orange zest

1 cup sugar

½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground ginger


¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)


1. Gather ingredients and equipment. I use a large saucepan to make this and a wooden spoon. If you don't have a zester, you can use a microplane or grater to make the orange zest.

2. Zest or grate orange skin and set orange zest aside. Juice orange into the saucepan.

3. Combine cranberries, sugar, a generous pinch of orange zest, and the orange juice in the saucepan over medium heat.

4. Stir every so often as cranberries soften and pop for about 10 minutes. I also use the wooden spoon to help mash the cranberries as they heat.

5. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Stir well and then take a little of the sauce out. Cool, and taste test. Adjust spice and sweetness level as needed.

6. Once the cranberry sauce is to your liking, remove from heat. Carefully pour the hot cranberry sauce into a bowl or other serving container. Allow to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools down.

7. Serve, and enjoy. For a fun garnish, sprinkle the remaining orange zest over the cranberry sauce to your liking. Sauce may be refrigerated or frozen for later use.


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