The BEST Homemade Cranberry Apple Sauce!

The best homemade apple cranberry sauce, cooling outdoors

Apple Cranberry Sauce

It starts with the apple, both the type you use (see below) and how you cut it up. The cranberries need to be firm, ripe and raw. And finally a few select ingredients from both the old fashioned and newer, homemade apple-cranberry sauces.

Sweet Apples: Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji
Tangy Apples: McIntosh, Pink Lady
Tart Apples: Granny Smith, Braeburn, Macoun

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Recipe by Cranby

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  • Apples, 9-12 medium sized fresh apples peeled, cored, and thickly chopped.

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup liquid honey

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup apple juice or cider

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Optional

  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, raisins, currants or dates

  • 1/4 cup of chopped almonds, walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds


  1. Place all ingredients into a large pot. Set stove to low.
  2. The secret: Cook the large apple chunks and whole, fresh cranberries on low right from the start, and let it simmer uncovered the entire time. Stir occasionally.
  3. If you prefer a more pureed-style sauce then bring pot to a boil right away, then simmer and mash until well blended.
  4. Cool and serve warm. It’s great on it’s own or goes well with ice cream. Refrigerate if you prefer it cooler; it’s a great topping for oatmeal too.
  5. Enjoy ✨


  • To make it chunky be sure the apple pieces you cut are large, and that you don’t mash it all up once done.
  • Cranberries are much better soft and mushy so what some people do is cook everything but the apples first, until the cranberries are almost ‘there’, and then add them in a bit later. That keeps the apples big and chunky and cranberries mushy enough.
  • This sauce freezes for an entire year if you wish to make some in advance, or just have leftovers.
  • I try to stay away from sugar when I can, so if you want to make this healthy you can replace the liquid honey for an equal amount of 1:1 granulated sweetener. That way all you are left with is fruit and a few other non-weight-gain ingredients.

Steaming Apple Cranberry Sauce

Chunky Apple & Cran

Fun Bits

Long Ago: It’s believed that the ancient Romans were the first to create a sauce made from cooked apples and honey.

Nutrient Dense: Apple Cranberry sauce is naturally low in calories and fat, good for losing weight. It also is rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals (especially manganese), flavinoids and antioxidants.

Versatile Ingredient: Apple Cranberry sauce can be used as a substitute for oil or butter in recipes to reduce fat content while adding moisture and flavor.

Emotional regulation: It’s been noted that making Apple Cranberry sauce, or any sauce from scratch, helps to soothe and ground a person. Using one’s hands and working natural foods from raw to cooked, the scent and taste, all serve to calm the soul.

Ideas & Uses for Apple/Cranberry Sauce

Oatmeal: Add a couple of spoonfuls to your homemade oatmeal (I make mine on the stove with quick oats and milk) and you will have one of the healthiest breakfasts. You can also add this sauce to other breakfast foods like pancakes, waffles, yogurt and even toast.

Spruce up Desserts: Apple Cranberry sauce is great on vanilla ice cream – it’s like pie a-la-mode without the apple pie crust. You can also add it to parfaits, oatmeal cookies, low sugar loaves and sweet breads.

Cheeses: This sauce can be used as an accompaniment with all sorts of cheeses. It’s basically substituting the apple slices on that fancy apple and cheese plate where nobody really eats the apples. They might if it’s tasty apple and cranberry, homemade sauce.

Granola Snack Topper: If you love hiking then you likely love granola. If you love the outdoors and pack healthy snacks like granola, then adding this sauce to your bowl really brings it alive.

Here’s to cranberries making everything in life better!

Pot of apple cranberry sauce

Dried Cranberry Powder

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