Cranberries are a great way to add flavor and zing to your baking—a burst of flavor in every bite. They become colorful, ruby red gems in breads, muffins, cookies, and pancakes. They taste good and they’re good for you. This article will tell you how to use cranberries in your baking and give some recipes at the end for where you can use your cranberries.
Use Only The Best Cranberries in Your Baking
Use only the best cranberries for the most flavor and color. Most commercially processed cranberries are pressed to extract the juice and part of the pulp. The remaining hulls are immersed in a hot corn syrup bath to plump and sweeten them. This is what you buy in the stores as dry cranberries or craisins. Instead, buy cold-processed cranberries. They are not pressed and retain all of juice and the pulp. They are sweeter, brighter, and more flavorful.
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How to Use Cranberries in Your Baking
Use as many as you like to get the density that you want. You’ll want cranberries in every bite and cranberries close enough together to be attractive and appealing. Use the following table as a guide but modify the amounts as needed.
- For breads, add 3/4 to one cup per loaf
- For cookies, add one cup for three dozen cookies
- For pancakes, add 3/4 cup per pound of mix
- For muffins, add one cup per dozen muffins
- For scones, add one cup per large batch of scones
Cranberries complement other flavors well. Try them with plenty of cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. Cranberries and orange is a classic. Try them with orange zest and orange flavor. Cranberries also go well with lemon and almond flavors.
Of course, cranberries go very well with chocolate. Add cranberries to your chocolate chip cookies and pair them with white chocolate in your baking.
Our Favorite Cranberry Recipes
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat to 375 degrees
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well dispersed.
- Cream the sugars and butter together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat the mixture until light and creamy. Add the extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients, mixing until combined. Add the cranberries, chips, and nuts.
- Drop heaping teaspoons two inches apart on an ungreased sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Sugar Crusted Currant or Cranberry Scones
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup butter cut into pieces
- 3/4to 1 cup currants or dried cranberries, depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup half or half, condensed milk, or buttermilk
For the Topping:
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet or cover it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Use a pastry knife to cut the butter into the dry ingredients and continue cutting until the mixture is coarse and uniform. Stir in the currants or cranberries.
- In another bowl, stir together the vanilla extract, the egg, and the milk. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir to combine then remove to a floured counter and knead until uniform. (Do not over-knead. Too much kneading will develop the gluten in the flour and make the scones tough.)
- Divide the dough into two pieces and press each into3/4 inch thick circles. Cut each circle into six wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter and brush on the scone wedges. Sprinkle them with the sugar to cover.
- Let bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove to a rack to cool.
Try These Other Recipes:
Pies and Cakes:
- Cranberry Cheesecake
- Peach Mock Pie with Cranberries and Mango (Peach Crumble)
- Cranberry Nut Crumb Cake
- Deluxe Dutch Apple Pie
- Sour Cream Apple Slump
- Cranapple Crumble Mock Pie
- Fully Loaded Apple Pie
- Cranberry Apple Walnut Cobbler
- Cranberry Apple Nut Crisp
Cookies, Muffins, and Scones:
- Cranberry Orange Scone
- Cranberry White Chocolate Country Scones
- Coconut Cranberry Refrigerator Cookies
- Cranberry Nut Orange Muffins
- Cranberry Vanilla Scones
Rolls, Biscuits, and Breads:
- Frosted Cranapple Rolls
- Cranberry Orange Biscuits
- Cranberry Nut Quick Bread
Candies and Syrups:
- Easy Cranberry Syrup
- Cranberry White Chocolate Rice Krispies® Treats
- Cranberry Walnut Heavenly Hash
(Updated from May 13, 2014)