Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Bowl filled with cranberry sauce

This holiday season, say NO to the can! We’re talking about canned cranberry sauce. Instead, why not make it from scratch? After all, cranberries are in season throughout fall. Homemade cranberry sauce is easy and tastes SO much better than processed alternatives. What’s more, we liven up our cranberry sauce recipe with persimmons, orange, spices and more!

Building on the Basics

Ingredients to make cranberry sauce

The simplest version of this sauce is cranberries cooked in water and sugar until the berries pop and the sauce thickens. However, there are plenty of simple things you can do to expand the flavors. Here are our tips for upping your cranberry sauce game!

  • Use Persimmons: homemade cranberry sauce is often heavy on the sugar. Our recipe is still sweetened, but persimmons replace some of the processed sugar. Persimmons mature in the late fall, so they’re ready just in time! However, if you can’t find them, you can easily replace them with apples.  Note: make sure you get the non-astringent Fuyu variety for this recipe. 
  • Add fresh ginger: ginger has a flavor that complements both cranberries and persimmons, so it’s an obvious choice for our homemade cranberry sauce.
  • Make it (orange) Zesty: orange is a classic ingredient in cranberry sauce, and we love this flavor combination.
  • Spice it up: cranberries love to hang out with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. So, to keep things easy we chose the perfect ready-made ingredients – pumpkin pie spice! Not only does this mix perfect your cranberry sauce recipe – it’s also full of all the flavors we crave in fall!
  • Brown Sugar: the persimmons replace some of the sugar in this recipe, but not all of it. We find that brown sugar works best for homemade cranberry sauce. Brown sugar us more complex that white, adding caramel flavors and a touch of bitterness. In other words, it gives the sauce more depth!

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

The recipe for putting all this together into delicious cranberry sauce is easy! First, start with fresh cranberries – or whole frozen ones if they’re out of season when you make this.

Sauce pan filled with cranberries and persimmons

Next, prepare the persimmons but chopping them into pieces about the same size as the cranberries. This step ensures that everything cooks at the same speed. While you cut the fruit, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a pot. Add all of the fruit to the pot. Now cook it until:

  • The cranberries pop
  • The persimmon is broken down
  • The sauce has thickened to your desired consistency
  • This process takes 10-15 minutes.

To finish it off, mix in all the spices and a pinch of salt. Yay, your homemade cranberry sauce is ready to serve!

We hope you enjoy this Homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe! As the holidays approach we’re giving thanks for our friends, our family, and for all of you – our readers! Let’s be kind by being vegan – kind to the animals, to the earth, and to ourselves!

And if you’re looking for more delicious dishes for your holiday table, you might like our Pumpkin Pie, Stuffed Winter Squash, and Sweet Potato Casserole recipes!


Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Let’s share some homemade cranberry sauce! Our recipe “levels up” classic cranberry sauce with persimmon, orange, spices, and more! Happy Holidays!

  • Author: Rachel Steenland | The Plant Riot
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings as a side 1x


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (juice of one orange)
  • 1/23/4 cup brown sugar, or to taste
  • 4 cups (14 oz / 400 grams) fresh cranberries
  • 2 persimmons, finely chopped (same size or smaller then the cranberries)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Place water, orange juice and sugar into a medium size pot, bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and persimmons to the pot.
  2. Cook until the cranberries pop, the persimmon is broken down and the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency, around 10-15 minutes.
  3. To finish it off, mix in the orange zest, ginger, pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of salt. 
  4. Transfer your homemade cranberry sauce to a serving bowl. Serve warm or cold.


  • Cranberry sauce can be made up to three days ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve, either serve cold or reheat for a few minutes in the microwave. If you prefer to reheat on the stovetop, add a tablespoon or two of water to ensure that the cranberry sauce doesn’t dry out.

Keywords: homemade cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce recipe, cranberry sauce orange, cranberry sauce persimmon, The Plant Riot

This post contains affiliate links, which means that The Plant Riot (SteenPow Collective LLC) will make a small commission if you purchase using these links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change. The Plant Riot only recommends products that we know, trust and love!


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