Ditch the can and step up your game with my easy Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce. You will never look at cranberry sauce the same! This recipe is so simple, there’s really no way to mess it up. It also has a delicious flavor combo with a hint of orange and bourbon flavor that screams “The Holidays”! So give it a try, and never find yourself eating canned sauce again!
What ingredients do you need to make Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce from scratch?
Making any cranberry sauce is super easy. You only need a few ingredients and a little time to upgrade your cranberry sauce and never use canned sauce again. For my Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce, you only need the following ingredients:
- Fresh Cranberries
- Orange Juice
- Orange Zest
- Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean
- Gelatin (optional)
Will homemade cranberry sauce thicken as it cools?
Yes, your homemade Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. It is also important to note that you should simmer the sauce long enough for the juice to reduce and it’s also important to chill it for 12-24 hours.
If you are pressed for time, you can add a little gelatin to your sauce so that it sets faster. Keep in mind if you take this route, it will have more of a jello-like consistency.
Do you serve Cranberry Sauce Hot or Cold?
The way that you serve your cranberry sauce is truly your preference. I personally enjoy serving my Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce at room temperature because I don’t like the chilled sauce to cool down my turkey. If you choose to served it warm, just keep in mind that the sauce may loose its firm consistency.Print
1c Orange Juice
3 1/2c Sugar
1/2 Orange Zest
4–6 Vanilla Bean
2tbs Vanilla Extract (optional, instead of vanilla bean)
3tsp Geletin (optional, for jello-like consistency)
In a large pot bring water, orange juice, sugar, and bourbon to a boil.
Gently pour vanilla, cranberries, and orange zest into the pot.
Here you can control how much of a citrus flavor you will have by controlling the amount of zest you add to the pot.
Simmer on medium for 30 minutes.
You will hear the cranberries pop. (This will be music to your ears).
Add gelatin now, if you want a more jello-like consistency.
Bring temperature back down to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce is at your desired thickness.
Chill for 12-24 hours or until the sauce sets.
If you would like to omit the bourbon, replace with additional water.
Don’t be afraid to simmer the sauce until it is thick.
Remember that the sauce will have a lot of liquid at first, once you put it in the fridge it will firm up about 40%
Serve straight from the refrigerator to the table for best results.
REMEMBER: This sauce will not be thick like canned sauce unless you decide to use gelatin.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Category: side
Keywords: thanksgiving, side dish, cranberry sauce
Originally posted 11/14/2020, Updated 11/11/2021