Skip to main content

Simple Cranberry Jam Recipe

No skill required, just a pot, some cranberries, sugar and orange juice. This homemade Cranberry Jam is delicious spread on scones, bread and toast, in yogurt, or my favorite – with cheese!

Bail jar full of Cranberry Jam
Cranberry Jam

Cranberry Jam is what I make when I have leftover cranberries. Leading up to Thanksgiving, cranberries become plentiful in grocery stores throughout the US. When buying them for cranberry sauce, grab extra to make Cranberry Jam with.

This recipe is for a small batch of jam, the yield will fit into a 7oz jar. It’s just enough to get through the holiday season.


Three ingredients combine to make a little jar of deliciousness.

Ingredients for Cranberry Jam
Ingredients for Cranberry Jam
  • Fresh cranberries, if possible organic.
  • Sugar.
  • Orange juice, I used the juice of a mandarin orange. Also water.

See recipe card for quantities.


Place the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and water into a pot.

Bring to a boil, then simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Check the cranberries to see if they have all popped. Check for tenderness – take a teaspoon, put some cranberry jam on it, careful it will be hot. Taste it after it has cooled a little. Ask yourself how tender is the jam, if the fruit seems too firm then continue to simmer the jam. Put the pot lid on so that the jam does not dry out. Add more sugar if needed.

Cranberries in a pot, with sugar, water and orange juice added
Cranberries in a pot, with sugar, water
and orange juice added.
Cranberries cooking over a low heat.
Cranberries cooking over a low heat.

When the jam has finished cooking, the sweetness level is correct and the texture is tender but not mushy, then allow it to cool before placing it in a bail jar or mason jar. A jam jar works well too!

Jar of Cranberry Jam
Jar of Cranberry Jam


Add ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves and orange zest if you would like.

Uses for Cranberry Jam

Spread Cranberry Jam on toast, breads, scones, and crackers. Make it your J in PBJ sandwiches! Add a dollop to yogurt. Serve it with cheesecake, or ice cream.

Use it as a condiment on a cheeseboard, or better yet, serve it with blue cheese. The tangy sweetness of the jam combines perfectly with the salty sharpness of the blue cheese.

 Blue Cheese on Crackers with a dollop of Cranberry Jam
Blue Cheese on Crackers with a dollop of Cranberry Jam


Bail Jar

I recommended putting the Cranberry Jam into Bail jars. The leakproof rubber gasket will keep the Jam fresh and sealed from microbes and odors.

By clicking on the image, you will be redirected to a third party seller. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Cranberry Jam will store well in a Bail Jar, mason jar or regular jam jar for 10 – 14 days in the refrigerator. Freeze it too, but first transfer it to a freezer bag. Store for up to 1 month in the freezer.

A Tip From Me

Take advantage of buying fresh cranberries in the store, especially when Thanksgiving is over. They are typically reduced in price, still fresh and versatile in use.

Got Questions?

I’ve got answers – hopefully!

  • Shouldn’t pectin be added to this jam recipe? No, because cranberries are naturally full of pectin. Pectin is present in certain fruits, such as apples (seeds), and it helps create a gel when fruit is cooked, rather than fruit that looks stewed.
  • What is the difference between Cranberry Jam and Cranberry Sauce? There’s really not much of a difference. Some people will split hairs over this, but they are both made from fresh cranberries, sugar and water. Additional ingredients can be added but are not required. Cranberry Sauce may have more water added to make it more viscous (pourable), or less water added, if the desire is to have more of a Cranberry Mold to slice.
  • I made this recipe and after a couple of days in the refrigerator found it to be too tart. What should I do? Put the jam into a bowl and add a liquid sweetener such as honey, or simple syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part water, bring to a boil and let it cool.). If you add sugar without using heat to dissolve it, the Cranberry Jam will be grainy with sugar crystals. If you add sugar and heat so that the sugar will dissolve, then the texture of the Jam is compromised and it will turn mushy.
Homemade Cranberry Jam

Simple Cranberry Jam

This recipe is for a small batch of jam using fresh cranberries, sugar, water and just a splash of orange juice. Spread it on bread, toast, or crackers, add it to a cheese board, dollop it on cheesecake and yogurt. It offers lots of versatility and it's a great way to use up fresh cranberries.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Afternoon Tea, Condiment, Jam
Cuisine American
Servings 12 tbsp
Calories 21 kcal



  • 8 oz fresh cranberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 fl oz water


  • Wash the cranberries under cold running water.
  • Put them in a pot, add sugar, orange juice and water.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Make sure all the fresh cranberries have 'popped.'
  • Taste and add more sugar if needed.
  • If the texture of the jam feels undercooked (too firm), then place the lid on the pot and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the texture is to your liking.
  • Cool and transfer to a Bail jar or similar jar for storage.


Serving: 1tbspCalories: 21kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.04gSaturated Fat: 0.002gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.004gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 14IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.05mg
Keyword berries, cranberries, easy, Fall, fruit, Jam, quick, spread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


No comments yet!

Start the Conversation

Your Email address will never be published.

Recipe Rating

Please enter a valid comment, between 5 and 480 characters
Please enter a valid display name
Please enter a valid email address
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Cancel Reply

Thank You for subscribing! Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

There was a problem subscribing, please start over or retry.

Subscribe to the Newsletter and stay up to date via your inbox!

Please enter your name
Please provide a valid email address
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Recent Posts