Maple Syrup Cranberry Sauce w/Video

This maple syrup cranberry sauce is made with maple syrup, fresh cranberries, orange juice & vanilla. It’s easy and way better than canned cranberry sauce.

Cooking the cranberries on medium results in a nice, thick, deep dark and flavorful gorgeous color! It’s absolutely delicious and easy to make.

A bowl of maple cranberry sauce
“It turned out amazing! Best cranberry sauce I’ve ever made, or tasted.” ~ Ronda


Put that canned cranberry sauce down and make it from scratch. Introducing maple syrup cranberry sauce. It’s made with maple syrup, orange juice, cranberries and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Thanks to my mommy brains, I totally forgot to add the orange juice and the vanilla extract in the video!


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You can add the OJ or leave it out. Both ways are delicious but don’t forget the vanilla extract. Oh and don’t be hating on my little rosemary garnishment. I was trying to add color to the sauce and make it look holidayish. Okay? Good 😜.


Maple syrup deepens the flavor of the cranberry sauce and the orange juice brightens it up. 

The small pinch of salt helps to balance the sweet and tart flavors. And the tiny very tiny pinch of pepper boosts the flavor just a bit. Remember, you only need a tiny pinch. You family will love it! 

Cranberry Sauce Variations: 

There are so many ways to make maple cranberry sauce. One time I had it with basil.  I thought it was an odd ingredient but it’s actually good.  I had no idea basil was an ingredient until my friend spilled the beans.  Here’s a list of ingredients that can be added to your cranberry sauce. 

  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • basil
  • raspberry juice
  • cranberry juice
  • orange juice


  • 3 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • very small pinch of salt and pepper (optional)


If you want to make your sauce less sweeter just eliminate the sugar. The maple syrup is sweet enough for some people but I like mine with sugar. If you don’t have maple syrup you can also use honey. 


  1. To make it, get a medium-size saucepan. Add all ingredients except for the vanilla extract.

  2. Cook on high heat until the sauce comes to a boil.
  3. Set stove to medium. Stirring frequently, cook for 10-15 minutes or until you get your desired thickness.  
  4. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools down and it will even more thicker if you make it in advance. FYI, the first picture above shows it slightly thickened.If you want it thicker like the photo below just cook the sauce down until you reach your desired texture.This recipe is enough to feed about 4 people so double/triple if needed.homemade cranberry sauce in a bowl


Most people enjoy maple cranberry sauce during the fall, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s usually served with Turkey and stuffing.

Many dishes go well with cranberry sauce but In my home, we love to serve it with turkey of course, gravy, macaroni and cheese, candied yams, stuffing, collard greens, cabbage or sometimes even glazed carrots.

And yes we have the canned jellied stuff too because let’s face it, it’s good and some people don’t like homemade cranberry sauce. 

I hope you can try this maple cranberry sauce recipe out. It will look good next to your Thanksgiving turkey, it tastes oh so good and you’ll be amazed how easy it is. 

I bet your guests will love this recipe because who doesn’t like maple syrup? If you happen to have leftover cranberry sauce, don’t get rid of it, you can use it to make these cranberry crumble bars. Omg, they are melt in your mouth good! Happy Thanksgiving!

A bowl of maple cranberry sauce

Maple Syrup Cranberry Sauce

April Boller Wright
This maple syrup cranberry sauce is made with maple syrup, fresh cranberries, orange juice & vanilla. It's easy and way better than canned cranberry sauce. Cooking the cranberries on medium results in a nice, thick, deep dark and flavorful gorgeous color. This recipe is perfect to make for Thanksgiving!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course classic dinner
Cuisine American, Southern, Southern American


  • 12 oz bag of cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt and pepper optional


  • Rinse the cranberries.  Place all of the ingredients into a sauce pan (except for the vanilla extract) over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and cook on medium heat stirring occasionally. The cranberries will began to burst.
  • Cook uncovered and stirring for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Transfer to a bowl. Add the vanilla extract and mix well and let it cool completely.



Once the cranberry sauce cools off,  it will thicken up. The longer the cranberry sits the more it will thicken.
Feel free to use all sugar instead of maple syrup.

How to make Cranberry Sauce in Advance

To make this ahead of time, let it cool off then place the cranberry sauce in a container with a tight fitted lid. Reheat on low heat until warmed throughout or you can reheat it in the microwave.
Recipe was published 11/19/2018.Updated 11/8/2021
Keyword cranberry sauce, maple cranberry sauce, maple syrup cranberry sauce
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If you loved this recipe make sure you check out my cranberry cream cheese french toast bake

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  1. I make my own as well from scratch because the real thing is SO MUCH better than the canned stuff. Your recipe looks scrumptious!5 stars

  2. I only tried canned cranberry sauce and thought it was the most disgusting thing ever – I always make my own and flavor it differently every time – just whatever is lying about – I love it with mango juice but I’ve never tried with maple syrup – will have to try that version out this year5 stars

    1. I love canned actually. One of the few canned foods I do eat. I love fresh better though. Thank you!

  3. This looks so easy to make – and delicious! I’ve never made cranberry anything before but I’m going to a cranberry fall festival this weekend – sounds like I’ll be bringing some home to make this with!5 stars

  4. You are reading my mind; I love to play with cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and the holidays. Every year I come up with different combinations, and of course, I also serve the classic. I will try your recipe as soon as cranberries are available.5 stars

  5. Saving for Thanksgiving this year! I have always tried to convince my mom to ditch the canned stuff. Maybe this time it’ll be the year after bringing this. Such a clever idea adding maple syrup!5 stars

  6. Catherine E. Brown says:

    It always amazes me just how quick and easy it is to make cranberry sauce from scratch and it ALWAYS tastes better than the stuff out os a can. I’ve never tried adding vanilla before (or basil for that matter!) so I’m excited to try some of your options. A great cranberry sauce has so many applications too! Thanks for sharing your recipe and ideas. 🙂5 stars

  7. I agree – cranberry sauce can be made in so many different ways! I tried a few and the result is pretty similar but everytime I find a new one – I get excited 🙂 Thank you for another great recipe, April!5 stars

  8. Maple syrup is a great addition to this recipe. I love using it myself because it gives great caramel flavor… Thanks for sharing. Nice blog design. I like the simplicity.5 stars

  9. I love a good homemade cranberry sauce, and adding maple syrup is brilliant. Definitely have to try this for Thanksgiving this year!

  10. Stine Mari says:

    I’ve been thinking about making cranberry sauce lately, and this recipe looks so flavorful and easy to make. And I also really appreciated that you added some ways to use leftover cranberry sauce!5 stars

  11. I didn’t know that cranberry sauce can be made into a versatile ingredient for other desserts. Great idea! The cranberry sweets look scrumptious. I love the addition of pepper. it brings zing to the recipe!

  12. I was just talking to my husband about cranberry sauce. Here in Canada, Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks….so the holiday meals begin. I need to make some soon. Love the way you can use the leftovers too.5 stars

    1. I was in Canada a couple years ago around Thanksgiving. Good times and good eating. Thank you Gloria!

  13. Perfect timing for the holidays! I was just looking this up actually so now I can use yours, thanks!5 stars

    1. You’re right on time. Thank you Michelle! I hope you enjoy it!

  14. This recipe is giving me all the feels and getting me super excited about the fall season. I love how you added a couple of recipes to use with cranberry sauce.5 stars

  15. Definitely want to make this recipe but there’s no mentioning of how much orange juice to add. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rob! Sorry about that. What a coincidence. I realized that and I forgot the water as well. I was in the middle of updating the recipe when I saw your comment. Recipe is updated. Thank you and let me know how it turns out!

    2. Thanks for adding the orange juice measurement, now I’ll be making this recipe on Thanksgiving!!! Thank you!

      1. Great! You’re so welcome and Happy Thanksgiving!