Home Desserts 20 Easy Cranberry Desserts

20 Easy Cranberry Desserts

Although these little berries can be pretty tart, I promise that these cranberry desserts are sweet and dreamy.

As much as I love adding a little bit of sourness to my food, cranberries can be quite overwhelming if you don’t add some extra sugar. 

Cranberry Crumble Bars
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That’s why you often see them made into cookies with white chocolate or mellowed out inside a cheesecake or chocolate cake. 

If you can get the flavors to balance, cranberries are a fantastic addition. Plus, they look amazing in almost anything you can think of. 

1. Dark Chocolate Cranberry Bundt Cake

Dark chocolate cake is strong and very rich in flavor.

I know plenty of people would happily endure death by chocolate, but I prefer with something to cut through the intensity. 

Though I would generally opt for strawberries because they’re nice and sweet, I love the sour notes you get when using cranberries. 

Not only that, but the sauce has some orange juice for added freshness and cinnamon for a touch of warmth.

2. Cranberry Almond Cake

Most vanilla or almond cake recipes are relatively mild on their own, with a glaze or frosting boosting the taste.

Of course, adding fruit to the batter will help to give it much-needed color and moisture, not to mention natural flavoring. 

In this case, there’s also an excellent, buttery, nutty topping.

So although you’ll add the cranberries whole, there are plenty of mellow flavors to balance it all out. 

3. Cranberry White Chocolate Bark

This looks very festive, thanks to the cranberries and sunflower seeds.

That red, white, and green color combination just screams Christmas, don’t you think?

Of course, you can enjoy this any time of the year, and you should!

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It’s super creamy, wonderfully chewy, and is loaded with a great crunch from the nuts and seeds. 

Dried cranberries will work best for this, as fresh might start to turn if you don’t store it in the fridge.

Frozen will likely make the chocolate seize as they thaw, and the juices will seep over the top, causing a bit of a mess. 

4. No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a fantastic medium to balance sour fruits.

It’s super creamy, light, and sweet, which pairs perfectly with some lip-smacking lemon or juicy cranberries. 

As with a lot of cranberry recipes, you’ll need orange in here. Lemon would be too overwhelming, but the freshness of orange is ideal against the berry. 

To ensure that the bitter taste isn’t too much, you’ll use a mixture of cream cheese and marshmallow fluff to make the filling. 

5. White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge

Similar to the recipe above, fudge is another terrific and creamy option to help offset sour or intense flavors.

In most cases, it’s full of white chocolate, evaporated or condensed milk, and added sugar. So, on its own, it’s quite sweet.

Of course, most dried cranberries are made with added sugar, so they’re not overly sour. They add a lovely chewiness to the mix too. 

6. Cranberry Magic Bars

Magic bars are a layered sweet cookie-like bake that’s topped with condensed milk and a few fun extras. 

I usually make them with chocolate chips and coconut, but this version is a little bit fresher. 

You’ll start with a quick almond and cinnamon shortbread recipe, half of which is pressed into a lined pan before being baked until it just starts to turn brown. 

On top of this, you’ll layer white chocolate chips, cranberries, sweetened condensed milk, sliced almonds, and shredded coconut.

Lastly, the rest of the shortbread gets sprinkled over. The filling will thicken and turn stocky as it bakes, while the top will become golden and slightly crunchy.

7. Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Traditional shortbread is a quick blend of flour, butter, and sugar. You’ll beat the butter and sugar first and then gently mix through the flour. 

The key to getting these cookies to the right, crumbly consistency is to under-mix the dough.

That means you need to pour the dough onto your table when it’s still shaggy and not fully incorporated. 

Finish pressing it together on the table, so you don’t over-mix and cause them to go crunchy. 

I like to add the flour in three auditions, combining the fruit and zest with the last batch. 

8. Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Bars

If you enjoy chocolate and raspberry, I just know you’ll love these rich and sweet chocolate and cranberry bars. 

I like this recipe so much because the ratio of crust to jam is more even than you’d usually see.

So, you’ll get a lot more of that vibrant filling, making these pretty gooey.

You can use chocolate chips if that’s all you have, but I think it looks better with the chunks.

Just buy a couple of bars of dark chocolate and roughly chop them before scattering them over the top.

9. Fresh Cranberry Cookies

You might notice that in most cookie recipes, you’re asked to use dried cranberries.

That’s usually because they’re sweeter and won’t seep juices as the fresh berries would. 

But if you like things tart and you enjoy your cookies to be more on the cakey side, this recipe is a must-make. 

The recipe also calls for a lemon glaze, which I found to be too sour in addition to the cranberries. Instead, try orange if you want it less intense. 

10. Cranberry Lemon Pound Cake

The lemon flavor in this cake is pronounced but not quite as robust as the glaze from the recipe above. 

So, it actually works really well against the pops of fresh cranberry. 

To keep the fruit from sinking, try tossing it in a few tablespoons of the flour mixture.

Also, only fold it through right before you intend to bake. This should prevent the color from streaking. 

11. Fresh Cranberry Shortbread Bars

The title might be simple, but these shortbread bars are anything but when it comes to flavor!

They’re actually “fresh cranberry, white chocolate, and macadamia nut shortbread bars,” but I suppose that’s a bit of a mouthful. 

Again, you’ll start with a pretty standard shortbread base, though you’ll also mix through white chocolate chips and nuts. Keep half in reserve for the topping. 

One of the key differences in this recipe is that you’ll use fresh cranberries with no added sugar or orange zest.

So, if you have a particularly sour batch, you might want to toss them in sugar first.

12. Cranberry Bliss Bars

If these look familiar to you, you must be a fellow Starbucks lover.

Unfortunately, these aren’t available year-round, so when they put out that first tray, you’d better believe I’ll be in line!

It starts with a white chocolate and dried cranberry blondie, which is thick, chewy, and very indulgent. 

Honestly, they could have stopped there and still had a winner.

But some genius decided to include a velvety layer of cream cheese and white chocolate frosting. Oh, and some added dried cranberries for good measure. 

13. Cranberry Upside Down Cake

How stunning does this cake look? That deep red cranberry topping is just begging to be photographed. 

You’ll more or less start by making a quick cranberry sauce with butter, white and brown sugar, and plenty of fresh berries. 

Cook them on the stove until they’re plump and starting to pop. 

To keep the cake from becoming soggy, it’s important to scoop out the berries and cook the syrup a little longer until it’s thick and jam-like. 

14. Cranberry Orange Bread

I’m sure you eat, gift, and receive your fair share of apple or pumpkin bread during the festive season.

So, why not go another way and make a batch of cranberry and orange loaves instead? People will go nuts for the fresh flavors and bright colors. 

Between the orange zest and orange juice concentrate, there’s no missing the citrusy taste in this cake. 

Not only that, but you’ll also pour over an orange glaze. I like to top it all off with chopped dried cranberries. 

15. Apple-Cranberry Galette

When you work in the food industry, be it a restaurant, bakery, or food blog like this, it quickly becomes apparent how important visuals are for people. 

Apple pie is a family favorite and will be welcome at any table, I’m sure. But you have to admit that it can be a little boring. 

If you want an apple pie or galette that looks exciting and inviting, try tossing in some cranberries. Those pops of red will work wonders!

16. Cranberry Fluff

I’m willing to bet that you’ve tried ambrosia salad before. Even though it’s a southern recipe, it almost always winds up on the buffet table at some point.

But have you ever tried cranberry fluff? It’s a similar concept, just with a few key differences. 

Both recipes include crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and whipped topping.

However, this version omits the sour cream, mandarin oranges, and coconut in favor of cranberry sauce. 

Although, I’ll bet it would be super tasty with the oranges still in the mix. 

17. Makeover Cranberry Trifle

If you have a crowd to feed, you can’t go wrong with one of these sensational trifle recipes. They’re big, bold, and perfect for your next Instagram post. 

I love that you can use store-bought cake with whipped topping and some fruit to create this show-stopper.

It looks complicated, but it comes together fast in a snap.

To balance out the sourness of the cranberries, you’ll cook them with water, sugar, orange zest, and strawberries. 

Keep in mind that the fruit needs to be thawed and drained. If you add frozen fruits into the pot, they will melt and release a lot of juices, making this way too thin. 

18. Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

If you like the chewy taste of oatmeal cookies, this recipe will knock your socks off. 

It’s essentially a thick oatmeal cookie bar that’s stuffed with whole berry cranberry sauce.

Feel free to use canned or to make your own if you have a favorite recipe. 

These are a terrific breakfast bar, too, since they’re loaded with oats and fruit.

Or, try sprinkling some dark chocolate over the top to make them more indulgent. 

You could even make this vegan by swapping the butter for coconut oil. 

19. Walnut & Cranberry Pie

As far as pies go, I think this is beautiful. Yes, I love buttery pasty and like to have a top layer over the fruit.

But you can’t deny how impressive that coloring is!

Since the filling is a mixture of brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, cranberries, and walnuts, this has an almost pecan pie-like consistency. 

Of course, it’s chewier, thanks to tall those berries. Top your slice with a dollop of orange whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. 

20. Bog Hollow Cranberry Brownies

Bog Hollow is a farm known for its cranberries. So, it’s no surprise they have a recipe that’s chock full of them. 

Like the chocolate cake from up top, you’ll find that the sweet and tart fruit is the perfect match to rich, fudgy brownies. 

I was a little disappointed not to see any extra chocolate in this recipe since I love finding those pockets of melted chocolatey goodness. 

If you feel the same, stir in another 1/2 cup of chocolate chips along with the cranberries. 

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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